Holy moly, it’s cold! (Gotta keep our PG rating.) Now it feels like January. This week, in my seemingly endless commentary on the weather, we take a decided downturn in temps, just as we were thinking that this might be a mild winter. As I write this, I’m wearing the gloves one of my nieces gave me for Christmas—you know, the kind with no fingertips (see photo below). I haben’t quite got the hamg of typing with rhem yet, but they help.

Life on the Trails of History moves at a somewhat slower pace this time of year, as many of you know. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do, however. The bulk of sites are open, even if some are open fewer days than during the warmer months. And most of the ones that are mostly closed are available by appointment (especially for groups). Next week we’ll run the February program preview to take a look at what’s coming up. (It will be the 200th Trailheads post!)

Tonight from 7 to 9 pm, the Visitor Center at Old Economy Village is the place to be for the opening of “A Plane Old Exhibit.” Michael Falcone, a 10th-grader at Quaker Valley High School and member of Old Economy’s Young Harmonist program, has taken an interest in the site’s Cabinet Shop. Harmonist woodworkers were prolific, turning out a variety of furniture and other products (see a post here about a previous exhibit on Harmonist furniture). Falcone researched woodworking planes (of which there are many in the collection) and has put together a temporary exhibit to share this aspect of the site’s rich history. The exhibit will continue until April, so if tonight’s not good for you, there’s still time.

Tomorrow, Jan. 26, there’s a Valentine Tin workshop at Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, organized by the Weathervane Museum Store. You can call 717/569-9312 to see if there’s still space available and, if there is, to register. Cost is $10 and you’ll take home several different projects. (Note: as of last Friday, tickets for Landis Valley's Victorian Valentine Dinner on Feb. 9 are sold out.)

Erie Maritime Museum will host a reception on Sunday, Jan. 27, from 2 to 4 pm to mark the opening of their new exhibit on the Erie-Extension Canal. The last section of a statewide network of canals, the Erie-Extension Canal (opened in 1844) connected Lake Erie to Pittsburgh and the Ohio River (and thence to the Mississippi). The exhibit is based on materials donated by Elizabeth Malc-Dwyer, whose law office building was located over the bed of the canal on Erie's West Sixth Street, with additional pieces drawn from the museum's collection and the Hazel Kibler Memorial Museum in Girard. Sunday's reception is free and open to the public. After that, the exhibit will be included in regular museum admission and will remain on view through June.

Next Thursday, Jan. 31, is the deadline for submitting entries for the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania’s photography contest. Photos of railroad people, places, and equipment in Pennsylvania are welcome (photo must have been taken in 2012) and will form the basis of a temporary exhibit at the museum. Go here for details and instructions.

The State Museum of Pennsylvania’s temporary exhibit on the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation continues through February 3. A rare signed copy of the document, on loan from the Union League of Philadelphia, is the centerpiece of the exhibit, which also draws from the State Museum and State Archives collections. The exhibit is included in regular museum admission.

Stay warm, Trailheads.


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