October 2017 on the Trails of History

Please note that most sites on the PA Trails of History will be closed on Oct. 9 for Columbus Day. The following will be open: Drake Well Museum, Fort Pitt Museum, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, and Washington Crossing Historic Park.

This page will be updated as new information becomes available or programs change.

Anthracite Heritage Museum and Scranton Iron Furnaces
Oct. 21: Bonfire at the Iron Furnaces—explore a variety of autumn traditions including Halloween, food, music, theater, and a roaring bonfire. Visit the Bonfire Facebook page for ticket info and program updates. 6-10 pm.
UPDATE Oct. 28: Dramatic Reading—writer Robert Thomas Hughes will present "John Mitchell: An American Hero." Cost is $5 and reservations are suggested (call the museum at 570/963-4804). 2 pm.

Bushy Run Battlefield
UPDATE: THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT - contact site to get on the waiting list. Oct. 21: Haunted History Hayride—reservations are required and will be accepted starting on Oct. 1. Cost is $8 for adults, $5 for youth age 4 and up (kids younger than 4 not permitted). There will be concessions available as well. Call 724/527-5584 for tickets. 7-10 pm.
Oct. 29: Last Day of the 2017 Season—starting Mon., Oct. 30, the visitor center is closed to the public until Spring 2018. There are events scheduled in Nov. and Dec., so check the website for details.

Conrad Weiser Homestead
Oct. 15: Living History Sunday and Fall Park Walk—enjoy the beautiful Olmsted-designed park, as well as guided historic tours of the site. Free admission. Noon-4 pm.

Cornwall Iron Furnace
Oct. 10: Friends Lecture Series—Mary Weigley will present "Halloween Customs and Traditions as Portrayed on Antique Postcards." Lectures take place in the auditorium of Freeman Community Center at Cornwall Manor Retirement Community. Program is free; donations are welcome. 7 pm.

Daniel Boone Homestead
Oct. 21: Presentation—learn about the tactics and training of the British Army during the American Revolution. 2 pm.
Oct. 28: Trick or Treat at the Homestead—there will be loads of activities for kids and their families (more info on Facebook). Cost is $5 for adults, $4 for kids. 10 am-4 pm.

Drake Well Museum and Park
Oct. 7: Lantern Tours at Pithole—explore the remains of a 19th-century oil boomtown and learn about the colorful characters who lived there during its brief existence. This is an all-weather event and takes place primarily outdoors, so please dress accordingly. Tickets are $10, and space is limited (more info and online ticketing). Tours set out from the visitor center at 10-minute intervals; first tour is at 6:30 pm, last starts at 9:30 pm. UPDATE: as of 10/5, the 6:30, 7, 7:30, and 8 tour times are sold out.
Oct. 28: Something More Saturday—special activities included in regular admission (check Facebook event page for more info). Special: purchase 2 adult tickets and get 3 youth tickets free. 10 am-3 pm.

Eckley Miners’ Village
Oct. 14: Lecture—author and Hazleton native Jamie Longazel will be at Eckley to discuss his book, Undocumented Fears: Immigration and the Politics of Divide and Conquer in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Dr. Longazel is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Political Science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City and a co-founder of Anthracite Unite, a collective working on racial and economic justice issues in Pennsylvania's Anthracite Coal Region. The program is free and open to the public. 2 pm.
Oct. 20-21, 27-28: Haunted Halloween Lantern Tours—tour groups walk through the 19th-century village and encounter ghosts, goblins, and ghoulish fun. Tours last about an hour and are filled on a first come, first served basis. Bring your own flashlight or purchase one at the museum store. Admission is $10 for adults (age 13+), $5 for children (age 6-12). Please start at the visitor center: doors open at 6 pm, last tour starts at 9.

Ephrata Cloister
Oct. 6-7: Apple Dumpling Sales—enjoy a delicious PA Dutch tradition and support the Back to the Cloister Fund (which helps to return original furnishings and objects to the site). Dumplings, from Aschenbach's Bakery, are $4 each and are referred to as "meal-sized." There is no admission charge to buy apple dumplings (regular admission applies if you want to tour the site). Free local delivery can be arranged for advance orders of 20 or more; call 717/733-6600. Fri., 9:30 am-4 pm, Sat., 9:30 am until sold out.
Oct. 8: Day of Music—the Ephrata Cloister Chorus will perform in the Saal at 2, 3, and 4 pm. Included in regular admission, site is open noon-5 pm (guided tours will be available).
Oct. 14: Talk and Book Signing—author and historian Greg Huber will be on-site to talk about and sign copies of his latest book, Historic Barns of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Huber will speak at 10:30 am and 2 pm and will be in the Museum Store in-between to sign his book, which will be available for purchase. Program is free, regular admission applies to tour the site.

Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara
Oct. 28: Little Mates Halloween Spooktacular—members of the Little Mates Kids Club are invited for a visit with the Captain of the U.S. Brig Niagara, including lunch, costume contests, and a behind-the-scenes tour. Non-members are also invited and can attend for a $5 fee (info here on membership). 11 am-1 pm.

Fort Pitt Museum
Oct. 1: Free admission—Fort Pitt Museum will be open free of charge (10 am-5 pm) courtesy of the Allegheny Regional Asset District.

Graeme Park
Oct. 11: Lunch and Learn Lecture Series—explore the puzzle that was Mary Todd Lincoln during a presentation by Hugh Boyle, president and executive director of the Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum and Library. Cost is $25 per person ($20 for members) and includes continental breakfast, hot/cold lunch buffet, and a tour of the Keith House. Pre-registration required; call 215/343-0965. 10:15 am-1:30 pm.
Oct. 22: Living History Sunday—Dr. Benjamin Rush will be on hand from noon to 3 pm, and there will be a presentation on colonial-era medical practices at 2 pm.
UPDATE Oct. 27: Haunted Lantern Tours—experience the Keith House by lantern light (you may bring your own flashlight if you wish). Cost is $5; tickets must be purchased online and there is a small processing fee (more details and link to Eventbrite). Beverages (alcoholic and non) and snacks will be available for purchase. Weather permitting, there will be a campfire. 7-8:45 pm.

Hope Lodge
Oct. 15: Site open—Hope Lodge will be open 1-4 pm, with guided tours at 1:00 and 2:30 pm. Admission charged.

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Fall Workshops continue this month. Visit the Landis Valley's workshops page for details and registration.
Oct. 7-8: Harvest Days—a classic special event and a great way to celebrate the coming of fall. Loads of demonstrations and activities for the whole family in a beautiful setting. Admission: adults, $12; seniors, $10; age 6-11, $8; free parking. 11 am-5 pm.
Oct. 19 & 26: Hands-On History Days—children of all ages get to experience seasonal chores, hands-on crafts, wagon rides, and more. Reservations are not required but you can purchase tickets online in advance if you like (program details). Admission: $11 per person (Landis Valley Associates members and children 5 and younger get in free). 9 am-3 pm.

Old Economy Village
Oct. 1: Lecture—Dr. Eberhard Fritz will present "George Rapp's Economy and its Origins in Württemberg," exploring the formative years of the pietist group that became the Harmony Society. Dr. Fritz is archivist to the Duke of Württemberg and has spent more than two decades researching religious separatist movements. Lecture is free; to register, please contact David Miller - davmiller@pa.gov or (724)266-4500 x 110. 2-4 pm.
Oct. 7-8: Erntedankfest - A Harvest Festival—celebrate the fall harvest as artisans throughout the village cook, bake, and demonstrate their craft skills. Music, food, and family activities make this a great tradition. Included in regular admission. Sat., 10 am-5 pm; Sun., noon-5 pm.
Oct. 14: 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation—OEV and St. John's Lutheran Church (founded by the Harmony Society) are joining for a program commemorating the birth of the Protestant Reformation in 1517. See the website for complete program. The event is free. 3-7 pm.
Oct. 28: A Halloween Haunting—children 10 and under are invited to come in costume and trick-or-treat among the historic buildings. Please check the website for details. Admission is $5 per person. 10 am-3:30 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
Sundays in October: Special programming—Oct. 1, Historic Trades (the blacksmith, joyners, and spinners will demonstrate their skills); Oct. 8, Living History Theater (William Penn’s steward and housekeeper, John Sotcher and Mary Lofty, will be united in marriage according to 17th-century Quaker wedding customs); Oct. 15, Open Hearth Cooking (the cooks will prepare a complete seasonal dinner for William and Hannah Penn); Oct. 22, Tricks and Treats at Pennsbury (family-friendly Halloween fun, including non-food activities and trick-or-treat stations in partnership with Teal Pumpkin Project) and Beer Brewing Demo (the brewers will be making a traditional fall beer); Oct. 29, Meet the Animals (Pennsbury's furry and feathered residents await your visit). Included in regular admission (Tricks and Treats event on Oct. 22 is free of charge). 1-4 pm.
Oct 27: Escape Room—"Cottage in the Woods" is based on a late-1600s murder trial but asks you and your team to be the investigators. There will be 3 time slots, each limited to 8 participants (please note that the Oct. 6 Escape Room event sold out before the end of Sept., so this may be booked by the time you check it out). Check out Facebook events pages for each time slot for link to buy tickets: 6 pm, 7:15 pm, and 8:30 pm.

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
Oct 7-8: Annual Fall Antique and Collectible Show—this event features dozens of vendors and supports the programs of the Lumber Museum. Other activities include sawmill operation (Saturday only), birch still and blacksmithing demos, and food for purchase in the community room. $5 admission ($3 for kids) includes the show and all museum exhibits and activities. 10 am-5 pm.
Oct. 15: PALMA Annual Meeting and Program—open to members of the PA Lumber Museum Associates (but you can always join if you aren't already a member), the meeting will feature a look back at the history of the museum. If you have photos of past events, etc., please bring them for scanning into the museum's digital archives. Light refreshments. 1 pm.

Pennsylvania Military Museum
Oct. 3: Central PA Civil War Roundtable Series—topic is ""The New Mexico Campaign and Battle of Glorieta Pass, the Gettysburg of the West"." Donation requested. 7 pm.
Oct. 4: Friends' Richard Koontz Memorial Lecture Series—Charles Greifenstein will present "One Death Among Many: The Short Life of Philadelphian Henry Howard Houston II." Houston was an ambulance driver in France early in World War I and joined the 28th Division when the U.S. entered the war. He did not survive. (American Philosophical Society has an online gallery of images and text related to Houston.) Donation requested. 7 pm.
Oct. 7: Keeping It Clean: A History of Arms & Cleaning Techniques—learn about the history of a variety of military weapons, their use, and appropriate care. Donation requested. Noon-3 pm.
Oct. 15, 22, 29, Nov. 5: Vietnam Lecture Series—learn about the history of the Vietnam War from a variety of speakers, many of whom experienced the war first-hand. 10/15, "Introduction"; 10/22, "The Air War"; 10/29, "Americans in Battle"; 11/5, "POWs." 2-4 pm.
Oct. 28: Inside the Belly of the Beast—take a behind-the-scenes tour inside and outside of the museum, going into areas normally off-limits to visitors. Cost is $15, $5 for museum members. Space is limited, and advance registration is required (online form). 2-4 pm.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Oct. 2: Garden Railways Tour—this event features outdoor model train layouts at private residences and retirement communities in Lancaster County (plus one in York County this year). Tickets ($10 per person for ages 6 and up) may be purchased at the museum or at any Stauffer’s of Kissel Hill store in central Pennsylvania. The Facebook event page has more info; a list and map of participating locations will be provided with your ticket. 1-5 pm.
Oct. 19: Wine and Paint Night—you bring the beverage (alcoholic or non), the museum supplies non-breakable glassware, light snacks, and the painting supplies. An instructor from the Zolē Art Factory in Strasburg will walk you through the steps to create a painting of the PA Railroad E7 No. 5901 (photo). More info, including an Eventbrite link for tickets, is on the Facebook event page. Cost is $37 per person (includes small ticketing fee); you must be at least 21 to attend.

Somerset Historical Center
Oct. 7: Wine and Paint Night—paint a picture of the Walter's Mill Covered Bridge as you enjoy covered-bridge themed wine. Must be 21 or older to participate. Please note that RSVP deadline was late Sept., so please check ahead to be sure there's still space. Call 814/445-6077. Cost is $35, $30 for members. 6 pm.
Oct. 14: Everything Apple!—this is for people who are serious about apples, but it will be lots of fun. Workshops and demos (2-5 pm) will present a variety of foods and crafts. At 6 pm, there will be an apple feast. Cost to attend either the workshops OR the feast is $20, $15 for members. A combo ticket is available if you want to take it all in, $35 ($25 for members). Please note that RSVP deadline was end of Sept., so please check to be sure there is still room. Call 814/445-6077.
Oct. 21: Historical Halloween—trick-or-treating with a historical theme, following the site’s pathways by lantern light. Admission: $3 per child. Please bring canned goods for the local food pantry and an apple for the cider press. 5-8 pm.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Oct. 1: Stories Along the Pennsylvania Turnpike—join Dr. Curt Miner, curator of the State Museum's award-winning exhibit on the history of the PA Turnpike, to hear stories of the famous highway and tell some of your own if you have them. Program is free but seating is limited. Call Janee Corbin, 717/783-5736 to reserve a spot. 2 pm.
Oct. 2-6: Archaeology at Fort Hunterthis season's excavations by State Museum archaeology team wrap up this week. You can drop by on weekdays between 10 am and 3 pm to see what's up.
Oct. 6: StoryTime—this month's program, designed for kids age 3-5 with an adult, takes place in Ecology Hall to learn about squirrels. The book is Frisky Brisky Hippity Hop, by Alexina B. White. Included in general admission. 10-11 am.
Oct. 11: National Fossil Day—learn about fossils and landscapes of the Paleozoic. Fossil Making for Ages 3-5, will take place in Nature Lab, 11:30 am-noon. Then curator Steve Jasinski will give a talk and answer questions in the Paleontology Gallery, 12:15-1 pm. Included in general admission.
Oct. 13: Night of the Great Pumpkin—family-friendly Halloween-themed activities and entertainment (details on the website). Purchase tickets by 4 pm on Oct. 11 and receive a discount. Tickets on the day will be $4 per child (includes treat bag), $3 per adult. Admission is free for members, but you must reserve your tickets by 4 pm on Oct. 11. Call 717/772-6997. 6-8 pm.
Oct. 15: Multicultural Storytelling Festival—"Everyone Has a Story to Tell" is presented by Nate Gadsden's Writers Wordshop and features an array of storytellers (details). Event is free and open to the public. 1-4:30 pm.
Oct. 20: Learn at Lunchtime—enjoy a free planetarium show, "Constellations." 12:15 pm.
Oct. 20: 3rd in the Burg—exhibit opening for "The Art of the State Purchase Award Collection, 1969-2017," a retrospective in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Art of the State annual juried exhibit. The exhibit runs through Feb. 18, 2018. Admission is free. 5:30-7:30 pm.
Oct. 26: Nature Lab—"Creatures of the Night" explores bats and skunks as examples of nocturnal animals. Included in general admission. 11:30 am-12:30 pm.
Oct. 28: Workshops in Archaeology—for more information and registration form, visit the State Museum website.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Consult the Washington Crossing Historic Park calendar of events for details of this month's programs.