And Things that Go "Bump" in the Night

Autumn is officially here, if it doesn't get washed away by the remnants of Hurricane Nicole. No matter, there are lots of fall and harvest programs on the Trails of History, not to mention some Halloween-inspired offerings. Most sites are closed on Oct. 11 for Columbus Day; the only exception I’m aware of is the Railroad Museum. So start digging out those sweaters and join us for a lively and lovely October.

Bushy Run Battlefield
Oct. 2: Annual Fall Nature Walk—join local naturalist George Heasley to explore Bushy Run’s woodlands and learn about western PA flora and fauna

Oct. 23: Haunted History Hayride—tour the battlefield in a hay wagon and find scary sights from Pontiac’s War. Reservations required.

Conrad Weiser Homestead
Oct. 17: Weiser Interpretive Sunday and Fall Park Walk (noon to 4 pm)

Cornwall Iron Furnace
Oct. 12: Lecture, “Clarence Schock Memorial Park at Governor Dick,” by Janie Gockley

Daniel Boone Homestead
Oct. 17: Heritage Day—this year, Heritage Day celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, a group closely tied to the site; the First Pennsylvania Regiment will be on hand for a firelock shoot and 18th-century trades and crafts will be demonstrated

Oct. 31: Trick-or-treating at the Daniel Boone Homestead—a new program featuring traditional fall and Halloween activities; children are encouraged to come in costume and trick-or-treat at the historic buildings

PHMC/Eckley Miners' Village

Oct. 3: An Afternoon with Mother Jones—a dramatic presentation by Karen Esak exploring the life and work of 19th-century labor organizer Mary Harris, known to friends and foes as Mother Jones

Oct. 15-16, 22-23, 29-30: Halloween Tours—ghostly walking tours of the Village (bring your own flashlight or purchase a lantern at the museum). Rain dates are Oct. 17 and 24.

Ephrata Cloister
Oct. 8-9: Apple Dumplings and Musical Delights—proceeds from the sale of delicious apple dumplings support the return of historical artifacts to the Cloister; the Ephrata Cloister Chorus will perform several times in the historic Saal on Saturday afternoon

Oct. 22: Community Day—educational program featuring lots of hands-on activities, perfect for school and homeschool groups. Advance registration is strongly encouraged.

Oct. 22-23: Mysterious, Melancholy, and Macabre: Stories from Early Lancaster County—dramatizations of stories pulled from local 18th-century newspapers (murder, arson, lightning strikes, and rabies) and maybe a ghost or two. Weather permitting, the program will take place outside by candlelight; please dress accordingly.

Oct. 30: Lecture, “Victim of Honor: The Story of John Yeats Beall and the Northwestern Conspiracy,” James E. Duffey, speaker. Adjunct professor of Am Hist Kent State Univ, Stark Campus (Canton, OH) and author of Victim of Honor, which recounts the unsuccessful effort to free Confederate prisoners from Johnson’s Island (near Sandusky).

Graeme Park
Oct. 15 and 30: Paranormal Investigations—Friends of Graeme Park are working with National PA Paranormal Investigators (NPPI) for a series of programs. Reservations required.

Oct. 17: Fall Fun Festival—traditional fall activities for families (rain date 10/24)

Oct. 22-23, 29: Haunted Moonlight Tours—learn about the history of Graeme Park and tour the Keith House. Reservations required.

PHMC/Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Oct. 9-10: Harvest Days—51st annual program celebrating PA German life—food, crafts, wagon rides, pumpkin patch, music, and much more

Old Economy Village
Oct. 9: Penn Pilsner Oktoberfest—beer, German food, and entertainment, what’s not to like? Contact site for tickets.

Pennsbury Manor
Oct. 3: Historic Trades—the blacksmith and joyner will demonstrate their skills

Oct. 10: Living History Theater: The Sotcher Wedding—observe late 17th-century Quaker wedding customs and mingle with other guests as the Penns’ steward and head housekeeper are joined in marriage.

Oct. 17: Open Hearth Cooking: 17th-century Beverages—the cooks will be preparing William Penn’s drinking chocolate as well as posset, syllabub, and more.

Oct. 24: Cider Making—see how apple cider was pressed in the 17th century and sample fresh cider (sorry, only the unfermented variety)

Oct. 31: Living History Theater: Witch Trial—observe and participate in a recreation of the 1684 trial of Margaret Mattson, accused by her neighbors of witchcraft. There will also be family-friendly trick-or-treat and fall activities.

Oct. 9-10: Discover Your Heritage Days

Pennsylvania Military Museum
Oct. 5: Lecture, presented by Central PA Civil War Roundtable, “Shadows of War – Prelude to the First Memorial Day,” Dr. Janice S. McElhoe, speaker—Presentation describes events in Boalsburg before and during deployment of Company G of the 148th Pennsylvanians to the Civil War.

Oct. 25: Lecture, presented by Friends of PMM, “Enter and Die: Forty Years Later,” James Milliken, speaker—Milliken will talk about events chronicled in his book, Enter and Die, describing his experiences as an infantryman in Viet Nam.

PHMC/Railroad Museum of PA

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Oct. 8-10: Model Railroading Days and Garden Railways Tour—model railroading activities for kids and grown-ups at the museum Friday-Sunday; Garden Railways Tour on Sunday afternoon features eight operating garden railways at private homes (a separate ticket is required and can be purchased at RMP, National Toy Train Museum, or Stauffers of Kissel Hill stores in central PA—or enter a contest to win tickets).

Somerset Historical Center
Oct. 30: Exhibit, “Woven Wonders: Somerset County Coverlets,” closes

State Museum of Pennsylvania
October: Archaeology Month—visit the archaeology dig at Fort Hunter, just north of Harrisburg. Weekdays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (weather permitting), State Museum archaeologists will be continuing their excavations and welcome the public to come see what’s up. For more info, visit This Week in PA Archaeology.


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