|PA Lumber Museum in the snow earlier this week (photo by Brenda Reigle)|
I sometimes like to start the weekend with a little cognitive dissonance, and the photo above should do the trick. Anyway, looking ahead to May, there are lots of programs and events going on as the spring/summer season gets underway on the Trails of History. Many sites will be open on Memorial Day (May 28), but not all of them, so if you want to plan ahead, it’s best to check with your favorite site beforehand. We’ll post a list of open sites in the May 25 Trailheads for those of you who prefer to be more spontaneous. So, without further ado:
May 19: Craft Day—demonstrations of colonial-era crafts plus the opportunity to try some yourself are the order of the day.
Bushy Run Battlefield
May 5: 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.
May 19: Afternoon Tea—enjoy afternoon tea in the Stone Room of the visitor center. Reservations are required (deadline is May 13) and may be made by calling 724/527-5584; this event is geared for guests age 6 and older.
Conrad Weiser Homestead
May 6: 18th-Century Interpretive Sunday—the public is invited to visit the homestead and park from noon to 4 p.m. to learn about life in Berks County during the 18th century (guided tours will be offered hourly from noon to 3 p.m.) . There is no admission fee for the program.
Cornwall Iron Furnace
May 8: “Let’s Talk about Lime Kilns”—Kenneth Miller will share his research on the lime “burning” process, with emphasis on Lancaster County. Since retiring from Millersville Univ. as a professor of biology, Miller has pursued his interests in ecology and natural history. His talk is part of the Friends of Cornwall Furnace lecture series, which is held in Freeman Auditorium at Cornwall Manor, across the road from the furnace site.
Daniel Boone Homestead
May 6: Children’s Day and Sheep & Wool Program—children and their families are invited to spend the afternoon learning about the young Daniel Boone and his family during the time they lived in the Oley Valley. Hands-on activities, crafts demonstrations, and colonial-era dancing lessons are just some of the activities planned. A local sheep shearer will be on hand to get the Homestead’s flock of four sheep ready for summer, and volunteers will show how the wool is processed once it’s removed from the sheep. Admission is $4 for children 4-15, $6 for people 16 and older; light refreshments will be available.
Drake Well Museum
May 1: Engine Start-Up Day—be on hand when the historic oil field equipment on the museum grounds comes back to life for the spring and summer season.
May 15-17, 22-24: Living the Lease Life School Tours—school students spend a full day learning about life in the oil fields; reservations required, call 814/827-2797.
May 26: Blacksmithing Demos—monthly blacksmithing demonstrations the last Saturday of the month, through October.
Eckley Miners’ Village
May 20: Victorian Fashion Show—the program, held at the Sharpe House in the village, will feature a variety of Victorian-era clothing styles for men, women, and children of different economic levels; after the show, mingle with the models and enjoy light refreshments and tea. Donation of $5.
May 12: Mothers, Daughters, Sisters—discover the daily challenges facing women in colonial Ephrata—married women and celibate Sisters—with special exhibits, demonstrations, and activities for the entire family. Admission for the day is $10 for adults, $7 for youth age 3-15, and includes the Ephrata Cloister Chorus’s Spring Concert, held in the historic Saal. Discounts apply for members of the Ephrata Cloister Associates and Pennsylvania Heritage Society.
May 18: Community Days—students learn about life in 18th-century Ephrata through 12-15 minute presentations at a range of educational stations around the site (and move at their own pace from station to station). Reservations are strongly encouraged (call 717/733-6600); admission is $6 for students, with one adult admitted free with every 10 students (additional adults with a group pay $8).
May 20: Ephrata Cloister Chorus Concert—at Bangor Episcopal Church, 2099 Main St. (Route 23), in Narvon; the program includes 18th-century music from Ephrata Cloister and other early communities. Suggested donation of $10-15 per person.
Fort Pitt Museum
May 12: Summer Saturdays Living History Program—in honor of Mother’s Day, this first program of the season focuses on the role of women during the 18th century, with cooking and laundry demonstrations, a fashion show, and a lecture.
May 5-6: World War II Encampment—reenactors portraying American and German troops, along with military equipment displays, period uniforms, and live music (you can also tour the 18th-century Keith House).
May 5: Spring Clean-up Day—if you’d like to help with this annual event, visit the Hope Lodge Facebook page for details.
Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
May 11-12: 25th Annual Herb & Garden Faire—everything you could ever need or want for your garden all in one place, plus all sorts of herbal products and foodstuffs. For a list of vendors, go here.
Old Economy Village
May 19: Garden Mart—held in the historic gardens at Old Economy, this event features plants, gardening tools, and food from or for the garden for sale by local garden clubs and vendors as well as OEV’s greenhouse and gardens. There will be games and activities for children, too. If you’re interested in being a vendor, call Mary at 724/266-4500 x114 or email c-mdemars[at]pa[dot]gov.
May 6: Historic Trades and Sheep Shearing—the blacksmith and joyner will be on hand to demonstrate their skills, plus you can watch as the sheep are sheared by hand to get them ready for summer (and help wash, card, and spin the wool if you’re so inclined).
May 13: Living History Theater, “Orphans’ Court”—William Penn presides at the first Orphans’ Court, established in 1683 “to inspect and take an account of the improvements and usages of the Estates of Orphans.”
May 20: Open Hearth Cooking, Swedish Foodways—the cooks will compare food traditions of the English and the Swedes (who were some of the earliest European settlers in Pennsylvania).
May 27: Garden Highlights—the gardeners will be at work and able to help you enjoy the beauties of the summer garden.
Pennsylvania Military Museum
May 1: “First Stride of the Giant – First Days of the Peninsula Campaign”—speaker is John Quarstein, historian, preservationist, author, and director of the Virginia War Museum for thirty years. His topic is the Virginia Peninsula Campaign of 1862. Presented by the Central PA Civil War Roundtable.
May 2: “NATO’s Afghanistan Training Mission”—speaker is Keith A. Detwiler, COL, US Army, from the US Army War College Speakers Bureau. Part of the Friends of PMM speaker series.
May 20: A Celebration of Service: Honoring Pennsylvania Veterans—annual US Army reunion and memorial service sponsored by the Pennsylvania National Guard; this event is held rain or shine.
May 26-27: World War II Revisited—American and German WWII reenactors will be bivouacked on the museum grounds portraying field life in the European Theater of Operations, 1944-45. On May 26, the “Andrews Sister Tribute Show” from First in Flight Entertainment will entertain the troops and homefront crowd in the Service Canteen at 3 p.m.
May 28: Allegheny Mountain Region A.A.C.A. Car Show—Antique Automobile Club of America regional chapter’s summer season kickoff features pre-war to modern classics displayed throughout the grounds; there is a parking fee.
Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
May 11-13: Conrail Days—three days focusing on the equipment, history, and spirit of the Consolidated Rail Corporation, presented in partnership with the Conrail Historical Society. Visit the museum website for program details.
Somerset Historical Center
May 12 & 19: Textiles: From Fiber to Fabric—a two-part class on the basics of turning animal and plant fibers into thread and cloth. Registration and fee required; deadline is May 4. Call 814/445-6077 for details.
State Museum of Pennsylvania
May 13-20: Harrisburg Jewish Film Festival--most of the films will be screened in the State Museum's auditorium. On May 18, as part of 3rd in the Burg, the film will be Intimate Grammar, adapted from a best-selling book; admission is $8 at the door. (For more info about the festival, including a complete list of films and screening times, go here.)
May 20: “Art Heals”—lecture by Syngred Briddell of the Magnificent Minds Project, presented by the Susquehanna Art Museum in conjunction with the exhibit "Art is an Entree, Not a Dessert" (on view through July 15).
Washington Crossing Historic Site
May 12: 2nd Annual Washington Crossing Brewfest—this event takes place in the upper park on the banks of the Delaware River, behind the Thompson-Neely House. For information on tickets, go here.
May 18-20: Rebels and Redcoats on the Delaware—reenactors portraying American and British forces will present aspects of life on the front lines; sutlers and crafters will also be on hand.