Hold on to your hats, it's summer*

*Yes, I know, but it feels like summer. And Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, even if the solstice isn't for a few more weeks. Call it youthful (*cough*) exuberance. Anyway, I hope you and yours have a safe holiday weekend, don't get stranded in any traffic jams, and don't overindulge in s'mores or other grilled goodies. The May program listings have ideas for this weekend (I've highlighted a couple of things below as well) and the June listings are up, too.

Memorial Day

Most Trails of History sites are open on Monday, May 30, for Memorial Day, but it's always best to check the list to make sure the site you want to visit is on it.

Last weekend, the annual 28th Infantry Division Celebration of Service took place at the Pennsylvania Military Museum. A feature of this year's event was the dedication of a new monument honoring members of the 28th killed in action during the Global War on Terrorism (2001-present). WTAJ-tv covered the event, and you can watch their report to get a feel for the day (and some background on the museum itself). This weekend, PMM holds their annual World War II Revisited program, which features reenactors portraying military field life in the European Theater of Operations, 1944-45.

Washington Crossing Historic Park's annual Memorial Day observance is scheduled for Sunday, May 29, at 1 pm at the Continental soldiers' graves area near the Thompson-Neely House (upper park).

In Other News...

The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is conducting a public survey as part of a multi-year planning effort. The survey doesn't take long to complete and will help to shape SHPO's efforts in coming years. If you'd like to contribute your thoughts about historic preservation as it affects your community, this link will take you to the survey. I'm not sure how long the survey will be open, so click now and be heard.

The Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation has a new website (same address, new look, easier navigation). Check it out!

Bushy Run's Spring Tea was a big success (photo courtesy Bushy Run Battlefield Heritage Society)
My thanks to the folks at Bushy Run for sending photos of their recent Spring Tea, which looks like it was a lovely event. In an interesting juxtaposition, reenactors portraying British soldiers who were encamped on site in honor of Armed Forces Day marched through the visitor center during the tea (there's video on Facebook, so it really happened).

On the road again

I'm out on the Trails of History most of the week, so I'm writing this Tuesday morning for posting on Friday. Please, universe, no breaking Trails-of-History news before I get back!! As always, you'll find the list of all things (that I know about) happening on the TOH very helpful for planning. And there's the list of sites that plan to be open on May 30 for Memorial Day (not all TOH sites will be open, so it's always a good idea to check).

Joseph Priestley House, Northumberland (photo by Janice Mullin)
My Google alerts brought me an interesting story, and a detail I did not know (one of many, no doubt), related to a Trails of History site. There is a playground in Sunbury, PA, called Fort Discovery. It was built in 2000 by community volunteers who included elements of local history among the swings and monkey bars. The playground has models of a canal boat, Fort Augusta, and, wait for it, the Joseph Priestley House. Very cool. The article in Sunbury's Daily Item was focused on teens from Shikellamy Middle School who spent a recent morning removing trash and graffiti, spreading mulch, and speaking with a reporter about their fond memories of the playground. Even cooler. Thanks to the students, their teachers, and the playground's co-coordinator, Fran Zartman, for their hard work and for helping children learn about their community while they play. And thanks to the PHMC staff and community volunteers who help keep the full-size Joseph Priestley House in good repair and open to visitors.

And speaking of Joseph Priestley House and Fort Augusta, you can visit both of them and 9 other sites as part of the 2016 Time Traveler's Passport program offered by the Susquehanna River Valley Heritage Alliance. In addition, the pass encourages visits to see New Deal art at a half-dozen post offices in the region.

I wanted to make sure that everyone has had a chance to read about our amazing volunteers on the Trails of History. I posted info shortly after our annual Volunteer of the Year awards ceremony, but in case you missed it:

Volunteers from Anthracite Heritage Museum, Brandywine Battlefield, Bushy Run Battlefield, Conrad Weiser Homestead, Cornwall Iron Furnace, Daniel Boone Homestead, Drake Well Museum, and Eckley Miners' Village are in Part 1

Volunteers from Ephrata Cloister, Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara, Graeme Park, Hope Lodge, Joseph Priestley House, Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum, and Old Economy Village are in Part 2

Volunteers from Pennsbury Manor, Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, Pennsylvania Military Museum, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Somerset Historical Center, State Museum of Pennsylvania, and the recipients of this year's Outstanding Service Award are in Part 3

Happy Trails!

Friday, again?

And Friday the 13th, at that. No reason to feel unlucky when you can enjoy some old-fashioned entertainment.

4th grade students and teachers from Asbury Elementary sang a sea chantey during a recent visit at the Erie Maritime Museum and shared it on Facebook.


If you've been following the 2016 Museum Dance Off, the winner will be announced today (5/13) (along with a couple of special prize winners). Visit "When You Work at a Museum" on Tumblr.

Looking for something to do this weekend or next week? Look no further. (That is, unless you want to see what's happening the rest of the month or find out which Trails of History sites are open on Memorial Day.)

Bushy Run Battlefield
May 14: Spring Nature Walk—this annual event takes participants on an exploration of the woods and fields around the site; free for members of Bushy Run Battlefield Heritage Society, $5 fee for non-members. No registration required; wear sturdy, water-resistant walking or hiking shoes and dress for the weather. 10 am.

Drake Well Museum
May 14: MEET-U in 5 & 1/2—enjoy a 5-mile or 13-mile (half marathon) run through the grounds of Drake Well Museum and Oil Creek State Park and help the museum’s MEET-U educational outreach program. Registration is required; visit the Oil Valley Race Series Facebook page.
May 19: Petroleum Program Series—retired General Electric design engineer Rich Hall will present a program on coal-fired generators. Rich has been instrumental in the restoration of two steam-turbine generators (read about it in a past Trailheads post) left in place when Erie's Front Street Generating Station (Penelec) became the Erie Maritime Museum. Admission charged. Doors open at 6 pm, program starts at 6:30.

Hope Lodge
May 15: Site open—Hope Lodge is open the 3rd Sunday of each month through October. Tours of the mansion are offered at 1 and 2:30 pm; cost is $5 for adults and $4 for seniors and students age 6-17 (free for age 5 and under as well as members of the Friends of Hope Lodge). 12:30-4 pm.

Old Economy Village
May 14: Saturday Interpretation—interpreters will provide extra info on a range of topics as you explore the village--The Fabric of Their Lives: Textiles. Included in regular admission, so please start at the Visitor Center. Site is open 10 am to 5 pm; special focus programs available 11 am-4 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
May 15: Sundays in May—"Open Hearth Cooking" (the cooks will prepare a full seasonal dinner suitable for the Penn family and their guests). Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
May 15: 3rd Sunday Series—this month's program is "Spring Wildflower Lecture and Trail Walk," led by current and retired forestry staff with Susquehannock State Forest (DCNR). Starts at the visitor center and included in regular admission (free for members). Museum is open 9 am-5 pm, program starts at 1.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
May 14: National Train Day—activities for all ages will be offered to celebrate the role of railroads in American life. Lots of family-friendly activities, tours of train cars and locomotives, and a random drawing for prizes. Included in museum admission. 9 am-5 pm.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
May 15: Bookbinding Workshop—Ramon Townsend will teach participants how to assemble a book by hand and create a cover with decorative paper. Suitable for ages 14 and older; limit 6 people. Cost is $75 including all materials and equipment. Payment due before May 15. Call 215/493-4076 for details and to register.