September on the Trails of History

I know, I know... August is not over for another two days (program listings tell the tale). Most Trails of History sites are open Monday for Labor Day, but it's always best to check the schedule. We hope you'll join us at some point in September to enjoy a taste of Pennsylvania heritage and culture. Also, be sure to check back with this post as the month wears on, I'll update the listings when I get new info.

Model Railroad Layout via Railroad Museum of PA Facebook page
Anthracite Heritage Museum and Scranton Iron Furnaces
Saturdays in SeptemberSouth Side Farmers Market at Scranton Iron Furnaces, 10 am-2 pm.

Brandywine Battlefield
Sept. 11: Remembrance Day—ceremony commemorates the Battle of Brandywine, Sept. 11, 1777, and the events of Sept. 11, 2001. 6-7 pm.
Sept. 27: Encampment Day—reenactors, house tours, craft demonstrations and other activities. Admission charged; the program flyer has details. 9 am-4 pm.

Bushy Run Battlefield
Sept. 6: Con on the Run—this day-long tabletop gaming event features five games based on historical battles, a chance to view a diorama of the Battle of Bushy Run, prizes, and more. Cost is $5, free to members of Bushy Run Battlefield Heritage Society. Contact museum facilitator Scott Perry for more info, 9 am-5 pm.
Sept. 13: General Meeting and Lecture—Speaker is Dr. Richard Grimes, author of "We Now Have Taken Up the Hatchet Against Them": Braddock's Defeat and the Martial Liberation of the Western Delawares. Cost is $5, free to members. 1 pm.
Sept. 21: Fall Tea—this year the event includes a fashion show of 18th-century styles. Facebook has the details. Cost is $15 per person; call 724/527-5584 for reservations (seating is limited). 11 am-1 pm.
Sept. 28: Summer Lecture Series—"Evolution of Warfare, 1500-1791" will explore changes in equipment and tactics, highlight some important battles and commanders, and discuss how military changes wrought political changes in Europe. Cost is $5, free to members. 1 pm.

Conrad Weiser Homestead
Sept. 7: First Sunday—the site will be open today, noon to 4 pm.
Sept. 14: Weiser Interpretive Sunday—historical reenactors help bring the site and its history to life. Noon-4 pm.
Sept. 20: 34th Annual Conrad Weiser Disc Golf Tournament—Registration starts at 8-9:30 am, tee-off at 10 am. Contact Mike Dunkle,, for info.

Cornwall Iron Furnace
Sept. 9: Friends Lecture Series—topic is "From Horse Drawn to Horseless Carriages" with speaker Bob Ladd, who will focus especially on automobiles produced in central Pennsylvania. Held in Freeman Auditorium at Cornwall Manor. Free and open to the public. 7 pm.
Sept. 20: Cast Iron Cooking Demonstration—learn about cast iron cooking pots and see them in use. Demonstration is free. Regular admission fees apply for tours of the Furnace (see where cast iron comes from). Demonstration 11 am-3 pm; museum is open 9 am-5 pm.

Daniel Boone Homestead
Sept. 20: The Homestead Open Golf Tournament at Arrowhead—this is a fundraising event; registration is $75 per person and includes greens fees with cart, catered lunch, and the chance to win prizes. Contact Amanda Machik at 610/582-4900 or to register.

Drake Well Museum
Sept. 20: Fall Gas Up—the Pioneer Steam and Gas Engine Society will display antique gas engines on the grounds of the museum. Included in regular admission. 9 am-4 pm.
Sept. 26: Heritage Lecture Series—please check back later for program details. Special admission. 6:30 pm.
Sept. 27: Oil Valley Blacksmiths—this is a monthly demonstration program held the last Saturday of the month from April through October. Included in regular admission. 9 am-2 pm.

Eckley Miners' Village
Sept. 20-Nov. 8: 2014 Fall Foliage Photo Contest—entries will be accepted for this year's contest to capture the best photo of Eckley during the autumn. Eckley's Facebook page has more details on how to participate (and you can see the lovely photo that won last year).

Ephrata Cloister
Sept 6: Founders’ Day—Discover the roots of the Ephrata community with a special admission price of $1 (ages 3 and up) and lots of interesting activities on the site. Tickets for tours of the rarely shown upper floors of the Sisters’ House are $12; capacity is limited and reservations strongly suggested. 10 am-4 pm.
Sept. 20: Artisans' Faire—local craftspeople will display and sell their wares. Included in regular admission. 10 am-3 pm.
Sept. 26-27: Stuffed Animal Sleepover—kids drop off a stuffed animal Friday afternoon and return to the site Saturday morning for family activities and exploration. Each child receives photos of their buddy's overnight stay (Facebook has photos from the program in March). Visit the website for details.

Erie Maritime Museum and Flagship Niagara
Sept. 10: 201st anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie—a commemoration ceremony on the Museum plaza, next to the Flagship Niagara, will be followed by a reception and unveiling of a new model of the ship. Free to members. 5:30-7 pm.
Sept. 16: Lecture Series—John Grady, former editor of Navy Times and retired Director of Communications at the Association of the United States Army, will present "The USS Wolverine and the Confederate Raid of Johnson Island." Open to the public, offered in partnership with the Civil War Roundtable. 6:30 pm.

Fort Pitt Museum
Sept. 13-14: Royal Artillery at Fort Pitt—hear what it was like to be a member of the Royal Artillery defending the fort, with cannon drills and firings throughout the day. 10 am-5 pm.

Graeme Park
Sept. 24: Homeschool Festival—activities include tours of the Keith House, open-hearth cooking, militia drills, and colonial games (the program flyer has the details and some great photos from previous events). Cost is $6 per person; students must be accompanied by a responsible adult. 10 am-2 pm.
Sept. 27: Paranormal Journeys Expo—this event brings together vendors and others with an interest in paranormal investigations. There's a program flyer with more details.

Hope Lodge
Sept. 21: Site open—enjoy the grounds and take a guided tour of the mansion. Admission is $5 (age 18-59), $4 (age 6-17 and 60+), FREE for Friends of Hope Lodge members and visitors age 5 and under. 12:30-4 pm (tours at 1, 2, and 3 pm).

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Sundays in September: September Ice Cream "Sundays"—enjoy a lovely Sunday afternoon with wagon rides, live music, and crafts, all included in regular admission (free for members, hint, hint). For $1 more you can make your own ice cream sundaes. Noon-3 pm.
Sept. 13: Wool Frolic—Watch demos of bobbin lace making, dyeing fibers, knitting, crocheting, weaving, flax processing, and shearing. Enjoy activities for the kids, as well. Included in regular admission (kids 5 and under are free). Outside the grounds, you'll be able to shop for deals on yarn, patterns, and paraphernalia. 10 am-4 pm.

Old Economy Village
Sept. 20-21: Autumnfest at Old Economy—Learn how the Harmonists celebrated the harvest and prepared for the winter ahead. Craftspeople will demonstrate 19th-century trades, and hands-on activities include churning butter, making apple schnitz (dried apples), and pressing apples for cider. Taste grape pies made from grapes grown on-site. There will also be Oktoberfest-themed refreshments for purchase. 10 am-5 pm; Sun., noon-5 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
Sept. 7: Historic Trades—the blacksmith and joyner will be on hand to demonstrate their work with metal and wood. Included in regular admission 1-4 pm.
Sept. 14: Living History Theater—“Penn's Departure” explores the Penn family's imminent return to England (in 1701) and their concerns on leaving Pennsbury. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
The Paths Less Traveled Tour—a behind-the-scenes look at areas not normally open to the public, such as the basement and third floor of the Manor House and the upper floor of the Kitchen House. $15 per person (free to members). Tours on the half-hour, from 1 to 3:30 pm.
Sept. 21: Open Hearth Cooking—there's always something cooking, check back here later for updates. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
Sept. 26: Dine Around the Manor, 75th Anniversary Edition—enjoy a progressive dinner while you explore the site, watch cooking demonstrations, and listen to musicians strolling the site. End your evening with dessert in the Visitor Center. Tickets are $75 per person. Call 215/946-0400 for reservations.
Sept. 28: Garden Highlights and Beer Brewing Demonstration—it’s beginning to look and feel like fall in Pennsbury’s gardens and the gardeners will be on hand to talk about it. You'll also find beer brewing in the Kitchen House. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.

Pennsylvania Military Museum
Sept. 13-14: Then & Now—this bivouac/encampment program features a living history military timeline stretching from the 18th to the 21st century. Live music from various time periods and a battle dress fashion show (1 pm each day) as well as ample opportunity to talk with reenactors and others about their particular areas of interest. 10 am-4 pm.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Sept. 6: Model Railroading Day—model railroad clubs and historical groups will display layouts in various scales throughout Rolling Stock Hall. Included in regular admission. (PLEASE NOTE: model railroading clinics and Restoration Shop tours are already filled.) 9 am-5 pm.

Somerset Historical Center
Sept. 5-7: Mountain Craft Days—since 1970, this event has brought together artisans and craftspeople of all types, and now includes children’s activities, cooking demonstrations, entertainment, and great food (brochure with info, directions, and next year's dates). Admission is $7 for adults, $4 for kids 6-17. 10 am-5 pm.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Thru Sept. 1: Harrisburg Kipona festivalState Museum archaeologists will be on City Island to talk about excavations conducted there by the PHMC and the City of Harrisburg. 10 am to 6 pm.
Sept. 8-Oct. 10: Excavations at Fort Hunter—archaeologists from the museum will be conducting their annual dig at Fort Hunter, just north of Harrisburg. The public is welcome to visit on weekdays, 9 am-4 pm.
Sept. 14: Gallery Walk—the museum will be open free of charge, 11 am-6 pm, as part of the citywide event. This is also the last day to view the “Art of the State” exhibit.
Sept. 19: Learn@Lunchtime and 3rd in the Burg—enjoy free admission to the museum and be among the first to see the new Planetarium show, Back to the Moon for Good, narrated by actor Tim Allen. Learn@Lunchtime shows are on the half-hour from 11 am to 1 pm; 3rd in the Burg shows are every half hour from 5:30 to 7 pm.
Sept. 24: HomeSchool Day—a special program tailored for families and community organizations teaching in a home setting. There will be a variety of gallery tours, presentations, and hands-on activities. Admission is $10 per person, free to State Museum Affiliate Members and members of the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation. Call 717/772-6997 to register. 10 am-3 pm.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Sept. 14: Afternoon Concert Series—the Newtown Chamber Orchestra will inaugurate this new series with a concert of 18th-century chamber music. Tickets are available at the Visitor Center (price range is $25-45); concert will be held in the auditorium. 2 pm.
Sept. 21: McConkey's Market and Muster Day—enjoy a day out as historical interpreters and reenactors get in the spirit of a colonial marketplace and militia drill. There will be activities for families, and the marketplace will include local produce and baked goods in addition to crafts. Admission is free. 10 am-4 pm.

STEM and the Trails of History

Info about programs on the Trails of History this weekend can be found in the "About Us" section on the right side of your screen.

Earlier this week, a great bunch of people gathered at the Pennsylvania Military Museum (thank you for hosting!) to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education as it relates to the work that museums and historic sites do. Thanks to Rhonda Newton of the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation, the program included Sally Flaherty and David Bauman, curriculum advisors (Social Studies and Science Education, respectively) from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), as well as Jill Whelan from Conner Prairie Interactive History Park (via Skype).

Connecting science, math, and history standards (photos by AKF)
Staff from all over the Trails of History participated in discussions about STEM and how much of what they already do in their programming touches on these disciplines. Flaherty and Bauman shared with us PDE's working definition: "STEM education is an intentional, integrative approach to teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Students become adept problem solvers, innovators, and inventors who are self-reliant by asking questions, investigating, making informed decisions about how they live their daily lives and engage in their vocations and communities." They also walked us through an exercise that showed the connections between academic standards for scientific and mathemtatics practice and academic standards for history, in terms of the kinds of intellectual frameworks and activities that engage students.

It struck me that "integrative approach to teaching" and "asking questions, investigating" also describe the best ways that museums and historic sites help students (of all ages) learn about the past and how it relates to their lives. Hmmmm.

Skyping with Jill Whelan at Conner Prairie
Whelan shared with us a bit about her experience working with front-line staff at Conner Prairie to help them be more comfortable talking with visitors about STEM. She also created a sample matrix that can be used to articulate the STEM concepts that are embedded in so many educational components and public programs at our historic sites, from cooking and food preservation, to gardening, to clothing, to transportation, get my point.

Small group discussions
Perhaps the best part of the day (shhh, don't tell our bosses) was the small group and large group discussion at the end of the day, where long-time and newer colleagues talked about how to apply what we heard and about what we, as a group, can do next. It has been quite a while since we got this bunch together and it was invigorating to see the possibilities for sharing expertise across sites. Stay tuned.

A Mid-August Roundup

Looking for something to do this weekend? A link to the August program listings is in the right hand navigation, under "About Us" (or you can click on "August program listings" in this sentence).

Log Farm and Garden, Aug. 7, 2014, via Landis Valley's Facebook page
Thank you to Caroline Briselli for last Friday's post about her internship in Collections Management and to Jake Coen for his Wednesday post about interning in the Pennsylvania State Archives. For more info on summer internships on the Trails of History, check out Chronicle Ephrata or the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation blog.

While pulling together some links for coverage of the Pennsylvania Military Museum's Boot Camp for Kids earlier this month (photos are on Facebook), I noticed that one young man, 12-year-old Jake Tanner, was quoted in both a Centre Daily Times article and on the "We Are Central PA" website. He is apparently a repeat participant and provides a great (unrehearsed, we swear) testimonial for the program. He's quoted on the website as saying, "It's really fun because you get to interact with real veterans, too." The CDT article includes this: "You support the museum. That's probably most important because it does a lot for the community and lets us be in this event. I think it's a way to give back to teach us stuff like this." Jake, you warm my heart.

The Pennsylvania Lumber Museum is mentioned in a PennLive article about scenic views throughout Pennsylvania. The article includes the museum as an attraction nearby the ruins of Austin Dam, in Potter County.

Today (Aug. 15) is the last day to register for discounted admission and model railroading clinics planned for the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania's Model Railroading Day on Sept. 6. Space is limited. National Model Railroad Association, Susquehanna Division, is handling registrations.

The organizers of the Drake Well Marathon are hoping to provide a larger crowd this year to cheer on the runners and encourage them on their 26-mile trek from Drake Well Museum through Titusville to the finish line. If you can head out this Sunday, you can help make Titusville a bigger event for the marathoners and encourage more to participate next year. And speaking of Drake Well, this item reaches way back into June (I finally waded through my Google Alerts). Congratulations are due to Melissa Mann, site administrator, who was recognized with the Samuel T. Pees Keeper of the Flame award by the Petroleum History Institute for her work at Drake Well and, previously, with Oil 150 and the Oil Region Alliance.

Congratulations to the Erie Maritime Museum and US Brig Niagara! The Flagship Niagara League's participation in Erie Gives Day on Tuesday garnered more than $12,500 to support the ship and its programs (and that's before their share of the matching funds). Voting for Erie's Choice Museum is open until August 31, and Erie Maritime Museum is one of the nominees. Vote early, vote often!