Totality, Dude

The August program page has info on events coming up this weekend and the rest of the month. There's always history to learn and learn from on the Trails of History. In my opinion.

Solar eclipse January 1908 via Wikimedia Commons
Solar eclipse Jan. 3, 1908 by Tomruen - Lick Observatory, from Flint Island, Kiribati, Public Domain, Link
So, okay, we in Pennsylvania will see only a partial solar eclipse. Safe travels and good times to those of you venturing into the path of totality. I'm sure it's going to be a zoo, but a rare opportunity in the U.S. Be nice to the people whose states and towns you're visiting and clean up after yourselves. No one wants to see news photos of Woodstock-esque trash piles. Not sure why I'm lecturing on this - trying to do my part for peace, love, and understanding, I guess.

My news feeds have been full of eclipse stuff...

The State Museum Planetarium has been sharing lots of info about the upcoming eclipse. There's still time to catch "2017 Eclipse Across America" today and this weekend for a great explanation of eclipses. Because PA will see a partial eclipse (75-80%) we won't be able to look directly at the sun at any time without protection. If you don't have a pair of eclipse glasses or a specially equipped viewer of some sort, the museum shared NASA's instructions for making a pinhole projector using a cereal box. I may have to try that this weekend if my husband finishes off the Froot Loops (UPDATE: he already has).

UPDATE: Planetarium director Linda Powell was on abc27 Friday morning to talk about the eclipse (watch it here).

On a related safety note, PennDOT reminds us that it can be unsafe and may be unlawful to just stop alongside a roadway to watch the eclipse.


Washington Crossing Historic Park has posted info for those who might want to view the eclipse from Bowman's Hill Tower.

There are lots of posts from all over with historical info about eclipses and how people have studied and reacted to them through time:
Let us know in the comments if you have other eclipse-related posts to share!

And for those of you who remember the 1980s, I leave you with this. Bonnie Tyler will, if all goes according to plan, perform "Total Eclipse of the Heart" during the eclipse on board a cruise ship in the Caribbean. Enjoy the earworm.

On and Off the Trails Again

Please visit the August programs page to find info about events on the Trails of History.

There is no discernible theme to this week's post (shocking), so don't try to find one. On the other hand - if you do try, and you do find one, feel free to let me know in the comments! Otherwise, enjoy the stroll and enjoy the weekend.

Last week, Joseph Priestley House hosted their annual Oxygen Day event commemorating Dr. Priestley's scientific work on the isolation of the gas we call oxygen (he called it "dephlogysticated air"). In addition, the Friends of Joseph Priestley House invited descendants of Joseph and Mary Priestley to visit, providing behind the scenes tour of the home and Priestley-related sights in and around Northumberland (read more on the JPH website). Reporter Suzanne Goldklang of WNEP-TV covered the event and spoke with some of the descendants, including a teenage boy whose family recently discovered their connection to the Priestley family. (If the embedded video below does not play, you can find it on WNEP's website.)



Hearth cooking class at Graeme Park
Graeme Park shared this photo of Erin Agnew and participants in hearth cooking class on Sunday, Aug. 6 (via Facebook)
The first of four hearth cooking classes, "Let Food Be Thy Medicine," was offered at Graeme Park this past Sunday (to see other photos visit Graeme Park's Facebook page). It's not too late to sign up for the remaining three (discounts offered for members and for multiple classes). Online registration is available.

Reenactors Battle of Bushy Run
Col. Henry Bouquet (right) talks with colonials (photo Bushy Run Battlefield)
Bushy Run Battlefield commemorated the Battle of Bushy Run (Aug. 5-6, 1763) last weekend with their annual two-day reenactment. So that visitors can get the full scope of the history in one day, they always reenact the action of August 5 on Saturday morning and August 6 in the afternoon (then repeat on Sunday). An epic effort by Bushy Run board, staff, and volunteers along with all the reenactors who take part presenting British, colonial, and Native American forces. Museum facilitator Colleen Madore shared some photos with me (one of them is above) and there are more photos and video on Bushy Run's Facebook page.

Boot Camp for Kids at PA Military Museum
This year's participants in Boot Camp for Kids, PA Military Museum (via Facebook)
Last weekend was also the annual Boot Camp for Kids event at the Pennsylvania Military Museum, which provides boys and girls ages 8 to 13 with a taste of military training, teamwork, and rations, under the instruction of staff and volunteers with prior military experience. More photos are available on PMM's Facebook page. (I'm not sure I shared a link to images from last month's VIETNAM Revisited living history program, which you can also find on Facebook.)

Bundling flax at Landis Valley
First step in linen production: pull up the flax plants (via Landis Valley Facebook page
Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum shared some photos of Heirloom Seed Project staff and volunteers pulling and bundling flax plants that are now ready to be turned into linen at Colonial Williamsburg (close ups of the bundles on FB).

If you get a chance, catch "2017 Eclipse Across America" at the State Museum Planetarium between now and August 20 for a good overview of how eclipses work and what to expect from the one coming up on Aug. 21. If you haven't already gotten eclipse viewing glasses from a reputable dealer, you may have to improvise (here in PA, we'll get a 75-80% partial eclipse, which requires eye protection the entire duration).

A few links from off the trails...

A Brand New Month

The full August program page is available for those of you who like to plan ahead. I've highlighted events coming up this weekend and next week in the space below.

Anthracite Heritage Museum
Aug. 5: Labor Heritage Day—commemorating the coal miners' and laborers' strike of Aug. 1, 1877. At 2pm, an original play, After the Shots were Fired, by Margo L. Azzarelli, Marnie Azzarelli and Alex Lotorto, will be presented in the auditorium. The one-act play commemorates the 140th anniversary of the 1877 riot on Lackawanna Avenue where four men lost their lives during a time of labor unrest in the country. (After the Shots were Fired is funded by a Lackawanna County Arts & Culture Community Project Grant.) The day will conclude with various labor related literary submissions being read from members of our local community. Light refreshments will be served. The heritage day events are free; museum admission is charged to view the core exhibits. Noon-4 pm.

Bushy Run Battlefield
Aug. 5-6: 254th Anniversary of the Battle of Bushy Run—there are two battle reenactments (morning and afternoon), so you can learn about the events of August 5 and 6, 1763, all in one day. You'll also find military camps, period craftspeople, and food vendors at this annual event. Admission is $8 for ages 13+, $5 for ages 4-12. 10 am-4 pm both days.

Conrad Weiser Homestead
Aug. 6: Living History Sunday—learn about life in Berks County in the mid-18th century. Guided tours offered. Noon-4 pm.

Cornwall Iron Furnace
Aug. 8: Lecture—Jim Polcynski will present "Transition from Grubbs to Colemans." Learn about the transition of ownership of the Cornwall Furnace, Ore Banks, and related properties from the Grubb family to Robert Coleman in the late 18th century. Part of the Friends of Cornwall Iron Furnace lecture series, the program takes place in the auditorium of Freeman Community Center at Cornwall Manor. 7 pm.

Daniel Boone Homestead
Aug. 5: Colonial Games and Gambling—learn about and try your hand at a variety of early American games, such as cards, hazard, draughts, dice, and backgammon. Peanuts will be used for wagering. 2 pm.
Aug. 9: Sawmill Operation Day—subject to staff availability, there will be demonstrations of the site’s water-powered sawmill at 11 am and 2 pm. Free of charge (admission rates apply to tour the historic area.)

Drake Well Museum
Aug. 5-6: Historic Pithole Open—the visitor center will be open, so enjoy the orientation film and the excellent diorama that shows the town in its heyday. Admission charged. 10 am-4 pm.
Aug. 6: Drake Well Marathon and 1/2—this is a qualifying event for the Boston Marathon. Both races (full marathon and half marathon) begin and end at the Museum and make use of Titusville streets and the bike path in Oil Creek State Park. Proceeds benefit Drake Well Museum and Park. You must register to participate.

Eckley Miners’ Village
Aug. 5-6: 1940s Weekend—learn about life during World War II through home front and military displays, music, food, and more throughout the site. Off-site at 6 pm on the 5th, there will be a Swing Dance at Freeland Public Park Pavilion. Admission charged (separate fee for dance). 10 am-5 pm.

Ephrata Cloister
Aug. 6: Ice Cream Social—ice cream (courtesy of Turkey Hill and dipped by PA State Representatives Mindy Fee and David Zimmerman) and an old-fashioned sing-along in a beautiful setting. K-Pets therapy dogs will be visiting, and the winning ticket for quilt raffle will be drawn. Admission is $5 per person for ages 6 and up (younger than 6 get in free). 1-4 pm.

Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara
Aug. 8: Erie Gives—you can support the museum and ship and stretch your donation by participating in Erie Gives Day. Online giving only, 8 am-8 pm, on the Flagship Niagara League's Erie Gives page.

Fort Pitt Museum
Aug. 5-6: Guided Tours—docents will lead one-hour tours of the museum exhibits twice daily on weekends this summer. Visit Fort Pitt's Facebook page for this weekend's tour times.
Aug. 5 and 6: Living History Programs—this "Artillery and Artificers" explores the fort's artillery, the people who fired it (with demos during the day, weather permitting), and the people who made it; 11 am-4 pm both days. The Fort Pitt Fife and Drum Corps will be on hand Sat., Aug. 5, from noon to 4 pm.

Graeme Park
Aug. 6: Hearth Cooking Class—today's class, "Let Food Be Thy Medicine," is the first in a series of four offered this month. Each class is $45 per person ($35 for members), but there are discounts for taking multiple classes. Check out Graeme Park's e-newsletter for details on the other classes and for a link to register for one or more.

Hope Lodge
Aug. 9: Movie Night—bring a blanket or lawn chair and settle in to watch Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Presented by Whitemarsh Township Parks and Recreation. Admission is free, snacks available for purchase. Starts at dusk. (Raindate is Aug. 10.)

Joseph Priestley House
Aug. 6: Oxygen Day—in honor of Dr. Priestley’s best known scientific contribution, this program features costumed docents throughout the house and chemistry demonstrations (more info on the website). Admission is free. 1-4 pm; chemistry demos at 1:30 and 2:30 pm.

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Aug. 8: Hands-On History Day—experience chores, games, and crafts from the past, take a wagon ride, and learn your lessons in the one-room schoolhouse (more info and online ticketing on website). Cost is $11 per person (FREE for Landis Valley Associate members and kids age 5 and under). 10 am-3 pm.

Old Economy Village
Aug. 5: Spotlight Saturday—glimpse life and work in the 19th century through demonstrations and tours. This week's focus is blacksmithing. Included in regular admission, so please start at the Visitor Center. 11 am-4 pm (site open 10 am-5 pm).

Pennsylvania Military Museum
Aug 5-6: Guided Tours—the 1 pm guided tour each day is included in museum admission.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Aug. 4: Free Summer Friday, StoryTime, and Learn at Lunchtime—admission is free all day on Fridays in the summer; timed tickets will be available for 45 minutes of play in Curiosity Connection; regular fees apply for the Planetarium. Today's StoryTime program (10-11 am) will include a tour of selected works in the "Art of the State" exhibit and a reading of Perfect Square by Michael Hall. Today's Learn at Lunchtime program (12:15 pm in Nature Lab) is "Pennsylvania Birds."
Aug. 6: Artist's Conversations—take an informal tour of this year's "Art of the State" exhibit with artist Michael Brolly, first prize winner in the Craft category, and Collections Advancement Project curator Carol Buck. Included in general admission. 2-3 pm.
Aug. 7-10: Nature Lab and Planetarium—visit the Museum's events page for details.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Aug. 6: Kayak the Canal—all equipment will be provided and no kayaking experience is required for this leisurely paddle along the Delaware Canal. Cost is $5 per person and you must pre-register. Register online for either the 10 am-noon paddle or the 1-3 pm paddle.

Intern Insights

Don't forget to check the July program page for info on this final weekend of July. The August page is also available if you want to plan ahead.

Did you know that yesterday was National Intern Day? I was already working on this post when I found out, so that must mean something, right? Thank you to all of our interns and to the staff and volunteers who serve as mentors, teachers, and supporters.

Interns in horse drawn wagon at Landis Valley July 2017
Keystone interns and PHMC staff took a horse-drawn wagon ride with Joe Schott at Landis Valley during a field trip earlier this month
So we're nearing the end of summer intern season, and I hope that all of our interns have had a great experience with PHMC. Some interns apply through the PHMC Keystone Summer Internship Program and are placed at the State Archives, State Historic Preservation Office, State Museum, or one of our Trails of History sites. Others apply directly to a site that interests them. Our intern mentors work hard to provide real-world experience and exposure to a variety of professional activities and issues. For some, an internship is a brief interlude on the way to another career (let's be honest, internships can be great for figuring out things you don't want to do with your life). For others, an internship helps build a resume and establishes personal and professional relationships that will last long after the summer has ended.

A Facebook post from the Anthracite Heritage Museum (AHM) featuring one of their summer interns illustrates the lasting impact of internships. The post is shown below, but what you don't see are two comments from past AHM interns. One said, "Congrats, Anna! I was one of the first interns there. Best of luck." The second said, "Same here. I was an intern 9 years ago for the museum. I really enjoyed my time there and hope you do too Anna!" I think that speaks volumes about the intern experience, not to mention the connections that social media enables.



Another AHM intern is chronicling her experience via her university website. Amber is working with curator John Fielding to learn about cataloguing museum collections and mounting photos for an exhibit, sharpening her public speaking skills by giving tours and working with public programs, and researching local history about the Lithuanian community (read all about it on Misericordia University's Local History Projects site).

The Pennsylvania Historic Preservation blog recently shared info about Keystone interns spending the summer in the State Historic Preservation Office and a related program that is run in cooperation with PennDOT.

And my thanks to Courtney Goodzinski, interning with Linda Bolla at the Erie Maritime Museum this summer, for sharing about some of her projects. Courtney is working on a master's degree in public history at Indiana Univ. of PA and expects to graduate in May 2018.

Wall of Admirals at Erie Maritime Museum
Wall of Admirals, Erie Maritime Museum
As an intern at the Erie Maritime Museum, I get the opportunity to work on large projects, such as the ARGUS catalog transition and following an artifact being presented to the collections committee in August. While these projects take up a majority of my time, there are moments when I get to take a break and work on smaller projects, such as correcting exhibit displays involving grammatical errors or helping out in the museum store. This week, however, I was able to help redisplay the biographies hanging on the Admiral Wall, located on the second floor. Given Erie's rich naval history, the museum likes to honor and recognize men who have gone above and beyond to serve our country as admirals, and we are proud to recognize ten men from the area who have achieved that ranking. While some of the alterations to the men’s biographies were just changing text format, altering photograph size, or adding additional information, we were able to make a major change to one man’s biography. Matthew J. Kohler was recently promoted to the U.S. Navy rank of Vice Admiral in Suffolk, Virginia. Achieving this new ranking as Vice Admiral and Commander of Naval Information is much deserved, considering that Vice Admiral Kohler has served in multiple tours since 1984. (Adm. Kohler was part of a fighter squadron tour in the 1984 Libyan Strike, served two deployments to Somalia with the Marine Corps 1994-95, and went on several operations to Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001 to 2007.)

Being able to read about Vice Admiral Kohler’s service to our country and his achievements in life was a wonderful break from renaming image files and researching artifacts. It’s stories and projects like this that remind me that being involved in public history isn’t always about the next big, flashy exhibit. Sometimes it’s as simple as making sure we properly honor and share the stories of those who served in the past and preserve the stories of those who are currently serving in order to share them with future generations. This experience is one of many that I’ve participated in while interning, and they all helped confirm that I made the right career field choice. To Vice Admiral Kohler and all others who have served and are continuing to serve our country, thank you for your service and dedication.



Preservation in Many Forms

The July program page has info for the remainder of the month; I've highlighted some events below for this weekend.

This week's post has something resembling a theme. Maybe it's more of a thread. I noticed a bunch of posts in my Facebook feed that highlighted the multiple ways the PHMC's Trails of History sites help to preserve historic structures, landscapes, and lifeways. That's probably true most of the time, since, y'know, that's what we do. But it felt like a convergence, so I'm sharing.

But first, your moment of Justin Trudeau...

Since late June, the U.S. Brig Niagara has been away from the Erie Maritime Museum, visiting U.S. and Canadian ports around the Great Lakes. This week they are in Quebec City for a tall ships event, one of a series of "Rendez-vous 2017" festivals celebrating the 150th birthday of the dominion of Canada (created in 1867 as a confederation of British colonies Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick). Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was on hand Wednesday to help launch the Quebec City festival and posed with crew members from the ships, including Niagara captain William Sabatini (2nd from left in front row in the tan shirt). Pretty cool.



Now that we've gotten that out of the way, Eckley Miners' Village shared a post about a visit from two historians from the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) program. Camille Westmont and Lisa Pfeuller Davidson were on site to document four types of worker housing as part of a study of anthracite mining towns in northeastern Pennsylvania. The HABS program was created in 1933 through an joint agreement of the American Institute of Architects, the Library of Congress (which houses the documentation), and the National Park Service to preserve through documentation a complete range of American building types "from the monumental and architect-designed to the utilitarian and vernacular, including a sampling of regionally and ethnically derived building traditions." HABS is now one of the National Park Service's Heritage Documentation Programs, along with the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) and the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS).

In 1937, HABS worked to document Hope Lodge, a Georgian mansion owned at the time by William and Alice Degn and now part of the Trails of History. According to the site guidebook, the Degns received a certificate from the Dept. of the Interior the following year declaring Hope Lodge an outstanding example of Colonial architecture. Hope Lodge recently shared some photos from the HABS project via the Library of Congress. You can search or browse more HABS/HAER photo collections in the Library of Congress online.

(Incidentally, "Habs" is also a nickname for the Montreal Canadiens hockey team, no doubt a favorite of Prime Minister Trudeau. Who says there's no serendipity in a Google search?)

Landis Valley Museum gardeners July 2017

Staff and volunteers of Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum's Heirloom Seed Project (photo above) have been busy cultivating and weeding as we move into the heart of the summer. The site's Facebook page has had numerous posts with lovely photos of the flowers and vegetables that are to be found growing around the site.

On a somewhat darker note, the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum shared info about a new documentary, Cathedral: The Fight to Save the Ancient Hemlocks of Cook Forest, which will have showings Friday and Saturday, July 28 and 29, at the Cook Forest Sawmill Center for the Arts (info, trailer, and online tickets). Rangers from Cook Forest State Park will take questions from the audience about the ongoing battle against the hemlock woolly adelgid.

And I'll bookend that with this video clip from Pennsbury Manor's garden. This Sunday you will find the gardeners there, ready to talk about what's growing and ready to pick (see listings below for more info).


Coming up this weekend...

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
July 22-23: Civil War Weekend—the site is transformed into a rural Pennsylvania village during the Civil War, with reenactors portraying soldiers and civilians (more info). The Landis Collections Gallery will have an exhibit on Abraham Lincoln's visit to Lancaster in 1861. Admission charged; tickets are available online. Food will be available for purchase at the museum store. (Read more in this LancasterOnline article.) 10 am-4 pm both days.

Old Economy Village
June 22: Saturday Spotlight—this week, decorative arts. Included in regular admission. 11 am-4 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
June 23: Special Sunday Programming—this week, chat with the gardeners and the brewers and see what they're up to. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.


Pennsylvania Military Museum
July 21: Lecture—as a lead-up to this weekend's living history event, Dr. Ron Lenox, museum volunteer and retired Armstrong chemist, will present "Napalm and Agent Orange: Two Iconic Chemical Weapons of the Vietnam War." 6:30-7:30 pm.
July 22-23: VIETNAM Revisited—living historians will be on the grounds portraying American combat and support troops “in country” in the late 1960s (more details and photos from previous events are on the website). Julie Decker, DNP, RN, of the Penn State School of Nursing, will present "The Real China Beach: U.S. Army Nurses in Vietnam" at 10:30 am on Saturday in the museum auditorium (regular admission rates apply for the lecture). Folks from public media organization WPSU will also be on hand to talk about their upcoming film, A Time to Heal, which documents the experiences of Pennsylvanians during the Vietnam era (see promo above and more info on Facebook). 10 am-4 pm (tactical demo at 1:30 pm each day).

Somerset Historical Center
July 22: Exhibit opening—"Unraveling the Woof" is this summer's exhibit. Included in regular admission.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
July 21: Free Summer Friday and Learn at Lunchtimeadmission is free today, 9 am to 5 pm, and there will be a paleontology program in Nature Lab, 12:15-12:45 pm.
July 21: 3rd in the Burg—enjoy light refreshments and a tour of the Art of the State exhibit(on view thru Sept. 10), then visit the Susquehanna Art Museum (SAM) for a tour. SAM's Director of Education, Tina Sell, will conduct the "Art of the State Tour," and Ophelia Chambliss, artist and PHMC Commissioner, will conduct the tour at SAM as part of a program called "The Great Summer Switch" (info on Facebook). Admission is free for this event. 5:30-7:30 pm (State Museum tour starts at 6 pm, SAM tour starts at 7:30).

Washington Crossing Historic Park
July 21-23—celebrate the Park's centennial, learn to fish, and gaze at the stars, not necessarily in that order. More info on the website.

Looking at History

Be sure to check out the July program page for events coming up. PLEASE NOTE that the State Museum and Archives Complex in Harrisburg will be closed to the public tomorrow and Sunday, July 15-16, for completion of a major electrical upgrade.

"History" means different things to different people. Recent news about changes at Colonial Williamsburg, as one example, prompted discussion (at least among the folks in my Facebook and Twitter feeds) about whether or not anyone values history, other than those of us who are professional purveyors of it. On the other hand, museums are working very hard to continue to be places "where the truth can be found." I assume that readers of this blog are conscious of "history" every day in some capacity or another and that I spend much of my time in that space as well. I think, however, that everyone is a consumer of history, deliberately or otherwise. That is partly because I know that the present is profoundly influenced by events and conditions of the past. But the present is equally influenced (maybe moreso?) by the stories we tell ourselves and each other about the past (and the future). Facts matter, but we don't always agree on what the facts even are, let alone what they mean. The past was complicated. Studying the details of everyday life, political life, military conflict, what have you - it shows us that we in the present day are not alone in time. The people who came before us had to deal every day with the uncertainty of "tomorrow," as we do now. Sometimes we can learn from them; sometimes we have to be content with their companionship.

A number of news items ran across my desk this week that highlight the ways we preserve and use history, the value that work has to our communities, and the connections history helps us make.

PA Military Museum Great War Remembered 2016
"The Great War Remembered" at PA Military Museum, 2016
Centennials and other anniversaries

UPDATE/CORRECTION - Today's Yesterday's official commemoration of "le 14 juillet" (we call it "Bastille Day") in Paris featured a salute to Americans who fought in World War I, in recognition of the centennial of U.S. entry into the war and the long history of cooperation between the U.S. and France (it has become French tradition to incorporate such symbols of friendship with other nations into the Bastille Day festivities). Some 200 American service members, including the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, took part in the military parade down the Champs-Elysées. At the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron, U.S. President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attended the ceremonies and took part in honoring the occasion. (Photos posted by U.S. Army Center of Military History.)

At the same time that U.S. military forces were arriving in Europe to fight alongside French and British troops 100 years ago, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was moving to commemorate an important event in an earlier conflict. On July 25, 1917, Washington Crossing Historic Park was established to mark the spot where General Washington and his Continental Army crossed the Delaware River on December 25-26, 1776, to strike Hessian forces in Trenton and to honor the memory of the soldiers fighting for American independence. To celebrate the park's centennial, free tours and events are planned for next weekend (the only event requiring a reservation is the birthday party on July 23). For more information, visit WCHP's Facebook page.


Bushy Run History Camp 2017
Bushy Run Battlefield Summer History Camp 2017

Valuing History

A recent article in the Times-Tribune announced that Scranton has beaten out Bethlehem and Boston to host the 2018 International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art. The conference, which occurs every four years, has not been held in the U.S. since 2002. The article notes that the Scranton Iron Furnaces and its annual Arts on Fire festival were key factors in drawing the conference, which will focus on "post-industrial iron." Arts on Fire includes a variety of artisan activities, including an iron pour and glass blowing (more info). The event and the community partnerships that make it possible have helped to bring attention to Scranton's south side and the Iron Furnaces. Much logistical work remains for the May 28-June 2 conference, which is expected to bring 800-1,000 people to Scranton.

In an op-ed piece responding to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that painted a grim picture of Westmoreland County, county commissioner Ted Kopas (D) cited numerous factors that he believes are cause for a more optimistic view. Among them was Bushy Run Battlefield, which Kopas included (along with other heritage sites) as a great place for history buffs and one of many recreational opportunities for the public. Earlier this week the Tribune-Review provided an excellent overview of Bushy Run's summer history day camp. Reenactors worked with site volunteers and staff to teach 25 campers about Native American life in the area at the time of Pontiac's Rebellion. Last year's camp focused on British military life and next year's will look at British colonists in the area. The online version of the article includes video of the camp activities and a nice segment with reenactor Tom Vecchio explaining the value of sharing history and lifeways with the campers. You can see reenactors representing Native Americans, British military, and colonial settlers at the annual commemoration of the Battle of Bushy Run, August 5-6.

Intersection of Rt 322 and Rt 222 at Ephrata Cloister ca. 1942
Ephrata Cloister ca. 1942
photo shows Academy building to left and Sisters' House toward right (from Facebook)

Connecting to history in multiple ways

Ephrata Cloister has recently been sharing historic photos of the site around the time it was acquired by the PHMC and during its restoration. It is a fascinating documentation of the relatively more recent history of Ephrata's buildings. Staff have included notes about the photos to help connect the earlier history or to explain the restoration process. Visit Ephrata's Facebook page to see them all. (On a related note, the National Museum of American History posted a video tour of their new exhibit, "Religion in Early America.")

At Old Economy Village, changes are happening to the way visitors experience the historic buildings. Now, rather than taking a single guided tour that includes all the major buildings (especially those where security, safety, and collections care needs prohibit a self-guided tour), visitors will have some choices. They'll still start at the Visitor Center to purchase tickets and see the orientation film and exhibits and they will enter the historic area via a tour of the Natural History Museum/Feast Hall. But at that point they can choose self-guided tours of the Blacksmith Shop (newly expanded), Cabinet Shop, Community Kitchen, and Carriage House or guided tours in several different "zones" including the Cobblestone Street Buildings and/or the George and Frederick Rapp Houses. On special event days and Spotlight Saturdays, additional craft and trade demonstrations or other activities will be available as well. Visitors who enjoy guided tours and have more time to spend on site still have the option, and visitors who prefer to be more self-directed can structure their time to their liking.

The Mansfield Free Public Library recently posted photos of a visit to their summer reading program by PA Lumber Museum site administrator Josh Roth, who brought hands-on activities to the library to help teach about history. The Lumber Museum has been working with all kinds of partners to share lumber and forestry history with the public in local communities and to encourage visitation to the museum. Mansfield is one of a growing number of local libraries participating in the museum's library pass program, which provides free regular admission to the museum's indoor and outdoor exhibits.

Recent and Upcoming

The July program page has events listed through the end of the month. I've highlighted some of this weekend's events below.

Before we jump ahead to the weekend, I thought I'd share some coverage of recent events at sites, ongoing projects, and well, just some stuff I found interesting. Thanks Facebook, Twitter, and Google Alerts!

Independence Weekend programming

Log skidding at 2017 Bark Peelers Festival
Horse-drawn log skidding demo at 2017 Bark Peelers' Festival (via Facebook)
The long holiday weekend provided lots of time for programs and events on the Trails of History. See more at the links below:
  • Pennsylvania Lumber Museum's annual Bark Peelers' Festival (which commemorates the early 20th-century gatherings of lumbermen for feats of strength and airing of grievances) drew about 2,000 people June 1-2 for music, food, history, and demonstrations of skill. The museum shared photos of the overall event and the birling (log rolling) contest on Facebook. Aerial/Renegade/AlexanderRenn Photography shared a great overview video on their Facebook page.
  • 450 people attended the annual Ringgold Band concert at Conrad Weiser Homestead, honoring local veterans and carrying on a long-time tradition. You'll find info in this Reading Eagle article.
  • The Reading Eagle also reported on Daniel Boone Homestead's Independence Day Celebration on July 1 (see article here).
  • Somerset Historical Center's 3rd annual "Frosty Mugs of Thunder" brewfest took place on July 1 and the Daily American has photos to prove it.
  • Young visitors to the PA Military Museum on July 4 were given the opportunity to try on military gear from the museum's education collection and sit in a World War II era jeep. "Kids' Day: Dress Up and Discover" is presented 3-4 times throughout the year as part of PMM's hands-on history offerings (next event is August 12). There are photos on Facebook.

High season for tourism

Ephrata Cloister field trip to Plimoth Plantation

  • Ephrata Cloister museum educator Michael Showalter (left in photo above) led a recent field trip to New England (group shown here at Plimoth Plantation). You'll find more photos of the trip on Facebook, along with lots of other photos of the site highlighting its history and activities.
  • An article in the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader highlighted numerous visitors who attended Patch Town Days at Eckley Miners' Village to explore their Irish roots.
  • Several Trails of History sites are included in VisitPA's summer road trip itineraries: Pennsbury Manor and Washington Crossing Historic Park are found on Day 2 of the "Philadelphia and Countryside North" road trip, and The State Museum of PA (Day 2) and the PA Military Museum (Day 3) are on the Military History road trip.
  • The Anthracite Heritage Museum's blog recently featured several guest posts about a choral group from Valley View High School's recent tour to Wales. On a related note, the museum will host a lecture on July 16 about movie star and singer Allan Jones, an Old Forge native who grew up in a family of Welsh coal miners.

Coming up this weekend

Bushy Run Battlefield
July 8: Annual Classic Car Cruise—classic and custom cars, live music, food, drink, and more. Event is free; regular admission applies to visit the exhibits. 11 am-4 pm.
July 9: Annual 5K Bushy Run Trail Run/Walk—Bushy Run is the site for this annual event benefitting the Penn-Trafford Area Recreation Commission (PTARC). For more info and to register, contact PTARC at 724/744-2171 ext 205 or lbires@penntwp.org.

Conrad Weiser Homestead
July 9: Living History Sunday—enjoy a summer afternoon at the homestead learning about life in the Tulpehocken. Noon-4 pm.

Daniel Boone Homestead
July 8: Presentation—"18th-Century Law" will explore legal issues and include some 18th-century law books and forms. 2 pm.

Drake Well Museum
July 8-9: open hours—Historic Pithole Open. Admission charged. 10 am-4 pm.

Fort Pitt Museum
July 8-9: Guided Tours of the Museum—museum docents will offer overview tours of the museum's exhibits twice daily on weekends this summer, hours will vary. This weekend, tours are at 11 am and 2 pm both days.

Old Economy Village
July 8: Saturday Spotlight—this week, Meet the Gardeners. Included in regular admission. 11 am-4 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
July 9: Special Sunday Programming—this week, Pirates in the Tavern! (living history theater). Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Thru July 9: Reading Railroad Days—offered in conjunction with the Reading Company Technical & Historical Society, this program features an enormous HO-scale model railroad and highlights Reading Company rolling stock in the Museum’s collection. Details are on Facebook. Included in regular museum admission.

Somerset Historical Center
July 8-9: Living History Weekend—help commemorate the 100th anniversary of U.S. involvement in World War I. Regular admission charged. 10 am-5 pm.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
July 7: StoryTime—this month's selection is Roadwork, by Sally Sutton. The read-aloud session will take place in the Pennsylvania Turnpike exhibit and children will have a chance to explore. StoryTime is geared to children ages 3-5. Included in regular admission (which is free on July 7). 10-11 am.
July 7: Artist Conversations—artist and PA First Lady Frances Wolf and artist Andrew Guth, winner of this year's first place award for Works on Paper, will lead an informal tour of the 50th Art of the State exhibit. Admission is free today. 12:15-12:45 pm.

That Reminds Me...

The July program page has everything you need to know (well, maybe not everything) about events on the Trails of History this weekend and in the month to come. We also have a list of sites that will be open on July 4.

This week marks the centennial of the arrival of American troops in Europe following U.S. entry into World War I two months before (read more about it on the Library of Congress website). In honor of the Army's birthday, the U.S. Army Center of Military History shared a rousing rendition of George M. Cohan's 1917 hit, "Over There," by the U.S. Army Chorus. Seems appropriate here.

Which reminds me - In the summer of 2015, Rachel Yerger, PHMC Collections Advancement Project (CAP) curator in the Bureau of Historic Sites and Museums, provided a guest post for Trailheads, "Stories from the Great War." In the post, she describes a collection of WWI letters at the PA Military Museum written by and about Harry Campbell and Reuben "Shorty" Rakestraw, two young men from Somerset County who served in Company C, 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Division. It provides a bit of reality to balance the patriotic optimism of "Over There."

The Anthracite Heritage Museum posted about their summer intern Amber Kelly, who is a student at Misericordia University in Scranton. The university hosts a blog where students can share their internship experiences, and Amber has already written several times about her experience at Anthracite, learning to give tours and working with curator John Fielding.

Which reminds me - We frequently have guest posts by PHMC interns here on Trailheads (that's a big and not-at-all-subtle hint to this summer's interns). Two years ago, State Archives intern Ryan Zsifkov guest blogged about "The Pennsylvania Main Line Canal" and Corine Lehigh (who is now on staff) wrote "A Walk Through the Past" about a walking tour for the interns led by historic preservation staffer Pamela Reilly.

Summer 2015 Keystone interns
Summer 2015 PHMC Keystone Interns take a walking tour of Harrisburg (photo by Amy Jukus)

Tuesday morning, NPR ran a story by contributor Susan Stamberg, who went behind the scenes with painting conservators at the National Gallery of Art (read text of the piece (with photos) and/or listen to the audio below).

Which reminds me (you knew that was coming) - We've had a number of posts sharing info on how we take care of PHMC's many and varied collections. Here are several you may want to revisit: "Freezing History," by Lauren Jaeger, who at the time was a CAP curator and is now overseeing PHMC's transition to a new collections management database; "Textile Adventures Part Deux," by Rachel Yerger; and "Brushing Up on Industrial History," by Linda Bolla, Erie Maritime Museum.

How Was Your Solstice?

Summer garden with purple flowers
Summer Garden (photo AKF)
Note: This post has been updated during the day, June 23, to include more links to Trails of History sites participating in #MuseumWeek.

With the summer solstice now behind us (or ahead of us if you take the long view), it's time to really dig in and enjoy the season. For some of you, that means being outdoors a lot. For others, it's about finding cool indoor activities to stay out of the heat. Or maybe you're somewhere in between. Whatever "summer" means to you, I hope that you'll have a chance to explore the Trails of History to find it. The June program page has events coming up this weekend and next week (and I've highlighted some below). The July page is now available, as well as a list (to the best of my knowledge) of Trails of History sites open on July 4.

We are currently in the midst of #MuseumWeek and several sites have been posting throughout the week. If you're not already following them on Twitter, take a look at the Railroad Museum of PA, Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum, Daniel Boone Homestead, Graeme Park, Old Economy Village, Pennsbury Manor, or PHMC's feeds to see the cool stuff they've shared. Wednesday was National Selfie Day, and the Railroad Museum was featured in an article in the Lancaster news about local places to take selfies.

A blog post from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) about ways that history organizations are talking about environmental history included the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum's core exhibit, "Challenges and Choices in Pennsylvania's Forests." The exhibit won awards from AASLH and PA Museums in 2016.

Young soccer players learn about flax at Somerset

Somerset Historical Center shared photos on Facebook of their June living history weekend, which focused on life in the 1700s. Above, volunteer Gary Burkett explains to two young soccer players how flax is turned into linen (see more photos). The next living history weekend, July 8-9, will present local history related to World War I.


Classes at this year's Summer Institute at Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum included tours, lectures, and multi-day hands-on learning opportunities. Participants explored hearth cooking, pottery (photo above), woodworking, and working with draft horses, among other things. Visit Landis Valley's website for info on craft and skills classes held throughout the year.

This weekend on the Trails of History

Drake Well Museum
June 24: Something More Saturday—visit Historic Pithole and get a tour of the grounds (check Facebook for details). Admission charged. 10 am-3 pm.

Eckley Miners’ Village
June 24-25: Patch Town Days Irish Fest—this year's program focuses on the lives of Irish immigrants to a Pennsylvania coal patch town. Music, food, dancers, and a "St. Patrick's Day in June" parade. There will also be vintage baseball games both days. Admission charged. 10 am-5 pm both days.

Fort Pitt Museum
June 24: Lecture and Book-signing—Dr. Patrick Spero will present "When Pittsburgh was Virginia," exploring various 18th-century boundary and territorial disputes in western PA and Ohio. He will sign copies of his latest book, Frontier Country: The Politics of War in Early Pennsylvania. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students and Heinz History Center members (please register online). 11 am-12:30 pm.

Hope Lodge
June 24: Ales and Petals—bring your lawn chairs and/or picnic blankets, tour the mansion, and (only if you're age 21+) sample craft beers and ciders. Food will be available from Tonellis of Lafayette Hill and the Mason Porter band will perform from 1 to 3 pm. General admission fees apply; there is an additional $5 per person charge for beer and cider tasting (more info on website) and food is extra. Event runs 1-5 pm.

Old Economy Village
June 24: An American Celebration—enjoy music, storytelling, artisan demos, antique cars, and food as you explore the Village. All included in regular admission. 10 am-5 pm. (Rain date: June 25, 10 am-5 pm.)

Pennsbury Manor
June 25: Bitters, Blubs, and Brewing—visit the gardens and brew house to see what's on offer. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
June 25: Make Your Own Bitters Workshop—Pennsbury has partnered with Boardroom Spirits Distillery for this hands-on workshop. Bitters were thought to be good for one's health and were taken almost daily in the 17th and 18th centuries. Learn how these elixirs are made. Must be 21 or older. Cost is $20 (free for members); pre-register by calling 215/946-0400. 2-3 pm.

Pennsylvania Military Museum
June 24: Boot Camp Prep Class—designed as an adjunct to Boot Camp for Kids (August), this program will provide group instruction in close order drill, military etiquette, and the history of the 28th Division Shrine. Cost is $25 and includes lunch. Registration is required (info and form); contact Friends of the Military Museum for details. 10 am-3 pm.

State Museum and Archives Complex
June 24-25: Closed to the public—as part of the State Museum's ongoing electrical upgrades project, the Museum and Archives will be closed to the public this weekend. The Complex will also be closed July 15-16.

A June Roundup on the Trails of History

The June program page has info on upcoming events and programs. I've highlighted some of this weekend's offerings below.

Logo for 50th Art of the State exhibit
See more about Art of the State on the State Museum Facebook page

The State Museum of PA, in conjunction with Jump Street (a Harrisburg-based arts organization), has opened the 50th Art of the State Exhibit, which will run through Sept. 10. At the opening reception for the exhibit, prize winners were announced in five categories of artwork (photos of prize winners and scenes from the reception), selected from entries submitted by artists around the state (photo gallery of all finalists included in exhibit).

Sunday, June 11, marked the 90th anniversary of the Lindbergh Special run. On June 11, 1927, the Pennsylvania Railroad's locomotive No. 460 raced an airplane from Washington, DC, to New York City. Both were carrying newsreel footage of a ceremony honoring Charles Lindbergh's successful nonstop solo flight from New York to Paris (completed on May 21, 1927). The race was to see which mode of transport could get the footage to theaters in New York first. The plane, even then, covered the distance faster, but the train carried its own darkroom, so the film was developed (look it up) en route and was ready for showing when the train arrived in NYC. The footage carried by plane still had to be developed when it reached the city. The 460 is now part of the permanent collection of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, where it is on display in Rolling Stock Hall following a multi-year restoration project. It is destined to be on display in the Museum's new Roundhouse exhibit building, when it is completed. You can read much more about the project on the museum's website or in the Spring 2016 issue of Pennsylvania Heritage magazine. UPDATE: the museum has posted a short video from the dedication of No. 460 after it was restored.

Fly casting at PA Lumber Museum Youth Field Day
Fly casting instruction at PA Lumber Museum Youth and Family Field Day (more photos on Facebook)
Last weekend, the PA Lumber Museum held a Youth and Family Field Day where participants learned outdoor skills related to life in the lumber region. While much of the museum's exhibitry and programming is focused on the history of lumbering, another focus is preserving a balance among economic development, environmental protection, and recreational use of the forests and other natural areas. The activity stations for the field day were staffed by instructors from the museum and other local organizations. Site administrator Josh Roth reports that the instructors were pleased with how engaged the kids were and everyone seemed to have a great time learning new stuff and enjoying the outdoors (it was National Get Outdoors Day, by the way). One parent emailed on Monday to report that her son had enjoyed the day very much and was planning to return to the event next year (a sentiment expressed by a number of attendees. "He loved all the classes but seemed to pick up on Fly Fishing. We got home and he wanted to order a fly pole right away but I remember that his papa had a pole. I went digging and cleaned it all up for him. He practiced with that pole until 9:30 pm and then the next day went fishing! He didn't catch anything but it didn't matter to him, he loves it! Thanks Again!!!" I think you can consider that a rave review.

Eckley Archaeology Project Summer 2017
Eckley Archaeology Project 2017 has begun (via Facebook)

For the third summer (I think), a team from the University of Maryland is holding an archaeology field school on site at Eckley Miners' Village. This year's crew, made up of students, faculty members, and volunteers, started above ground by documenting extant outbuildings. Site administrator Bode Morin reports that the team found 160 outbuildings still standing. Eckley shares info about the field school on its Facebook page, but the Eckley Archaeology Project also has its own Facebook page and a blog detailing their work.

June 19 to 25 is #MuseumWeek, an international social media event showcasing museums, their collections, and the people who love them. The event started on Twitter but has expanded to include other platforms including Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Sina (in China). The overall focus this year is Women in Culture (#WomenMW), and each day has a different hashtag (6/19 - #foodMW; 6/20 - #sportsMW; 6/21 - #musicMW; 6/22 - #storiesMW; 6/23 - #booksMW; 6/24 - #travelsMW; 6/25 - #heritageMW). We always have some participation from sites on the Trails of History, so be sure to follow your favorite site. As you'll see below, Old Economy Village is out in front, previewing their links to some of the hashtags.



Other posts of interest...


Bushy Run Battlefield
June 17: Community Picnic—enjoy live music, children's games, and battlefield tours. $4 fee includes museum admission and tours; there will be food trucks on site if you want to purchase food (or bring your own picnic). Noon-5 pm.

Daniel Boone Homestead
June 17: Evening on the Green—this program includes colonial crafts and games, and live music by the Celtic Martin Family (more details on Facebook). Admission for this rain or shine event is $20 per car (free for FDBH members with membership card). Overall event time is 5-9 pm.

Ephrata Cloister
June 18: Father’s Day—enjoy a day out with dad and explore a unique historic site. Dads get in free. Noon-5 pm.

Graeme Park
June 18: Living History Sunday—learn about "Fathers and Family in the 1700s," featuring Dr. Thomas Graeme. Interactive living history throughout the event with a brief talk at 2 pm. Noon-3 pm.

Hope Lodge
June 18: Site open—Hope Lodge will be open the third Sunday of each month through October, with guided tours offered at 1 and 2:30 pm. Admission is charged. Free admission today for dads, in honor of Father's Day. 1-4 pm.

Old Economy Village
June 17: Saturday SpotlightNiceties and Necessities. Included in regular admission, so please start at the Visitor Center. 10 am-5 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
June 17: Brews & Bites at Pennsbury Manor—sample beers from Philadelphia-area craft brewers and enjoy food, musical entertainment, and demonstrations of historic beer brewing. The event page has info on ticket options; tickets are on sale now. Must be at least 21 to attend. 4-8 pm.
June 18: Sunday Programming—June 18: Open Hearth Cooking—the cooks will prepare 16th-, 17th-, and 18th-century recipes to explore how cooking techniques were evolving. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
June 18: 3rd Sunday Program—dads get free admission today in honor of Father's Day and this month's 3rd Sunday Program is a documentary about Gifford Pinchot, considered one of the fathers of American forestry. Museum is open 9 am-5 pm; documentary showing is at 1 pm.

Pennsylvania Military Museum
June 17-18: Guided Tours—on June weekends, the 1 pm guided tour is included in regular admission (normally an additional charge).
June 17: Buzzcut Saturday—just what it sounds like. Start the summer with a traditional boot camp haircut. Donations accepted or free with museum admission. 10 am-3 pm.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
June 16: Free Summer Friday—throughout the summer, museum admission will be free on Fridays. Learn at Lunchtime programming will also be offered (program details). Museum open 9 am-5 pm, lunchtime programming 12:15-12:45 pm.
June 18: Victorian Dance Ensemble—the performing troupe of the Civil War Dance Foundation will present demonstrations of period costume and dance. Museum admission is free. The museum is open noon-5 pm, dance demos at 1, 2, and 3 pm in Memorial Hall.

National Get Outdoors Day

The June program page has info on events and activities on the Trails of History through the end of the month.

Stan Hess leads walk on sustainable forestry trail
Retired forester Stan Hess leads a wildflower walk on the PA Lumber Museum's Sustainable Forestry Trail, May 2017 (via Facebook)
Tomorrow, June 10, is National Get Outdoors Day. I know, it snuck up on me too. Always does. I read about it in the electronic newsletter of the PA Parks and Forests Foundation. I was reminded of a tourism study from last year (I think) that showed that people who like to do outdoor activities also seem to really like exploring history (going to historic sites, etc.).

And that made me think about how many sites on the PA Trails of History offer some of both to the public. Many of our sites have beautiful grounds and parkland that people enjoy just for the sake of being outdoors. They may not even think about the history nearby. And many of our sites are looking for ways to gently remind those folks about the work and investment (of public and private dollars) it takes to maintain the grounds and preserve the history. But I digress.

Increasingly, staff and volunteers at PHMC sites are working with colleagues at state parks, which are part of the PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), to provide the public with experiences that satisfy or nurture historical curiosity alongside an appreciation of nature and of sustainable ways to interact with nature. (You may know that in early 2016, Washington Crossing Historic Park formally moved from PHMC's portfolio to DCNR's although it remains part of the PA Trails of History.) Recently, two programs came across my radar that reflect the cooperation between the two agencies.

Eckley Miners' Village forsythia
Spring at Eckley (via Facebook)
Last Thursday, as part of a program series geared to older adults and retirees, staff from Nescopeck State Park in Luzerne County teamed up with staff from Eckley Miners' Village. Attendees toured the village, learning about the history of anthracite mining, life in a patch town, and features of the natural landscape. Eckley has also been working to regularly interpret (through graphics panels on the grounds) natural features and the geology of coal, as well as attracting outdoor enthusiasts using the newly expanded Rails-to-Trails project connecting the village to Hazleton.

In late May, 73 students from Northern Potter Middle School visited the PA Lumber Museum. A Facebook post by the school district recounted that the students "toured the museum and the grounds and learned about lumber uses and the history of the lumber industry in Pennsylvania. They learned how foresters use different types of maps to make forestry decisions as well." Museum staff report that the students were really engaged and interested. The group then moved on to Lyman Run State Park, where they participated in hands-on activities to learn about logging methods and how loggers floated logs downstream. In addition, they assisted the museum with testing out a raft-building exercise for an upcoming summer camp program. (Photos of all of these activities are in the School District's Facebook post.)

In a different vein, The State Museum of PA's popular Story Time program moved outside last week to take advantage of some tree-shaded areas outside the museum.

Outdoor special events planned for June 10 are listed below. There are many more opportunities to be outdoors on the Trails of History (check the June program listing for more info):

Fort Pitt Museum
Living History Series—today's focus is the Ft. Pitt Fife and Drum Corps. Noon-4 pm.

Old Economy Village
Saturday Spotlight19th-century Foodways: Bread-baking and Cooking. Included in regular admission, so please start at the Visitor Center. 10 am-5 pm.

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
Youth and Family Field Day—this event, which runs 9 am-4 pm, is geared for students between the ages of 10 and 16, accompanied by an adult family member. Qualified instructors will teach a variety of outdoor skills: Wildlife Identification, Turkey Lore/Calling, Archery, Pellet Shooting, Astronomy (observing the sun through a special telescope), Fly Casting, Trapping, and Tree Identification. Thanks to sponsorships, this event is free, but registration is required. Registration closed yesterday, so if you're interested you must call TODAY, June 9, to see if space is available.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Historical and Nature-related Programs—environmental educator Katie Scott will lead a river's edge bird-watching session, 8:30-9:30 am (meet at the visitor center), and staff from Bucks County Library (Yardley branch) will offer storytime and a nature activity for kids of all ages, 2:30-3:30 pm in the picnic area across from the visitor center (visit Washington Crossing's events page for more information.

Updated info - additional outdoor opportunities on the Trails of History:

Ephrata Cloister is participating in the Ephrata Public Library's "Get Outdoors" program, as one of the stops on the program's landmarks scavenger hunt. Kids and their families use a map to visit parks and other outdoor venues in and around Ephrata. Each stop has a post with a metal symbol on top that is used to make a rubbing on the map. Ephrata Cloister's post represents a post office. For more information visit the project website.