October on the PA Trails of History

Before we take a look at events and programs on the Trails of History this month, a reminder that there is a little less than a month left to vote for Pennsylvania’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts. As we noted in last week’s post, two artifacts in the PHMC’s collections are on the list—a coat and cap made for Harmony Society founder George Rapp (in the care of Old Economy Village) and a bust of Abraham Lincoln by noted coal sculptor C. Edgar Patience (at the Anthracite Heritage Museum). In addition to voting online, as often as possible, please consider a donation as well, to help with conservation and care of these objects (there are eight others on the list, of course, but you know where my bias lies).

October is Pennsylvania Archives Month and Pennsylvania Archaeology Month. Both are focused on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

PA Lumber Museum expansion as of late September (photo by Jeff Bliemeister)

The building expansion at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum continues, and the building is now under roof (or will be very soon). You can just see the beginning of northern tier fall color tinging the trees on the hillside behind the building. If you’re in the southeastern part of the state, Bowman’s Hill Tower at Washington Crossing Historic Park provides stellar foliage views (the best in Bucks County).

Anthracite Heritage Museum and Scranton Iron Furnaces
Oct. 19: Bonfire and Harvest Festival—experience Celtic harvest traditions, food, music, and a roaring bonfire at the Scranton Iron Furnaces. This year’s program includes Scranton Shakespeare Festival's presentation of the three witches from Macbeth. Watch the Bonfire Facebook page for ticket deals and updates. 6 pm.

Brandywine Battlefield
Oct. 19: Halloween Event—Details to come.

Bushy Run Battlefield
Oct. 12: Annual Fall Tea—call 724/527-5584 to be placed on the waiting list for this sold-out event.
Oct. 26: Haunted History Hayride—tickets are on sale now. Call 724/527-5584 to place your order (leave a message with name, phone number, and number of tickets requested). 7-10 pm.

Conrad Weiser Homestead
Oct. 6: Site open—it’s the first Sunday of the month, so the site will be welcoming visitors from noon to 4 pm.
Oct. 20: Weiser Interpretive Sunday and Fall Park Walk—enjoy the beautiful Olmsted-designed park, as well as hourly historic tours of the site. Free admission. Noon-4 pm (park walk starts at 2 pm, last historic tour is at 3).

Cornwall Iron Furnace
Oct. 8: Friends Lecture Series—Speaker Elaine Ainsworth will explore the genealogy of “The Coleman Family.” Lecture is free and takes place in Freeman Auditorium at Cornwall Manor retirement community. 7 pm.

Daniel Boone Homestead
Oct. 20: Heritage Day and Market Fair—activities planned for this annual event include a market and craft fair, Pennsylvania German food vendors, and a demonstration of 18th-century beer brewing. Admission: $8 (age 16+), $6 (age 65+), $5 (age 5-15) (Friends of Daniel Boone Homestead get in free). 10 am-4 pm.
Oct. 26: Haunted Homestead Tour—this new evening program will include Halloween-themed guided walking tours of the historic area; program is intended for ages 8 and up. Admission is $6 (combo tickets include admission to the Oct. 27 program as well). 6-9 pm (please note that site will close at 3 pm that day and reopen at 5:30 for the program).
Oct. 27: Halloween at the Homestead—there will be loads of activities for kids, including trick-or-treating (costumes encouraged). Admission: $6 (age 16+), $4 (age 5-15) (Friends of DBH get in free). Noon-4 pm.

Drake Well Museum
Oct. 26: Oil Valley Blacksmiths—this is the last of the monthly blacksmithing meetings and demos for the season. 9 am-2 pm.

Eckley Miners’ Village
Oct. 11-12, 18-19, 25-26: Halloween Lantern Tours—tour groups walk through the 19th-century village and encounter funny, scary, and entertaining scenes (photos from previous years). Bring your own flashlight. Rain dates are Oct. 13, 20, 27, but you should check with the site to confirm. Admission: $10 (age 13+), $5 (age 6-12); this event is family-oriented but not recommended for children younger than 6. First tour leaves the visitor center at 6:30 pm, the last at 9 pm sharp.

Ephrata Cloister
Oct. 11-12: Apple Dumpling Days—celebrate autumn, support the Back to the Cloister Fund (which helps to return original furnishings and objects to the site), and enjoy a wonderful Pennsylvania Dutch tradition. Saturday, Oct. 12, is also a Day of Music, featuring the Ephrata Cloister Chorus performing at 2, 3, and 4 pm. Site tours and Day of Music performances included in regular admission; no admission fee to purchase apple dumplings. 9:30 am-4 pm.
Oct. 18: Community Days—this popular program is an educational open house, with learning stations scattered around the site. Students and their accompanying adults move at their own pace as they explore the activities. Admission: $6 for age 3-17; one adult admitted free with every 10 students; additional adults, $9 each. Reservations are strongly encouraged; call 717/733-6600. 9:30 am-1 pm.
Oct. 18-19, 25-26: Mysterious, Melancholy, and Macabre—this evening program will share stories of strange occurrences witnessed by staff, volunteers, and visitors, as well as a dramatic presentation in the 1741 Meetinghouse. Advanced tickets (age 18+, $12; age 6-17, $10) are recommended, call 717/733-6600. Two performances each night, 7 and 8:30 pm.

Fort Pitt Museum
Oct. 5: Free admission—as part of Pittsburgh's RADical Days (RAD as in Regional Asset District) admission is free today only (during regular hours).

Graeme Park
Oct. 25: Haunted Moonlight Tours—see the Keith House by night at this popular annual program. Admission: $15 per person. Tours approx. every half hour between 7 and 9:30 pm.

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Oct. 3 and 24: Hands-on History Days—children of all ages get to experience seasonal chores, hands-on crafts, wagon rides, and more. Admission: $10 per person (children 5 and younger get in free). Contact Sheri Brown for details: c-sbrown@pa.gov or 717/569-0401 x 228. 10 am-3 pm.
Oct. 12-13: Harvest Days—a classic special event and a great way to celebrate the coming of fall. Loads of demonstrations and activities for the whole family in a beautiful setting. Admission: age 12+, $12; age 65+, $10; age 6-11, $8; free parking. 11 am-5 pm.

Old Economy Village
Oct. 12: Oktoberfest—this fundraising event features German beer and traditional foods with entertainment by Burke’s Bavarian Band. $40 ($32 for Friends of OEV); deadline to purchase tickets is Oct. 7 (call 724/266-4500 x 102 or 113). 6 pm.
Oct. 19: Trades Workshop – Basket Weaving—learn to make baskets in 19th-century style at this all-day workshop led by Harley Allen. The workshop registration form has the details. Deadline for registrations is October 16. Fee is $50 ($40 for Friends of OEV) and includes lunch and materials.
Oct. 26: Making Wool Flowers—turn scraps of wool into decorative flowers for hats, coats, or hooked rugs (or whatever else you want to adorn). Class will be taught by Nan Loncharich, whose work can be found in OEV’s museum store (she’ll be signing her book on the 26th, too). $30 per person includes materials. Registration deadline is Oct. 21.

Pennsbury Manor
Oct. 6: Historic Trades—your last chance for this season to visit the blacksmith and joyner as they demonstrate their skills with metal- and woodworking. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
Oct. 13: Living History Theater—you are invited to join Penn’s steward and housekeeper, John Sotcher and Mary Lofty, as they are united in marriage according to 17th-century Quaker wedding customs. Sign the wedding certificate and chat with William Penn and other guests. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
Oct. 20: Open Hearth Cooking—the cooks will have the oven fired up and the aroma of freshly baked bread will be everywhere. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
Oct. 27: Family Halloween and Living History Theater—enjoy trick-or-treating, traditional fall activities, and games. There will also be a living history theater presentation of the 1684 trial of Margaret Mattson, accused of witchcraft by some of her neighbors. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
Oct. 5: Sawmill and Birch Still operating—a rare opportunity to see a c. 1900 steam-powered sawmill in action, as well as a still used to extract birch oil (used as flavoring and medicine). Included in regular admission. 10 am-5 pm.
Oct 12-13: 32nd Annual Fall Antique and Collectible Show—this semi-annual event supports the programs of the Lumber Museum. Please note that the event takes place at the Pine Creek Inn, 1637 US Rt 6, Galeton. Consignments are accepted; contact Pete Folk, 814/435-8216. Admission: age 12+, $4.50; age 3-11, $3 (look for discount coupons in the local paper). 10 am-4:30 pm.

Pennsylvania Military Museum
Oct. 5-6: Then & Now Living History Encampment/Bivouac—this program offers a living timeline of military uniforms and equipment from colonial times to the present. Admission is free. 10 am-4 pm.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
October and November: Outreach Program—museum educators will be visiting branch libraries throughout the Library System of Lancaster County to present hands-on programs for young readers and their families.
Oct. 6: Garden Railways Tour—this year’s event features 12 outdoor model train layouts at private residences or retirement communities in Lancaster County. This close to the event, 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 Garden Railways Tour flyer has more info; a map of participating locations will be provided with your ticket. 1-5 pm.

Somerset Historical Center
Oct. 17: “Gone but Not Forgotten”—staff and volunteers will present a program on tombstones, focusing on local cemeteries, unique stones, epitaphs, and symbols. Regular admission charged (free for members). 6:30 pm.
Oct. 26: Historical Halloween—Trick-or-treating with a historical theme, following the site’s pathways by lantern light. Admission: $5 per car. Please bring canned goods for the local food pantry. 5-8 pm.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Through Oct. 11: Fort Hunter Dig—the public is welcome to see the work being done by State Museum archaeologists to uncover the 18th-century remains of the Fort. (On Oct. 6, Fort Hunter holds its Indian Festival Day, noon-4 pm.)
Through Oct. 20: Latino-Hispanic Art Display—this exhibit features the work of Henry Bermudez, Susana Amundarain, and Michelle Angela. Included in museum admission.
Oct. 16: National Fossil Day™—visit the Dino Lab during a special Learn at Lunchtime program to see the bones of a mammoth discovered at the bottom of Erie County’s Lake Pleasant in 1991 and recently acquired by the museum. 11 am-1:30 pm (museum admission will be free during this time slot).
Oct. 18: Night of the Great Pumpkin & 3rd in the Burg—enjoy planetarium shows, creative pumpkin carving, storytime, live animals, crafts and snacks during this family-friendly event. Admission is free. 5:30-8 pm.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Oct. 13: Historic Foodways—check the website for more info closer to the date. 11 am-3:30 pm.
Oct. 25: 23 Steps—enjoy a rare nighttime visit to Bowman’s Hill Tower. Admission: age 12+, $8; age 5-11, $4. 7-10 pm. UPDATE, 10/15/13: I goofed. This event isn't happening this year. Sorry for any confusion. AKF


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