On the Edge of September

Most sites on the Trails of History will be open Monday, Sept. 3, for Labor Day, but it’s always best to check ahead with the site you want to visit, just to be sure. And please note that although the NEA’s Blue Star Museums program officially ends on Labor Day, regular admission to PHMC sites is free to active duty military members and their families all year long.

September is Museum Month in Lancaster County, home to three Trails of History sites—Ephrata Cloister, Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum, and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. Visit any participating museum (but I really want you to visit these three) and you can enter to win a getaway prize package valued at more than $1,000 (go here for the list of other sites).

Anthracite Heritage Museum and Scranton Iron Furnaces
Sept. 8: Family Day—Scranton Iron Furnaces will present a hands-on workshop for kids and a living history theater play; Univ. of Scranton will provide tours of the Scranton Estate (visit the website for details). Admission is free. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Sept. 15: Scranton Cultural Crossroads: A Celebration of Ethnic Traditions—takes place on site at Scranton Iron Furnaces. Admission is free. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Follow Scranton Iron Furnaces on Facebook for updates.)

Brandywine Battlefield
Sept. 11: 9/11 Remembrance—this program commemorates the events of Sept. 11, 1777 and 2001.
Sept. 23: Battlefield Movie SeriesJohnny Tremain is this month’s pick. Admission is free. 1 p.m.
Sept. 29: Encampment Day and Lecture—18th-century military camps featuring both Continental and British troops, firing and drill demonstrations, sutlers, and more (click here for details). 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Bushy Run Battlefield
Sept. 15: Fall General Meeting and Lecture—Mark McConaughy, a PHMC archaeologist based at Bushy Run, will present “Early Woodland Mounds in Western Pennsylvania and the Panhandle of West Virginia” as part of the fall membership meeting. $5 fee for non-members. 1-3 p.m.
Sept. 23: 2nd Annual Bushy Run Rides—Get your motor(cycle) running and head out on the highway for this Trails of History tour through Westmoreland and Fayette Counties. Enjoy a historical ride and support the Bushy Run Battlefield Heritage Society in their work at this important site. Go here for a map and details. Sign-in starts at 9 a.m.

Conrad Weiser Homestead
Sept. 2: First Sunday—the site will be open today, noon to 4 p.m.
Sept. 9: Weiser Interpretive Sunday—historical reenactors help bring the site and its history to life. Noon-4 p.m.
Sept. 22: 31st Annual Conrad Weiser Disc Golf Tournament—Registration starts at 9 a.m., tournament at 9:30 a.m. Call Mike Dunkle, 717/866-5874, for info.

Cornwall Iron Furnace
Sept. 22: Cast Iron Cooking Demonstration—Kay and Barry Melchi will display and discuss a wide variety of cast iron cooking pots. Even better, they’ll use cast iron to cook a ham and doughnuts over a cooking fire outside the furnace. Demonstration is free. Round out the experience with a tour through the Furnace to see where cast iron comes from (regular admission fees apply). Demonstration 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; museum is open 9 a.m-5 p.m.

Daniel Boone Homestead
Sept. 29: Friends of the Daniel Boone Homestead 1st Annual Golf Tournament—this fundraising event will be held at Green Acres Golf Course in Bernville. Registration is required and includes greens fees, lunch, and the chance to win prizes. Go here for more info and a downloadable registration form. The registration deadline has been extended to Sept. 15.

Drake Well Museum
Sept. 1: Historic Pithole open—an opportunity to visit the remains of an oil boom town that went bust. Admission fee charged. 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Sept. 15: Fall Gas Up—the Pioneer Steam and Gas Engine Society will display antique gas engines on the grounds of the museum. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. AND Heritage Lecture Series—Paul Heasley will speak on the topic of Bio-Diesel. 7 p.m.
Sept. 29: Oil Valley Blacksmiths—this is a monthly demonstration program held the last Saturday of the month from April through October. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Ephrata Cloister
Sept. 8: Founders’ Day—Discover the roots of the Ephrata community with a special admission price of $1 (ages 3 and up) and lots of interesting activities on the site. Tickets for tours of the rarely shown upper floors of the Sisters’ House are $12 ($10 for Ephrata Cloister Associates members). 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sept. 15: Tour to Gunston Hall and Mount Vernon—join other history lovers on a tour to the Virginia homes of George Mason and George Washington and have dinner with Martha Washington. Tickets are $115 per person ($105 for members); seating is limited. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 717/733-6600. 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

Erie Maritime Museum and Flagship Niagara
Sept. 10: Battle of Lake Erie commemoration—this year marks the 199th anniversary of the famous battle in which Niagara played such a pivotal role; a brief ceremony and wreath laying will take place at the Perry Monument in Presque Isle State Park (in the event of bad weather, the ceremony will be moved to Niagara Plaza at Erie Maritime Museum). 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 15: Event Series Kickoff—the museum will show the documentary The War of 1812, produced by Florentine Films/Hott Productions for public television (we posted about it here when filming took place on Niagara in 2009 and here when the documentary aired last fall). Free admission. Hirt Auditorium, 2 p.m.
Sept. 29: Lunchtime concert—a musical performance by the Hardtackers Shanty Crew on Niagara Plaza. The concert is free; hot dogs, snacks, and beverages will be for sale before the concert (proceeds benefit the US Brig Niagara sailing program). 12:30 p.m. AND Three Lights Tour—a trolley tour to Erie’s three historic lighthouses, with an opportunity to climb to the top of two of them. Great photo ops. Cost is $25 ($20 for members of Flagship Niagara League); includes admission to Erie Maritime Museum (which houses exhibits on lighthouses, the Coast Guard, and a Fresnel lens from the North Pier light). Seating is limited and reservations must be pre-paid. Call the museum gift shop at 814/452-2744 x208. 12:30-4 p.m. SORRY--THE THREE LIGHTS TOUR IS SOLD OUT AS OF 9/21/12

Graeme Park
Sept. 19: Homeschool Day—activities include tours of the Keith House, open-hearth cooking, militia drills, and colonial games (click here for flyer). Cost is $6 per person; students must be accompanied by a responsible adult. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. AND Deadline for registrations for Senior Days at Graeme Park, a new program of seminars and tours in the spirit of Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson’s “Attic Evenings.” Designed for older adults and scheduled for Oct. 3 and 4; you can register for either or both days, members of Friends of Graeme Park receive a discount. Flyer with full details and registration form is here.

Joseph Priestley House
Sept. 18: Opening Reception for New Timeline Exhibit and Annual Membership Meeting—the new Joseph Priestley Timeline exhibit will be unveiled in the Pond Building, followed by the Friends of Joseph Priestley House annual meeting and dinner. For details and an online registration form, click here. 5:30 p.m.

Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
Sept. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30: September Ice Cream Sundays—enjoy a lovely Sunday afternoon with wagon rides, live music, and (for a small fee) “make-your-own” ice cream sundaes. Noon-3 p.m.

Old Economy Village
Sept. 15: Worldwide Spin in Public Day—Spinners are invited to bring their wheel, drop spindle, or charkha and enjoy a few hours of spinning in the historic gardens. Spin in Public Day began in 2009, but this is Old Economy’s first event; learn more about it here. 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Sept. 15 or 19: Have German Will Travel—if you’re interested in learning to speak the language of the Harmony Society, this is your chance. Ed Heinlein, who retired with 30 years experience teaching German, is starting a class based at Old Economy. The initial class meetings (Saturday morning or Tuesday evening) will be used to determine the preferred schedule going forward. Click here for more information and registration info.
Sept. 29-30: Erntefest Harmonist Harvest Festival—Learn how the Harmonists celebrated the harvest and prepared for the winter ahead. Craftspeople will demonstrate 19th-century trades, and hands-on activities include churning butter, making apple schnitz (dried apples), and pressing apples for cider. Food will be available from vendors on site or across the street at St. John’s Lutheran Church. Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun., noon-5 p.m.

Pennsbury Manor
Sept. 2: Historic Trades—the blacksmith and joyner will be on hand to demonstrate their work with metal and wood. 1-4 p.m.
Sept. 9: Living History Theater—“The Trial of Derek Claasen” follows the investigation of a murder in 1692; see where it leads. 1-4 p.m.
Sept. 16: Open Hearth Cooking—the cooks will be preparing recipes brought to Pennsylvania by French Huguenots in the 1700s. 1-4 p.m. AND Volunteer Training, 1-5 p.m. (Click here to learn how to enlist.)
Sept. 23: Garden Highlights—it’s beginning to look and feel like fall in Pennsbury’s gardens; come see for yourself. 1-4 p.m.
Sept. 30: Animals at Pennsbury—meet the animals and learn about the work they do (and about the work their historical counterparts did as well). 1-4 p.m.

Pennsylvania Civil War 150 Road Show
Through Sept. 3: The Great Allentown Fair
Sept. 7-9: Northampton Community College, Bethlehem
Sept. 14-17: Antietam National Battlefield, Sharpsburg, Maryland
Sept. 21-23: Gettysburg College
Sept. 28-30: DelGrosso’s Amusement Park, Tipton

Pennsylvania Military Museum
Sept. 4: Central PA Civil War Roundtable talk and annual picnic—Linda Estupnian Snook will present “Not Frail Flowers – Six Pennsylvania Women Who Made a Difference in the Civil War.” Attendees are invited to bring a covered dish to share. 6 p.m.
Sept. 8-9: Then & NOW—this annual living history timeline program brings together military and civilian reenactors from the colonial period to the present. 18th-19th century fashion show begins at 1 p.m., 20th-21st century show at 2 p.m., historic weapons demo at 3 p.m. Bivouac/encampment runs 10 am.-4 p.m. both days. For photos of last year’s program, go here.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
All month: Present a copy of the Lancaster County Museum Month flyer to receive $1 off adult regular admission.
Sept. 22: 15th Annual Members Day—tours, lectures, book signings, and a banquet with speaker Stephen Fried, author of Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizng the Wild West—One Meal at a Time. Click here for details.

Somerset Historical Center
Sept. 7-9: Mountain Craft Days—since 1970, this event has brought together artisans and craftspeople of all types, and now includes children’s activities, cooking demonstrations, entertainment, and great food. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for kids 6-17. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sept. 29: Somerset County Archaeology Society Day—Brian Fritz will talk about the Shade Iron Furnace, an early 19th century archaeological ruin in the northern part of the county.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Sept. 1-3: Harrisburg Kipona festival—State Museum archaeologists will be on City Island offering a free program from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (they will also be conducting excavations at historic Fort Hunter, Sept. 5 through Oct. 12).
Sept. 9: Gallery Walk—the museum will be open free of charge, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. IdeaZone, featuring Food in PA: From Field to Table, will be open 12:30-3:30 p.m. At 2 p.m. there will be an Artist Conversation in the “Art of the State” exhibit (which closes Sept. 9). All day, Susquehanna Art Museum’s VanGO! will be parked adjacent to the museum.
Sept. 21: 3rd in the Burg—exhibit opening for the Susquehanna Art Museum Doshi Gallery exhibit, “Forty is the New Forever” (which continues through Dec. 9). 6-8:30 p.m.
Sept. 26: HomeSchool Day—a special program tailored for families and community organizations teaching in a home setting. Program fee is $8 for adults and children and includes a sneak peek at the newly upgraded planetarium. Register by calling 717/772-6997. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Sept. 23: Market and Muster Day—enjoy a day out as historical interpreters and reenactors get in the spirit of a colonial marketplace and militia drill. There will be activities for families, and the marketplace will include local produce and baked goods in addition to crafts. Cost is $8 for adults (age 12 and up), $4 for kids 5-11. Go here for details. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Our Top Story This Morning

Exhibit element at Drake Well, photo by Susan Beates

The much-anticipated opening of Drake Well Museum’s new exhibit is finally at hand. This Sunday, August 26, from noon to 5 p.m., you can be among the first to experience the sights and sounds of “There’s a Drop of Oil and Gas in Your Life Every Day.” Thanks to photos by Brenda Reigle in our Harrisburg bureau office and Susan Beates on the scene at Drake Well, we’ve been able to track the exhibit installation on PHMC’s Flickr photostream (click). Sunday’s festivities will include historical characters, music, food vendors, a stock car racer, and more; go to Drake Well’s Facebook page for details.

Section of "Wood on Glass" exhibit, photo by Brenda Reigle

Speaking of exhibits, the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum is currently hosting “Wood on Glass: The Lumber Industry Photographs of William T. Clarke.” The original version of this exhibit was produced in-house at The State Museum in 2010, co-curated by Linda Ries, State Archives, with photo historians Ronald E. Ostman and Harry Littell. Ostman and Littell were PHMC Scholars-in-Residence in 2005 and wrote an article for Smithsonian magazine about Clarke’s work in the lumber region during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. (For more info on the exhibit in its 2010-2011 run, go here.)

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

In Other News…
You may or may not have heard that the Pennsylvania Heritage Society is changing its name to Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation to better reflect its role in supporting the PHMC and its programs. You can go here to see the new logo or here to read more about the change.

The Pennsylvania Military Museum has posted photos and video of their "Boot Camp for Kids" and "Vietnam Revisited" programs on Facebook. Boot Camp also got a nice write-up in the Centre Daily Times.

Washington Crossing Historic Park has posted photos on Facebook of the August 4 visit from members of the American Travelling Morrice doing traditional English dances. Looks like a fun day!

If you’ve ever wanted to explore Bushy Run Battlefield by mountain bike, MAnderson 545 has posted useful information on the Trimble Outdoors site.

Eckley Miners’ Village was the Photo of the Day for August 20 on photographer George Sheldon’s blog. Further exploration reveals that Conrad Weiser Homestead was featured on July 16.

(Those last two items came to me via Google Alerts, my new BFF.)

Coming Up Next…
Aug. 24:
*Survivor (think “Eye of the Tiger”) in concert at Old Economy Village tonight. Tickets are still available; call 724/266-4500 for information.
*The PA Civil War 150 Road Show continues its appearance at the Perry County Fair through tomorrow, then moves on to the Great Allentown Fair, Aug. 28 through Labor Day.

Aug. 25:
*Oil Valley Blacksmiths will present their monthly demonstration at Drake Well from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
*The Weathervane Museum Store at Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum will hold their annual art show, with nearly 50 artists and vendors displaying their wares (some will also demonstrate). The art show is free, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; regular admission fees apply if you wish to tour the museum and buildings.
*If you visit the Pennsylvania Military Museum this weekend wearing an Armed Services themed t-shirt, you’ll get a 1 p.m. guided tour for $4.

Aug. 26 (in addition to the Drake Well exhibit opening):
*Volunteers will demonstrate colonial-era food prep, using a tripod and a cooking fire at Daniel Boone Homestead, noon to 4 p.m. as the last installment of Boone’s summer Interpretive Sundays series.
*The 1793 Yellow Fever Outbreak in Philadelphia will be the subject of a Living History Theater program at Graeme Park from noon to 4 p.m. (Click for a news article with more info.)
*The kitchen garden at Pennsbury Manor will be the focus of this month’s Garden Highlights program, 1-4 p.m., where staff will share their knowledge of Penn’s gardeners and their work. A lovely way to spend an afternoon.

Happy Trails!

A Summer at Ephrata

Our guest blogger this week is Henry Carlson, a junior, majoring in History at West Chester University. With the assistance of Prof. Charles Hardy, Carlson applied for and was granted an internship at Ephrata Cloister, which he will complete at the end of the month. Thank you, Henry, for your work this summer and for sharing your experience with Trailheads.

As my internship draws to a close, everyone here at Ephrata Cloister continues to do nothing but make my summer amazing. I am extremely fortunate for this internship and look forward to coming every Tuesday and Thursday through the end of August. Giving tours, working with visitors, taking trips to other facilities, handling artifacts, and selling tickets, are just a few of the things I do here. These activities and interacting with the guests and staff provide a great deal of information that cannot be provided in a classroom. My internship this summer exposed me to a plethora of different experiences and activities. Being the summer intern meant that I filled in where it was needed. This is a learning experience that I will cherish forever.

At Ephrata I learned about the business of Public History, the challenges facing this area, how to present history effectively, how to conduct research and most importantly about myself. I want to be a historian, contributing to the field of Public History, and Ephrata has given me that opportunity. Working with the educator and the director here I have begun a research paper to better understand the Householder congregation and their place here at Ephrata. I am now able to better understand what I am good at and what I personally need work on. Presenting history and making it interesting to all ages and demographics proves quite challenging; not everyone wants to hear the same stories through the same media. Some people prefer guided tours, others like touring by themselves. Some are more attracted to the religious aspect here, and others simply want to marvel at the old buildings. This internship educated me in more ways than I thought possible and provided me with so much; I cannot thank everyone enough for their help.

A Career in the Making?

This week, Trailheads welcomes guest blogger Kristin Kachel, who has just completed a Keystone Internship at the State Museum of Pennsylvania. Kristin is a history major, entering her senior year at Emory & Henry College, in Emory, Virginia. Thank you, Kristin, your work this summer and for sharing your thoughts (and photos) with our readers.

At my small school in southwest Virginia, where less than 1,000 undergrads roam between 4 academic buildings, you often have to take what you can get. Despite being in the “History and Social Sciences” track – that is, the only history track available that isn’t focused on preparing students for a future as a schoolteacher – I haven’t had any public history classes, simply because there are none offered. Nor do I have any desire to be a schoolteacher, despite my parents’ dogged insistence on drilling the idea into my head. To be honest, until this summer I had no idea what I wanted to do with my history degree. In the long run I knew I wanted to be a cartoonist (more on that later), but that doesn’t exactly pay the bills. Not only was my future uncertain, but my current job prospects were as bleak as they’ve always been. How to get hired without job experience? How to get job experience if no one will hire you?

Enter my internship with the Education and Outreach Department of the State Museum of Pennsylvania.

My project this summer was to put together IdeaZone, a temporary, hands-on exhibit for children and their families. The exhibit has a different theme every year, and this year’s theme was made with the PHMC’s theme “The Land of Penn and Plenty” in mind. The theme for this year’s IdeaZone is officially titled “Food in PA: From Field to Table.”

I’ve done research on a lot of things in the past few years, but this was definitely one of the more interesting topics. In fact, there was so much to cover that the hard part was narrowing my research down to what I wanted to include in the exhibit! I ended up including agriculture, ethnic contributions, and foods invented in Pennsylvania (or associated with the state) as the main themes. The idea is that Pennsylvania became such a unique place for food because its people, its land and its industry all influence each other. Unfortunately, I ran out of time to really cover industry, and it became represented through several posters on the wall.

Don’t get me wrong, though. I didn’t just do research. My duties included everything from note-taking to setting up and cleaning, and sometimes there were days that were just bizarre. Once we spent a good chunk of the day preparing chocolate to use in a taste-test, which required melting it down and then re-freezing it. We may or may not have dipped pretzels in the leftover melted chocolate. And then there’s today, which I’ve spent dancing in my chair to kids’ songs about food.

This IdeaZone has activities, and games, and things to look at. It has information and areas to play pretend. However, there’s one thing about this IdeaZone that I think makes it a little more unique, and that would be the comics. A giant comic mounted on the wall, about one of the legends of the hard pretzel, greets visitors as they enter the exhibit, and inside the room, little cartoons are scattered about, where a cow, pig, and twin wheat stalks provide bits of trivia. You might recall what I said about wanting to be a cartoonist. I put my job making comics for the school newspaper, The Whitetopper, on my resumé when I applied for the internship, but it seemed to have gone unnoticed until I started doodling comics during my lunch breaks. My supervisor, Cherie, saw an opportunity there, and I was more than happy to make comics for the exhibit. I think that comics, being silly, are more likely to attract kids’ attention, so kids would also be more likely to learn something from them. I always get a big, stupid grin on my face whenever I hear a child in the hallway reading the pretzel comic out loud! (I don’t think they pay much attention to the comics inside the room, but at least they’re there.)

The project wasn’t mine alone. To make it run smoothly, I received help from many other people, including exhibits, other interns, the rest of the education department, and higher-ups whose position titles escape me right now. Another intern, Selina, also made worksheets and put together lists of factory tours so families could take IdeaZone outside the museum and into the rest of Pennsylvania. In the end, it was really a joint effort. It takes everyone’s help to make an exhibit work.

As I sit here typing this, with 4 days left in my internship, I now have a very good idea of what I want to do with my degree. I’m planning to go to graduate school and focus on preparing for a career in a museum, maybe even in the education department. I knew an internship would at least help me narrow down my options, but I had no idea just how much it would! The experience has been wonderful, and I’m grateful I got the chance to do something so fun.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go back to dancing to “Cooking by the Book”!

August on Tap

Summer is forging ahead and so are the Trails of History sites. Find one near you and enjoy!

Anthracite Heritage Museum
Aug. 5: Lithuanian Heritage Day—exhibits, lectures, and musical performances will explore the Lithuanian heritage of the anthracite coal region. Lithuania's ambassador to the U.S. will be among those on hand to enjoy the day. Included in museum admission. Check here for program details. Noon-5 pm

Brandywine Battlefield
Aug. 26: Battlefield Movie Series—Free Sunday afternoon movies and snacks. 1776 is this month’s film. 1 pm

Bushy Run Battlefield
Aug. 4-5: 249th Anniversary of Battle of Bushy Run—this highly popular two-day event features battle reenactments, sutlers, crafts, and historical presentations. 10 am-4 pm

Conrad Weiser Homestead
Aug. 5: 18th-century Interpretive Sunday—learn about life in Berks County in the mid-18th century and hear a Native American perspective on the French and Indian War. Noon-4 pm; historic guided tours hourly noon-3 pm.

Cornwall Iron Furnace
Aug. 3: Cornwall Blast—a new fundraising event featuring local wineries and breweries, plus music by the Wayne Fox Trio. Wine and beer tastings for those 21 and over, plus other refreshments suitable for younger visitors and those who prefer their beer rooty instead of hoppy. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance; call 717/272-9711 to check on availability. 7-9 pm
Aug. 14: “Pennsylvania Long Rifles”—Staff from Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum will talk about the development of the distinctive American form known as the Lancaster or Pennsylvania long rifle. (As we may have mentioned here once or twice, Landis Valley currently has an exhibit of rifles and firearms that continues through Dec. 31.) Part of the Friends of Cornwall Iron Furnace lecture series, the program takes place in Freeman Hall auditorium at Cornwall Manor. 7 pm

Daniel Boone Homestead
Aug. 5, 12, 19, 26: Interpretive Sundays—spend Sunday afternoons in August learning about gardening and food preservation (8/5); turning flax and fleece into linen and wool (8/12); gunsmithing (8/19); and camp cooking (8/26). Included in museum admission. Noon-4 pm

Drake Well Museum
Aug. 4: Historic Pithole Open for Tours-Guides will be available today at the remains of one of the oil region's famous boomtowns. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children (ages 3-11); free for Friends of Drake Well. Go here for more info or here for doowop song about Pithole (thanks to PA Trails of History for the share). 9 am-3 pm
Aug. 25: Blacksmith Demonstrations—this monthly event brings local blacksmiths to the site to show how it’s done. 10 am-2 pm
Aug. 26: Drake Day and Exhibit Grand Opening—celebrate the first successful well drilled for oil and explore our brand new exhibit, “There’s a Drop of Gas and Oil in Your Life Every Day.” (Photos of the exhibit work in progress are here.) Local musicians, the Venango Brigade, will perform (you can hear samples of their Civil War-era music here). Noon-5 pm

Eckley Miners’ Village
Aug. 18-19: Living History and Civil War Weekend—living history demonstrations, military encampments, and reenactments throughout the village. Ethnic food concessions and a Victorian tea are also on the menu. Regular admission rates apply. 10 am-5 pm

Ephrata Cloister
Aug. 5: Ice Cream Social—enjoy an evening of ice cream (pick your own sundae toppings) and music (vocalist Dean Sensenig) in a beautiful setting. Tickets are $3 and can be purchased at the door or in advance at the Museum Store. 4-6 pm
Aug. 18: Family Day—discover life in Ephrata during the 1700s and the roles that family members played in their households through hands-on activities around this historic site. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $7 for students (age 6-17) and $5 for children (age 3-5). Ephrata Cloister Associates and PA Heritage Society members get in free. 10 am-3 pm

Fort Pitt Museum
Aug. 11: Saturdays at the Fort—this month the focus is on how the 18th-century residents of Fort Pitt fed themselves. Special demonstrations include hunting, fishing, and gardening. 10 am-5 pm

Graeme Park
Aug. 26: Yellow Fever Living History Program—Philadelphia experienced a dramatic yellow fever epidemic in 1793. Graeme Park, like other country estates, became a haven removed from the city’s contagions. This program explores the impact of the epidemic on Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson and her circle of family and friends. Noon-3:30 pm

Joseph Priestley House
Aug. 5: Oxygen Day—in honor of Dr. Priestley’s best known (though certainly not his only) scientific contribution, this program features costumed docents throughout the house, chemistry demonstrations, and a presentation by staff from the respiratory care department at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. Free admission. 1-4 pm; chem. demos at 1:30 and 3 pm.

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Aug. 7: Hands-On History Day—experience chores, games, and crafts from the past, take a wagon ride, learn your lessons in the one-room schoolhouse, and more. This program will also be offered Oct. 4 and 25, Nov. 8. Cost is $10 per person; children 5 and younger are free. 10 am-3 pm
Aug. 11: Storytelling Day—a full day of storytelling around the site, plus hands-on workshops and craft demonstrations. Go here for the day’s schedule. Regular admission rates apply. 10 am-4 pm
Aug. 25: Weathervane Art Show—Landis Valley’s museum store will host an array of artisans selling their wares and demonstrating their crafts, plus there will be music by the Ragtime Willi Band and, of course, food. Go here for a list of some of the artisans (the flyer says “30 artisans” but the list has grown to 50 as of late July). Admission to the art show is free; but why not buy a ticket to the site and make a day of it? 9 am-4 pm

Old Economy Village
Aug. 18: Living History Day and Gertrude Rapp’s Birthday—a full day of activities, with crafts demonstrations (including silk making in honor of the birthday girl), ginger cookies, ice cream and musical entertainment. Included in museum admission, so please start your day at the Visitor Center to purchase tickets. 10 am-5 pm
Aug. 24: Survivor in Concert—Remember “Eye of the Tiger?” “Is This Love?” “The Search is Over?” The ‘80s band Survivor will perform in the historic gardens (lawn chair and blanket seating only), with opening act Bishop Clay (a local band). Go here for details and info on tickets. Gate opens at 6 pm; Bishop Clay hits the stage at 7:30 pm, Survivor at 8:30 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
Aug. 5: Historic Trades—the blacksmith and the joyner will demonstrate their skills. 1-4 pm
Aug. 12: Living History Theater—“The Germantown Protest of 1688” explores the first documented protest against slavery in America, which took place at the Germantown meetinghouse of the Society of Friends. 1-4 pm
Aug. 19: Open Hearth Cooking—the cooks will be demonstrating Dutch foodways traditions in the kitchen. 1-4 pm
Aug. 26: Garden Highlights—the gardeners will be working in the kitchen garden. 1-4 pm

Pennsylvania Civil War 150 Road Show
Through Aug. 4: Schuylkill County Fair—hosted by the Schuylkill County Historical Society, Pottsville
Aug. 12-18: Fulton County Fair, McConnellsburg
Aug. 21-25: Perry County Fair, Newport
Aug. 28-Sept. 3: The Great Allentown Fair

Pennsylvania Military Museum
Aug. 1: “Harry Truman: The Most Successful (WWII) and Least Successful (Korean War) Commander-in-Chief”—Greg Ferro will talk about “Give ‘em Hell” Harry Truman, the only U.S. president to lead the country through two wars. Ferro, a retired State College High School history teacher, continues to teach and lecture on historical topics. Part of the Friends of PMM speaker series. 7:30 pm
Aug. 4-5, 11-12, 18-19, 25-26: T-shirt Tours—wear an Armed Services themed t-shirt to the Museum any weekend in August and receive a 1 pm guided tour for $4.
Aug. 5, 12, 19: “Gone West: The History of the 28th Division Shrine”—take a guided walking tour of the 28th Division Shrine, followed by a historical presentation and vintage film footage in the museum’s orientation theater. Donation requested. 5:15 pm
Aug. 7: “24 Hours at Manassas Junction: Second Manassas Campaign”—speaker Mark Trbovich will explore the campaign waged by Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia against Maj. Gen. John Pope’s Army of Virginia. August 2012 marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Second Manassas. (As a Union general, Pope would probably have referred to it as the second Battle of Bull Run.) Presented by the Central PA Civil War Roundtable. 7 pm

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Aug. 10-11: Hogwarts Express Parties—elements of the popular Harry Potter books come to life among the museum’s railcars and street scenes. The program is recommended for ages 8 and up (attendees must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian). Space is limited; registrations are accepted by mail or in person, and all those attending over age 3 also subject to museum admission fees. Go here for details and a registration form. 11 am, 1 pm

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31: Learn at Lunchtime—the museum offers free admission mid-day every Friday, along with docent tours of select exhibits. 11 am-1:30 pm; docent tours at 12:15 and 1 pm
Aug. 4-5, 11-12, 18-19, 25-26: IdeaZone—explore the topic of "Food in PA from Field to Table," with hands-on activities in the museum’s interactive learning space. Included in museum admission. 12:30-3:30 pm
Aug. 17: 3rd in the Burg—this month’s program features an Artist Conversation in the “Art of the State” exhibit and a reception. Free. 6-8 pm

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Aug. 4: The American Travelling Morrice—this group, comprised of musicians and morris dancers from all over who come together once a year to tour a different part of the country, will visit Washington Crossing as part of their 37th annual tour. Morris dancing is an English country tradition that dates back centuries. WCHP performance is at noon.