May We Expect You?

UPDATE MAY 1: Okay, so I didn't get a new post written for this week. I have made some updates and corrections, so it's not like it's completely the same post two weeks in a row. I'll try to do better next week!

So much to do, so little time. Lots of programs for gardeners, food fans, nature lovers, music lovers, runners/walkers, and, of course, lovers of history. Most sites on the Trails of History are open on Memorial Day, but not all of them; you’ll find a listing here. I’m also issuing a plea to any of you who have visited Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum’s award-winning exhibit on the Lancaster Long Rifle—please take a few minutes to respond to our visitor survey here or on the upper right of this page. Thank you!

Brandywine Battlefield
May 25: Living History Event-check the website for details closer to the date. Reenactors or interpreters interested in participating may contact Brandon Miller, assistant educator.

Bushy Run Battlefield
May 10: Evening with the 18th Century Artists-this fundraising event features Bob Albrecht, John Buxton, Robert Griffing, Pamela Patrick White, Bryant White and sculptor Wayne Hyde. There will be a cocktail hour, dinner and presentation of Griffing's new painting of Chief Pontiac to the John Rooney family. Cost is $80 per person; reservations are required and the deadline is May 1. Call 724/527-5584.
May 11: Spring Nature Walk—this annual event takes participants on an exploration of the woods and fields around the site; free for members of Bushy Run Battlefield Heritage Society, $5 fee for non-members. Reservations not necessary. 10 am.

Conrad Weiser Homestead
May 5: 18th-Century Interpretive Sunday—the public is invited to visit the homestead and park from noon to 4 p.m. to learn about life in Berks County during the 18th century. Free of charge.

Cornwall Iron Furnace
May 14: “A Soldier’s Life on the Continental Line”—Revolutionary War reenactor Irv Snavely will present a talk about the history of the German Regiment, a unit of the American Continental Army made up of men from southern Pennsylvania and northern Maryland. Snavely’s talk is part of the Friends of Cornwall Furnace lecture series, which is held in Freeman Auditorium at Cornwall Manor, across the road from the furnace site. 7 pm.
May 22: Horseless Carriage Club of America-members will be stopping by the site at approximately 10 am and 1:30 pm with their vehicles. Visit the furnace for a tour and see some cool old cars (1915 and older) while you're there.

Daniel Boone Homestead
May 5: Children’s Day and Sheep & Wool Program—children and their families are invited to spend the afternoon learning about the young Daniel Boone and his family during the time they lived in the Oley Valley. A new book, Daniel Boone’s Boyhood Adventures in Colonial Pennsylvania, will be available for purchase and signing (no charge for the signing). Hands-on activities are on the schedule as well as a chance to see a local shearer get the Homestead’s flock of four sheep ready for summer (visit the website for more details). Admission is $8 for age 13 and older, free for children 12 and under; light refreshments will be available. Noon-4 pm.
May 25: Daniel Boone Dash!—this new event features a 5K run and a 1-mile fun walk that wend their way through the grounds of the museum. There will also be a pig roast for runners and walkers. Registration is required; go here to sign up. If you want to be sure you get a race t-shirt, please register by May 11. Proceeds benefit the Homestead’s educational programs and events.

Drake Well Museum
May 18: MEET-U in 5 Trail Run—enjoy a 5-mile run (wish I could) through the grounds of Drake Well Museum and Oil Creek State Park and help the museum’s MEET-U educational outreach program. Registration fee is $30 until May 1, then goes up to $35. Call 814/827-2797 or go here for details.
May 25: Blacksmithing Demos—monthly blacksmithing demonstrations by Oil Valley Blacksmiths Association the last Saturday of the month, through October. 9 am-2 pm.

Eckley Miners’ Village
May 25: Victorian Fashion Show—the program, held at the Sharpe House in the village, will feature a variety of Victorian-era clothing styles modeled by Queen Victoria’s Court, a group from the local region who help support community organizations. After the show, mingle with the models and enjoy light refreshments and tea. Admission is $10 per person. 1-4 pm. UPDATE: Hazleton Garden Club will also have herbs and plants for sale.

Ephrata Cloister
May 12: Mothers Day—admission is free today for mothers. So you should also buy her something nice in the museum store (just sayin'). Noon-5.
May 17: Community Days—students learn about life in 18th-century Ephrata through 12-15 minute presentations at a range of educational stations around the site (and move at their own pace from station to station). Reservations are strongly encouraged (call 717/733-6600); admission is $6 for students, with one adult admitted free with every 10 students (additional adults with a group pay $9). 9:30 am-1 pm.
May 19: Ephrata Cloister Chorus Concert—in the historic meetinghouse or Saal. The program includes 18th-century music from Ephrata Cloister and other early communities as well as a pre-concert presentation on music at Ephrata. Site admission today—adults, $10; age 65 and up, $9; age 3-5, $6—includes the concert. Members of Ephrata Cloister Associates and Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation receive a $2 discount. 4 pm.

Erie Maritime Museum and Flagship Niagara
May 1: Tall Ships Erie tickets on sale-Visit for details or call 814/452-2744.

Fort Pitt Museum
May 10: Colonial Chocolate Evening—learn about chocolate consumption in 18th-century British America, where drinking chocolate instead of tea became a political act; program offered in partnership with American Heritage Chocolate. Check with museum for time and admission info.
May 11: Summer Saturdays at the Fort—“Beverages at Fort Pitt” is the theme for this month’s living history program. Included in regular admission. 10 am-5 pm.

Graeme Park
May 11: Hearth and Home Colonial Cooking Class—learn about seasonal foods and open hearth cooking techniques in the Keith House Summer Kitchen, then enjoy a communal meal with your classmates. Cost is $55; registration is required by May 9. 10 am to sometime between 2 and 3 pm.

Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
May 10-11: 26th Annual Herb & Garden Faire—plants, plants, and more plants, plus lectures by gardening experts, cool art for your garden, herbal products and foods, and great eats by local groups and caterers. Just about everything you need to know about the event can be found here. Admission is $10 (children 5 and under free). 9 am-5 pm. UPDATE: Landis Valley is still looking for volunteers for this wonderful event. Contact Mike Emery if you're interested.

Old Economy Village
Through May 25: Beaver County Tourist Days—go here to find out when residents of your zip code are eligible for free admission.
May 8: Lecture-Eileen Aiken English will speak about her research, "Count Leon: The Man Who Cleft the Harmonie." Visitor Center Classroom. 7 pm.
May 18: Garden Mart—Held in the historic gardens at Old Economy, this event features plants, gardening tools, and food from or for the garden for sale by local garden clubs and vendors as well as OEV’s greenhouse and gardens. Free of charge. 10 am-3 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
May 5: Historic Trades and Sheep Shearing—the blacksmith and joyner will be on hand to demonstrate their skills, plus you can watch as the sheep are sheared by hand to get them ready for summer (and help wash, card, and spin the wool if you’re so inclined). Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
May 12: Living History Theater, “Orphans’ Court, Part II”—Learn how the local community took care of its orphaned children. In honor of Mother’s Day there will also be a program on fashion, clothing, and textiles in the Kitchen House. Ladies’ fashions will be available for try-on and photo ops. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
May 19: Open Hearth Cooking, Dairying—the cooks will talk about milk and its uses in the 17th century and prepare cheese using period recipes. There will also be a demonstration of 17th-century beer brewing techniques (sorry, no samples). Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
May 26: Garden Highlights—the gardeners will be at work and able to help you enjoy the beauties of the summer garden. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.

Pennsylvania Military Museum
UPDATE: Month of May: Mom exhibit-in honor of Mother's Day, the museum has put together an exhibit of letters and souvenirs sent by military personnel to their mothers, exploring a bond that has been part of military life for centuries. Visit website for museum hours and admission info.
May 1: “The War of 1812, A Naval Perspective, Part 2”—speaker is James Bloom, Captain, USN (Ret.). Part of the Friends’ Richard Koontz Memorial Lecture Series. 7:30 pm.
May 11: Bridge of Hope Mother's Day 5K-takes place on the grounds of the museum. Proceeds benefit homeless mothers and children in Centre County. Go here for info and to register.
May 12: Mother's Day-the museum is offering a 2 for 1 admission deal for Military Moms today. Noon-4 pm.
May 19: A Celebration of Service: Honoring Pennsylvania Veterans—annual US Army reunion and memorial service sponsored by the Pennsylvania National Guard; this event is held rain or shine. (You can see photos of last year’s event here.) 12:30-3 pm
May 22-23: Centre Gives Online Campaign-the museum is participating in the Centre Foundation's 2013 36-Hour Giving Challenge. Minimum donation is $25; organizations will receive a share of the "stretch" fund of $100,000. All giving is online, go here for details. Donations accepted from May 22 at 6 am to May 23 at 6 pm.
May 25-26: World War II Revisited—American and German WWII reenactors will be bivouacked on the museum grounds portraying field life in the European Theater of Operations, 1944-45. On May 25 at 3 pm, the “Andrews Sister Tribute Show” from First in Flight Entertainment will entertain the troops and homefront crowd in the Service Canteen (please bring your own seating). 10 am-4 pm.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
May 16-19: Pennsy Days—four days focusing on the equipment, history, and spirit of the Pennsylvania Railroad, presented in conjunction with the conference of the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society. Visit the museum website for program details.

Somerset Historical Center
May 3-5: Annual School of Coopering—learn to make a maple sugar keeler (bucket) using traditional tools and techniques. People have come from all over to attend this workshop over the years and then gone back out into the world to practice and teach the craft. Cost is $165 ($150 for members), which includes materials and lunch on Saturday. Registration is required and space is limited. Call 814/445-6077 for details. UPDATE 5/1/13: this is sold out and there's a waiting list
May 18: Garden Thyme—this workshop will focus on heirloom seeds, raised bed gardening, and herbs/plants historically grown in Somerset County. Attendees will leave with seeds from the site’s German raised bed gardens. Cost is $20 ($15 for members); call 814/445-6077 for details.
May 31-June 2: White Oak Basket Making—learn the entire process from log to completed basket using techniques passed down through several generations. Cost is $125 ($115 for members) and includes all materials, plus lunch on Saturday. Space is limited and registration is required. Call 814/445-6077.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
May 17: 3rd in the Burg—The museum participates in this monthly event in downtown Harrisburg. The Museum Store will be offering specials on selected Pennsylvania arts and crafts items and Civil War 150 merchandise for 3rd in the Burg and for the remainder of the weekend. Check the website for program details.

Washington Crossing Historic Site
May 11: 3rd Annual Washington Crossing Brewfest—this event takes place in the upper park on the banks of the Delaware River, near the Thompson-Neely House. Admission is $40 ($10 for designated drivers). For information and tickets, go here. 12:30-4:30 pm.
May 19: Spring Cooking Demonstration—the cook will prepare recipes using seasonally available foods and cooking on the open hearth. Included in regular tour admission.10 am-4 pm.
May 27: Memorial Day Observance—fallen soldiers from the Winter 1776 campaign will be remembered in a ceremony at the Revolutionary War Soldiers’ Gravesite behind the Thompson Neely house. Free of charge. 11 am.

A Great Weekend to Get Out on the Trails of History

News 11 (Blue Ridge Communications local channel in Lancaster County) reporter Peter Taraborelli visited Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum earlier this week to learn about draft horses. Tomorrow and Sunday, 10 am-5 pm, you can too as the museum partners with the Pennsylvania Draft Horse and Mule Association for “Spring Plow Days.” If you’re there on Saturday, consider sticking around for the Spring Benefit Auction, which has a silent auction and a live auction, plus food and drink for purchase, all to benefit the museum’s programs.

Luzerne County’s Keystone Active Zone (KAZ) Passport program for 2013 kicks off this weekend (registration opens today) and continues through the end of September. Eckley Miners’ Village is listed as one of the trails that participants can visit and, as with all the stops, there’s a question for which they can find the answer along the way. Registered Passport users who log in to answer the questions from the stops they visit are eligible for awards and prizes. The project, which is funded in part through DCNR, is designed to get county residents outdoors to visit the many parks and trails available. This is Eckley’s first year as a stop.

Other events and programs on the schedule for this weekend include:

Ephrata Cloister—“Spring Search” history scavenger hunt program. Admission is $1 for children age 11 and under, $10 for adults ($9 for age 65+); free for members of Ephrata Cloister Associates or Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation (hint, hint). Saturday, 1-4 pm.

Pennsylvania Military Museum—Kids Day Dress Up and Discover Program. Try on head gear and field gear from the museum’s education collection and explore learning stations throughout the exhibit galleries. Kids of all ages get in for a buy-one-get-one free admission (Friends of the Museum get in for FREE!). Saturday, 10 am-3 pm.

State Museum of Pennsylvania—New exhibit, “Objects of Valor: Commemorating the Civil War in Pennsylvania,” opens to the public. Included in regular admission. Opening day, Saturday, 9 am-5 pm (check website for general operating schedule). There is a free opening reception this evening from 7-9 pm as part of 3rd in the Burg.

Pennsbury Manor and Washington Crossing Historic Park both have open hearth cooking demonstrations on Sunday afternoon. Included in regular admission.

Open hearth cooking at Pennsbury Manor (via Facebook)

You can click on the April program preview here for more and to see what’s up for the rest of the month.

Here’s wishing you a safe and happy weekend.

Honoring Hannah Penn and Other News

In the April program preview we listed a temporary exhibit at the State Museum of Pennsylvania (open through April 28) featuring Hannah Penn and highlighting her role as the first woman to govern Pennsylvania. At the opening ceremony, Governor Tom Corbett launched a year-long effort to study and honor Hannah, second wife of Pennsylvania founder William Penn, and shed light on her legacy for all Pennsylvanians. First Lady Susan Corbett will lead a team comprised of the PHMC (including the State Museum and Pennsbury Manor), the Capitol Preservation Committee, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Commission for Women. One component of this will be the Hannah Penn Leadership Award Program, administered by the Pennsylvania Commission for Women (nominations will be accepted through the end of 2013, with the first awards presented in March, 2014).

You can also learn about Hannah Penn’s life and family by visiting Pennsbury Manor, where she is featured in the visitor center exhibit and tours of the manor house and outbuildings.

Hannah Penn as depicted in visitor center exhibit at Pennsbury Manor (photo by AKF)

A groundbreaking ceremony for the expanded visitor center and museum building at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum has been scheduled for Monday, April 22, at 10:00 a.m. Representatives of PHMC and the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Associates (PALMA) will be joined by elected officials and community leaders to celebrate the start of this project. The expansion will not quite double the square footage of the building, providing new exhibition space, a community room, and a fully accessible front entrance (you can read a bit more about it here in local news coverage). The spring antiques and collectibles show will be held off-site tomorrow (go here for more info), but the annual Bark Peelers Convention will still take place on the museum grounds, July 6-7.

Niagara crew members work on up-rigging the ship (via Facebook)

Archivists from all over the east coast will be visiting Erie later this month for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, and folks from the Trails of History will be helping to welcome them. The Erie Maritime Museum and Flagship Niagara will host a reception for attendees one evening. Linda Bolla, Erie Maritime Museum, and Susan Beates, Drake Well Museum, will participate in a panel discussion on “Erie’s Oil, Maritime, and Art Heritage,” and Senior Captain Walter Rybka will present a luncheon talk, “What Do Ships Have to Teach?” I’d say we’re well represented.

More news and highlights next week!

Roundup April 2013

If you read Trailheads with any regularity, you know what a “roundup” is. If you don’t, well, it won’t take you long to figure it out. Where would I be without Facebook?

Offering visitors a behind-the-scenes peek at museum work (via Facebook)
Making a virtue of necessity, folks at the Pennsylvania Military Museum recently turned an object cleaning task into an informal gallery talk and instructional video. Using an example being prepped at the museum, educator Joe Horvath instructs collections technician John McFarland and viewers on proper cleaning and maintenance procedures (which were developed by professional conservators). You can watch it here on PMM’s Facebook page. “Like” their page if you want to catch additional installments of these behind-the-scenes videos, keep current on museum events and programs, or meet some of the people (past and present) who work at the museum.

You can make a virtual visit to Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum on a "Sunday Morning in March" (click here). A real visit is even better. We had a post back in July about Landis Valley’s exhibit on the Lancaster Long Rifle. On April 8, the exhibit will be honored with an Institutional Award of Merit by PA Museums, the statewide association for museums and historical organizations. There is still time to see the exhibit, as its run has been extended through June 10. (If you’ve already visited “The Golden Age of an American Art Form: The Lancaster Long Rifle,” please click here to take our survey.)

The winter cover is off and US Brig Niagara is getting ready for another sailing season. (Check out photos of Cover Day here.) This summer, the ship and her crew will visit all five Great Lakes and participate in a bicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Lake Erie (coverage from CNN here in which they refer to Niagara as "the big daddy of this battle"). Find her sailing schedule here, or check the Erie Maritime Museum website for news about Tall Ships Erie 2013, a festival of sailing ships scheduled for September 5-8.

Joseph Priestley House has reopened for the season with several new exhibits highlighting Dr. Priestley’s scientific work (his microscope and reproduction glassware for his laboratory) and archaeological excavations at the site. You can read more about it and see photos on their website here.

Susan Yanick Zoshak, Eckley resident who worked as an extra in The Molly Maguires,
shared by her great-granddaughter on Eckley’s Facebook page
The Facebook page for Eckley Miners’ Village is a great place to see photos from the site’s past. They’ve been sharing photos from the Greater Hazleton Historical Society (for example, scenes from the movie set of The Molly Maguires), and people with family history to the town have been sharing their own photos (Suzanne Smith shared the photo above, along with a couple of others). You can explore it here.

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend.