September News (Some of It)

It’s time for a periodic review of newsworthy items that haven’t made it into other posts. As we drift into autumn (officially tomorrow), I’d also like to put in a plug for Pennsylvania Heritage; the Fall 2012 issue’s Trailheads feature looks at exhibits and programs on the Trails of History. The magazine is a benefit of membership in the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation (another benefit is free regular admission to PHMC sites). If you’re already a member of PHF or of an Associates/Friends group at one of our sites, thank you for your support. We appreciate all the folks who join, visit, donate, and/or spread the word about the Trails of History and participate in the important work of telling Pennsylvania’s stories.

Historical Marker Dedication, Philadelphia
One way you can help tell the stories of Pennsylvania history is by nominating an event, place, or individual for a PHMC historical marker. The subject of the nomination must have statewide or national significance. This often means putting specific examples into their larger context, which, in my opinion, is one of the things good local history does. Nominators must do their homework and provide substantive background on the subject of the marker, so it’s time to start if you want to make the December 1 postmark deadline. Details on the criteria for selection, types of documentation required, and the nomination process are here.

Gov. Tom Corbett and First Lady Susan Corbett (also known as First Tourist) will be on hand later today to welcome US Brig Niagara and her crew back to Erie after their participation in the Battle of Lake Erie commemoration in Put-in-Bay, Ohio, and Navy Week festivities in Buffalo, New York. And thanks to a $40,000 grant from Country Fair, 900 8th graders in Erie and the surrounding area will sail on Niagara (not all at once) to learn about the War of 1812, the basics of knot tying, and what shipboard life was like for 19th-century sailors. If you’ve had the chance to take part in a daysail, you know that it’s likely to be the highlight of the year for many of the students (maybe we’ll even get some budding historians out of it). Through this partnership with the Flagship Niagara League, the public can contribute to the 8th grade daysails by purchasing a Sailing Program placard at any Country Fair store during the month of September.

Garden at Pennsbury Manor via Facebook
In late August, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced this year’s grant recipients in the Coastal Zone Management program. CZM, a federal program funded primarily by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, the folks that make the weather), supports programs that measure the impact of various pollution sources; improve public access; preserve habitats; and educate the public about the benefits of the state’s coastal zones (the Delaware River Estuary and Lake Erie). PHMC received a grant of $40,000 for the restoration of fences around historic plantings and garden beds at Pennsbury Manor. To see first-hand where some of this work will take place, check out the Garden Highlights program at Pennsbury this Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Okay, one more item about money. Last month the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority awarded a $5,500 grant to support the Fall Heritage Event Series at the Scranton Iron Furnaces. Several of the events took place earlier this month, but two evening programs are coming up in October. “Celebrating the Scranton Iron Furnaces” (Oct. 5) includes a nighttime illumination of the furnaces, hayrides, and a bluegrass concert by Scranton-based band Cabinet (give them a listen here). “Bonfire and Harvest Festival” (Oct. 20) features food, music, harvest traditions, and, um, a bonfire (take a look at the cover photo on the furnaces’ Facebook page). Click here for details. (There was a nice article on heritage tourism in Scranton on GoLackawanna recently, featuring staff from Anthracite Heritage.)

Shared meal at Graeme Park via their blog
The PHMC’s 2012 Foodways theme will, come the new year, give way to the 2013 theme (the Civil War), but let’s face it, food traditions always have been, and probably always will be, a big hit at historic sites. Starting on Sept. 29, Graeme Park will offer “Hearth and Home: Seasonal Cooking in the Colonial Kitchen,” a series of four programs focused on seasonally available foods of 18th-century southeastern Pennsylvania. Each class will include hands-on activities (for foodie grownups) and a shared meal. In addition to next Saturday, classes are scheduled for Dec. 8, Mar. 9, and May 11; cost is $55 per class or $200 for all four. Registration (required) closes 2 days before each class. Go here for details and contact info.


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