On the Trails of History, August 17-31

Performer at 2014 Drake Day Circus plays with fire
Andrew of Top Hat Sideshow plays with fire as part of the 2014 Drake Day Circus (via Facebook); the 2018 event is Aug. 25 (see info below)

Bushy Run Battlefield
Aug. 25: Bushy Run Market—it's the 4th Saturday of the month, so that means a variety of vendors will be on site for your shopping enjoyment (more info on the website). Free for visitors and vendors. 8 am-noon.

Conrad Weiser Homestead
Sneak preview/programming note—the Patriotic Concert event originally scheduled for July 1 and postponed due to the heat has been rescheduled for Sunday, Sept. 2, at 5 pm.

Cornwall Iron Furnace
Aug. 17: Blast!—this event features local breweries and wineries (more info on Facebook), music by jazz keyboardist Wayne Fox, and catering by Hess Barbecue (pulled pork sandwiches, marinated chicken, sides, and dessert). You must be at least 18 years old to attend and 21 to sample alcoholic beverages. Tickets at the door tonight are $45 ($30 for DDs and under 21). 6-9 pm.

Daniel Boone Homestead
Aug. 22, 29: Sawmill Operation Days—subject to staff availability, there will be demonstrations of the site’s water-powered sawmill at 11 am and 2 pm.
Aug. 25: Lecture/demonstration—Revolutionary War interpreter Paul Trainor will present "18th-Century Medical Practices," which includes a display of period medical instruments. Included in regular admission. 2-4 pm.

Drake Well Museum
Aug. 18-19, 25-26: Historic Pithole Open—the visitor center will be open, so enjoy the orientation film and the excellent diorama that shows the town in its heyday. Admission charged. 10 am-4 pm.
Aug. 25: Drake Day Circus—experience a traveling circus as it might have been during the height of the Pennsylvania oil boom (more info on Facebook event page). Admission charged. 10 am-4 pm.

Eckley Miners’ Village
Aug. 25: Back to School at Eckley—explore the village, visit the buildings, and take part in hands-on activities and a scavenger hunt as you go. Admission charged. 10 am-4 pm.

Fort Pitt Museum
Please visit the Fort Pitt Museum website for information on this month's programs and events.

Graeme Park
Aug. 20: Living History Sunday—learn about the impact of the American Revolution on the folks living at Graeme Park and environs from some of General Anthony Wayne's soldiers. Admission charged. Noon-3 pm.
Aug. 30: Happy Hour with the Historian—Roddy Davis will present "The Philadelphia White House," featuring the Deshler-Morris House in Germantown, which George Washington used as a retreat from the city (when it was the U.S. capital) during the 1793 yellow fever epidemic. Admission is $5, free for members. Food and drink available for purchase starting at 6 pm; lecture starts at 7.

Hope Lodge
Aug. 19, 26: Site open—enjoy the grounds and take a guided tour of the mansion. Admission charged. 12:30-4 pm (tours at 1:00 and 2:30 pm).
Aug. 22: Movie Night—bring a blanket or lawn chair and settle in to watch Darkest Hour (2017), starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill. Presented by Whitemarsh Township Parks and Recreation. Admission is free, snacks available for purchase. Starts at dusk. (Raindate is TBD.)

Old Economy Village
Aug. 18: Basket Weaving—stay tuned to the website for updates on this workshop.
Aug. 19: Concert in the Garden—enjoy a summer evening concert by the River City Brass (bring lawn chairs, blankets, and a picnic supper). Event is scheduled to take place outdoors; in the event of bad weather it will move into the Feast Hall, so tickets are limited (check the Facebook event page or the OEV website for info on purchasing tickets). Gates open at 4 pm, concert starts at 5.

Pennsbury Manor
Aug. 19, 26: Special programming—8/19, Open Hearth Cooking; 8/26, Beer Brewing and Garden Highlights. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
Aug. 18: Build and Sail a Log Raft—a mini log raft, that is. Learn how early loggers built rafts to get logs to market, then try your hand at building and sailing a miniature version. Bring water shoes, because you'll be going into the creek (more info on Facebook event page). 1 pm.

Pennsylvania Military Museum
Aug. 18-19, 25-26: On weekends in August, the 1 pm guided tour is included in museum admission.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Aug. 18-19: Model Railroading Days—model train layouts from numerous railroading clubs will join the museum's layouts for a weekend of family fun and learning. Included in regular admission. 9 am-5 pm.

Somerset Historical Center
Aug. 18: Escape Room—two 60-minute games offered each day for up to 10 players. Solve the clues to escape from the barn. Cost is $10 per person. 10 am-2 pm.
Aug. 18: Lecture Series—Bill Rump of the Laurel Highlands Bottle Club will present "Bottle Documentation and Identification." Bring along your Somerset County (or other) glass bottles to help the center document local examples. 2 pm.
Aug. 25: History on a Hayride—hear local tales and explore the historical center grounds from your seat in a hay wagon. Two rides each day. Cost is $10 per person, $8 for members. 10 am-2 pm.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Please visit the Planetarium webpage for a full schedule of shows.
Aug. 22-23: Curiosity Kids programs—museum staff will lead younger visitors on an exploration of the museum (program details are on the events calendar). Included in regular admission. 11:30 am.
Aug. 17, 24: Summer Fridays—general admission is "pay as you wish" on Fridays, 9 am to 5 pm. Curiosity Connection will have free timed tickets available. Art docents will be on hand in the "Art of the State" exhibit from 11 am to 1 pm. Regular fees apply for planetarium shows. From 12:15 to 12:45 pm, a variety of Learn at Lunchtime programs will be offered (check website for specifics).
Aug. 17: 3rd in the Burg—the "Great Summer Switch" is on the program. Susquehanna Art Museum director of education Tina Sell will lead a tour of the State Museum's "Art of the State" exhibit at 6 pm. Visitors can then walk up the street to the Susquehanna Art Museum where PHMC Commissioner and artist Ophelia Chambliss will lead a group through their exhibit, "Romare Bearden: Vision and Activism," at 7:15. Admission is free. The State Museum will be open 5:30-7:30 pm.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Please visit the Washington Crossing website for information on programs and events.

500th Post!!

This is officially the 500th Trailheads post since we started back in August of 2009. On behalf of all who've posted, thanks for reading!

Last week's post included Trails of History events running through next Thursday (there have been a couple of updates) or you can check the August program page if you're planning further ahead.


Heading Home by Daven Anderson shows a large tanker and a smaller fishing boat
"Heading Home" by Daven Anderson is one of the featured works in a new exhibit at Erie Maritime Museum (used with permission)
Linda Bolla of the Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara (a frequent Trailheads contributor and guest blogger these past 9 years) sent an update on the two-gallery exhibition opening at Erie Maritime this weekend. The overall title for the project is A Celebration of Life and Work on Our Waterways. The museum's West Wing Gallery will feature "THE RIVERS: A Celebration of Life and Work on America’s Waterways," a series of watercolors by Daven Anderson, Managing Director of the American Society of Marine Artists and Executive Director of the Missouri Watercolor Society. Anderson is a U.S. Coast Guard Artist and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. As a complement to Anderson's work, the museum's Orientation Theater will display works by members of Erie's BLOOM Collaborative, which is dedicated to promoting better health through the arts. Anderson will present a gallery talk on Saturday, Aug. 11, at 2 pm, and there will be an opening reception from 1 to 2:30 pm on Sunday, Aug. 12 (more info). The exhibits continue through Oct. 27.

Artist working on large painting of dolphin
Phil, a member of the BLOOM Collaborative, works on a large-format painting of a dolphin

From Graeme Park's Facebook page: Last Friday Grover Silcox and his crew showed up to film an episode of "Let's Go!"--a show that highlights family-friendly things to do and places to go in the Lehigh Valley and beyond. Friends of Graeme Park Vice President Jack Washington volunteered to be the on-camera spokesperson (see photo below) and show them around, while a whole crew of costumed reenactors including John and Carol Brunner, Steve Griffith, Mary Washington, Julie Thibeau, Germain Ledoux, Bill Sparke, Jim Miller, Michael Carver, and Ellen Idelson, were on-hand to add to the Colonial atmosphere and show some local children how to play colonial games. The episode premiered last night but if you're in the WLVT viewing area, you can catch it again tomorrow (8/11) at 5:30 pm or on Tuesday, Aug. 14, at 7.

Camera crew filming outside visitor center at Graeme Park
Jack Washington, center, talks to camera crew for an episode of "Let's Go!" (via Graeme Park Facebook page)

Bushy Run Battlefield hosted its annual reenactment this past weekend. TribLive covered the event, and you can read all about it in their article. You can also see photos and video on Bushy Run's Facebook page. This weekend, the site is bringing back its popular tabletop gaming event (read more about that on the event page).

The Boys and Girls Club of Somerset recently visited Somerset Historical Center to see their lime kiln (built on site over the past few years) and learn about how the different uses of lime (no, not the kind in margaritas, the kind that comes from limestone). They shared some great photos on their Facebook page.

And finally, if you're planning to see The Meg this weekend (or ever), you might want to check out this article from PennLive. They talked to State Museum of PA paleontology and geology curator Dr. Steven Jasinski about megalodons to help separate fact from movie fiction (lots of good photos in this one).

Enjoy your weekend!

PA Trails of History Events, August 3-16

Don't let the summer heat keep you from enjoying all that the PA Trails of History have to offer. The full August program page is on the sidebar. The weekly post on August 17 will include the remainder of the month.

Swing dancers at Eckley 1940s weekend
Dance the night away at the Freeland Public Park Pavilion Aug. 4 as part of the Eckley Miners' Village "1940s Weekend" (photo Eckley Miners' Village)
Bushy Run Battlefield
Aug. 4-5: 255th Anniversary of the Battle of Bushy Run—if you've attended this event before, please note that the schedule has changed. The reenactment of the first day of the battle will take place on the afternoon of Aug. 4, with the 2nd day reenactment on the afternoon of Aug. 5 (see the website or Facebook event page for details). You'll also find military camps, period craftspeople and musical performances, and food vendors at this annual event. Admission is $10 for ages 13+, $5 for ages 4-12; a two-day pass is available for $15 (adult) and $7 (child). 10 am-4 pm both days.
ADDED Aug. 11: Games Day—historically themed tabletop games are back! $5 gets you admission to the event plus guided tours of the museum and battlefield (check out the Facebook event page for more info). 9 am-5 pm.

Conrad Weiser Homestead
Aug. 5: Living History Sunday—learn about life in Berks County in the mid-18th century. Guided tours offered. Free admission. Noon-4 pm.

Cornwall Iron Furnace
Aug. 14: Lecture—Pat Freeland will present "Virtual Tour of Cornwall Iron Furnace." Part of the Friends of Cornwall Iron Furnace lecture series, the program takes place in the auditorium of Freeman Community Center at Cornwall Manor. 7 pm.

Daniel Boone Homestead
Aug. 8, 15: Sawmill Operation Days—subject to staff availability, there will be demonstrations of the site’s water-powered sawmill at 11 am and 2 pm.

Drake Well Museum
Aug. 4-5, 11-12: Historic Pithole Open—the visitor center will be open, so enjoy the orientation film and the excellent diorama that shows the town in its heyday. Admission charged. 10 am-4 pm.
Aug. 5: Drake Well Marathon and 1/2—this is a qualifying event for the Boston Marathon. Both races (full marathon and half marathon) begin and end at the Museum and make use of Titusville streets and the bike path in Oil Creek State Park. Proceeds benefit Drake Well Museum and Park. You must register to participate.

Eckley Miners’ Village
Aug. 4-5: 1940s Weekend—learn about life during World War II through home front and military displays, music, food, and more throughout the site. Off-site at 6 pm on the 4th, there will be a Swing Dance at Freeland Public Park Pavilion. Admission charged (separate fee for dance). 10 am-5 pm.

Ephrata Cloister
Aug. 5: Ice Cream Social—ice cream sundaes, music by Ethan Fasnacht, spinning and weaving demos, therapy dogs from KPETS. What a great way to spend an old-fashioned summer afternoon. Admission is $5 per person for ages 5 and up (younger than 5 get in free). 1-4 pm.

Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara
Aug. 11-12: A Celebration of Life and Work on Our Waterways—the centerpiece of this project is a two-gallery exhibit featuring the work of watercolor artist Daven Anderson and works by members of Erie's BLOOM Collaborative. Anderson will present a gallery talk on Aug. 11 at 2 pm. There will be an opening reception at 1-2:30 pm on Aug. 12 (more info). The exhibits continue through Oct. 27.
Aug. 14: Erie Gives—you can support the museum and ship and stretch your donation by participating in Erie Gives Day. Online giving only, 8 am-8 pm, on the Flagship Niagara League's Erie Gives page.

Fort Pitt Museum
Please visit the Fort Pitt Museum website for information on programs and events.

Hope Lodge
Aug. 5, 12: Site open—enjoy the grounds and take a guided tour of the mansion. Admission charged. 12:30-4 pm (tours at 1:00 and 2:30 pm).

Joseph Priestley House
Aug. 5: Oxygen Day—in honor of Dr. Priestley’s best known scientific contribution, this program features costumed docents throughout the house and chemistry demonstrations (more info on the website). Admission is free. 1-4 pm; chemistry demos at 1:30 and 2:30 pm.

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Aug. 7: Hands-On History Day—today's theme is the letter "W": there's a School House lesson about “Washing the Sheep,” historic wooden games, wool working, and making a simple toy (more info and online ticketing on website). Cost per program is $11 per person (FREE for Landis Valley Associate members and kids age 5 and under). 10 am-3 pm.

Old Economy Village
Aug. 11: Introduction to Woodworking—stay tuned to the website for updates on this workshop. 10 am-1 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
Aug. 5, 12: Special programming—8/5, Historic Trades; 8/12, Living History Theater. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
Aug. 4-5: Family History Camp—this 2-day program is designed for families with kids age 10 and older. On Day 1, learn about the history of logging in PA and the skills needed to be a successful "woodhick." On Day 2, help demonstrate those skills at the Cherry Springs Park Woodsmen's Show. Pre-registration is required (visit the museum website for details). Also on Aug. 4, the museum will offer an all ages birling clinic (weather permitting) for people who want to learn or practice log-rolling (see Facebook event for more info).

Pennsylvania Military Museum
Aug. 4-5, 11-12: On weekends in August, the 1 pm guided tour is included in museum admission.
Aug. 5: Friends' Lecture Series—local historian and author Bruce Teeple will present "War Fever! How the Government's Anti-German Propaganda Campaign Affected Central Pennsylvania." Donation requested. 2 pm.
Aug. 7: Central PA Civil War Round Table Series—Jared Frederick, history instructor at Penn State Altoona and seasonal interpreter at Gettysburg National Military Park, will present "For the People: A Photographic History of the Gettysburg National Military Park." Donation requested. 7 pm.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
As of Aug. 1: Garden Railway Tour and Swing Dance Tickets on saleGarden Railway Tour: this year's (self-guided) tour is on Sunday, Oct. 7 (rain or shine). Tickets may be purchased at the museum starting today and will be available at Stauffer's locations in central PA starting Sept. 1. Swing Dance: Saturday night, Nov. 3, will find 1940s dance music and dancers among the trains in Rolling Stock Hall from 7 to 10 pm.

Somerset Historical Center
Aug. 4: Escape Room—two 60-minute games offered each day for up to 10 players. Solve the clues to escape from the barn. Cost is $10 per person. 10 am-2 pm.
Aug. 11: History on a Hayride—hear local tales and explore the historical center grounds from your seat in a hay wagon. Two rides each day. Cost is $10 per person, $8 for members. 10 am-2 pm.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Please visit the Planetarium webpage for a full schedule of shows.
Aug. 8-9, 15-16: Nature Lab programs—a variety of presenters will share their expertise in Nature Lab (program details are on the events calendar). Included in regular admission. 11:30 am.
Aug. 3, 10: Summer Fridays—general admission is "pay as you wish" on Fridays, 9 am to 5 pm. Curiosity Connection will have free timed tickets available. Art docents will be on hand in the "Art of the State" exhibit from 11 am to 1 pm. Regular fees apply for planetarium shows. From 12:15 to 12:45 pm, a variety of Learn at Lunchtime programs will be offered (check website for specifics).
Aug. 3: StoryTime—this month's program will include a tour of selected works in the "Art of the State" exhibit and a reading of Art by Patrick McDonnell. Geared for children ages 3-5 with an adult. Included in general admission. 10-11 am.
Aug. 5: Artist's Conversations—take an informal tour of this year's "Art of the State" exhibit with curator Amy Hammond and artist Jo Margolis, whose work on paper, Things Embedded, is featured in the exhibit. Included in general admission. 2-3 pm.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Please visit the Washington Crossing website for information on programs and events.