What's Up?

Planning ahead for events later this month? Check out the October program page. I've listed some of this weekend's events below, but there's plenty more between now and the end of the month. And if you're trying to gauge the best time and place for leaf peeping in PA, DCNR's fall foliage reports will help you work it out.

Governors at Pennsbury Manor
L to R: Pennsbury Society president Ron Schmid, Gov. Tom Ridge, Gov. Tom Corbett, Gov. Tom Wolf, Gov. Mark Schweiker, PHMC Chair Nancy Moses, Pennsbury Manor site administrator Doug Miller (via Facebook)
I'm a little late on the follow-up, but two weeks ago Pennsbury Manor hosted a luncheon and panel discussion in honor of the 300th anniversary of William Penn's death. The event was the culmination of Pennsbury's exploration of Penn's legacy during this anniversary year. Gov. Tom Wolf kicked off the luncheon with remarks on Penn's impact. Former governors Tom Corbett, Ed Rendell, Mark Schweiker, and Tom Ridge reflected on their terms in office and the responsibilities of following in Penn's footsteps (former Gov. Dick Thornburgh sent written remarks). It was, by all accounts, an impressive gathering and an excellent example of mixing history and contemporary issues (Bucks County Courier Times online article includes video).

The Pennsylvania Military Museum was recently featured in a post on the Getaway Mavens blog, which compiles "entertaining and eclectic" ideas for weekend trips in the northeastern US, with an emphasis on unique destinations. Their take on the greater State College area noted that the museum is small but "engaging and well-designed" and that walking the grounds is a great way to get some fresh air and "pay your respects to our lost soldiers."

Main mast of schooner Lettie G. Howard
On board the Lettie G. Howard, September 2018 (photo AKF)
The Lettie G. Howard, which spent this summer and early fall providing day sails out of the Erie Maritime Museum, recently went through the Welland Canal en route to a maintenance stop in Maine. The Flagship Niagara League posted video on their Facebook page showing a time lapse view of the Canal locks. The Lettie, which is in Erie under a collaborative program agreement with the South Street Seaport Museum in NYC, will then sail down the east coast of the US to Florida for the winter. Come spring the schooner will return to Erie for another summer of sailing. This arrangement has meant that visitors to the museum get to see a tall sailing ship even when U.S. Brig Niagara is away touring the Great Lakes. Visit the website for more info on the east coast trip and opportunities to participate.

On Wednesday, Oct. 17, the PHMC and the PA Dept. of General Services will host a meeting to update the public on plans for the new Pennsylvania State Archives building, currently in design. The new building will be located on a 3-acre lot bounded by Sixth, Seventh, Harris, and Hamilton Streets in Harrisburg. Staff from the two state agencies responsible for the project will provide a progress report, answer questions, and listen to community feedback. The event will begin at 5:30 pm and will be hosted by Camp Curtin YMCA, 2135 N. 6th St., Harrisburg.

This weekend...

Genevieve Pallas shows Shelby Vaccaro how to make a broom
LVM broom maker Genevieve Pallas shows Shelby Vaccaro from Lancaster Newspapers how it's done (via Facebook)

Hope Lodge
October 14: Site open—Hope Lodge will be open from 1 pm to 4 pm, with guided tours at 1:00 and 2:30 pm. Admission charged.

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Oct. 13-14: Harvest Days—a classic special event and a great way to celebrate the heart of the fall season. Loads of demonstrations and activities for the whole family in a beautiful setting. Admission: adults, $12; seniors, $10; age 6-11, $8; free for members and children age 5 and younger. Free parking and food available for purchase. Skip the admissions lines by purchasing your tickets through Brown Paper Tickets (please note that the event is rain or shine and there are no refunds for online tickets). 11 am-5 pm.

Old Economy Village
Oct. 13: Multiple activities—there will be a Gardening Class, Beer Tasting, and a Sip and Paint evening. Times and fees vary; please click on individual activities for details.

Pennsbury Manor
Oct. 14: Living History Theater—William Penn’s steward and housekeeper, John Sotcher and Mary Lofty, will be united in marriage according to 17th-century Quaker wedding customs. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.

PA Trails of History Events, Oct. 5-18

Most sites on the PA Trails of History will be closed on Oct. 8 for Columbus Day. The Railroad Museum of PA will be open (see info below).

If you're planning ahead, the full October program page is also available.

Also, please note that some site schedules change seasonally, mostly affecting which days of the week the site is open. Be sure to check ahead before visiting. And speaking of seasonal changes (smooth, huh?), check out this week's update of the fall foliage map for Pennsylvania and plan your leaf peeping.

Apple dumpling from Ephrata Cloister
Yum. See info below to find out how to buy one (or more) of these and support the Ephrata Cloister.

Anthracite Heritage Museum and Scranton Iron Furnaces
Oct. 11: Celebrating Our Anthracite Heritage—this free program honors Anthracite Heritage Month. Jamie Longazel will present "Undocumented Fears: Immigration and the Politics of Divide and Conquer", and Stephanie Longo's topic will be "Italians in NEPA" (more info on the Facebook event page). 7-9 pm.

Bushy Run Battlefield
Oct. 17: History Speaks Series—“Celtic Ceol…A Musical Journey,” is an acoustical program of traditional 17th- and 18th-century Irish, Scottish, French, and English music. Brenda Walker, Tom Lighthall, Nancy Podey, and Larry Podey will play an assortment of intstruments, including Irish whistle, guitar, fiddle, hammered dulcimer, banjo, and bodhran. Some of the music will be interwoven with the ancient stories they represent to bring the past to life. Cost is $8 in advance, $10 at the door (members receive 10% discount). Contact secretary@bushyrunbattlefield.com or Bushy Run Battlefield at 724-527-5584 for tickets. 7 pm.

Conrad Weiser Homestead
UPDATE: Oct. 6-7: Site open—the Homestead will be open for visitors on Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm and on Sunday from noon to 4 pm. Guided tours will be available on Sunday.

Cornwall Iron Furnace
Oct. 9: Friends Lecture Series— Jim Polczynski will present "The Impact of Divorce in the James Coleman Family." Lectures take place in the auditorium of Freeman Community Center at Cornwall Manor Retirement Community. Program is free; donations are welcome. 7 pm.

Ephrata Cloister
Oct. 5-6: Apple Dumpling Sales—enjoy a delicious PA Dutch tradition and support the Back to the Cloister Fund (which has helped to return more than 100 original furnishings and objects to the site). Dumplings, from Aschenbach's Achenbach's Bakery [and thanks to an eagle-eyed colleague for the correction], are $4 each (this year, apple pies and pumpkin pies will also be available). There is no admission charge to buy apple dumplings (regular admission applies if you want to tour the site). Pre-orders for 5 or more dumplings will be accepted, and free local delivery can be arranged for advance orders of 20 or more; call 717/733-6600. Fri., 9:30 am-4 pm; Sat., 9:30 am until sold out.
Oct. 7: Day of Music—the Ephrata Cloister Chorus will perform in the Saal at 2, 3, and 4 pm. The program will include music composed at the historic community in the 1700s, along with works from other early American communities. The volunteer group is currently rehearsing a new transcription of a hymn written at Ephrata in the 1740s. While all ninety-two verses (!) of this important composition are not planned, there may be a sampling of a few portions. Included in regular admission. Site is open noon-5 pm (guided tours will be available).
Oct. 12: Community Days School Program—students and teachers move at their own pace among learning stations located throughout the site. Advance reservations are strongly encouraged; call 717/733-6600. Cost is $7 per student, with one adult admitted free for every 10 paying students (additional adults pay $9 each). 9:30 am-1 pm.

Fort Pitt Museum
Please visit the Fort Pitt Museum website for info on holiday schedules, events, and programs.

Graeme Park
Oct. 10: Lunch and Learn—Hugh Boyle, president and executive director of the Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum and Library, will present "Duel at Dawn - The Feud Between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr." Cost is $30 per person ($25 for members) and includes continental breakfast and lunch buffet. Reservations are required; registration form is on the website. 10:30 am-1:30 pm.
Oct. 18: Happy Hour with the Historian—this evening's topic is "The 'Body Snatchers' of the 18th Century," and the program will take place in the Graeme Park Cemetery (or indoors if the weather doesn't cooperate). Cost is $5 per person (free for members). Food and drink available for purchase starting at 6 pm, program begins at 7.

Hope Lodge
October 7 & 14: Site open—Hope Lodge will be open from 1 pm to 4 pm, with guided tours at 1:00 and 2:30 pm. Admission charged.

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Fall Workshops continue this month. Visit Landis Valley's workshops page for details and registration.
Oct. 13-14: Harvest Days—a classic special event and a great way to celebrate the heart of the fall season. Loads of demonstrations and activities for the whole family in a beautiful setting. Admission: adults, $12; seniors, $10; age 6-11, $8; free for members and children age 5 and younger. Free parking and food available for purchase. Skip the admissions lines by purchasing your tickets through Brown Paper Tickets. 11 am-5 pm.
Oct. 18: Hands-On History Days—children of all ages get to experience seasonal chores, hands-on crafts, wagon rides, and more. Reservations are not required but you can purchase tickets online in advance if you like (program details). Admission: $11 per person (members and children age 5 and younger get in free). 9 am-3 pm.

Old Economy Village
Oct. 6-7: Erntedankfest - A Harvest Festival—celebrate the fall harvest as artisans throughout the village cook, bake, and demonstrate their craft skills. Music, food, and family activities make this a great tradition. Included in regular admission. Sat., 10 am-5 pm; Sun., noon-5 pm.
Oct. 13: Multiple activities—there will be a Gardening Class, Beer Tasting, and a Sip and Paint evening. Please see calendar of events for details.

Pennsbury Manor
Sundays in October: Special programming—Oct. 7, Historic Trades (the blacksmith, joyners, and spinners will demonstrate their skills); Oct. 14, Living History Theater (William Penn’s steward and housekeeper, John Sotcher and Mary Lofty, will be united in marriage according to 17th-century Quaker wedding customs). Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
Oct 6-7: Annual Fall Antique and Collectible Show—this event features dozens of vendors and supports the programs of the Lumber Museum. Other activities include sawmill operation (Saturday only), birch still and blacksmithing demos, and food for purchase in the community room. $5 admission ($3 for kids) includes the show and all museum exhibits and activities. 10 am-5 pm.

Pennsylvania Military Museum
Oct. 2: Central PA Civil War Roundtable Series—Chuck Teague will present "The Shadow of Napoleon on Lee at Gettysburg." Donation requested. 7-8 pm.
Oct. 7: Friends' Lecture Series—speaker is John Crider, presenting "The Cold War Up Close in the 1980s." Donation requested. 2-3 pm.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Oct. 7: Garden Railways Tour—this event features outdoor model train layouts at private residences and retirement communities around Lancaster County. Tickets ($10 per person for ages 6 and up) may be purchased at the museum or at any Stauffer’s of Kissel Hill store in central Pennsylvania. The program flyer has more info; a list and map of participating locations will be provided with your ticket. 1-5 pm.
Oct. 8: Columbus Day—the museum is OPEN today. 9 am-5 pm.
Oct. 18: Wine and Paint Night—you bring the beverage (alcoholic or non), the museum supplies non-breakable glassware, light snacks, and the painting supplies. An instructor from the ZolÄ“ Art Factory in Strasburg will walk you through the steps to create a seasonal painting. More info, including an Eventbrite link for tickets, is on the museum website. Cost is $37 per person (plus a small ticketing fee); you must be at least 21 to attend. 6:30-8:30 pm.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Check the Planetarium webpage for a full schedule of programs.
Oct. 1-5: Archaeology at Fort Hunterthis season's excavations by the State Museum archaeology team wrap up this week. You can drop by between 9:30 am and 4:30 pm to see what's up.
Oct. 5: StoryTime—this month's program, designed for kids age 3-5 with an adult, starts with reading A Little of Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything, written by Linda D. Williams and illustrated by Megan Lloyd. Then it's off to the Planetarium for an adaptation of Linda White's Too Many Pumpkins, also illustrated by Megan Lloyd. Included in general admission. 10-11 am.
Oct. 11: Nature Lab—"Creatures of the Night" explores bats, raccoons, and skunks as examples of nocturnal animals. Geared for general audiences, age 7 and older. Included in general admission. 11:30 am-12:30 pm.
Oct. 17: National Fossil Day—learn about "Giants of the Late Cretaceous" in the Paleontology Gallery. Included in general admission. 12:15 pm.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Please visit the Washington Crossing Historic Park calendar of events for details of this month's events and programs.

Ask an Archivist and A Look Back at September

The October program page is now available. Events and programs coming up this weekend (where did September go?) are listed below. Also, please note that as we move further into autumn, some site schedules change seasonally, mostly affecting which days of the week the site is open. Please be sure to check ahead before visiting.

Ask an Archivist 2018

On Wednesday, October 3, join four archivists from the Pennsylvania State Archives as they test their knowledge on Twitter. Kurt Bell, Rich Saylor, Aaron McWilliams and Tyler Stump will take part in Ask an Archivist Day. Sponsored by the Society of American Archivists, Ask An Archivist offers the public the opportunity to connect directly to archivists in their community. Archivists around the country will respond to questions tweeted with the hashtag #AskAnArchivist. Questions will vary widely, from the silly (What do archivists talk about over lunch?) to the practical (How do I preserve records that were damaged in a flood?) Ask an Archivist Day is open to everyone - all you need is a Twitter account. To participate, just tweet a question to @PHMC and include the hashtag #AskAnArchivist in your tweet. Our archivists will see your question instantly. Here’s our schedule:
  • 10-11 am: Richard Saylor will share his research into the unusual records he's discovered within the collections of the State Archives
  • 11 am-noon: Kurt Bell will focus on Pennsylvania's railroad history, especially the records held by the Pennsylvania State Archives and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
  • 1:30-2:30 pm: Aaron McWilliams will answer your questions regarding genealogy and family histories. Ask Aaron about the celebrities, such as Katey Sagal and Steve Buscemi, who have visited the Archives
  • 2:30-3:30 pm: Tyler Stump will share his knowledge regarding the Pennsylvania State Archives' institutional records, particularly those from mental institutions and prisons

Looking Back at September

Battle of Lake Erie memorial event at Erie Maritime Museum
Battle of Lake Erie commemoration with U.S. Brig Niagara (left) and schooner Lettie G. Howard (right) in background (photo Linda Bolla)
On September 10, Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara hosted their annual commemoration ceremony for the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813. The battle, a pivotal event of the War of 1812 that took place off of Put-in-Bay, Ohio, is interpreted through the museum's exhibits and through tours and sailing experiences on board Niagara.

Floral wreath dropped into the water to honor Battle of Lake Erie
The annual Battle of Lake Erie commemoration includes a wreath placed into the water, this year off the Museum plaza (photo Linda Bolla)
Cornwall Iron Furnace offered cast iron cooking demonstrations on Sept. 22, with several members of their Friends group showing their skills. Cast iron was one of the primary products of the furnace, along with bar iron used by forges in the area. Find more photos on Cornwall's Facebook page.

Food cooked in cast iron pots at Cornwall Iron Furnace
Part of the cast iron cooking demonstration at Cornwall earlier this month (via Facebook)
Hungry yet? How about this recent photo of the bake oven at Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum?

Goods from the bake oven at Landis Valley Museum
See more yummy food and other seasonal products at Landis Valley's Harvest Days event, Oct. 13-14 (via Facebook)

And while we're on the subject of food (I consider wine one of the essential food groups), Old Economy Village just reopened the historic wine cellar on the property after a restoration project (more photos on Facebook). You can check it out for yourself at Erntedankfest: A Harvest Festival, Oct. 6-7.

Wine cellar at Old Economy Village
Friends of Old Economy Village enjoy a members-only preview of the restored wine cellar beneath the Mechanics Building (via Facebook)

This weekend...

Anthracite Heritage Museum
Sept. 28: Fundraiser—Cooper's Seafood House in Scranton hosts a charity night on the last Friday of every month, and this month Anthracite Heritage Museum gets 100% of the proceeds. Details on the restaurant's website. 5-8 pm.

Bushy Run Battlefield
Sept. 29: Fall Nature Walk—Bushy Run volunteers and nature enthusiasts will lead a tour to help you learn about the local flora and fauna on the grounds. Cost is $5 (free for members). 10 am.

Daniel Boone Homestead
Sept. 29: Heritage Day—all kinds of activities will take place throughout the site. Cooking, baking, dancing, magic, and much more (details on the calendar of events.) Admission charged. 10 am-4 pm.

Drake Well Museum and Park
Sept. 29: Something More Saturday—family-friendly craft activities are included in regular admission today (check the Facebook event page for more info). Blacksmithing demos will also be offered. 10 am-3 pm.

Graeme Park
Sept. 28: Homeschool Day—activities include tours of the Keith House, open-hearth cooking, colonial games, and typical chores (program info). Cost is $6 per person; students must be accompanied by a responsible adult. 10 am-2 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
Sept. 29: PA Governor's Panel and Luncheon—PLEASE NOTE that Pennsbury will be closed to visitors 9/29 to allow for this event: current governor Tom Wolf and several former Pennsylvania governors will discuss the challenges of leading the commonwealth established by William Penn. A 3-course lunch will be served. A portion of the proceeds from this event will go toward establishing the "William Penn Scholarship Fund" for Title I schools. Tickets may be purchased online through TicketLeap. More information on the program, group tickets, and sponsorships is available on the Pennsbury website. 1-4 pm.
Sept. 30: Meet the Animals—visit with some of the animals that make Pennsbury their home. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Sept. 29: Members Day—a full slate of activities and speakers is planned for Friends of the Railroad Museum (and it's not too late to join). Full info on the website.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Please check the Planetarium page for program schedule.
Sept. 28 & 30: Mammal Hall activities—today (9/28), there's Curiosity Kids: Walk Like the Animals! and Make Your Own Paper Diorama at 11:30 am. On Sunday (9/30), celebrate the rededication of Mammal Hall, marking its 50th anniversary, with activities starting at 12:30 pm. General admission is $5 per person today through Sunday.