Farm Show Recap and More

The January program page has info about events and programs on the Trails of History. Most sites will be closed on Monday, Jan. 16, for the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday. The Railroad Museum of PA and Washington Crossing Historic Park (Visitor's Center only) (nope, sorry) will be open (please check their websites for hours).

There's still time today and tomorrow (Jan. 13-14) to catch PHMC at the PA Farm Show. Check out last week's post (most-read Trailheads post ever!) for details.

Some folks from my office (me included) managed to get over to the Farm Show yesterday to visit the Landis Valley and Pennsbury Manor exhibit and sample some of the famous Farm Show treats. Here are some photos from our visit (first two photos are from Brenda Reigle, third (blurry) one is mine):

Hard to see here, but this is a bill of lading for a load of goods sent via Conestoga wagon from Lancaster County to Frederick Rapp in Economy, PA (at what is now PHMC's Old Economy Village). Cool connection!

The PA Military Museum (Boalsburg) will be the venue for a Town Hall Meeting on Tues., Jan. 17, from 4 to 5 pm. The meeting is one of many planned around the country by the US Dept. of Veterans Affairs to provide opportunities for veterans, their families, and the general public to provide direct input to the VA. A post on has more info. For directions to the museum, check the PMM website.

Wednesday, January 18, is international @MuseumSelfieDay on Twitter, and many of PHMC's Trails of History sites will be taking part. If you're at one of our sites that day and you're on Twitter, please take a selfie, post it using the hashtag #MuseumSelfie, and if possible tag the site you're visiting (not all have Twitter handles but many of them do).

Mike and Trisha Berberich (and friend), PA Lumber Museum, #MuseumSelfie day 2016

Joseph Priestley House (Northumberland) recently held their annual Twelfth Night event, which draws on the Priestley family's English roots and the customs they brought with them to the U.S. (local coverage in the Daily Item). Although Priestley House is closed to the public for the winter, there is still plenty of excitement as we look forward to the premiere of a new play, Gunpowder Joe: Joseph Priestley, Pennsylvania, and the American Experiment. Written by Anthony Clarvoe and directed by Laurie McCants, the play is produced by Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble and will be performed at the Alvina Krause Theatre in downtown Bloomsburg. On Sunday, Jan. 22, following the 3 pm matinee, there will be an informal symposium featuring the creative team behind the play as well as historical and scientific consultants/advisors, many of whom are members of the Friends of Joseph Priestley House. (Background info on the play is available in the study guide developed for high school students and their teachers.)

5 Must-Sees at Farm Show 2017

If you're looking for stuff to do on the Trails of History, please check out the January program page. I've added a few items since first posting the list in late December (and I'll continue to update as I get new info).

Landis_Valley_Conestoga_wagon_at_Farm Show
Landis Valley's Conestoga wagon on display at 2017 Farm Show (photo Cindy Reedy)

Well, it's PA Farm Show time again, campers, and although this year doesn't have quite the buzz last year's 100th Farm Show had, there's still plenty to be excited about. This year's theme is "A Culture of Stewardship," and once again, staff and volunteers from all over PHMC will be on hand to help thousands of people learn about Pennsylvania's agricultural heritage and the work our agency does all year. The Farm Show opens to the public tomorrow, Jan. 7, and runs through next Saturday, Jan. 14. You can find all the info you need, including the Visitor's Guide, on the official Farm Show website and follow @PAFarmShow on Twitter (use #PAFS17 to tag your photos or see what other people are tweeting). UPDATE: PennDOT has an online tool for checking traffic and travel routes for the Farm Show (use on desktop or download to mobile). Also, @PAFarmShow is tweeting updates on parking.

Landis Valley staff set up Farm Show exhibit earlier this week
l to r: Mike Emery, Jim Lewars, Bruce Bomberger (photo Cindy Reedy)
If you go, be sure not to miss these:

1) Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum is back with their Conestoga wagon and exhibitry on Pennsylvania's agricultural history. Landis Valley's exhibit area is in the Main Hall West, near the "Know Your Farmer" display. (The Main Hall is closest to the Maclay Street entrance to the Farm Show building.) They will be joined by folks from Pennsbury Manor who will share 17th-century farming and gardening history, including Pennsbury's now-famous beer-brewing program.

2) The State Historic Preservation Office and Pennsylvania State Archives will be in Main Hall East, Booth MF6086 (across from the Carousel, near the Family Living display). Look for the "Find Your Story" banner to learn about the treasures found at the State Archives, explore the Pennsylvania Agricultural History Project, or get started on the Historical Marker Scavenger Hunt.

3) Next door to "Find Your Story" in Booth MF6090, you will find the State Museum of PA's replica dugout canoe and a life-size photo mural of Native American petroglyphs found near Safe Harbor on the lower Susquehanna River. As always, archaeologists and others will be on hand to share their knowledge.

4) What would a trip to the Farm Show be without a look at the butter sculpture? Also found in the Main Hall, this year's offering, created by Jim Victor and Marie Pelton (Montgomery County) from 1,000 pounds of butter donated by Land O'Lakes (Carlisle, PA), is a tribute to environmental stewardship. It shows a lovely and very detailed agricultural landscape, a bit of a departure from the usual human and animal figures. When the Farm Show is over, the butter will be sent to a dairy farm in Juniata County where a methane digester will convert it into enough energy to power the farm for three days (read more and see a photo).

5) And of course, there's the PA Preferred Food Court, brimming with tasty treats. New this year at the Dairymen's milkshake booth - 100% compostable cups manufactured using resin made from plants that are domestically grown and annually renewable. Miraculously, they also remove all the calories from the milkshakes!**

**This claim has not been scientifically verified.

Happy New Year!

Taking a little break this week, except to remind you to check site schedules before visiting - some sites will probably close early today (12/30) and/or tomorrow (12/31) for New Year's Eve and all sites will be closed on New Year's Day.

The January program page is available now, if you're planning ahead.

Since this is a good time to look back at the year that is about to end, I've compiled a list of the top 5 most-viewed Trailheads posts from 2016 (as of Dec. 20). Enjoy and I'll see you next year!

#1 - Jumping on the [Hamilton] Bandwagon, July 8

#2 - Cool Stuff at which to Look, June 10

#3 - Happy Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 2

#4 - PHMC curators log in for Ask a Curator, guest post by PHMC Social Media Manager Sean Adkins, Sept. 8

#5 - Stuff You May Have Missed, Aug. 19