A Round of Applause

A Round of Applause
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. Enjoy!

The hood of an Army jeep, painted olive green with a white star. A small yellow rubber duck is on the hood, wearing military style uniform and cap.
You never know who will greet you when you visit the PA Military Museum (photo via Facebook)

By all accounts (that I've heard, anyway) our reopening weekend went smoothly. Shout out to all Trails of History staff and volunteers who spent the past year maintaining our sites physically, keeping sites and PA History in front of the public virtually, and supporting each other through it all. Throughout the day on Friday, emails went back and forth among staff to report on how things were going, and I had the privilege of being a fly on the wall, so to speak. The team spirit was heart-warming.

Child's drawing of a steam locomotive on tracks. Text reads "Thank you for reopening the train museum"
Image via Railroad Museum of PA Facebook page

Thanks are also due to the visitors who made this weekend a success by showing up and by helping staff and volunteers follow the safety protocols. If you're planning a visit this weekend, or in the near future, please be sure to check ahead on site schedules (I've rounded up some of the info a "reopening page", but it's still best to check with specific sites). You can find the details on safety protocols on PHMC's Welcome Back! page.

More Things to Celebrate

Melissa Mann, site administrator at Drake Well Museum & Park, was recently nominated as a Venango County Community Hero for her leadership at the site. Congratulations to Melissa and everyone at Drake Well.

Congratulations to our Site Administrator Melissa Mann for being nominated as a Venango County Community Hero! To see...

Posted by Drake Well Museum and Park on Saturday, May 1, 2021



Trib Live's Neighbor Spotlight for May features Bonnie Ramus, president of the Bushy Run Battlefield Heritage Society (BRBHS). BRBHS is the "friends" group at Bushy Run, responsible for most of the day-to-day management and programming at Bushy Run, while PHMC maintenance staff oversee the physical needs of the site. When Covid-19 closed the Trails of History sites, BRBHS adapted some of their in-person programs to virtual to keep history on the front burner. Congratulations to Bonnie for this recognition.

The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is looking for community success stories during National Historic Preservation Month. Stories can be submitted through SHPO's PA-SHARE site, but you don't need a PA-SHARE account to submit. The official press release has the details or check out the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation blog.

Finally, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara celebrated Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You) with a little twist on Oliver Hazard Perry's famous report, "We have met the enemy, and they are ours. Two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop."

"We have met the enemy, two Imperial-II Star Destroyers, two Vindicator-Class Heavy Cruisers, one TIE Bomber, and one...

Posted by Erie Maritime Museum on Tuesday, May 4, 2021



Event graphic with photos of three museum objects. Text reads "What's in a theme? PHMC Virtual Collections Showcase"

Upcoming Virtual Events

Today, May 7
  • Learn at Lunchtime, Heather Hendry, senior paper conservator at Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, will talk with the museum's fine arts curator, Amy Hammond, about the preservation of Violet Oakley's drawings, The State Museum of PA, 12:15-12:45 pm (Zoom link to register)
Saturday, May 8
  • Spring Nature Walk, Bushy Run Battlefield, 10 am-noon, $5 for non-members (BRB Facebook event to register)
  • The "Daring" Lieutenant: William B. Cushing, part of the Civil War Navies series, Erie Maritime Museum and PA Military Museum, 2-3 pm (EMM Facebook event to register)
Sunday, May 9
  • Tonight's Sky, a live chat with The State Museum of PA's planetarium director, 2-3 pm (SMP Facebook event to register)
Monday, May 10
  • Origin of the Apple & Its Early History in North American, presented by Susan Dolan, apple expert and Cultural Landscapes Program Manager for the National Park Service, Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum, 7-8 pm (LVM Zoom link to register)
Tuesday, May 11
  • A Brief Intro to Wooden Shipbuilding (Part 2 of 4), Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara, 6-7 pm (EMM Facebook event Part 2 to register)
  • Gold in Them Hills, geologist Mike Weber will talk about gold mined in the hills around Cornwall, PA, Cornwall Iron Furnace, 7-8 pm (CIF Facebook event to register)
  • What's in a Theme? PHMC Virtual Collections Showcase, tonight's theme is Souvenirs & Swag, 7-8 pm (Facebook event to register)
Wednesday, May 12
  • Story Reading, visitor services associate Chris O'Brien will read Mr. Owliver's Magic at the Museum, by Carolyn Bracken, Railroad Museum of PA, 10-10:30 am (watch on RMP's YouTube channel)
  • Historical and Archival Records Care Grant program webinar, an overview of eligibility, guidelines, tips for a competitive proposal and Q&A, Pennsylvania State Archives, 10 am (Archives Zoom link to register, webinar will be repeated on June 29 at 10 am)
  • Remake Learning Days Across America, learn about maple sugaring in southwestern PA, Somerset Historical Center, 6-7:30 pm (SHC Facebook event to register)
Thursday, May 13
  • Agriculture and Horticulture in PA German Spiritual Communities, staff from Ephrata Cloister and Old Economy Village will discuss unique facets of their historical communities, hosted by Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum, 7-8 pm (LVM Facebook event to register)
  • Thrown, Fired, and Glazed: The Redware Tradition from Pennsylvania and Beyond, curator Jennifer Royer will provide a virtual tour of Landis Valley's award-winning exhibit, hosted by Ephrata Cloister, 7-8 pm (EC Facebook event to register)

Welcome Back!

Welcome Back!
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. Enjoy!

Light blue background with a dark blue circle. In the circle is an outline of a house in white and a white curving line that forms a heart in the middle of the house. Text reads "Welcome Back!"

Today's the day! Trails of History sites are officially reopening to the public and ready to welcome visitors. I've gathered some of the reopening posts on a separate page for general info. As we've noted before in this blog, most sites will be on reduced schedules (fewer days and/or shorter hours). You'll also want to know if you need to make an appointment for a tour or if there's a set schedule. In short, please take a look at the website of any Trails of History site you want to visit to get all the details (Trails of History page has links to all).

PHMC's requirements for safety measures can be found on the Welcome Back! page. We want to make sure everyone stays safe and healthy. Our staff and volunteers will do their part and we ask visitors to do theirs. Together we can get through this initial reopening phase and begin to get back to normal operations and programming.

Event graphic with photos of three museum objects. Text reads "What's in a theme? PHMC Virtual Collections Showcase"

PHMC Virtual Collections Showcase

Our next "What's in a theme? PHMC Virtual Collections Showcase" event is scheduled for Tuesday, May 11, at 7 pm EDT. The theme is Souvenirs and Swag. As always, our panelists will use the featured objects as starting points for a wide range of unexpected stories. The showcase programs are offered free of charge, but you'll need to register to receive the Zoom link (visit the Facebook event for details). What's that you say? You haven't seen one of our showcase events? Well, you can get caught up by visiting the Showcase playlist on PHMC's YouTube channel.

More Upcoming Virtual Events

Today, April 30
  • Learn at Lunchtime, learn about the last documented mountain lion specimen collected in PA, The State Museum of PA, 12:15-12:45 pm EDT (SMP Facebook event to register)
Saturday, May 1
  • They Fought Equally, a history of United States Colored Troops from PA, PA Military Museum, 2-3:30 pm EDT (PMM Facebook event to register)
Tuesday, May 4
  • A Brief Intro to Wooden Shipbuilding (Part 1 of 4), Erie Maritime Museum & U.S. Brig Niagara, 6-7 pm EDT, additional programs on May 11, 18, and 25 (EMM Facebook event Part 1 to register)

Counting Down the Days

Counting Down the Days
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. Enjoy!

Historic photo of two older men wearing hats and looking out through a barn door. Covid-19 masks have been drawn on their faces.
Henry and George Landis want your visit to Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum to be safe and enjoyable (photo via LVM Facebook page)

Trails of History sites are getting ready to welcome visitors starting next Friday, April 30. Site schedules will vary, and for the moment most will be open a few days a week. As I always say, please check ahead to make sure that the site you want to visit will be open when you plan to be there.

We're all anxious to put Covid-19 behind us, so we're making sure we follow CDC and PA Department of Health protocols. Staff, volunteers and visitors will be required to mask up and maintain social distancing. PHMC's "Welcome Back!" page has more info on our safety measures.

Virtual programs will continue, as we've learned that many people like to attend lectures and other offerings that they might never attend in person. Sites will be finding a balance as staff and volunteers - and visitors - adjust to reopening after more than a year. We'll keep you posted.

Looking Back at the Week

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania celebrated National Volunteer Week with a short video featuring volunteers past and present.



Over the past year, Old Economy Village has undergone extensive physical changes, including the installation of a wheelchair lift in the Feast Hall building. Like all sites, they've been preparing the buildings and exhibits to look their best for returning visitors.

From the Museum Educator: Both staff and volunteers have been busy cleaning the historic buildings and getting exhibits...

Posted by Old Economy Village on Saturday, April 17, 2021


Reopening and emergency preparedness plans at Cornwall Iron Furnace included a visit from local emergency services personnel to reaquaint them with the site.

Thank you to Cornwall, Quentin, and Mount Gretna fire companies for touring the Cornwall Iron Furnace as part of our emergency preparation.

Posted by Cornwall Iron Furnace on Monday, April 19, 2021


Pennsbury Manor posted about a popular spring flower, taught us its name in Latin, English, and Lenape, and linked to the "Lenape Talking Dictionary" so we could learn how to pronounce it.

This delicate white flower belongs to a plant called bloodroot in English, and pèkòn in Lenape. The English term '...

Posted by Pennsbury Manor on Wednesday, April 21, 2021


Yesterday, Daniel Boone Homestead wished everyone a happy Earth Day. I hope you had a chance to celebrate the planet that is home to us all.

The Daniel Boone Homestead has 579 acres of land for you to enjoy daily! Celebrate Earth Day with a walk in our park! #danielBoone #EarthDay2021 #parks

Posted by Daniel Boone Homestead on Thursday, April 22, 2021


Upcoming Virtual Events

Today, April 23
  • Learn at Lunchtime, Beth Hager, director of The State Museum of PA, will talk with collections managers Mary Jane Miller and Lauren Stark as well as Aaron McWilliams of the Pennsylvania State Archives, 12:15-12:45 pm EDT (SMP Facebook event to register)
Saturday, April 24
  • Oops! this event has been rescheduled to August 21 Combined Arms: Tactics in the War of 1812, staff from Erie Maritime Museum and the PA Military Museum will discuss land and sea operations, 2-3 pm EDT (Facebook event to register)