Some Items of Interest?

Welcome to Short Attention Span Theater, Trailheads edition. Thanks to Tom Bresenhan and Cindy Kirby-Reedy for their contributions to this week’s post.

On Sunday, Nov. 7, the Pond Building at the Joseph Priestley House was rededicated following an extensive refurbishment to make the building more accessible and useful for public programming. Originally built in 1926 to complement the Priestley House as a museum, the building is named for George Gilbert Pond, who purchased Joseph Priestley’s mansion in Northumberland at auction in 1919 to save it from demolition. A silent film of the 1926 dedication ceremony was shown (with live narration by PSU emeritus professor of chemistry Roy Olofson), and Joseph Priestley reenactor Ron Blatchley demonstrated several chemistry experiments. To read more about the Nov. 7 program and the history of the Priestley House as a museum, click here and here.

Photo courtesy of Friends of Joseph Priestley House
L to R: Roy Olofson, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, Penn State Univ.; Ronald Blatchley, Retired Chemistry Teacher and Joseph Priestley Interpreter; Robert Minard, Retired Professor of Origin of Life Chemistry, Penn State Univ.; Tom Bresenhan, President of the Board, Friends of Joseph Priestley House; Stephen Miller, Director, Bureau of Historic Sites & Museums, PHMC; Stewart Stabley, American Chemical Society

From the “you never know what will happen when you nurture a kid’s love of history” department, Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum was recently invited to install a small (one secure case) exhibit at the Harrisburg International Airport. Stephanie Gehman, marketing manager for HIA, attended summer camp at Landis Valley as a youngster, later volunteered and served an internship in the museum’s collections department, and continues (along with her husband Hans) to help out at events. Some 3,500 people each day pass through the baggage claims area where the exhibit is located, so it’s an opportunity to make visitors and locals more aware of the museum.

PHMC/Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum/photo by Cindy Kirby-Reedy

Stephanie Fisher Gehman, HIA Marketing Manager, and Bruce Bomberger, Landis Valley's Curator, with a wooden drum that would have been part of a water-powered flour mill.

This weekend (11/21) the State Museum of Pennsylvania debuts a new temporary exhibit, “Wood on Glass: The Lumber Industry Photographs of William T. Clarke.” Clarke (1859-1930) spent a number of years in north-central Pennsylvania during the late 19th and early 20th centuries photographing people and places, documenting lumbering activities and their effects on the landscape. The exhibit, which will be up until May 2011 (and then will be available to travel), features prints from about 30 of the 450 known glass plate negatives remaining of Clarke’s work. Many of these come from the Pennsylvania State Archives holdings of the records of the Department of Forests and Waters (which no longer exists as such). The exhibit also includes artifacts from the State Museum and the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum. For more info on Clarke and his work, click here.

“First Step in the Felling of a Tree, Nine Mile, Potter County, Pennsylvania.” Undated.
From Original 5x7 Glass Negative by William T. Clarke, Pennsylvania State Archives, Dept. of Forests and Waters Photographs WTC 3820


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