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.


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