So, what’s coming up (besides more excuses to overeat, or is that just me)? As autumn slides into winter, we all begin to think about our own holiday traditions, and historic sites are no different. PHMC sites host a number of time-honored programs, some of which have been presented for over 20 years. Other offerings are newer, on their way to becoming somebody’s favorite. As always, please check ahead to make sure that an event you want to attend is happening as scheduled.
If you’re in the Harrisburg area, check out one of the newer programs, The Holiday Marketplace, which features the museum stores of about half a dozen sites plus the State Museum. Organized by the Pennsylvania Heritage Society and sponsored by the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union (PSECU), the marketplace is a great way to get a jump on your shopping AND support our programs. Marketplace activities will take place from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, November 19-20 in the atrium of the Commonwealth Keystone Building, 400 North Street, Harrisburg.
PHMC/Washington Crossing Historic Park
Elsewhere, late November and December are filled with programs and events. Some are designed specifically for children while others are of more general interest. I think the best thing to do is to list them and let you see for yourself.
- Nov. 13-14: Holiday Open House at the Weathervane, Landis Valley Museum
- Nov. 14: Candlelight Tours, Conrad Weiser Homestead
- Nov. 28: Christmas with Belsnickel, Old Economy Village
- Nov. 30-Dec. 24: Santa’s Draft Card (exhibit), Pennsylvania Military Museum
- Dec. 3-4: Holly Nights, Pennsbury Manor
- Dec. 4-6: Country Christmas Village, Landis Valley Museum
- Dec. 5: Children’s Christmas Program, Eckley Miners’ Village
- Dec. 5: 14th Annual Christmas at Cornwall House Tour, Cornwall Iron Furnace
- Dec. 5: Home for the Holidays, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
- Dec. 5: Christmas at the Village, Old Economy Village
- Dec. 6: A Homestead Christmas, Daniel Boone Homestead
- Dec. 12: Holidays at Hope Lodge
- Dec. 12: Wreaths and Greens Workshop, Pennsbury Manor
- Dec. 12: Home for the Holidays, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
- Dec. 13: Dress Rehearsal for Christmas Crossing, Washington Crossing Historic Park
- Dec. 13: German Christmas Program, Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum
- Dec. 14-15: Christmas at the Cloister, Ephrata Cloister
- Dec. 18: Holiday at Landis Valley: A Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas
- Dec. 19: Old Fashioned Children’s Christmas, Landis Valley Museum
- Dec. 25: Christmas Crossing, Washington Crossing Historic Park
- Dec. 26-29: Lantern Tours, Ephrata Cloister
Thanks to museum educator Bill Strassner for the photos.
School field trips are becoming scarcer. Teachers are looking for more resources to teach history in the classroom. So it’s no surprise that the museum traveling trunk is as popular as ever. Not a new invention, the traveling trunk is a time-tested way to take the museum (a little of it, anyway) to the classroom. Eckley Miners’ Village is the latest site on the Trails of History to embark on such a venture, with the development of “Coal is Why they Came.”
With a grant from The 1772 Foundation, Eckley has created a traveling trunk curriculum for students in third and fourth grades that explores life in a 19th-century coal patch town. The program also helps students learn about the role of anthracite (hard) coal in the development of industrial America.
The trunk contains a wealth of materials that teachers can use to bring history to life—toys and games, reproduction period clothing for boys and girls, mining tools, books, and DVDs. There’s even a CD of period music so students can learn some of the songs their 19th-century counterparts would have sung.
Strassner is currently testing the program by taking it into classrooms himself. But once the program officially kicks off at the beginning of 2010, teachers will be able to borrow the trunk (at no charge) for anywhere from two to four weeks.
If you’re a teacher in the anthracite region (public, private, parochial, or homeschool), you can contact Strassner by way of Eckley’s website for more information.