Wait. It's Friday Already?

Another week has whizzed past and here we all are again. I've selected a few items that I hope you'll find interesting or at least worth clicking on a link or two. Our staff and volunteers out on the Trails of History are really working hard to keep up a steady flow of programming and events. If you've been able to visit and take part, I'd love to hear from you in the comments. Since we're just about to the end of the month, I've included a list of just this weekend's events. We'll have the August listings next week (at least that's my plan).

Earlier this week, interns from the PHMC's Keystone Internship Program, most of them based in Harrisburg, took a field trip to visit Ephrata Cloister and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. Many thanks to the interns, mentors, and site staff for making it a good day. The interns posed for a photo in Rolling Stock Hall at the Railroad Museum. Check out those smiling faces.

Speaking of interns, have you been following the activities of Ephrata Cloister's interns? They've been sharing their progress reports through the Chronicle Ephrata blog. I really enjoy seeing what they're up to. In other Ephrata news, PHMC's info specialist, Sean Adkins, live-tweeted a tour of @EphrataCloister yesterday. UPDATE: You'll find the whole tour on Storify.

The Pennsylvania Military Museum presented "Vietnam Revisited" this past weekend and shared photos on Facebook of the event (they've also invited attendees to share some of their own photos as well). They also received some good local coverage. If you missed the program, you can still catch the exhibit, "Vietnam Remembered," featuring objects donated by soldiers who served during the Vietnam War.

Anthracite Heritage Museum and Scranton Iron Furnaces
July 26: South Side Farmers Market at the Scranton Iron Furnaces

Conrad Weiser Homestead
July 27: Site open—the site is open every Sunday afternoon through Labor Day weekend, noon to 4 pm.

Daniel Boone Homestead
July 27: Interpretive Sunday—spend a summer Sunday afternoon learning about 18th-century military life. Included in regular admission. Noon-4 pm.

Drake Well Museum
Saturday and Sunday: Historic Pithole Open, 10 am-4 pm.
July 26: Blacksmith Demonstrations—monthly demonstrations take place the last Saturday of the month through October. Included in regular admission. 9 am-2 pm.

Eckley Miners’ Village
July 26-27: 1940s Weekend—learn about wartime on the homefront and in the military, circa 1944. Military and civilian reenactors will be on site; Holocaust survivor Severin Fayerman will share his experiences. A swing-era USO Dance will be held off-site the evening of July 26. Visit the website for details. 10 am-5 pm (dance is at 6). This just in: if you're traveling to Eckley via Weatherly, there is new directional signage to help you find your way!

Ephrata Cloister
July 26: Student Historian Saturday—members of Ephrata Cloister's teen interpreters group will be on hand to help bring the stories of the site to life and answer questions for visitors. Included in regular admission. 10 am-3 pm.

Erie Maritime Museum and US Brig Niagara
July 26: Discovery Day—Little Mates Kids Club members will learn about the life of a sailor through hands-on activities and music. For details (or questions about membership info), email Julie Wagner.

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
July 26-27: Civil War Weekend—the site is transformed into a rural Pennsylvania village in 1863, with reenactors portraying soldiers and civilians. Included in regular admission. 10 am-4 pm.

Old Economy Village
July 26: 19th-Century Trades and Craftseach Saturday has a different focus. Included in regular admission. 11 am-4 pm.

Peace Church
July 27: Rediscovering Peace Church—learn about the history of the church and visit the adjacent cemetery. 3-4 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
July 27: Garden Highlights and Beer Brewing Demonstration—spend some time in the kitchen garden and see what the gardeners are up to, then see how the hops growing in the garden get turned into beer. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.

Somerset Historical Center
July 27: Somerset County Appreciation Day—Somerset County residents are invited to come and enjoy an afternoon of baseball, band music, and local history as they explore a historic site in their own backyard. Free admission. Noon-4 pm.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Fridays in July: Learn at Lunchtime—admission is free every Friday between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; free docent tours at 12:15 p.m. and 1 p.m. (List of topics and speakers).

Welcoming New Citizens at Pennsbury Manor

Looking for something to do this weekend? Check out the July program listings and enjoy.

As you may have heard, this year we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of Pennsbury Manor as a historic site. The reconstruction of the Manor House began in the 1930s and the site opened to the public in 1939. Today (July 18) at 10:30 am some 50 people from many different nations will become United States citizens in a ceremony held in front of the Manor House. Congratulations to our new fellow Americans and to the folks at Pennsbury for hosting this meaningful event, as well as the many other events scheduled during this anniversary year to celebrate William Penn's legacy and the Penn family's American home. @PHMC will be live-tweeting the citizenship ceremony (even if you don't catch it live, you can get the details afterward).

The Manor House at Pennsbury Manor

In other news (thanks to sites for sharing on Facebook)...

The Pennsylvania Military Museum, in the lead-up to their "Vietnam Revisited" program this weekend, has been featuring Medal of Honor awardees from Pennsylvania on their Facebook page. A nice tribute, I think. And I'll add a reminder here that all Trails of History sites are participating in the Blue Star Museums program this summer; in fact, we offer free admission to active duty military and their families year-round.

Cornwall Iron Furnace was recently voted Best Historic Attraction in the Lebanon Daily News 2014 Best of the Lebanon Valley list. If I'm not mistaken, they were similarly honored in last year's voting as well. Congratulations to all. You might want to mark your calendars for the August 8 Blast! event in order to see this wonderful site for yourself (or visit it again if you've been there before).


In preparation for their 1940s Weekend (July 26-27), some volunteers at Eckley Miners' Village received some well-timed dance instruction to be "in the mood" (sorry, that one's mine) for Saturday night's Swing Dance. A & M Ballroom Dance guided them through some steps and will be on hand for the dance. Eckley posted a few photos on Facebook. For details on the weekend activities or a bit of info on the 1940s in the anthracite region, visit Eckley's website.

The collections and buildings at Ephrata Cloister have received some good news coverage this past week or so, with the acquisition of a business ledger associated with the community and some interesting graffiti and possibly original paint color found on the Academy building. On top of that, the site has gotten some attention for its summer tour options, with Student Historians, staff, and volunteers providing visitors with more opportunities to explore the history of the site.

Classic cars at Old Economy Village for "An American Celebration"
And I'll wrap this up with a couple of items related to Old Economy Village. Last weekend's program, "An American Celebration," featured a day of activities, live music performances, and classic cars. (OEV's Facebook page has photos to give you a flavor of the event.) Yesterday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette had an article spotlighting OEV's curator, Sarah Buffington, her interest in clothing and reenacting, and her work at the site (there's still time to catch the Harmonist clothing exhibit, "A Style of Their Own," before it closes on August 10).

I hope you have a great weekend!

Some Items of Civil War Interest

Sometimes if I wait long enough to write the weekly blog post, a series of unconnected pieces will fall together into something like a theme. Sometimes not. I'll have to let you be the judge. (Last week's post lists events on the Trails of History this month.)

Col. John J. Carter, courtesy of Drake Well Museum

In late June, I had an email from Sue Beates, curator at Drake Well Museum, about some visiting researchers:
Yesterday, Drake Well was honored to host five researchers from Penn State University’s Richards Center Civil War Digitization Project. They spent all day going through the best of the museum’s Civil War related collections to compile the metadata needed to list the collections on their website. They also evaluated the rarity,research importance and condition for possible digitization in the next phase of their project. The metadata should be posted on their website this fall. Of particular interest was the Col. John J. Carter Collection. Carter, a Medal of Honor recipient, came to Titusville as a merchant in 1865 and became an important oil tycoon. The Carter Oil Company was absorbed by Exxon Mobil in the middle of the 20th century.

Drake Well's Civil War era collections include a cane that belonged to John Wilkes Booth (who spent some time in the oil region).

Tomorrow evening (July 12), Somerset Historical Center has a program called "Between the Lines," featuring readings from Civil War diaries, letters, and newspapers. The experiences of Somerset County soldiers and the families they left at home will be brought to life through their own words. According to Clark Brocht, past commander of the Mt. Union Church Camp, Sons of the Union Veterans,"The War affected everyone, young and old alike, and what makes these stories unique, is that they are from people who once walked in the same places we do today,” Costumed volunteers and staff (many of them descended from Civil War veterans) will be on hand and the Berlin Fife and Drum Corps will provide lively period music as well. The program takes place at St. Paul's Presbyterian Church in Somerset. Admission is $15 ($12 for members of the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County). Tickets will be available at the door, or you can call 814/445-6077.

Okay, so I wasn't able to make this one fit the Civil War theme, but one of you clever readers can probably do it. This past weekend was the annual Bark Peelers Convention at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum and they've posted some pictures on Facebook. Looks like a great time!