So Much to Do

Happy First Day of Summer! With so much activity on the Trails of History, I've edited last week's post to focus on this weekend through next Thursday. The full June program page is still up if you're looking for info about next weekend, and the July page will be posted by the middle of next week (I'll add a link here when it's finished baking). Best wishes for a great weekend!

Sketch of two-story buildings at Ephrata Cloister by visiting school student
The historic meetinghouse (right) at Ephrata Cloister will be the setting for a performance by the Ephrata Cloister Chorus on Saturday, June 22 (details below). The drawing above was included on a note from a school student who recently visited the site (original and others are on Facebook)

Brandywine Battlefield
June 23: History in the Neighborhood—learn about other historic sites in the Brandywine area. Included in regular admission. Noon-4 pm.

Bushy Run Battlefield
June 22: Bushy Run Market—local vendors and artisans will be onsite on the 4th Saturday of each month through September. Admission for the market is free for visitors (more info on website for prospective vendors). 8 am-noon.

Eckley Miners’ Village
June 22-23: Patch Town Days—this year's program will focus on Italian immigrants to the anthracite region and the influence of Italian culture. There will be live music, dance performances, living history demonstrations, bocce ball, and village tours (see website for additional details). Admission charged. 10 am-5 pm both days.

Ephrata Cloister
June 22: Concert—the Ephrata Cloister Chorus will present a 20-minute program highlighting the community's musical heritage. The concert, which will take place in the original 1741 Saal (meetinghouse), is included in regular admission. Guided tours of selected buildings are offered at 10 am, noon, 2 and 3:30 pm; the concert will take place at 1 pm.

Woman in white dress carrying sign "States where women vote" in parade, Erie PA 1913
Suffragists marching in Perry Centennial Parade, 1913 Suffragists marching in Perry Week Parade, ca. 1916-19 (photo from Erie Maritime Museum exhibit, courtesy of T. McLaughlin) [my thanks to an eagle-eyed reader and photo historian for the correction to my caption]
Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara
Through June 30: Blue Star Museum exhibit—several items from the collection are on display in recognition of the museum's participation in the Blue Star Museums program (please note: most Trails of History sites are Blue Star Museums). The items are related to the World War I service of William L. Morrison and William H. Stine. The collection includes the earliest use of the Blue Star Flag, incorporated into personal items and a commercially-made flag to represent a man serving in the front lines. Included in regular admission during regular operating hours.
June 24th: Voting Rights Centennial—in honor of the centennial of the PA legislature’s ratification of the 19th Amendment, the museum has partnered with the Erie County League of Women Voters to offer a voter registration event in the Museum lobby 11 am-5 pm. The League of Women Voters will provide voter registration forms and information, as well as light refreshments. The Museum will display historic images and headlines from the July 8, 1913, Suffrage Parade that took place during Erie’s Perry Centennial celebrations. Erie’s Equal Franchise Association held Pennsylvania’s first suffrage march as part of the Women and Children’s Day during the Perry Centennial Week. Citizens not yet registered to vote are invited to mark this important anniversary by registering.

Fort Pitt Museum
Please visit the Fort Pitt website for information on programs and events.

Hope Lodge
UPDATE: Hope Lodge will not be open for Sunday tours June 23, 30, or July 7. They expect to reopen on July 14. Follow them on Facebook for updates.

Old Economy Village
June 24-28: Art Camp—students will use the exhibits, buildings, and gardens as inspiration as they learn various art media and techniques. Camp is open to students age 6 (if they've completed kindergarten) to 12 (registration info). 9 am-12:30 pm.

Hops plants growing in the garden at Pennsbury Manor
Hops growing in the garden at Pennsbury Manor (via Facebook)
Pennsbury Manor
June 23: Sunday ProgrammingBeer Brewing and Garden Highlights - visit the gardens and the brew house to see what's on offer. (Note: you might also want to get your tickets for Brews & Bites on June 29 - VIP and designated driver tickets are already sold out.) Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.

Pennsylvania Military Museum
June 22-23—the 1 pm guided tour is included in regular admission (normally an additional charge).

Pennsylvania State Archives
June 26: Archives Without Tears—this popular workshop presented by State Archives staff will be offered at The Hershey Story Museum on June 26. Details about the workshop agenda and instructions for registering with the host organization are available via the PA Museums website.

Somerset Historical Center
June 27: Lecture—presented in conjunction with the Heinz History Center and sponsored by The Fraternal Order of Eagles #1801, "The Fate of Four of Pennsylvania's Founding Fathers" explores the financial struggles faced by four signers of the Declaration of Independence (details on the website). Historian Perry K. Blatz will take a deep dive into the economic volatility of the early United States. Admission is free. 6-8 pm.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Please check the website for schedule and descriptions of planetarium shows.
June 21: Summer Fridays and Learn at Lunchtime—starting today and continuing through Aug. 23, Fridays are "Pay as you will." From 10 am to 3 pm, entrance to Curiosity Connection will be by timed tickets (numbers are limited). Regular fees apply for the Planetarium. Learn at Lunchtime program offered 12:15-12:45 pm: Wild Bird Adaptations. Museum is open 9 am-5 pm.
June 23: Exhibit opening and reception—“Art of the State,” the annual juried exhibition of Pennsylvania artists, opens today and continues through Sept. 8. Museum admission is free on June 23. Museum open noon-5 pm, exhibit awards ceremony begins at 1:30.
June 26, 27: Nature Lab—visit Nature Lab to learn about Leaf Identification (6/26) and Dinosaurs in Pennsylvania (6/27) from museum curators. Included in regular admission. 11:30 am.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Please visit the Washington Crossing Historic Park events page for info on events and programs.

On the Trails of History, June 14-27

The June program page takes you all the way to June 30, so if you're planning ahead, be sure to check it out.

Line of Revolutionary War reenactors with backs to camera
Brandywine Battlefield will host a living history program this Sunday (photo via Facebook)
Brandywine Battlefield
June 16: 18th Century Day—learn about life in the 18th century through living history presentations. Admission charged. Noon-4 pm.
June 23: History in the Neighborhood—learn about other historic sites in the Brandywine area. Included in regular admission. Noon-4 pm.

Bushy Run Battlefield
June 15: Wilderness Day—a day of hands-on learning about chores and skills of daily life. Designed for adults and children. Registration and payment required by June 1 (see website for forms). $15 per person. 10 am-3 pm.
June 19: History Speaks Series—this month's topic is "The Jacobites: History and Culture," presented by the Thompson Highlanders. $10 in advance, $12 at the door (members receive 10% discount). More information is on the website. 7 pm.
June 22: Bushy Run Market—local vendors and artisans will be onsite on the 4th Saturday of each month through September. Admission for the market is free for visitors (more info on website for prospective vendors). 8 am-noon.

Cornwall Iron Furnace
June 15: Revolutionary War Demo—the 1st Regiment Flying Camp of Lancaster County will provide a living history program at the site (more info on Facebook event page or in this article from Leb Town). 9 am-4 pm.

Daniel Boone Homestead
June 15: Evening on the Green—this program includes food vendors, A'Dello Vineyard and Winery, Frecon's Cidery, and live music by Hogan's Heroes (a local band that plays classic rock and blues). Bring your lawn chairs or blankets for a relaxing evening (more info on Facebook event page). Admission is $7 per person for age 13 and up; free for age 12 and under. 5-9 pm.

Eckley Miners’ Village
June 22-23: Patch Town Days—this year's program will focus on Italian immigrants to the anthracite region and the influence of Italian culture. There will be live music, dance performances, living history demonstrations, bocce ball, and village tours (see website for additional details). Admission charged. 10 am-5 pm both days.

Ephrata Cloister
(Listing added 6/19) June 22: Concert—the Ephrata Cloister Chorus will present a 20-minute program highlighting the community's musical heritage. The concert, which will take place in the original 1741 Saal (meetinghouse), is included in regular admission. Guided tours of selected buildings are offered at 10 am, noon, 2 and 3:30 pm; the concert will take place at 1 pm.

Don't Give Up the Ship flag with image of Niagara inside
Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara will commemorate the 207th anniversary of U.S. declaration of war on Great Britain in 1812 (see below for June 18 program info)
Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara
Through June 30: Blue Star Museum exhibit—several items from the collection are on display in recognition of the museum's participation in the Blue Star Museums program (please note: most Trails of History sites are Blue Star Museums). The items are related to the World War I service of William L. Morrison and William H. Stine. The collection includes the earliest use of the Blue Star Flag, incorporated into personal items and a commercially-made flag to represent a man serving in the front lines. Included in regular admission during regular operating hours.
June 18: 207th Anniversary of the War of 1812—the museum will be commemorating the anniversary of the U.S. declaration of war on Great Britain and kicking off this summer's "Experience History Rolling Cart" program (available Tuesday-Saturday through August 31). See if you have what it takes to serve in Commodore Perry's Lake Erie fleet. Take a recruiting "exam", pack your seabag, learn the ropes and see if you can lift a 12 pound cannon ball with the help of mechanical advantage. Ask about the new maritime art scavenger hunt while you're there. Included in regular admission. Noon-2 pm.
June 24th: Voting Rights Centennial—in honor of the centennial of the PA legislature’s ratification of the 19th Amendment, the museum has partnered with the Erie County League of Women Voters to offer a voter registration event in the Museum lobby 11 am-5 pm. The League of Women Voters will provide voter registration forms and information, as well as light refreshments. The Museum will display historic images and headlines from the July 8, 1913, Suffrage Parade that took place during Erie’s Perry Centennial celebrations. Erie’s Equal Franchise Association held Pennsylvania’s first suffrage march as part of the Women and Children’s Day during the Perry Centennial Week. Citizens not yet registered to vote are invited to mark this important anniversary by registering.
Through Fall 2019: New exhibit—“Ballast Technology: Saving Ships, Lives, and the Environment” features a history of materials used to ballast ships, as well as disasters resulting from improperly ballasted vessels. The traveling panels, sponsored by The Great Lakes Protection Fund, also focus on the need to remove invasive species from ballast water in modern ships. Erie Maritime Museum has augmented the panels with exhibit cases featuring Niagara’s ballast, 200 years ago and today, as well as examples of ballast water-borne invasive species, courtesy of PA Sea Grant. Along with environmental issues, invasive species such as zebra and quagga mussels also pose a real threat to our underwater maritime heritage when they build colonies on shipwrecks. The exhibit displays dramatic images of the War of 1812 wrecks Hamilton and Scourge in Lake Ontario, showing damage done by these mussels over the past 30 years. Included in regular admission.

Fort Pitt Museum
Please visit the Fort Pitt website for information on programs and events.

Graeme Park
June 16: Living History Sunday—learn about tavern games in the colonial era from costumed living history interpreters. The living history demos are free; fee for tours of the Keith House will be $5 for ages 12 and up, $3 for ages 3-11 (free for dads). Food and drink will be available for purchase, or you can bring a picnic lunch. Noon-3 pm.

Hope Lodge mansion with people in chairs on lawn listening to concert
Hope Lodge recently hosted the Ambler Symphony for an outdoor concert (photo via Facebook)
Hope Lodge
UPDATE: Hope Lodge will not be open for Sunday tours June 23, 30, or July 7. They expect to reopen on July 14. Follow them on Facebook for updates.

Old Economy Village
June 15: Introduction to Woodworking—learn about basic techniques and tools used in the 19th century. Class is free, but space is limited (registration info). 10 am-1 pm.
UPDATE 6/20 THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED June 20: Culture and Foods of the Eastern European Immigrants—this event kicks off a new food series that will explore different cultures through food. Chris Furis is today's presenter. The event is free, but you must pre-register by calling the site at 724/266-4500. 7-8 pm.
June 24-28: Art Camp—students will use the exhibits, buildings, and gardens as inspiration as they learn various art media and techniques. Camp is open to students age 6 (if they've completed kindergarten) to 12 (registration info). 9 am-12:30 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
June 15: Colonial Catwalk—try on reproduction 17th-century clothing and take it for a walk around the grounds. This is a members only event, but it's very easy to join (info on the website). 10 am-4 pm.
June 16 & 23: Sunday Programming—June 16, Open Hearth Cooking—the cooks will prepare 17th-century beverages; June 23, Beer Brewing and Garden Highlights—visit the gardens and the brew house to see what's on offer. Sunday programs included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
June 20: Paint & Sip—you'll be guided through the creation of an architectural painting inspired by the beauty of Pennsbury Manor. BYOB. Reservations required (more info on website). 6-8 pm.

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
June 15: Third Weekend Program—Linda Ordiway, a wildlife biologist with the Ruffed Grouse Society, will discuss Pennsylvania's state bird (designated in 1931) and other topics related to forest and wildlife conservation in Pennsylvania. Included in regular admission. 1 pm.

Pennsylvania Military Museum
June 14: Flag Day Programs—from 4:30 to 5:30 pm, the Bellefonte Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will present a program honoring Anna Keichline, architect, inventor, suffragist, and special agent in military intelligence during World War I (details on museum website and PHMC historical marker database). Featured speaker is Nancy Perkins FIDSA, DAR member and Keichline's great niece. From 6 to 7 pm, State College Elks Lodge and local veterans organizations will hold their annual Flag Day service and U.S. Flag Retirement Ceremony on the Shrine parade grounds. Attendees are invited to bring U.S. flags that are no longer serviceable; the flags will be disposed of properly.
June 15-16, 22-23—on weekends in June, the 1 pm guided tour is included in regular admission (normally an additional charge).
June 16: The True Story of Winnie the Poohthis presentation and movie explore the story of a Canadian Regimental veterinarian in World War I, a bear that ended up in the London Zoo, and how they inspired author A.A. Milne. Donations encouraged. 1:30-2:30 pm.

Pennsylvania State Archives
June 26: Archives Without Tears—this popular workshop presented by State Archives staff will be offered at The Hershey Story Museum on June 26. Details about the workshop agenda and instructions for registering with the host organization are available via the PA Museums website.

Five women in black dresses with brass instruments
Calliope Brass (photo via Facebook)
Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
June 15: Brass Quintet—Calliope Brass will be performing “Iron Horse” at the museum at 11 am and again at noon. This tribute to steam engines is a new composition for brass quintet by Kevin McKee. The New York-based Calliope Brass is an innovative ensemble on a mission to bring stories to life through music; they play a repertoire ranging from jazz to classical, pops to swing, and everything in between. Included in regular admission.

Somerset Historical Center
June 27: Lecture—presented in conjunction with the Heinz History Center, "The Fate of Four of Pennsylvania's Founding Fathers" explores the financial struggles faced by four signers of the Declaration of Independence (details on the website). Historian Perry K. Blatz will take a deep dive into the economic volatility of the early United States. Admission is free. 6-8 pm.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Please check the website for schedule and descriptions of planetarium shows.
June 20: Curiosity Kids—explore Bubbles of all types. The program is designed for kids ages 3-6 to bridge the activities in Curiosity Connection with galleries in the museum. Included in general admission, but space is limited, so be sure to sign up at the front desk when you arrive. 11:30 am-noon.
June 21: Summer Fridays and Learn at Lunchtime—starting June 21 and continuing through Aug. 23, Fridays are "Pay as you will." From 10 am to 3 pm, entrance to Curiosity Connection will be by timed tickets (numbers are limited). Regular fees apply for the Planetarium. Learn at Lunchtime program offered 12:15-12:45 pm: Wild Bird Adaptations. Museum is open 9 am-5 pm.
June 23: Exhibit opening and reception—“Art of the State,” the annual juried exhibition of Pennsylvania artists, opens today and continues through Sept. 8. Museum admission is free on June 23. Museum open noon-5 pm, exhibit awards ceremony begins at 1:30. ADDED 6/24: check out this cool interactive map showing the works of art and where the artists are from.
June 26, 27: Nature Lab—visit Nature Lab to learn about Leaf Identification (6/26) and Dinosaurs in Pennsylvania (6/27) from museum curators. Included in regular admission. 11:30 am.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Please visit the Washington Crossing Historic Park events page for info on events and programs.

Snapshots from the Trails of History

Last week's post has info on events through Thursday, June 13, and the June program page takes you through the end of the month.

Time for a brief roundup of items that have come across my radar recently.

Gilpin House at Brandywine Battlefield with large sycamore tree to left
Gideon Gilpin House at Brandywine Battlefield Park with large sycamore tree (photo Elizabeth Bertheaud)
Longwood Gardens (Chester County) recently posted on their blog about a 4-foot tall sycamore tree planted on the grounds in April. The new tree was grown from cuttings taken by Longwood staff of the approximately 290-year-old sycamore that stands beside the Gideon Gilpin House at Brandywine Battlefield Park (see photo above). The cuttings, taken in 2017, were propagated in Longwood's nursery until ready for planting. According to Longwood arborist Scott Wade, "The result is our new tree now planted in Peirce’s Park, two more recently planted near the springhouse at Brandywine Battlefield...Park, and an additional seven to be planted at the Haverford College Arboretum ... all of which are genetic matches to the original Brandywine Battlefield sycamore." You can read more about the project (and some of the legends of the original tree) in the full blog post.

A recent Facebook post from the Friends of Joseph Priestley House congratulated one of their docents and board members on her nomination for Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year 2020. Colleen Epler-Ruths, PhD, teaches physics and computer science at Shikellamy High School in Sunbury. Nominations for Teacher of the Year come from students, parents, peers, and community members who wish to honor an educator for their work in and out of the classroom. Dr. Epler-Ruths is one of just a dozen finalists from around the Commonwealth. The Teacher of the Year 2020 will be announced in December of this year.




The Pennsylvania Trails of History, May 31-June 13

Metal wheel with fire around rim at Scranton Iron Furnaces event
The Ring of Fire (shown here at 2012 event) will be part of the Arts on Fire Festival (via Facebook)

Anthracite Heritage Museum and Scranton Iron Furnaces
May 31: Charity Cask for a Cause—as is their habit on the last Friday of every month, Cooper's Seafood will be tapping a firkin (small keg/about 10 gallons) of real ale for a special charity happy hour. This month, the beneficiary is the Anthracite Heritage Museum & Scranton Iron Furnaces. Raffles and other fun will benefit the museum and its programs. The firkin is tapped promptly at 5 pm; event ends at 8 (or sooner).
June 7-9: Arts on Fire Festival—this popular annual event returns to the Scranton Iron Furnaces. From the Friday evening fundraiser to the free admission events with art, music, food trucks and more, this is a must-see festival (more details on the Facebook event page). ADDED sign up for immersive industrial arts workshops offered on June 9 at the event (more info with links on Facebook page).

Brandywine Battlefield
June 8: Georgius Rex Day—celebrate the birthday of King George III and learn about all things British in pre-Revolutionary Pennsylvania. Admission charged. Noon-4 pm.
June 9: Kid's Day—enjoy family-friendly activities on a Sunday afternoon. Admission charged for adults, but kids get in free. Noon-4 pm.

Bushy Run Battlefield
June 1: Bushy Run Ghost Tour—Bushy Run tour guides and members of a visiting paranormal group will work in teams to guide visitors on a night-time tour of the battlefield (more info on Facebook event page). Cost is $20 for adults, $10 for children age 12 and under (must be accompanied by an adult). No advance reservations required. 9 pm-3 am.

Conrad Weiser Homestead
June 1: Summer Hours Begin—during the summer, the site is open Wednesdays 10 am-4 pm, Saturdays 10 am-4 pm, and Sundays noon-4 pm. Guided tours will be available most days.
June 2: Colonial Craft Day and Forest Diplomacy—craft demonstrators will share the historical context, materials, and equipment of a variety of mid- to late-18th-century trades. Some demonstrators will also have items for sale. 11 am-4 pm. At 2 pm, there will be a presentation of an Edge of the Woods ceremony, an important part of 18th-century diplomacy among Native American nations and between Native Americans and Europeans.

Cornwall Iron Furnace
June 11: Annual Dinner and Lecture—Dinner and program will be held at The Timbers in Mt. Gretna. Patrick Donmoyer will present "Powwowing in Pennsylvania," exploring traditional ritual healing practices. Tickets are $35 per person (more info, including how to make reservations (deadline is June 1), on website). 6:30 pm.

Drake Well Museum and Park
June 1: National Trails Day—the Titusville Area Trails Association will offer trail-themed, family-friendly activities and guided hikes based at the Jersey Bridge Trailhead at Drake Well Museum and Park (more info on Facebook). 10 am-3 pm.
June 8: Wildcatter Festival—help kick off the summer season at Historic Pithole City, the remains of a 19th-century oil boomtown (Pithole's visitor center is open weekends June-August). Planned activities include food, guided tours, living history demonstrations, and live music (please check website for directions). Admission will be charged. 10 am-4 pm.

Erie Maritime Museum and Flagship Niagara
June 1: Mariner’s Ball—enjoy live entertainment, silent and live auctions, food and drink, and fireworks. Visit the website for details on purchasing tickets (must be at least 21 years old to attend).

Fort Pitt Museum
Please visit the Fort Pitt website for information on programs and events.

Graeme Park
June 2: Antiques Appraisal with Locati, LLC—an appraiser from Locati, LLC (based in Maple Glen) will give a brief talk on the antiques market and then provide an assessment of items brought by attendees (details on website). Tickets are available on Eventbrite. 3-5 pm.

Hope Lodge
June 1: Ales and Petals/Cars and Motorcycles of England—two events in one! Set up your lawn chairs and picnic blankets in the gardens to enjoy food; live music; tastings of craft beers, wines and ciders (age 21 and older with valid ID); and classic British automobiles. This event will also feature tours of the mansion. 10 am-4 pm.
June 5: Ambler Symphony Concert—bring a chair or blanket, a picnic dinner or snack, and enjoy beautiful music on the lawn. Concert and parking are free, donations are accepted. 7-8 pm (rain date is June 12).
June 9: Site open—each Sunday through October, Hope Lodge is open for tours. Admission is charged. Site is open 1-4 pm with guided tours at 1:00 and 2:30.

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
June 6: History Program—this day-long program will explore the life of African American inventor, machinist, and spiritual leader William Chester Ruth and place it in the context of Lancaster and Chester County history. Attendees will also view examples of Ruth's work in the Landis Valley collection. This is a free program (thanks to a grant from the H.F. Lenfest Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation), but registration is required (program flyer has details). A light lunch will be provided. (Read more in this article from Lancaster Online.) 10 am-2:30 pm.

Old Economy Village
June 2: Wedding Showcase—a wide variety of wedding vendors (including bakeries) will be on hand for this event. It's also a chance to see how the event spaces at OEV can be set up. Admission is free. Check out the Facebook event page for list of vendors and contact info for registration. 1-4 pm.
June 8: Broom-making Class—make a broom using traditional methods and antique equipment. Class is free, but space is limited (registration info). 10 am-4 pm.
June 8: Presentation—Steve Mihaly will present "Marketing the Presidency" and display pieces from his collection of campaign memorabilia, focusing on western PA (more info on website). 5:30-6:30 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
June 1: Monthly Book Club—this month's book is Paul Revere & the World He Lived In by Esther Forbes (published in 1942 and awarded the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1943). Pennsbury's book club meets the first Saturday of every month (website has more info on how to sign up). 10-11 am.
June 2 and 9: Special Programming—June 2, Historic Trades Day—the blacksmith and the joyner will demonstrate the skills needed to make equipment for the estate; June 9, Living History Theater—“The Funeral of Phineas Pemberton.” Sunday programs included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
June 8: Conversations in History—the topic this month is "The Dark Night," exploring how changes in lighting changed our lives (more info on the website). 10-11 am.

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
June 8: Youth and Family Field Day—this event is sponsored by the Black Forest Sportsman's Club and is geared for students between the ages of 10 and 16, accompanied by an adult. Qualified instructors will teach a variety of outdoor skills (more info on the museum website). Lunch and equipment will be provided. The event is free, but YOU MUST PRE-REGISTER by JUNE 6 (form and instructions).

Pennsylvania Military Museum
June 1-2, 8-9: Guided Tours—on weekends, the 1 pm guided tour is included in regular admission (normally an additional charge).
June 1: Exploring the Armor—a special guided tour of the tracked vehicles displayed on the museum grounds, including a chance to look inside the crew compartments. Cost is $15 ($5 for Friends of the PA Military Museum). Participation is limited, and the tour does sell out, so act fast by using the online registration form. 2 pm.
June 2: Friends’ Lecture Series—speaker is Rep. Sam Hayes Jr., presenting "General Westmoreland Saved My Life". Donations encouraged. 2-3 pm.

Pennsylvania State Archives
June 11 and 26: Archives Without Tears—this popular workshop presented by State Archives staff will be offered twice this summer - at Bradford County Historical Society on June 11 and at The Hershey Story Museum on June 26. Details about the workshop agenda and instructions for registering with the host organizations are available via the PA Museums website.

Somerset Historical Center
June 2: Photo contest—entries from non-members of the Laurel Highlands Photography Club will be accepted today between noon and 3 pm (rules page 1 and rules page 2 on LHPC's Facebook page). Entries will be on exhibit at SHC June 12-30 during regular hours.
June 7: First Friday Food Fest—come down and enjoy a casual dinner, selected from a variety of local food trucks and vendors (details on Facebook event page). There will be live music and tractor-drawn hay rides. This is a new event that will take place the first Friday of July and August as well. Admission is free; $2 per vehicle for parking. 5-8 pm.
June 8: Family Fun 5K Run/Walk—SHC has a groomed trail that runs through woods and meadows, circling back around to the main site; once around is 5K (but you can take more than one lap). There's no admission charge, and maps are available. This event will also be offered the first Saturday of July and August. 8 am-noon.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Please check the website for schedule and descriptions of planetarium shows.
June 4: Documentary Preview—see a preview of a new documentary series, "College Behind Bars," by Peabody Award winner Lynn Novick. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion, emceed by WITF's Scott LaMar, on the role of education in Pennsylvania's prisons (details and panelists on the website). The program is free, but reservations are required (link to contact WITF to RSVP). June 7: StoryTime—this month's book is What a Treasure by Jane and Will Hillenbrand. Listen to the story and play a game to dig for treasure. This program is designed for ages 3 to 5 with an adult. Included in regular admission. 10:30 am.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Please visit the Washington Crossing Historic Park events page for info on events and programs.

Memorial Day 2019

Last week's post has program info through next Thursday, May 30, including which Trails of History sites will be open on May 27 for Memorial Day. Not all sites will be open, so please check before you go. PHMC's Trails of History sites are Blue Star Museums, offering free admission to active duty military personnel and their families.

NOTE 5/28/19: This post has been updated to include more links from Trails of History sites related to Memorial Day.


Memorial Day. There are disagreements about its origins, with multiple communities claiming to be its birthplace (this Wikipedia article lists the contenders). It is sometimes confused or conflated with Veterans Day (the VA clears that up on their website). It is the unofficial start to summer (we don't need no stinkin' solstice). At its core is the remembrance of those who have died in military service, but there are numerous other associated meanings and traditions that have evolved over the years.

US and other colorful flags and military personnel in front of stone wall of 28th Division Shrine
Photo from PA Military Museum Facebook page

Last weekend, the Pennsylvania Military Museum hosted the annual Celebration of Service, the U.S. Army reunion and memorial service sponsored by the Pennsylvania National Guard and commemorating the Pennsylvanian Citizen Soldier with a military band concert and equipment displays. Honoring those who died in service, veterans, and active duty military, the event takes place in front of the 28th Division National Shrine (see photo above). You can find many more photos of this year's event on the museum's Facebook page.

ADDED 5/28/19: On 25-26, the Pennsylvania Military Museum (PMM) presented its annual World War II Revisited program and posted photos on Facebook. The Pennsylvania Lumber Museum shared one of PMM's Facebook posts that featured Alfred L. Wilson, a Medal of Honor recipient who had served in the Civilian Conservation Corps prior to enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1943 (read his story here). Hope Lodge reminded us of the 150 Continental soldiers killed or wounded in the Battle of Whitemarsh in 1777 (see post on Facebook). And Erie Maritime Museum described the reality of warships during the War of 1812 (read more here).


Metal cooking pots suspended over a wood burning fire
Photo from Ephrata Cloister Facebook page

Many people find time during the Memorial Day weekend for a cookout. Last weekend, as part of a fundraiser for an upcoming trip, the Student Historians at Ephrata Cloister learned about and demonstrated 18th-century cooking techniques (see photo above) using an open fire. It was a little more complicated than the hot dogs I'll probably grill, but then, what isn't? There are more images on Ephrata's Facebook page.




Perhaps your idea of the perfect Memorial Day weekend is a hike in the woods or a camping trip. You'll find plenty of info on the PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources website. A visit to the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum can include some hiking and nearby camping. Be sure to check out (and heed) the museum's collection of Smokey Bear posters (see above).

Brick walking path shaded by trees at Pennsbury Manor
Photo from Pennsbury Manor Facebook page
Or you may prefer something more contemplative and quiet...


However you choose to spend your weekend, I hope you will find time for some history and reflection.

Along the Pennsylvania Trails of History, May 17-30

Many, but not all, Trails of History sites will be open May 27 for Memorial Day. Sites planning to be open on Memorial Day are noted below, but please check ahead with the site you want to visit to make sure they will be open when you want to be there.

Display of dried herbs at Graeme Park
Learn about colonial housekeeping chores at Graeme Park's Living History Sunday on May 19 (see below for more information)
Anthracite Heritage Museum
May 27: Memorial Day—open 9 am-5 pm.

Brandywine Battlefield Park
May 19: History in the Neighborhood—learn about Brandywine Battlefield Park and other historic sites in the area. Included in regular admission. Noon-4 pm.
May 27: Memorial Day—open 9 am-4 pm.

Bushy Run Battlefield
May 25: Bushy Run Market—on the fourth Saturday of each month through September, a variety of vendors and concessionaires will be on hand. There is no charge to visit the market; vendors can find info on the website. 8 am-noon.

Cornwall Iron Furnace
May 27: Memorial Day—open 9 am-5 pm.

Daniel Boone Homestead
May 26: French and Indian War Militia Drill and Instruction—learn about soldier life in the mid-1700s (more info on website). Included in regular admission. 11 am-3 pm.

Drake Well Museum and Park
May 18: MEET-U in 5 & 1/2—enjoy a 5-mile or 13-mile (half marathon) run through the grounds of Drake Well Museum and Oil Creek State Park and help the museum’s MEET-U educational outreach program. Registration is required; registration form is on the web. You must register by May 5 to guarantee a race shirt.
May 25: Something More Saturday—special activities in addition to the museum's core and changing exhibits (indoor and outdoor). This month's focus is "Cooking in the Oilfield." Blacksmith demonstrations will also be offered. Included in regular admission. 10 am-3 pm.
May 27: Memorial Day—open 9 am-5 pm.

Eckley Miners' Village
May 27: Memorial Day—open 9 am-5 pm.

Ephrata Cloister
May 24-26: Printmaking Workshop—printmaker Dan Welden will lead a workshop on "solarplate" printing (more info, including how to register, in an article from Lancaster Farming). Fee charged. 10 am-4 pm.
May 27: Memorial Day—open 9 am-5 pm.

Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara
May 27: Memorial Day—open 9 am-5 pm.

Fort Pitt Museum
Please visit the website for information on events and schedules this month.

Graeme Park
May 19: Living History Sunday—learn what it took to keep a colonial household running. Living history demonstrations are free of charge; admission fees apply to tour the Keith House. Noon-3 pm.

Hope Lodge
May 19: Site open—Hope Lodge is open for tours most Sundays through October; they will be closed on May 26. Admission is charged. Site is open 1-4 pm; guided tours are offered at 1 and 2:30.

Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
May 27: Memorial Day—open 9 am-5 pm.

Old Economy Village
May 25: Blacksmithing Class - Beyond the Basics—this class is for you if you've taken OEV's intro to blacksmithing or already have basic blacksmithing skills and want to move on to an intermediate level (more details). Class is free, but space is limited; please register by May 15 by calling David Miller, 724/266-4500 x110. 10 am-1 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
May 19 and 26: Sunday Programming—May 19, "Open Hearth Cooking: Old Recipes and Old Friends" and May 26, "Beer Brewing and Garden Highlights." Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
May 27: Memorial Day—open 9 am-5 pm.

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
May 25: Community Yard Sale—yard sale will be set up near the Route 6 entrance to the museum grounds. Call Bob at 814/435-2652 to register for a space. 9 am-5 pm.
May 27: Memorial Day—open 9 am-5 pm.

Pennsylvania Military Museum
May 19: A Celebration of Service—US Army reunion and memorial service sponsored by the PA National Guard and held on the museum grounds (photos of previous programs). Museum is open 10 am-5 pm (ceremony begins at 12:30 pm, but military vehicles, helicopters, and equipment begin arriving earlier in the day).
May 25: Military Museum Murph—the "Murph" is a Crossfit workout named for Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a Navy SEAL killed in action in 2005. This is the Military Museum's first Murph event. Online registration and more info can be found on the museum website. There is a cost to participate but parking for athletes is free. Spectators are welcome ($5 charge for parking). 9 am-3 pm.
May 25-26: World War II Revisited—Allied and Axis WWII reenactors will be bivouacked on the museum grounds portraying field life in the European Theater of Operations, 1944-45. This year's event will include representation of the 111th Naval Construction Battalion (Seabees) and their role during the D-Day invasion (75 years ago). There will also be several temporary exhibits exploring aspects of WWII, including the role of women (more info in Altoona Mirror article). Grounds will be open 10 am-4 pm each day. There will be a short program followed by a tactical demo at 12:45 pm each day.
May 27: Memorial Day—the museum will be open 10 am-5 pm.
May 27: Allegheny Mountain Region AACA Car Show—kick off summer with pre-war through modern classics on the grounds of the museum. $5 for on-site parking. 9 am-4 pm.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
May 27: Memorial Day—the museum will be open 9 am-5 pm.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Visit the website for a complete schedule of this month's Planetarium shows.
May 29: Documentary—the WITF documentary "Penn's Woods: Cradle of Conservation" will be screened, followed by a panel discussion on Pennsylvania's environmental history (more info on the website). 5-7 pm (reception at 5, screening starts at 5:30).

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Please visit the website for information on this month's events and schedules.

Picture This!

Last week's post listed events through next Thursday (May 16) and the full May program page will take you to the end of the month.

Also, don't forget that next week (May 13-19) is @MuseumWeek, an international social media event with daily hashtags and a chance to share with museums worldwide.


You know what they say. I'm saving the thousand words and sharing these images of recent events and happenings on the Trails of History. Also, in what can best be called a "quirky" move, I've added a feature to the About Us section (to your right) called "PHMC Historical Marker Watch" where I can save Facebook posts, tweets, etc. that feature PHMC's blue and gold historical markers. I've noticed that lots of folks use those markers in images of other things to denote that the content is about history. So, to amuse myself if no one else, I decided to start gathering them in one place. There are only two entries on the page as of now, but I'll build as we go. Feel free to add your own examples in the comments. (UPDATE: It's not just me! Yay! Karen Galle, who oversees the PHMC Historical Marker program, pointed me to Laura Klotz's blog, "Marker Quest," that is focused on the markers.)

Staff of PHMC and DCNR standing in front of Webber Cabin
Photo provided by PA Lumber Museum

Earlier this week, while in the PA Wilds for various meetings, Cindy Adams Dunn, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), stopped by the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum. Dunn (third from right in the photo above) had a chance to visit the Webber Cabin. The relocation of Bob and Dotty Webber's cabin to the museum grounds was made possible by the work and cooperation of many people, including staff from DCNR, PHMC, and the Lumber Museum (site administrator Josh Roth is second from left in the photo) as well as volunteers and board members from the PA Lumber Museum Associates (a Trailheads post from July 2018 has more info). The working relationship between DCNR and the Lumber Museum/PHMC has been extraordinarily productive and has involved all aspects of operations, from structures and trails to exhibits and public programs. Secretary Dunn and other DCNR staff also had a brief tour of the museum's award-winning core exhibit, "Choices and Challenges in Pennsylvania's Forests" (photo below).

Visitors and staff in museum exhibit at PA Lumber Museum


Interior of historic wagon works with belt-driven machinery

Staff and volunteers from Cornwall Iron Furnace took a field trip to the Berks Heritage Center, Canal Museum, and the Gruber Wagon Works to check out how other industrial history sites tell their stories (via Facebook)


Tent and firewood that were part of Civil War encampment at PA Military Museum

Civilian and military reenactors took part in the PA Military Museum's recent Civil War encampment event (more photos of the Civil War event and photos of the World War I event are available on Facebook)


I'll leave you with the following video about a recent project featuring music composed at the Ephrata Cloister. It's about 5 minutes long and well worth your time (you can also go directly to YouTube to watch it).

On the Pennsylvania Trails of History, May 3-16

The full May program page is now available, with info on Memorial Day schedules and events through the end of the month.

Group photo of volunteer of the year honorees on stage of State Museum auditorium

PHMC Volunteer of the Year Honorees for Service in 2018, along with PHMC Executive Director, Commissioners, and Site Administrators, April 27, 2019. Read more about our honorees in last week's post (photo by Don Giles)

Anthracite Heritage Museum
May 4: Spring Tea—this year's event is a celebration of the ethnic cultures of the Scranton region and the impact of immigration on the region's past, present, and future. Cost is $20 and includes the program, tea, savory sandwiches, and ethnic confections. Adults and youth ages 12 and up are invited. Deadline for reservations is May 1 (more info on the Facebook event page). 1-4 pm.

Brandywine Battlefield Park
May 11: Encampment Day—learn about the lives of Continental soldiers during the American Revolution (more info on website). Admission charged. Noon-4 pm.
May 12: Kid's Day—enjoy an afternoon of family fun. Kids get in free (regular admission for adults). Noon-4 pm.

Nature trail in the woods at Bushy Run Battlefield
Imagine yourself on this trail when you attend the Spring Nature Walk at Bushy Run Battlefield (via Facebook)
Bushy Run Battlefield
May 4: Book Tour and Signing—author Jason Cherry will be at the site to discuss and sign copies of his new book, Pittsburgh's Lost Outpost: Captain Trent's Fort. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and there will be light refreshments (more info on Facebook event page). 10 am-noon.
May 11: Spring Nature Walk—this annual event takes participants on an exploration of the woods and fields around the site; cost is $5, free for members of Bushy Run Battlefield Heritage Society. No registration required; wear sturdy, water-resistant walking or hiking shoes and dress for the weather. 10 am.
May 15: History Speaks Seriesstay tuned for updates on topics, speakers, and future programs. 7 pm.

Conrad Weiser Homestead
May 4: Artisans in the Park—a wide variety of artists (including food artisans!) will be on site (detailed lists on the event website). Admission is free, and the event is rain or shine. 9 am-4 pm.
May 5: Living History Sunday—Carol Lash, author of a new book, Magdalena, will be having a reading of her book at 1:30 and 2:30 pm. Stone House History will be on site, there will be a shoemaking demo, and Darius Puff will be talking Native Culture. Admission is free. Noon-4 pm.

Cornwall Iron Furnace
May 14: Friends Lecture Series—historian Irwin Richman, research associate at Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum, will present "Founding Gardeners," a look at gardening and botany in early America (more info). Admission is free (donations are welcome). Lectures are held in Freeman Hall Auditorium at Cornwall Manor Retirement Community. 7 pm.

Daniel Boone Homestead
May 11: French and Indian War Militia Drill and Instruction—learn about soldier life in the mid-1700s. Blacksmithing demonstration also offered today (more info on website). Included in regular admission. 11 am-3 pm.

Eckley Miners' Village
ADDED New exhibit now open—Eckley has just added an exhibit on historic beekeeping to the visitor center offerings. More to learn, more to see. Open during regular hours (and special events) and included in admission.

Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara
May 4 11 (this is the correct date): Little Mates Discovery Day—family-friendly hands-on maritime activities. Cost is $10 per person (free for members). 10 am-noon.

Fort Pitt Museum
Please visit the website for information on events and schedules this month.

Keith House kitchen garden at Graeme Park
Keith House kitchen garden at Graeme Park (via Facebook)
Graeme Park
May 12: Mother's Day Breakfast—enjoy a delicious meal and tour the Keith House. Prepaid reservations are required and can be made online (link to Eventbrite). Seatings at 10:30, 11, and 11:30 am.

Hope Lodge
May 5 and 12: Site open—Hope Lodge is open for tours most Sundays through October; they will be closed on May 26. Admission is charged. Site is open 1-4 pm; guided tours are offered at 1 and 2:30.
May 5: Historian Hour—Sarah Biehl, Friends of Hope Lodge board member and curator of Peter Wentz Farmstead, will present a program on 18th-century Quaker Hannah Callender Sansom (more info). Admission is free. Noon-1 pm.

Joseph Priestley House
May 12: Mother's Day—site closed.

Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
May 10-11: Herb & Garden Faire—so many plants, plus lectures by gardening experts, garden furniture, herbal products and baked goods, and lots of great food by local groups and caterers. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $8 ages 6-11 (more info, vendor list, and link for online ticketing). 9 am-5 pm.

Old Economy Village
May 4-5: Garden Mart and Hands-On History Days—purchase heirloom varieties of plants grown in Old Economy's greenhouse (Garden Mart details) and learn about life in the 19th century through hands-on activities (Hands-On History Days info). Garden Mart is free, Hands-on History Days activities are included in regular admission. Sat. 10 am-5 pm, Sun. noon-5 pm.
May 15: Deadline to register for Blacksmithing Class - Beyond the Basics—this class, offered May 25, is for you if you've taken OEV's intro to blacksmithing or already have basic blacksmithing skills and want to move on to an intermediate level (more details). Class is free, but space is limited; please register by May 15 by calling David Miller, 724/266-4500 x110. 10 am-1 pm.
ADDED May 16: Lecture—Jeffrey Snedden, freelance writer and historical researcher, will present "Streetcar History of Beaver County" in the Visitor Center (more info). Presentation is free. 6-7:30 pm.

Women in 17th-century period clothing at Pennsbury Manor
Learn about the lives of Quaker women in the 17th century at the May 11 Conversations in History program (via Facebook)
Pennsbury Manor
May 4: Monthly Book Club—this month's selection is Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth (more info). 10-11 am.
May 5 and 12—May 5, "Historic Trades and Sheep Shearing"; May 12, "Living History Theater: Women's Monthly Meeting." Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
May 11: Conversations in History—this month's topic is "Quaker Women in the 17th Century" (more info). Admission charged. 10-11:30 am.

Pennsylvania Military Museum
May 4-5: Civil War Encampment—Civil War-era reenactors will be encamped on the grounds. Members of the 3rd Pennsylvania Volunteers will demonstrate loading and firing artillery pieces as they conduct their annual safety training and recruitment event. 10 am-4 pm.
May 5: Friends’ Lecture Series—CDR Richard L. Bigelow, USNR (ret.) will lead a discussion of the Korean War and how it has shaped modern North and South Korea, including a discussion of the current nuclear crisis with North Korea. 2-3 pm.
May 16: Presentation—historian Jared Frederick will present his new book, "Dispatches of D-Day: A People's History of the Normandy Invasion." Event is free. 7-9 pm.

Somerset Historical Center
May 11: Fraktur Fest—this is an opportunity to learn more about your Pennsylvania German fraktur pieces and have them documented. Art consultant Jean Woods will present a brief lecture at 10 am. Museum staff will scan fraktur for further study and possible exhibition (more info). You may bring fraktur for documentation anytime between 10 am and 2 pm.
May 11: Baseball Lecture—a speaker from the Heinz History Center will present "Growing Up with Baseball in Pittsburgh." 2-4 pm.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Visit the website for a complete schedule of this month's Planetarium shows.
May 3: StoryTime—this month's story is Showtime for Flip-Flop by Janice Levy (more info). The program is designed for children 3-5 years of age with an adult. Included in regular admission. 10:30 am.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Please visit the website for information on this month's events and schedules.

Volunteers of the Year

Please see last week's post for upcoming events on the PA Trails of History.

As National Volunteer Month draws to a close, we will gather tomorrow to honor volunteers for their service in 2018. The annual Volunteer of the Year Awards is one of my favorite events of the year. It's always a pleasure to learn about the variety of skills and talents our volunteers bring to our sites and museums to share with the public. Whether providing tours and information to on-site visitors, supporting collections care and management efforts behind the scenes, or conducting research in archival collections, volunteers are vitally important to our work on the Pennsylvania Trails of History.

This year's honorees, including four recipients of the Outstanding Service Award, are pictured below, and there is a link for each so that you can read more about their volunteer activities. Please join me in congratulating them and thanking them for their support of PHMC's historic sites and museums.

Outstanding Service Award Recipients


Robert Zimmerman, Eckley Miners' Village (citation)

Linda Bolla, Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara (citation)

Robert Siever, Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum (citation)

Susan Plaisted, Pennsbury Manor (citation)

Volunteers of the Year for Service in 2018


Juliana Puccini, Anthracite Heritage Museum & Scranton Iron Furnaces (citation)

Nicholas Rodia, Brandywine Battlefield Park (citation)

Emily Liska, John Harris, and Nick Sopko, Bushy Run Battlefield (citation)

David Hoffman, Conrad Weiser Homestead (citation)

Karin Mitchell, Cornwall Iron Furnace (citation)

William Jewell, Daniel Boone Homestead (citation)

Mary Jane Hiller, Drake Well Museum and Park (citation)

The Neyhart Family (not pictured), Eckley Miners' Village (citation)

Julia Murphy, Ephrata Cloister (citation)

Mary Kay Sanner, Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara (citation)

Steven Griffith, Graeme Park (citation)

Coleen Bant, Hope Lodge (citation)

Sam Geise, Joseph Priestley House (citation)

Sharon O'Neal-Lehner and Dawn Snyder, Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum (citation)

Cynthia Pagesh, Old Economy Village (citation)

Beth Lepianka, Pennsbury Manor (citation)

Jack Deurer, Pennsylvania Lumber Museum (citation)

Victor Campbell, Pennsylvania Military Museum (citation)

William Cole, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania (citation)

Judy Swank, Somerset Historical Center (citation)

Andy Stauffer, The State Museum of Pennsylvania (citation)