Early History: Founded in the late 1500s by a now-extinct tribe of Iroquoian speedboat captains and silkworm farmers, Northwest Pennsylvania Ukuleles has the distinction of being the first ukulele group below the 49th parallel to be founded before the British discovery of Hawai’i, and even before the Hawai’ian invention of the ukulele. For the first few decades of its existence the group advocated the use of the ukulele as a snow-removal device. After French fur traders arrived in the area and introduced advanced German snow shovel technology to these noble savages, the society began exploring the ukulele’s musical possibilities. Their French trading partners became increasingly jealous of these musical Indian “oukouleilois”, on account of the French only having silly marionettes and never-ending games of ‘smell the cheese’ for their evening entertainments. This led to the First Ukulele War on Lake Erie. The Iroquois speedboats – which had no engines and were nothing more than birchbark canoes with bitchin’ flames silkscreened on the sides, and not very useful at all in a naval war – were no match for the French sailing ships, and they were quickly defeated. The French conquerors took over the society, and wrote beautiful French music for the ukulele. Unfortunately this music is all but unplayable today, since they composed almost entirely in the key of Ñ (which was itself a Spanish invention). In any case, it was only a few years later that the British learned of the French domination of the ukulele, prompting them to send the young colonel George Washington to the region on a reconnaissance mission. As a result of the intelligence the future Founder of America was able to gain, the British sent dozens of agents provocateur into the region, all with silly moustaches and outrageous accents, to infiltrate the now-French NW PA Ukuleles and claim it in the name of English freemasonry. This goal was finally accomplished in the summer of 1763, and brought about the end of the French and Indian War, which is known outside the United States as the Second Ukulele War. Settlers soon flooded into the area. During the first few years the going was rough, and the Anglo-American NW PA Ukuleles briefly re-established the uke as a snow-removal device out of sheer desperation. Eventually Amish settlers re-introduced the German snow shovel, and the ukulele was returned to its more glorified position as a musical instrument.
NW PA Ukes and the American Revolution:
NW PA Ukes and the War of 1812 (Oliver Hazard Perry, president):
NW PA Ukes and a Nation Divided: