Summer in Bloom

Small stone building with white trim on a bright summer day. Small clusters of yellow flowers on long green stems with clusters of small green leaves are in front.
Tansy growing outside the summer kitchen at Graeme Park (photo via GP Facebook page)

The gardens and grounds at our Trails of History sites are brimming with flowers, veggies, and greenery. Many also have shade, so if you're looking for ways to keep cool this weekend, why not visit? Not to mention that there's always at least one air-conditioned building. I hope your weekend is full of fun and interesting things. Don't forget to hydrate!

Up Next*

*Please note that calendar info is subject to change; we try to keep this up to date, but it's always best to check.

Today, August 5

  • StoryTime (in-person); 10:30-11:30 am; The State Museum of PA
    • Wear your best tea party hat or helmet to read Molly Idle's Tea Rex. For kids in grades K-2 and included in regular admission. Sign up at the Ground Floor Info Desk when you arrive (SMOP StoryTime info).
  • Sawmill demo (in-person); 11 am and 2 pm; Daniel Boone Homestead
    • Weather permitting, staff at Daniel Boone Homestead will demonstrate the water-powered Bertolet Sawmill, which was moved to the Homestead from its original Berks County site in 1972 (DBH info and a short video preview of what the mill looks and sounds like in operation).
  • First Fridays (in-person); 5:30-8:30 pm; Somerset Historical Center
    • Enjoy a relaxing evening with live music and food for purchase from local vendors. Some covered seating is provided but feel free to bring your lawn chairs and blankets. Admission is free with parking fee of $5 (First Fridays info).
  • Summer Movie Night (in-person); 6-9:30 pm (approx); Railroad Museum of PA
    • Watch Night at the Museum (rated PG) and enjoy popcorn and ice cream. Advance tickets are $10 each for ages 3+, $15 at the door. Tickets include museum admission from 6 pm until the movie starts outside on the lawn at dusk. Please bring your own lawn seating (Movie Night info and tickets).

Saturday, August 6

  • Battle of Bushy Run Anniversary (in-person); Saturday and Sunday, 9 am-5 pm; Bushy Run Battlefield
    • Learn about the two-day battle between Native American warriors and British soldiers during Pontiac's War, as well as life on the frontier for European settlers and Native peoples (Battle of Bushy Run event info).
  • A Tour into the Past Day (in-person); 10 am-4 pm; Brandywine Battlefield Park
    • There will be a blacksmith, carpenter, colonial dancers, and other presenters to enliven your visit (BBP event info).
  • Friends Lecture Series (in-person); 2-3:30 pm; PA Military Museum
    • Meg and Dan Smith will discuss life in the Navy band, including training, duty stations, travel and special events. Lecture is free (donations welcome); seating is first come, first served (PMM lecture info).

Sunday, August 7

  • Living History Sunday (in-person); noon-4 pm; Conrad Weiser Homestead
    • Living history demonstrations include Native American culture by Darius Puff and 18th-century shoemaking. Guided tours will be available (CWH info).
  • Garden Party/Oxygen Day (in-person); noon-4 pm; Joseph Priestley House
    • The Garden Party starts at noon with music, children's activities, light refreshments. From 1 to 4 pm, the house will be open for self-guided tours with docents on hand to answer questions. Dr. Priestley will conduct chemistry demos at 1:30 and 2:30 (stop by the Visitor Center to pick up your free tickets). Both events are free (Garden/Oxygen event info).
  • Ice Cream Social (in-person); 1-4 pm; Ephrata Cloister
    • Enjoy an ice cream sundae and visit the historic buildings. $10 ticket includes ice cream and access to the grounds; members get in free but pay $5 for ice cream (Ice Cream Social info).
  • Historic Trades (in-person); 1-4 pm; Pennsbury Manor
    • Historic trades demonstrators will be eager to talk to visitors as they showcase their skills. Included in regular admission (Historic Trades info).
  • Summer Concert Series (in-person); 2-4 pm; Old Economy Village
    • Miss Freddye's Homecookin' Band will bring acoustic blues to the garden, with some gospel, classic rock, and a hint of country and bluegrass. The event will move indoors if the weather's bad. Concert is free ($5 donation suggested). Please bring blankets and lawn chairs for seating (Concert Series info).

Tuesday, August 9

  • Sensory Hours (in-person); 9-11 am; Railroad Museum of PA
    • Light, noise, and crowd levels will be reduced, and there will be some quiet spaces if you need a break from the activity. A few of the historic trains will be open, with staff on hand to answer questions. Advance tickets required (Aug. 9 Sensory Hours tickets).
  • Garden Workshop Series (in-person); 10-11 am; Pennsbury Manor
    • Join Pennsbury's gardener to learn about 17th-century and modern gardening skills - today's topic is flower arrangements. The workshop is open to visitors age 12 and older; cost is $20. Registration is required; call 215/946-0400 to reserve your spot (Garden workshop info for 8/9).
  • Virtual Museum Spotlight; 5-6 pm; Somerset Historical Center
    • Make a virtual visit to Somerset Historical Center and learn all the site has to offer. The program is free as part of the Heinz Center Affiliates Program; please register to receive the Zoom link (SHC Virtual Museum Spotlight info and registration).
  • The Battle of Brandywine (virtual); 7-8 pm; Cornwall Iron Furnace
    • Historian and educator Michael C. Harris will draw on his research and experience to present a program on this important Revolutionary War battle. Cornwall site administrator Mike Emery will moderate a short discussion. The program is free; please register to receive the Zoom link (Cornwall lecture info and registration).

Wednesday, August 10

  • Sensory Friendly Visit (in-person); 10 am-3 pm; PA Military Museum
    • Background effects in the galleries will be turned off and the volume on the orienation video will be reduced (captions enabled). Standard admission rates apply. Please reserve your timeslot, you can pay when you arrive (go to PMM online booking calendar and select August 10).
  • Family Gallery Tour: Mammal Hall (in-person); 11:30 am-12:30 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Museum educators will use hands-on objects to help visitors learn about the Mammal Hall dioramas. Included in regular admission (Gallery Tour info).

Thursday, August 11

  • Storytime in the Garden (in-person); 10-11 am; Pennsbury Manor
    • Enjoy a story with the gardener, then explore the grounds. Suggested for ages 4 to 8, but all are welcome. Cost is $3, which is a grounds pass; additional fee to tour the Manor House (PMM Storytime info).
  • Curiosity Kids (in-person); 11:30 am-12:30 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Learn about memory and logic and try your skills at a variety of puzzles and games. For kids in grades K-2 and included in regular admission. Space is limited; sign up at the Ground Floor Info Desk when you arrive (Curiosity Kids info).
  • Ephrata Virtual Academy; 7-8 pm; Ephrata Cloister
    • Historian Noah Lewis will present a virtual program on African Americans in the Revolution, based on his extensive research on and portrayal of Edward "Ned" Hector, who served at the Battle of Brandywine in 1777. Hector was among thousands of African Americans who served during the American Revolution. The program is free; please sign up to receive the Zoom link (Ephrata Virtual Academy registration).

Advance Tickets or Registrations

  • Exploring the Armor (in-person); Sat., Aug. 13, 2-4 pm; PA Military Museum
    • Take a guided tour of the tracked vehicles on the museum grounds. Tickets are $15. Space is limited and reservations are required; as of earlier this week there were 5 slots available (Armored tour tickets).
  • Drake Well Marathon and Half (in-person and virtual); Sun., August 14; 7 am-?, Drake Well Museum & Park
  • Garden Workshop Series (in-person); continuing Tues., Aug. 16-23, 10-11 am; Pennsbury Manor
    • Join Pennsbury's gardener to learn about 17th-century and modern gardening skills - a new topic each week. The workshops are open to visitors age 12 and older; cost is $20 per session. Registration is required; call 215/946-0400 to reserve your spot (Garden workshop dates and topics).
  • Sensory Friendly Visit (in-person); Sun., Aug. 14, 10 am-noon; PA Military Museum
    • Background effects in the galleries will be turned off and the volume on the orienation video will be reduced (captions enabled). Standard admission rates apply. Please reserve your timeslot, you can pay when you arrive (go to PMM online booking calendar and select Aug. 14).
  • Virtual Museum Spotlight; Tues., Aug. 16, 5-6 pm; Old Economy Village
    • This virtual visit to Old Economy will show you the wide variety of things to see and do. The program is part of the Heinz Center Affiliate Program Experience Kits initiative. Please register to receive the link (OEV Museum Spotlight registration).
  • PHMC Virtual Collections Showcase; Wed., Aug. 17, 7-8 pm
    • This month's theme is "Fine and Folk Art." Panelists from five Trails of History sites will present objects, and then the audience votes on their favorite. The program is free; please register to receive the Zoom link (Virtual Showcase registration).
  • Virtual Talk: Drake Well Museum (virtual); Thurs., Aug. 18, 7-8 pm EDT
  • Sensory Hours (in-person); Tues., Aug. 23, 3-5 pm; Railroad Museum of PA
    • Light, noise, and crowd levels will be reduced, and there will be some quiet spaces if you need a break from the activity. A few of the historic trains will be open, with staff on hand to answer questions. Advance tickets required (Aug. 23 Sensory Hours tickets).

Looking to August

Looking to August
Three reenactors in Vietnam era US military attire with helmets, a radio, and a rifle
Photo courtesy PA Military Museum

Summer's halfway over, but there's still plenty to do on the Trails of History. It should be a bit cooler this weekend, so I hope you'll find something to entertain and educate.


Up Next*

*Please note that calendar info is subject to change; we try to keep this up to date, but it's always best to check.

Saturday, July 30

  • Life Under the Canopy: The Vietnam War (in-person); Saturday and Sunday, 10 am-4 pm; PA Military Museum
    • Walk through a military camp and talk to living historians about the war in Southeast Asia. The event is free; donations welcome (Life Under the Canopy info).
  • Book Talk & Signing (in-person); 1-3 pm; PA Lumber Museum
    • William Marcum will talk about his book, The Foreman's Boys, which explores Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Company 1333 and Camp S-63 Poe Valley. Copies of the book will be available in the museum store for purchase and signing (Book Talk info).

Sunday, July 31

  • Sunday Sewing Circle (in-person); noon-3 pm; Bushy Run Battlefield
    • Bring your needlecraft projects and enjoy some company while you work. This event is free and open to the public (Sewing Circle info).
  • Animals at Pennsbury (in-person); 1-4 pm; Pennsbury Manor

Tuesday, August 2

  • Garden Workshop Series (in-person); 10-11 am; Pennsbury Manor
    • Join Pennsbury's gardener to learn about 17th-century and modern gardening skills - today's topic is making salve with calendula. The workshop is open to visitors age 12 and older; cost is $20 per session. Registration is required; call 215/946-0400 to reserve your spot (Aug. 2 garden workshop).

Wednesday, August 3

  • Explore! (in-person); 11:30 am-12:30 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Learn about the science of paleontology and how paleontologists study and preserve fossils. Included in regular admission (Explore! info).

Children and adults stand on brick pathways that run between garden beds with herbs and flowers
Photo via Pennsbury Manor Facebook page

Thursday, August 4

  • Storytime in the Garden (in-person); 10-11 am; Pennsbury Manor
    • Enjoy a story with the gardener, then explore the grounds. Suggested for ages 4-8 but all are welcome. Cost is $3, which is a grounds pass; additional fee to tour the Manor House (Pennsbury Storytime info).
  • Games and Puzzles of the 1950s and 1960s; 11:30 am-12:30 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Test your skills with a Barrel of Monkeys and the Hula Hoop and see if you can walk a Slinky down the stairs. Included in regular admission (Games and Puzzles info).

Friday, August 5

  • StoryTime (in-person); 10:30-11:30 am; The State Museum of PA
    • Wear your best tea party hat or helmet to read Molly Idle's Tea Rex. For kids in grades K-2 and included in regular admission. Sign up at the Ground Floor Info Desk when you arrive (SMOP StoryTime info).
  • Sawmill demo (in-person); 11 am and 2 pm; Daniel Boone Homestead
    • Weather permitting, staff at Daniel Boone Homestead will demonstrate the water-powered Bertolet Sawmill, which was moved to the Homestead from its original Berks County site in 1972 (DBH info and a short video preview of what the mill looks and sounds like in operation).
  • First Fridays (in-person); 5:30-8:30 pm; Somerset Historical Center
    • Enjoy a relaxing evening with live music and food for purchase from local vendors. Some covered seating is provided but feel free to bring your lawn chairs and blankets. Admission is free with parking fee of $5 (First Fridays info).
  • Summer Movie Night (in-person); 6-9:30 pm (approx); Railroad Museum of PA
    • Watch Night at the Museum (rated PG) and enjoy popcorn and ice cream. Advance tickets are $10 each for ages 3+, $15 at the door. Tickets include museum admission from 6 pm until the movie starts outside on the lawn at dusk. Please bring your own lawn seating (Movie Night info and tickets).

Advance Tickets or Registrations

  • Garden Workshop Series (in-person); continuing Tues., Aug. 9-23, 10-11 am; Pennsbury Manor
    • Join Pennsbury's gardener to learn about 17th-century and modern gardening skills - a new topic each week. The workshops are open to visitors age 12 and older; cost is $20 per session. Registration is required; call 215/946-0400 to reserve your spot (Garden workshop dates and topics).
  • Virtual Museum Spotlight; Tues., Aug. 9, 5-6 pm; Somerset Historical Center
    • Make a virtual visit to Somerset Historical Center and learn all the site has to offer. The program is free as part of the Heinz Center Affiliates Program; please register to receive the Zoom link (Virtual Museum Spotlight info and registration).
  • The Battle of Brandywine (virtual); Tues., Aug. 9, 7-8 pm; Cornwall Iron Furnace
    • Historian and educator Michael C. Harris will draw on his research and experience to present a program on this important Revolutionary War battle. Cornwall site administrator Mike Emery will moderate a short discussion. The program is free; please register to receive the Zoom link (Cornwall lecture info and registration).
  • Sensory Hours (in-person); Tues., Aug. 9, 9-11 am, and Tues., Aug. 23, 3-5 pm; Railroad Museum of PA
    • Light, noise, and crowd levels will be reduced, and there will be some quiet spaces if you need a break from the activity. A few of the historic trains will be open, with staff on hand to answer questions. Advance tickets required (Aug. 9 Sensory Hours or Aug. 23 Sensory Hours).
  • Sensory Friendly Visit (in-person); Wed., Aug. 10, 10 am-3 pm, and Sun., Aug. 14, 10 am-noon; PA Military Museum
  • Exploring the Armor (in-person); Sat., Aug. 13, 2-4 pm; PA Military Museum
    • Take a guided tour of the tracked vehicles on the museum grounds. Tickets are $15. Space is limited and reservations are required; as of earlier this week there were 5 slots available (Armored tour tickets).
  • Drake Well Marathon and Half (in-person and virtual); Sun., August 14; 7 am-?, Drake Well Museum & Park
  • Virtual Talk: Drake Well Museum (virtual); Thurs., Aug. 18, 7-8 pm EDT

Potpourri

Potpourri
Purple columbine growing against a rough wooden fence. Two log buildings are in the background.
Columbine in the garden at the Log Farm (photo via Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum Facebook page)

It' a little bit of this and a little bit of that this week. Stay cool out there.

Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum (pictured above) has posted a bunch of new craft classes on their Facebook page, ranging from needlecrafts to woodworking and pottery. If you're looking to try some new skills or build existing ones, this is a great place to start (LVM Facebook page).

One-story stone house with central door and two windows with white shutters on each side.
Photo via Conrad Weiser Homestead Facebook page

Conrad Weiser Homestead is assisting the Myerstown Community Library by serving as a drop-off spot for gently used books (no encyclopedias, please) for their Fall book sale. If you live in the Womelsdorf area or are planning to visit the site, you can drop off a box (marked for the library) during regular operating hours, Wednesdays and Saturdays, 10 am-4 pm, and Sundays, noon-4 pm, through the end of August. CWH also shared that Lynn Otto, a long-time volunteer and board member, appeared on "PA Dutch Live," a YouTube show hosted by Douglas Madenford, to talk about the French & Indian War and the Weiser Homestead.

T-shirt, tote bag, and sticker with "Taste of Taxation, 1794" logo
"Taste of Taxation" merch (photo via PA Military Museum Facebook page)

Last weekend, the PA Military Museum hosted "Taste of Taxation," a program featuring history presentations about whiskey distilling in Pennsylvania and the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion in southwestern PA. The museum partnered with Big Spring Spirits in Bellefonte, who provided attendees with a whiskey tasting and produced specially labeled bottles of their small batch rye whiskey for sale (more event photos on PMM's Facebook page).

Outdoor exhibit panel with map and text mounted on concrete pad. The repro of Drake's wooden derrick is in the background.
Photo via Drake Well Museum & Park Facebook page

A new outdoor story map at Drake Well Museum and Park helps visitors learn more about the exhibits on the grounds, including a wide range of oilfield equipment. Check it out the next time you're in northwestern PA.

Folded paper stars in various sizes and colors
Photo via Ephrata Cloister Facebook page

Ephrata Cloister's Museum Store is looking for volunteers to make Moravian paper stars to replenish their supply. They'll provide the materials, you provide the folding. A helpful person shared a tutorial in a comment on the store's Facebook post, but I prefer this tutorial that Pennsbury Manor posted back in December of 2020 as part of "Holly Nights at Home." I found it a bit easier to follow.

Up Next*

*Please note that calendar info is subject to change; we try to keep this up to date, but it's always best to check.

Saturday, July 23

  • Laquin: Behind the Photos (in-person); 1-2 pm; PA Lumber Museum
    • Matthew Carl, president of LeRoy Heritage Museum and executive director of the Bradford Counth Historical Society, will bring the lumber town of Laquin to live using over 100 images from the past and present (Laquin lecture info).

Sunday, July 24

  • Beer Brewing and Garden Highlights (in-person); 1-4 pm; Pennsbury Manor
    • Explore the recipes and plants that helped feed Pennsbury's early residents. Included in regular admission (Garden Highlights info).
  • Summer Concert Series (in-person); 2-4 pm; Old Economy Village
    • UPDATE Betty Douglas will perform a concert with other jazz musicians in the Feast Hall. Concert is free; a $5 donation is suggested. Please bring chairs for seating (Concert Series info).

Tuesday, July 26

  • Garden Workshop Series (in-person); 10-11 am; Pennsbury Manor
    • Join Pennsbury's gardener to learn about 17th-century and modern gardening skills - today's topic is Water. The workshops are open to visitors age 12 and older; cost is $20 per session. Registration is required; call 215/946-0400 to reserve your spot (7/26 Garden Workshop info).

Wednesday, July 27

  • Annual History Camp (in-person); 7/27-29, 9 am-noon; Joseph Priestley House
    • Camp activities focus on the life of Dr. Joseph Priestley. Fee is $10 per day. Contact the Friends of Joseph Priestley House at jphopsmanager@gmail.com to register (Priestley History Camp info).
  • Family Gallery Tour: Mammal Hall (in-person); 11:30 am-12:30 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Using hands-on objects, museum educators will help families explore the Mammal Hall dioramas together. Included in regular admission (Gallery Tour info).

Thursday, July 28

  • Discovery Days Camp (in-person); 9 am-4 pm; Drake Well Museum & Park
    • Today is the final day of camp and students will explore the lumber industry in the Titusville area. Cost is $20, if you didn't register for previous camp days this month (Discovery Days info and registration).
  • Storytime in the Garden (in-person); 10-11 am; Pennsbury Manor
    • Enjoy a story with the gardener, then explore the grounds. Suggested for ages 4-8, but all are welcome. Cost is $3, which is a grounds pass; there is an additional fee to tour the Manor House (Pennsbury Storytime info).
  • Curiosity Kids (in-person); 11:30 am-12:30 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Explore the General Store exhibit and learn how people used to shop and what they bought. For kids in grades K-2 and included in regular admission. Space is limited; please sign up at the Ground Floor Info Desk when you arrive (Curiosity Kids info).

Advance Tickets or Registrations

  • Garden Workshop Series (in-person); continuing Tues., Aug. 2-23, 10-11 am; Pennsbury Manor
    • Join Pennsbury's gardener to learn about 17th-century and modern gardening skills - a new topic each week. The workshops are open to visitors age 12 and older; cost is $20 per session. Registration is required; call 215/946-0400 to reserve your spot (Garden workshop dates and topics).
  • Summer Movie Night (in-person); Fri., Aug. 5, 6-9:30 pm (approx); Railroad Museum of PA
    • Watch Night at the Museum (rated PG) and enjoy popcorn and ice cream. Advance tickets are $10 each for ages 3+, $15 at the door. Tickets include museum admission from 6 pm until the movie starts outside on the lawn at dusk. Please bring your own lawn seating (Movie Night info and tickets).
  • Virtual Museum Spotlight; Tues., Aug. 9, 5-6 pm; Somerset Historical Center
    • Make a virtual visit to Somerset Historical Center and learn all the site has to offer. The program is free as part of the Heinz Center Affiliates Program; please register to receive the Zoom link (Virtual Museum Spotlight info and registration).
  • The Battle of Brandywine (virtual); Tues., Aug. 9, 7-8 pm; Cornwall Iron Furnace
    • Historian and educator Michael C. Harris will draw on his research and experience to present a program on this important Revolutionary War battle. Cornwall site administrator Mike Emery will moderate a short discussion. The program is free; please register to receive the Zoom link (Cornwall lecture info and registration).
  • Sensory Friendly Visit (in-person); Wed., Aug. 10, 10 am-3 pm, and Sun., Aug. 14, 10 am-noon; PA Military Museum
  • Exploring the Armor (in-person); Sat., Aug. 13, 2-4 pm; PA Military Museum
    • Take a guided tour of the tracked vehicles on the museum grounds. Tickets are $15. Space is limited and reservations are required; as of earlier this week there were 5 slots available (Armored tour tickets).
  • Drake Well Marathon and Half (in-person and virtual); Sun., August 14; 7 am-?, Drake Well Museum & Park