Snapshots from the Week

Please check the PHMC Events Calendar if you're looking for virtual programs. I've highlighted events below, but there's more to see in the weeks ahead. The Trailheads Rec Room to the right of your screen has all kinds of online offerings--available whenever you need some entertainment.

Text reads "What's in a theme? PHMC Virtual Collections Showcase"; Background image is a wooden wall and there are smaller images of a baseball uniform, a round metal ID tag, and a bowling trophy
See below for details on this month's Virtual Collections Showcase

If you're a regular reader of Trailheads, you know that a title like today's means you're in for a pretty random array of stuff. I mean, even more random than usual. Spring has sprung, so there were numerous posts from the Trails of History highlighting gardens and landscapes. Staff and volunteers are making preparations to welcome visitors in person again starting on Friday, April 30 (yay!). And Throwback Thursday is always good for some cool historical photos. So let's dive in, shall we?

News from the Trails

Lancaster Online reported on a writer who is walking from Washington, DC, to NYC. Neil King spent some time in the Lancaster area mid-week and posted on Instagram about his travels, including a twilight stop at Ephrata Cloister.

After catching a "mean game of softball" played by Mennonite ninth-graders Tuesday night, King capped off the eighth day of his trip in Ephrata. His final photo was of the Ephrata Cloister.

Posted by LNP + LancasterOnline on Wednesday, April 7, 2021


Old Economy Village's museum educator has been documenting and sharing the progress of an extensive capital project that will improve access at the site in all kinds of ways, including pathways, ramps, and an elevator.

From the Museum Educator: Here is a photograph of the new brick walkway leading to the cabinet shop.

Posted by Old Economy Village on Saturday, April 3, 2021

Gardens and More

Pennsbury Manor's historic gardens interpreter has been very busy with plantings this week.

Today's a BERRY big day in the Kitchen Garden! Our Historic Garden Interpreter Jessye is planting several 'bare root'...

Posted by Pennsbury Manor on Monday, April 5, 2021


The forsythia at Conrad Weiser Homestead is in full force.

Beautiful day at the Park!

Posted by Conrad Weiser Homestead on Saturday, April 3, 2021

Getting Ready to Reopen

The folks at Hope Lodge were doing some careful cleaning this week to get ready to welcome visitors. Operating schedules will vary by site, so please be sure to check ahead before visiting.

It’s cleaning day at Hope Lodge. Stay tuned for reopening details soon!

Posted by Historic Hope Lodge on Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Throwback Thursday 100 Years

Cornwall Iron Furnace shared images of Bethlehem Steel's Number Three Mine in Cornwall, which opened 100 years ago. The images are from the Dewey Bernard Archival Collection.

Happy Throwback Thursday! One hundred years ago Bethlehem Steel began to develop the Number Three Mine at Cornwall. ...

Posted by Cornwall Iron Furnace on Thursday, April 8, 2021

Upcoming Virtual Events

Today, April 9
  • "Adventures in Nature Lab," learn about vernal ponds and the plants and animals who need them to survive, The State Museum of PA, 12:15-12:45 pm EDT (SMP link to register)
Tuesday, April 13
  • "Historical Markers of the Lebanon Valley," Henry Deemer takes you on a tour of state historical markers, Cornwall Iron Furnace, 7-8 pm EDT (CIF Facebook link to register)
Wednesday, April 14
  • Story Reading, "The Caboose Who Got Loose" (written and illustrated by Bill Peet), Railroad Museum of PA, 10-10:30 am EDT (RMP YouTube channel to view)
  • "Dawn of Diesel Locomotives," Railroad Museum of PA, 7-8 pm EDT, tickets are by donation (Eventbrite link to register)
Thursday, April 15
  • "Power of Steam," live virtual tour and demo, Railroad Museum of PA, 7-8 pm EDT, tickets are by donation (register on Eventbrite)
  • "What's in a theme? PHMC Virtual Collections Showcase," this month's theme is Sports, 7-8 pm EDT (Facebook link to register)

Happy It's April

Please check the PHMC Events Calendar if you're looking for virtual programs. I've highlighted events below, but there's more to see in the weeks ahead. The Trailheads Rec Room to the right of your screen has all kinds of online offerings--available whenever you need some entertainment.

Looking out from upper floor of building we see a wooden sided building at 90 degree angle as well as two smaller buildings
A lovely view looking out from the Sisters' House (Saron) at Ephrata Cloister (photo via Facebook)

April Fool's Day

Lots of museums posted on social media for April Fool's Day. I found two very different Trails of History posts (if I missed one, please let me know and I'll add it here).

Pennsbury Manor did a bit of virtual redecorating of their beehives.

Bee-roque Decor 🐝 Having run out of spaces in the Manor House to decorate, we've turned our attention to renovating our...

Posted by Pennsbury Manor on Thursday, April 1, 2021


And the Pennsylvania Military Museum joked about activating (with blanks, of course) the 14-inch guns from the USS Pennsylvania.

The 14-inch/45 caliber guns of the USS Pennsylvania are an appreciated spectacle at the Pennsylvania Military Museum. ...

Posted by Pennsylvania Military Museum on Thursday, April 1, 2021


Looking Ahead

Text reads "What's in a theme? PHMC Virtual Collections Showcase" Background image is a wooden wall and there are smaller images of a baseball uniform, a round metal ID tag, and a bowling trophy

The April edition of "What's in a theme? PHMC Virtual Collections Showcase" is scheduled for Thursday, April 15, at 7 pm. The theme is sports, in honor of the opening of baseball season. Many of the featured objects are related to baseball, but you'll also learn about boxing in the US Armed Forces and an International Ladies' Garment Workers Union bowling league. The program is free and will be offered via Zoom (more info and the link for registration is on Facebook).

The State Museum of Pennsylvania has announced the deadline for submissions to this year's Art of the State juried exhibition. Entries will be accepted online from artists and craftspeople from throughout Pennsylvania through May 28 at 11:59 pm. Visit the Art of the State page on the museum's website for details. The Art of the State exhibit is slated to open on September 26. 

Calendar of Virtual Events

Today, April 2
  • "Artists Conversations," fine arts curator Amy Hammond with artist and educator Tina Williams Brewer, The State Museum of PA, 12:15-12:45 pm (SMP Facebook page to register)
Wednesday, April 7
  • "Story Reading," How to Train a Train (by Jason Carter Eaton with illustrations by John Rocco), Railroad Museum of PA, 10 am (watch on RMP's YouTube channel)
Thursday, April 8
  • "Virtual Field Trip to Harmony, New Harmony, Economy, and Zoar," Ephrata Cloister, 9 am-3 pm, $20 (Ticketleap link for tickets)
  • "Talking Back: Women's Voices in the Oil Story," third lecture "Working Out of Bounds: Women's Labor in Pennsylvania's Early Oil Industry," Drake Well Museum & Park, 7-8:30 pm (link for registration)

Keep Moving Forward

Please check the PHMC Events Calendar if you're looking for virtual programs. I've highlighted events below, but there's more to see in the weeks ahead. The Trailheads Rec Room to the right of your screen has all kinds of online offerings--available whenever you need some entertainment.
Two ducks float down a stream with trees and rocks on the banks
These ducks are among the 24 different bird species found at Daniel Boone Homestead, according to an inventory conducted as part of the Site Master Plan process (photo via DBH Facebook)

This week we announced that PHMC sites and museums, which have been closed for a year due to Covid 19, will reopen with reduced hours of operation and limited capacity on Friday, April 30. (Those of us in administrative offices, including Trailheads HQ, the Pennsylvania State Archives, and the State Historic Preservation Office, will continue to primarily telework for the time being.)

We'll be following CDC and PA Department of Health guidelines related to face masks, social distancing, hand hygiene, cleaning, and capacity limits. Each site has been working on reopening plans to determine how their specific operations will be adjusted. You can find the general guidelines on PHMC's Welcome Back page, but you'll want to check the websites for individual sites to be sure of schedules and so that you know what to expect when you arrive. But that's always good advice, isn't it?

We don't expect to have large events at Trails of History sites until the fall, and staff will focus on general site activities at first. We also know that some folks aren't yet ready to visit in person. So virtual programming will continue to be part of our offerings for the foreseeable future. Stay tuned to this space, PHMC's website, and your favorite Trails of History sites for updates and program listings. Thanks for hanging in there with us.

Upcoming Virtual Events

Today, March 26
  • Learn at Lunchtime, "State Museum Perspectives," a conversation with the museum's archaeology staff about their excavations at Fort Hunter, 12:15-12:45 pm (link for Zoom registration)
Saturday, March 27
  • Cerddoriaeth & Ceol: Welsh and Irish Anthracite Music Traditions, PA Anthracite Heritage Museum, $5, 2-4 pm (Eventbrite link for details and tickets)
  • Life-Saving Service Lecture series, "Station Presque Isle/Erie History," Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara, 2-3 pm (Facebook event link for registration)
  • Historic Arms of the Museum, PA Military Museum, 2-3 pm (Facebook link for registration)
Sunday, March 28
  • Korean Service Corps (lecture), PA Military Museum, 2-3 pm (PMM website link to register)
Tuesday, March 30
  • Harmonist Woodworking Tools, virtual walk-through of the Harmonist cabinet shop, Old Economy Village, 7-8 pm (Facebook event link for registration)
Wednesday, March 31
  • Homeschool Presentation: Tonight's Sky, live chat with the State Museum of PA planetarium director, 10-11 am (State Museum website for registration)
  • Story Reading, "I Knew You Could," by Craig Dorfman with illustrations by Cristina Ong, Railroad Museum of PA, 10 am (watch on RMP's YouTube channel)
  • Life-Saving Service Lecture series, "USCG Operations During Prohibition," Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara, 7-8 pm (EMM Facebook event for registration)
Thursday, April 1
  • Winter History Class, Week 9, Ephrata Cloister, $10, 9 am-noon (Ephrata website for registration)
  • Simple Machines: Railroad Edition, designed for ages 7-12, Railroad Museum of PA, 4-5 pm (link for tickets by donation)
  • Talking Back: Women's Voices in the Oil Story series, "Privilege & Politics: Women's Activism in the Oil Region, 1880-1921," Drake Well Museum & Park, 7-8 pm (Facebook event for registration)