More Farm Show and Other Stuff

The January program page has this weekend's events. Please note that most Trails of History sites will be closed on Monday, Jan. 15, for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. The Railroad Museum of PA will be open (although they are generally closed on Mondays Nov.-March).

More PA Farm Show!!

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum volunteer Karen Gunderson with visitors at the 2018 Pennsylvania Farm Show (via Facebook)
Last week's post was focused on the various PHMC activities going on at the 102nd Pennsylvania Farm Show. I might also have mentioned the food. The Farm Show continues through tomorrow, January 13, so there is still time to learn about farm technology and agriculture or to search for your family's roots (and eat donuts).

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum has shared photos of visitors to their booth in the Main Hall, and PHMC posted video of our executive director, Andrea Lowery, demonstrating a piece of farm technology on display. You can also find photos and video of the State Museum's Archaeology display and the State Archives and State Historic Preservation Office "Find Your Story" booth (see below).

And Other Stuff...

Only because the weather is temporarily warming up am I willing to share this photo of the springhouse at Conrad Weiser Homestead. Although the site is closed to the public for the winter, they are posting periodically. This photo from their Facebook page shows that even though the weather last week was abysmally cold and the water bucket had a ring of ice, the spring was still flowing. I can only image how cold that water felt.

Source: Conrad Weiser Homestead Facebook page
Thanks to the Friends of Hope Lodge for the following: "On Wednesday morning, January 11, Historic Hope Lodge was featured on Philadelphia’s NBC10. The Morning Team's 'On the Road' segment was in Fort Washington, Montgomery County, to discuss businesses and organizations that make the area thrive. The short feature included video of both the interior and exterior of the historic mansion and included a brief interview with Friends of Hope Lodge board member and Volunteer Coordinator, Diane Horan, on the role the property played during the American Revolution and video from the annual 1777 Whitemarsh Encampment reenactment." I tried to find a video clip of the Hope Lodge visit but was only able to find the piece that introduced the overall segment (plus their visit to a local Wawa). The Friends provided a photo of Diane being interviewed.

Diane Horan explains Hope Lodge's place in the history of the American Revolution (photo Hope Lodge)

And finally a reminder that Museum Selfie Day (@MuseumSelfieDay) is coming up next week. On Wednesday, Jan. 17, museums and historic sites around the world will participate in this popular social media event. We're encouraging staff and volunteers at Trails of History sites to take part and hope that our visitors will as well. Please use #MuseumSelfie and tag the site and @phmc so we can share in the fun. On a related note, the Google Arts & Culture app now includes a feature that matches your selfie to works of art to find your doppelganger. It might be a fun thing to try on Museum Selfie Day. DISCLAIMER: I have not tried the app (yet) and am not responsible for your venture into facial recognition technology.

I found my own doppelganger on Museum Selfie Day 2017 with this portrait of Hannah Penn at The State Museum of Pennsylvania

PA Farm Show!!!

Please check the January program page for info on events. I'll be updating the page as 2018 calendars come online.

It's PA Farm Show time (Jan. 6-13)! And you know what that means. Arguments about whether "Farm Show weather" is a thing (given this week's weather - it's a thing). Decisions about which flavor of milkshake to buy. Crises of conscience (crisis of consciences?) about how many potato donuts is too many. And yes, I know, it's not just about the food. There's animals and farm equipment and cooking demos and feats of strength and lots of other good stuff (Farm Show Visitor's Guide).

And best of all, there's Pennsylvania history. (Well, not better than the potato donuts, but just as good.)

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum is at the Farm Show again this year (photo LVM)

Staff from Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum will be on hand this year with an exhibit titled "Power Technology - Yesterday and Today." The machinery included illustrates the many different power technologies available to individuals in the past and how many of these older technologies are making a comeback. Landis Valley curator Bruce Bomberger told me that the exhibit makes "the comparison with 100 years ago when, like now, there were a number of competing power and energy technologies also jockeying for consumer position. And we talk briefly about the many factors that affect the selection of one power technology over another."

The display includes 2 large early 20th-century gasoline engines, a horse sweep, a large model traction steam engine, and a Delco light plant (generator). A wooden tread power is belted to a butter churn; this could have been run by a child or small animal. Other types of machines that were belted to power sources include a corn sheller, fodder chopper, and feed mill.

You'll find the Landis Valley exhibit on the west side of the Main Hall (Maclay Street side of the Farm Show Complex) in Booth 607, near the Culinary Connection Stage.

Human-powered machines are just part of the display (photo LVM)

On the east end of the Main Hall, look for Booths 691 and 692 (near the carousel) to find other PHMC exhibits. The State Museum of PA Section of Archaeology will focus on "Foragers to Farmers: The development of agriculture in Pennsylvania." Their display includes the ever-popular dugout canoe, a corn grinding activity for children, and recipes for cooking wild foods.

Staff from the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and Pennsylvania State Archives will help you "Find Your Story" with free searches and the Cultural Resources Geographic Information System (CRGIS). The popular Historical Marker Scavenger Hunt will also be in place this year. Read more on the SHPO blog. Please note that the State Archives Search Room will be closed Jan. 6-13 so that all hands can be on deck at the Farm Show. Regular Search Room hours will resume on Jan. 17.

To keep up to date with happenings at the Farm Show, you can visit their website, follow them on Facebook, or search the Twitter hashtag (#PAFS18).

That leaves just one sacred Farm Show topic we haven't addressed. "But you mentioned the donuts already." Okay, so there's more than one. The butter sculpture - love it or hate it, it wouldn't be the Farm Show without it. Penn Live put together a video of past sculptures (view it on YouTube if the video below doesn't play). If you can't make it in person, you can see this year's sculpture, unveiled on Jan. 4, on the Farm Show Facebook page.

Learning and Research Opportunities Ahead for 2018

Last week's post has holiday schedules for New Year's, as well as events happening this weekend on the Trails of History. (The January 2018 program page is available for those of you who want to plan ahead.)Have a safe and sane New Year's everybody.

As we say goodbye to 2017, we also need to look ahead to two exciting opportunities for people interested in the study of Pennsylvania history and culture. Both have application deadlines in February, so this seems like a good time to focus your attention.

Keystone Internship Participants on field trip to Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, Summer 2017
The PHMC Keystone Summer Internship Program provides pre-professional training for undergraduate and graduate students interested in careers in public history. Applicants have the opportunity to request their preferred internship location - in the various Harrisburg-based parts of the PHMC or at our administered historic sites and museums around Pennsylvania. Every effort is made to match student interests to available internship locations and mentors. For more information and application materials, please visit the Internships page on the PHMC website. The deadline for applications is February 9, 2018. Please note that the required submissions include a letter of recommendation, so don't wait until the last minute!


The Pennsylvania State Archives and the Pennsylvania Historical Association invite applications for the 2018-2019 Scholars in Residence Program, which provides support for up to four weeks of full-time research and study in manuscript and state record collections maintained by the Pennsylvania State Archives.

Residency programs are open to all who are conducting research on Pennsylvania history, including academic scholars, public sector professionals, independent scholars, graduate students, educators, writers, filmmakers, and others. Residencies may be scheduled for up to four weeks at any time during the period June 15-August 15, 2018; stipends are awarded at the rate of up to $800 per week.

Researchers in PA State Archives Search Room (photo PA State Archives)
Applicants are encouraged to conceive of research topics related to Pennsylvania history. They are further encouraged to identify relevant archival collections, assess their availability and accessibility, and discuss their research agenda with appropriate staff prior to submitting a proposal. Because the State Archives is interested in making history meaningful and accessible to diverse audiences, research that is likely to result in widespread dissemination through nonspecialized publications, films, exhibitions, or other means is particularly welcome. Research topics that may have an impact on public policy are also most welcomed.

The State Archives does not discriminate based on sex, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability. Individuals with disabilities who require assistance or accommodation to participate in this program should contact the Archives at (717) 705-5785 or the Pennsylvania TDD relay service at (800) 654-5984 to discuss their needs.

For a full description of the residency program, including contact information, evaluation criteria, application materials, and information about State Archives research collections, go to the Scholars in Residence page on the PHMC website.

Deadline for application is February 15, 2018. Notification of awards will be made in early April.