Welcome to 2013!

Well, it’s a new year. I hope that you’re feeling optimistic and ready for whatever lies ahead. It may not solve everything, but it can’t hurt. Folks on the Trails of History are planning programs and tours and special events and lectures and exhibits and much, much more. Site schedules are in winter mode, which means some have reduced hours or are closed except by prior arrangement. Most sites will be closed on January 21 for Martin Luther King, Jr., Day; Fort Pitt Museum (which is closed for exhibit work Jan. 1-20) and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania will be open. (And of course winter weather events can throw every plan out the window.) Please check with the sites you want to visit to be sure they’ll be open when you plan to be there.

Staff from the Bureau for Historic Preservation and the State Museum will be at the Pennsylvania Farm Show (Jan. 5-12) promoting historical markers, archaeology, and lots of other good stuff to the assembled throng. Be sure to visit the PHMC booth in the Family Living area of the Main Hall (east of the butter sculpture). Go here for show details.

Anthracite Heritage Museum
Jan. 19: Knox Mine Disaster—this program looks at the events of Jan. 22, 1959, when the Susquehanna River flooded the mine at Port Griffith (Luzerne County) and explores the effects on the local community. 3 pm.

Ephrata Cloister
Jan. 24, 31: Winter History Class—this annual program explores a variety of topics related to the Historic Ephrata Cloister and the world in which it existed. Classes continue each Thursday and conclude with a field trip on April 3. Cost is $50 ($40 for members of Ephrata Cloister Associates) with an additional fee for the field trip. Call 717/733-6600 to register. 9 am-noon.

Joseph Priestley House
Jan. 6: Twelfth Day—glimpse the Priestley family’s life in Northumberland with a taste of the English customs they remembered. (Go here for a nice article on the event.) The house will be decorated as an English country manor, costumed docents will be on hand, and there will be chemistry demonstrations and children’s games. Admission charged. 1-4 pm.

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Jan. 19: Propagation Workshop—volunteers from the Heirloom Seed Program will teach you how to start plants from seeds and cuttings or by division of existing plants. Cost is $30 and includes materials you will be able to take home with you. Class size is limited, so please register by Jan. 14; registration form is here. 9 am-3 pm.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Jan. 31: Entry deadline for photography contest—photos of railroad people, places, and equipment taken in 2012 in Pennsylvania are eligible for the contest, which will result in an exhibit at the museum this spring. Go here for details and entry form.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Jan. 11: Emancipation Proclamation lecture—Harold Holzer, author of Emancipating Lincoln: The Proclamation in Text, Context and History, will help mark the 150th anniversary of this historic document with a presentation (sponsored by the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation). Admission is free. 7:30 pm.
Jan. 12: Martin Luther King, Jr., Celebration—Nate Gadsden’s Writers Wordshop will host a birthday celebration at the museum; the event is free and open to the public. 2-4 pm.
Jan. 12-Feb. 3: Emancipation Proclamation exhibit—a rare copy of the document, on loan from the Union League of Philadelphia, will be on display at the museum during regular hours. Included in museum admission.
Jan. 18: Artists Conversations—artists/educators Deb Watson and Richard Ressel will discuss their work as well as other traditional and emerging art perspectives showcased in the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society’s juried exhibition, currently on view at the museum (through Feb. 3). Part of 3rd in the Burg, a monthly event celebrating local artists and arts venues. 6:30 pm.


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