It's the End...and the Beginning

Please note that some sites on the Trails of History are closed today, Dec. 26, so be sure to check before visiting. There's not much of December left, so I've included the program listings below.

Ephrata Cloister
Dec. 26-27 and Jan. 2-3: Lantern Tours—This year's tour is focused on the Great Comet of 1743 (read more about the program in local news) and explores the reactions of community members. Tours are presented by junior and senior high school students under the guidance of museum staff and leave from the visitor center every half hour from 6:30 to 8 pm. Admission: $10 (age 12-64), $9 (65+), $7 (6-11), $5 (3-5); member discounts available. Reservations are required; call 717/433-6600 to reserve your spot.

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Dec. 30: Winter Day Camp—A great way to keep everyone happy and sane during school break. Cost is $35 per child, $20 per child for LVA members; includes a hot lunch. Registration is required; call the museum's education department at 717/569-0401 x228. 8:30 am-4:30 pm.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Dec. 31: Happy Noon Year’s Celebration—Ring in 2015 without staying up until midnight at this program designed for younger children and their families. Storytime, a planetarium show, and hands-on activities leading up to the big countdown in Memorial Hall at noon. Included in regular admission. 10 am-1 pm.

We'll have the January program listings next week, so stop on back.

Whatever your plans for New Year's Eve, please be safe, careful, and festive. Best wishes for 2015!

Festivities on the Trails of History

Well, we're into it now, campers. The stretch between this week and the first week of January includes numerous holidays and seasonal celebrations. Whatever your traditions are, I hope that you and the ones you love (and maybe even the-ones-that-you're-not-crazy-about-but-it's-the-holidays-and-what-are-you-gonna-do) have a chance to enjoy laughter, light, and good food together. If you're traveling, may your roads, rails, and/or skies be clear of ice and snow. If you're looking for things to do with the kids or the out-of-town guests, be sure to peruse the December program listings. Be aware that sometimes sites close a little early on "the eves," so check ahead to avoid disappointment. (UPDATE 12/22/14: some sites will be closed on Dec. 26, one more reason to check ahead.)

If your holiday celebrations include gift-giving, consider selecting something from your favorite museum store. Or browse the list of Trails of History sites and pick one that interests you (a few sites do e-commerce or at least list some of their merchandise on the web for you to order the old-fashioned way).

And so to a retrospective of programs from the past week or two...

A Homestead Christmas (more photos on Daniel Boone Homestead's Facebook page)

Drake Well Museum hosted a Holiday Shoppe program that explored 19th-century traditions and included a chance for kids to make a "Christmas cracker." Photos on Facebook show kids hard at work on their creations.

This year, Eckley Miners' Village combined their "Victorian Christmas" and "Children's Christmas" programs from previous years into a single "Christmas at Eckley" program. Offered last Saturday and Sunday, the event drew a larger audience than in the past few years. You'll find some nice photos on Facebook.

The Christmas Tree Ship (more photos on US Brig Niagara's Facebook page)
The Ephrata Merchants Association posted photos from Ephrata Cloister taken as part of the first annual Jingle Bell Trolley tour that visited various points of interest in the community. Tickets are still available for Ephrata Cloister's Lantern Tours program - Dec. 26 & 27, Jan. 2 & 3 - but they're getting [link added 12/22/14] some good local coverage, so don't wait too long to buy. This year's theme is the great comet of 1743 (which, according to NASA, had the 6th closest earth approach of any comet). For reservations, call 717/733-6600.

When PHMC's social media specialist and the editor of Pennsylvania Heritage magazine visited the Anthracite Heritage Museum recently, they learned about the legend of the Christmas spider. You can too, by watching this short video posted on the Pennsylvania Trails of History Facebook page.

Christmas at the Village, Old Economy (photo from 2013 via Facebook)

Catching up on a few things

Be sure to check out the December program listings to see what's happening on the Trails of History this weekend.

Most of what follows isn't really "catching up" in the sense that it's old news, but the first item is.

As I finally trolled through more than a month's worth of Google Alerts, I came across a listing for PCN's "It's History" featuring Drake Well Museum. Actually it was a repeat broadcast from January (of what year?!?) that I apparently missed the first time around as well. The half-hour video introduces the site's mission and interpretation and then provides a tour of some of the site's offerings.

US Brig Niagara's winter cover via Facebook
One of the surest signs of the changing seasons is the return of the Brig Niagara's winter cover (or its removal). Of course, winter usually comes to Erie a bit sooner than it does for those of us in the lower counties, but nevertheless. For me, it's sort of like when Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, only months earlier and not a groundhog. (Oh dear, I may have waited too late to start the daily dose of eggnog and Christmas cookies.)

Pennsbury Manor photo by Alina Marone via Facebook
Last week's Holly Nights program at Pennsbury Manor included something extra special in honor of the site's 75th anniversary. In addition to the candlelight, firelight, and lanternlight (not sure that's a word, but I'm going with it) visitors have come to expect at this long-running event, Thursday night's program ended with a bang - fireworks on the banks of the Delaware. The Bucks County Courier Times was on hand and has posted video of the evening's festivities, and Pennsbury's Facebook page includes a number of photos (like the one above) submitted by people who attended. It looks like a wonderful evening.

Three days after the fireworks at Pennsbury, the banks of the Delaware were treated to a different type of noisemaker when Washington Crossing Historic Park held the dress rehearsal for the annual Christmas crossing. Muskets and cannon were fired to make sure everyone was in practice (the site kindly notified neighbors via social media that there would be a lot of noise). If you missed it (or if you didn't), you'll find a photo album on Facebook with the day's events. The Christmas day reenactment is scheduled for 1 pm on December 25.

Railroad Museum of PA train layout at Governor's Residence via Facebook
It has become a holiday tradition for the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania to set up a model train layout at the Governor's Residence in Harrisburg. Staff from the museum were at the residence last week, and the public is invited to visit the trains (and other festive decorations) when Gov. Tom Corbett and First Lady Susan Corbett host their annual open house (12/14, 1-6 pm) and holiday tours (12/15-17, noon-2 pm).

Now where did I leave those snickerdoodles?

Wrapping Up Fall Before Winter Arrives

Yeah, yeah. I know most of you have had snow already, some of it shovelable. But until December 21 at 6:03 pm EST, it's not officially winter. And don't get me started on the non-stop Christmas music playing everywhere I go. (Harrumph.)

The December program preview appeared in last week's post, so be sure to check it out if you missed it (on Dec. 5, the link is just to your right if you're reading this on a PC). I'll be updating as necessary, but it's always a good idea to check with sites before attending events (or just stopping by for a visit), especially when weather may be a factor. There are numerous events scheduled for this weekend, so if you have time, you can probably find something to suit.

"A First Class Restaurant on Wheels" exhibit at Railroad Museum of PA (photo by AKF)

If you haven't yet seen the Dining Car exhibit at the Railroad Museum of PA, or the Chairs exhibit at Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, you have until Dec. 31 (if I've missed others closing at the end of December, please let me know.)

"Chairs! Chairs! Chairs!" exhibit at Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum (photo by AKF)

Two of the 10 finalists (out of 238 submissions) in the Ephrata Merchants Association #Ephratagram photo contest (on Instagram) are photos taken on site at Ephrata Cloister. And 1 of the 5 honorable mentions was as well. Clearly lots of people in the area recognize the beauty of the site. The staff and volunteers at Ephrata have been working closely with Ephrata Merchants Association to promote the site and the town.

And speaking of photographs, Eckley Miners' Village recently announced the winner of this year's Fall Foliage photo contest. Lorraine Smith of Hanover Township (Luzerne County) was selected from among the entries for her photo capturing the warm colors of an autumn day in the village. Congratulations to Lorraine and all the participants.

On a different note, yesterday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette featured an article ("Beer: Thirsty for an old one?") about a cool partnership between Old Economy Village and Dan Woodske, of Beaver Brewing Co. in Beaver Falls. Using a translated Harmonist recipe, ca. 1816, Woodske brewed a batch of schwarzbier ("black lager"). Of the 45 gallons brewed, 10 were donated to Old Economy and will be available for tasting by folks with tickets to the Dec. 10 Holiday Dinner (today, Dec. 5, is the deadline for reservations, if there are tickets still available). The rest sold out at Woodske's Beaver Brewing Co. brewpub before Thanksgiving. Old Economy staff also worked with staff at New Harmony, Indiana (home of the Harmony Society prior to their move back to Pennsylvania in the 1820s), on this project, since the recipe had changed hands some years ago. If you like beer, the photo alone is worth checking out the article, in my opinion. Thank goodness it's the weekend!

December 2014 on the Trails of History

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday, filled with lots of good things and the time to relax and enjoy them. Please be sure to check the holiday schedule to see which Trails of History sites are open today (Nov. 28). Events taking place this weekend can be found in the November program listings. And may I gently urge you to "Shop Small" at your favorite museum store this Saturday (please check the schedule - most sites will be open, but some have closed for the winter).

Ephrata Cloister's Museum Store is participating in Shop Small Saturday and the Ephrata Merchants Association "Lovin' Local" event (photo by Stephanie Harley, Ephrata Merchants Assn.)
December starts on Monday, and I don't want you to miss anything, so the December program listings follow. I'll make updates as I get new info, but always be sure to check ahead if you think winter weather may disrupt the schedule. Please note that all sites except Washington Crossing Historic Park will be closed on December 25, and Daniel Boone Homestead will be closed on December 26 as well. Schedules are subject to change, so be sure to check when visiting between Dec. 24 and Jan. 1.

Conrad Weiser Homestead
Dec. 7: Christmas Open House—enjoy one last chance to visit the homestead before winter sets in (site will be open by appointment only until Charter Day in March). Noon-4 pm.

Cornwall Iron Furnace
Dec. 6: Christmas at Cornwall House Tour—This annual tour lets you explore private homes in the Cornwall/Lebanon area (list of this year's homes) while supporting the Friends of Cornwall Iron Furnace. Tickets are $15 in advance at several locations in the community and at the Furnace. Tickets are $20 on the day of the tour. (Your house tour ticket also entitles you to a tour of the Furnace during regular hours between Dec. 6 and Dec. 28.) 10 am-4 pm.

Daniel Boone Homestead
Dec. 7: A Homestead Christmas—Explore English and German Christmas traditions, enjoy hot chocolate and wassail, visit with Santa, and shop for baked goods and gifts for the history-minded folks on your list. Admission: Adults (age 13+), $6; Children (age 5-12), $4; free for Friends of DBH. Noon-4 pm.
Dec. 13: Here Comes Santa Claus! Santa’s Workshop and Holiday Bonfire—This evening program transforms the Wayside Lodge into Santa's Workshop, with opportunities to make 18th-century style toys, sing carols by the fire, and shop for handmade ornaments and decorations. Plus a rare chance for an evening tour of the Boone house. Admission: Age 5+, $4; free for Friends of DBH. )Snow date is Dec. 20.) 6-9 pm.
Dec. 26: Site closed.

Drake Well Museum
Dec. 8-?: site closed temporarily for water line repairs
PLEASE CALL AHEAD TO CHECK Dec. 13: The Holiday Shoppe—Children in grades 1-5 are invited to make a craft, shop for gifts for family and friends, and share a snack. Admission is $5 per child; call the museum at 814/827-2797 to register. 1-4 pm.

Eckley Miners' Village
Dec. 13-14: Christmas at Eckley—This new frundraising event combines the separate "Victorian Christmas" and "Children's Christmas" programs from previous years and includes refreshments in the 1861 Sharpe House, visits with St. Nicholas, basket raffles, children's crafts, and more. Admission is $7 per person; bring a nonperishable food item for the local food pantry and receive $1 off your ticket. Noon-4 pm.

Ephrata Cloister
Dec. 1: Tickets go on sale for Lantern Tours
Dec. 8-9: Christmas at the Cloister—This popular annual program combines traditional music (sung by the Ephrata Cloister Chorus) and readings. This year's program also includes Celtic/folk/bluegrass fusion group "Seasons." Admission: $6. Tickets are limited and may be purchased in the Museum Store or by calling 717/733-6600. A select number of tickets for the 7:45 and 9 pm timeslots are available online at (small surcharge applies). Programs at 6:30, 7:45, and 9 pm.
Dec. 10: Storytime—this month's featured story for preschoolers and their accompanying adults is the Pennsylvania Dutch Night Before Christmas by Chet Williamson. Admission is $6 for one adult and one child (age 3-5), $3 for each additional child (free with Family Level membership in the Ephrata Cloister Associates or with Family Museum Pass from Library System of Lancaster County). 10-11 am.
Dec. 13: Making History Workshop—visit the Printing Office and use the press to make copies of a 1769 Christmas greeting. Fee is $15, $10 for ECA members. 10 am-noon.
Dec. 26-27 and Jan. 2-3: Lantern Tours—This year's tour is focused on the Great Comet of 1743 and explores the reactions of community members. Tours are presented by junior and senior high school students under the guidance of museum staff and leave from the visitor center every half hour from 6:30 to 8 pm. Admission: $10 (age 12-64), $9 (65+), $7 (6-11), $5 (3-5); member discounts available. Reservations are required and tickets do sell out; call 717/433-6600 to reserve your spot.

Erie Maritime Museum and Flagship Niagara
Dec. 1: Storytime at the Maritime—Amy from the Erie Zoo will bring along some of her animal friends to read Sheep on a Ship by Nancy Shaw. RSVP to Andrew at 814/452-2744 x225 or Event is free. 10 am.
Dec. 2: Giving Tuesday—the Flagship Niagara League is participating in this year's #GivingTuesday event. More info and a link for donating to support the 2015 Sail Trainee Scholarship Fund are on the website.
Dec. 3: Holiday Open House and Book Signing—visit the museum store, enjoy cocktails and light hors-d'oeuvres, and meet David Frew, author of Shipwrecks of Lake Erie. Members receive 20% off purchases (and it's not too late to join). RSVP to 814/452-2744 x208 or 5-7:30 pm.
Dec. 12: Christmas Tree Ship—This program features Niagara lit up for Christmas, lots of family activities, a visit with Santa, and a reading of The Christmas Tree Ship. Admission is free; for $45 you can sponsor a tree for a local family. For more information, contact Julie Wagner, 814/452-2744 x222 or 5:30-8:30 pm.

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Dec. 3: Days of the Belsnickel Dinner Tour—a little shopping, a little wine and cheese, a wagon ride, a lovely dinner, candlelight tours, and a visit with der Belsnickel. What a way to start the season. $36.50 per person. Reservations are required; call Jamie at 717/581-0590. 5:30-9 pm.
Dec. 6-7, 13-14: Country Christmas Village—Enjoy a Pennsylvania German Christmas, with all kinds of trees, der Belsnickel, plus complimentary cocoa and gingersnaps. Handbell ringer Ron Bellamy will perform at 1 pm on Dec. 6 & 7, then lead an interactive ringing and caroling session. Admission: Adults, $12; Seniors, $10; Youth (age 6-11), $8; LVA members and age 5 and under, free. Dec. 6 & 13, 10 am-4 pm; Dec. 7 & 14, noon-4 pm.
Dec. 12: Holiday at Landis Valley Bonfire—What’s not to like? Caroling, a blazing bonfire, wagon rides, hot cider and cookies. And it’s free—Landis Valley’s gift to the community. Return the favor by bringing canned goods to donate to the Lancaster Food Bank. 6-8:30 pm.
Dec. 13: Days of the Belsnickel Lunch Tour—Tour the village to see the holiday decorations and open hearth cooking, then enjoy a traditional home-cooked meal at the Landis Valley Hotel and shopping at the Landis Valley Museum Store. Der Belsnickel will be on hand to liven things up. Cost is $34.50 per person. Reservations required; call Jamie at 717/581-0590. 10 am-2 pm.
Dec. 30: Winter Day Camp—A great way to keep everyone happy and sane during school break. Cost is $35 per child, $20 per child for LVA members; includes a hot lunch. Registration is required; call the museum's education department at 717/569-0401 x228. 8:30 am-4:30 pm.

Old Economy Village
Dec. 10: Annual Holiday Dinner—Join with other supporters of Old Economy for a festive evening of dining and music, featuring a performance by the Pittsburgh Opera. Cost is $80 per person or $64 for Friends of OEV. Reservations are required by Dec. 5; call 724/266-4500 x114. Doors open at 6 pm.
Dec. 13-14: Christmas at the Village—Enjoy Christmas carols sung by local choirs, shop for handmade wares by local craftspeople, visit the Kinderhaus for children's activities and mean old Belsnickel, and stop by the Granary to purchase something yummy to eat. Please start at the Visitor Center to purchase tickets and then proceed to the village. Dec. 13, 2-9 pm; Dec. 14, 2-7 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
Dec 4-5: Holly Nights—A special opportunity to see Pennsbury illuminated by candlelight, bonfires, and hearth fires. Enjoy caroling, hot cider, and throwing a green sprig on the Yule log for luck. In honor of Pennsbury's 75th anniversary as a museum, fireworks are planned for the end of the night on Dec. 4 (or if it rains, Dec. 5). Admission: Adults (12-64), $12; Seniors (65+), $10; Children (3-11), $6. More info and a discount coupon good for $1 off adult admission. 6-9 pm.

Pennsylvania Military Museum
Dec. 7: Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Tribute—Gather with others beneath the guns of the USS PENNSYLVANIA (adjacent to the museum parking lot) to mark the 73rd anniversary of the attack on the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii. 12:45 pm.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Dec. 6 and 13: Home for the Holidays—Costumed engineers, conductors, ticket agents, and passengers representing the past century bring historic rail travel to life. Kids can visit with Santa or work with a telegrapher to send a Christmas telegram to the North Pole. Holiday music (see schedule), refreshments (while supplies last), and shopping are part of the day too. Included in regular admission. 9 am-5 pm. (As I write this, it looks like tickets are still available for the Dec. 13 Christmas with the Conductor, so you might want to call now before it's sold out.)

Somerset Historical Center
UPDATE (I missed this one, sorry) Dec. 6: Ethnic Christmas Traditions of Somerset County—this new program will explore traditions handed down from Italian, Slovak, Polish, and German settlers to the region. Program will be held at Friedens Lutheran Church. Advance tickets only (some still available as of Dec. 1): cost is $20 each or $35 for 2. Call 814/445-6077.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Dec. 6: A World of Differences—Pennsylvania Immigrant and Refugee Women's Network will offer a program bringing women together for leadership and fellowship. Admission is free. 9 am-5 pm.
CORRECTED Dec. 19: 3rd in the Burg/Learn at Lunchtime—Tour the Transportation and Industry gallery with museum educator Cherie Trimble at noon. Museum admission is free from 11 am to 1:30 pm.
Dec. 20: Christmas Celebration—A collaboration of Nathaniel Gadsen’s Writers Wordshop, this program is a celebration of family. Food, music, workshops, and more. Admission is free. 10 am-3 pm.
Dec. 31: Happy Noon Year’s Celebration—Ring in 2015 without staying up until midnight at this program designed for younger children and their families. Storytime, a planetarium show, and hands-on activities leading up to the big countdown in Memorial Hall at noon. Included in regular admission. 10 am-1 pm.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Dec. 6: A Night of REBELry—A festive fundraising event to support the programs at Washington Crossing. Info on reservations is on the website. 7-11 pm.
Dec. 7: Dress Rehearsal—Historical demonstrations, activities, and the final rehearsal for the reenactment of the Christmas 1776 crossing of the Delaware by Gen. Washington and Continental troops. Admission: Adults (12+), $8; Children (5-11), $4. 10 am-4 pm (crossing is scheduled for 1 pm).
Dec. 14: Afternoon Concert Series—enjoy an afternoon of 18th-century choral music (mostly a capella) performed by the group "Mostly Motets." Tickets range from $25 to $45 and can be purchased at the Visitor Center front desk or online at
Dec. 25: 62nd Annual Christmas Day Crossing—Thousands of folks will be on hand to watch as Gen. Washington and his troops board the Durham boats to cross the Delaware River (weather permitting). The event is free. Noon-3 pm (crossing scheduled for 1 pm).

Just checking in

Trailheads is having a little hiatus this week, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to do. The November program listings have info on upcoming events, and we'll have a pre-Thanksgiving post next week. Curious about holiday schedules? You'll find a whole page for those.

If you're anywhere near the Harrisburg area today, please stop by the Commonwealth Keystone Building (corner of Commonwealth Ave. and North St. in the Capitol Complex) from 10 am to 3 pm for Day 2 of the 9th Annual Holiday Marketplace. The marketplace is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation and features museum store goodies from sites on the PA Trails of History as well as other state agencies.

Lancaster County Community Foundation's Extraordinary Give is today (Nov. 21). To make things easy, you can click on these Trails of History sites to go directly to their donation pages: Ephrata Cloister, Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, Railroad Museum of PA. If you're interested in other PHMC sites, many are in the midst of their annual appeal campaigns and would welcome your support most graciously.

Not to push the holidays too fast, but if you want to see the annual "Santa's Draft Card" exhibit at the Pennsylvania Military Museum, they'll be closing for the winter at the end of November.

Photo courtesy of PA Military Museum

On to the next 100 Posts

I'm still recovering from the big "300th post" gala at Trailheads HQ last week, so excuse me if this post is a bit short. We're still removing bits of confetti from the keyboards and cleaning up from what will hereafter be known as "that time there was milk chocolate on the ceiling." I'm advised not to go into too much detail, but if you ever have the opportunity to dive head-first into a chocolate fountain, don't do it. Don't ask me how I know.

You'll find info for this weekend's events in the November program listings.

Museum educators from the Trails of History at PA Military Museum, August 2014 (AKF photo)
Tomorrow, Nov. 15, is Museum Educator Appreciation Day, so let me take this opportunity to wish all of the museum educators on the Pennsylvania Trails of History a great day. Many, if not most, of them will spend the day at work helping visitors enjoy our sites and learn something new. If you stop by one of our sites, please tell them thank you.

Throughout the past year or so, we've periodically shared links to posts on the Old Economy Village blog, "Rapp Houses Restoration." Last week, the site held the "big reveal" as the George and Frederick Rapp Houses reopened to the public. Curator Sarah Buffington led a team that painstakingly researched period interior design and scoured the museum collections for evidence of the houses' original configurations and furnishings. An article on Trib Live provides background on the project and more wonderful photos. I have it on good authority that even the wonderful photos don't do it justice. Definitely need to schedule a visit.

One of the sure signs of the season is when the banner for the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation's Holiday Marketplace appears in the atrium of the Commonwealth Keystone Building in Harrisburg. This year is the 9th annual event and the PA Trails of History sites expected to participate are: the State Museum of PA, Ephrata Cloister, Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, and Somerset Historical Center. Some of PHMC's partner agencies will also be on hand: Dept. of Community and Economic Development's Artisans Trail, PA Parks and Forests Foundation/Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of State Parks, Capitol Preservation Committee, and the State Employee Recreation Association. It's always a great time to see what's new in our museum stores and to support the work of our sites. The event will take place Nov. 20 and 21 from 10 am to 3 pm each day.

Also on tap for next week is the Lancaster County Community Foundation's Extraordinary Give on Friday, Nov. 21. This 24-hour online giving campaign allows you to support charities throughout the county. Ephrata Cloister, Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, and the Railroad Museum of PA are all participating. Ephrata has a slate of special staff presentations throughout the day (free admission) to highlight their offerings.

Trailheads #300

Yes, campers. This right here is the 300th Trailheads post. When the blog debuted in August of 2009, I'm not sure anyone foresaw the dozens of you who would be reading 5 years later. Thanks for your ongoing support.

Tuesday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day, a time for us to say "thank you" to all who have served our country. Most sites on the Trails of History will be closed, but there are a few that will be open (find the list of open sites here.)

Today's post comes courtesy of Linda Bolla at the Erie Maritime Museum, who happens to be the most frequent guest blogger on Trailheads. Last year, the Erie Maritime Museum mounted an exhibit for Charter Day that focused on several Civil War Medal of Honor recipients with ties to Erie. In addition to documenting their history, the folks in Erie have also been working to make sure that the graves of these men are properly marked.

William H. Young (1835-1878)

William Young began his naval career on the U.S.S. Constitution ("Old Ironsides"), enlisting in 1852 at the age of 17. He saw service on a number of vessels, most notably U.S.S. Portsmouth, cruising off the coast of Africa to suppress traffic in the slave trade. On September 21, 1859, Portsmouth seized the slave ship Emily. During the Civil War, Young served on U.S.S. Cayuga as a Boatswain’s Mate.

The citation for Young's Medal of Honor reads:
On board the USS Cayuga during the capture of Forts St. Philip and Jackson and the taking of New Orleans, 24 and 25 April 1862. As his ship led the advance column toward the barrier and both forts opened fire simultaneously, striking the vessel from stem to stern, Young calmly manned a parrot gun throughout the action in which attempts by three rebel steamers to butt and board were thwarted and the ships driven off or captured, 11 gunboats were successfully engaged and garrisons forced to surrender. During the battle, the Cayuga sustained 46 hits.

Young's final years as a sailor (1872-76) were spent on the Navy’s first Iron Steamer, U.S.S. Michigan, as Bugler. (Erie was homeport to U.S.S. Michigan, which was later renamed U.S.S. Wolverine; the ship's prow is on exhibit at the museum, along with other artifacts from its history.) Never married, he retired to the Pennsylvania Soldiers & Sailors Home in Erie, where he died on December 26, 1878, at age 42. His funeral was attended by fellow Civil War veterans, Post 67, G.A.R., and he was buried at Erie Cemetery with a headstone-style marker provided by the U.S. Navy for $7.

Original marker for William H. Young
For years, Young’s gravesite was listed as “unknown” in official publications. The Erie Maritime Museum and Erie Cemetery researched and facilitated Medal of Honor researcher Don Morfe’s application to the Department of Veterans Affairs for a new grave marker for William Young. Time had taken its toll on the original marker, and it did not mention Young’s Medal of Honor.

The application was suspended for several years. The Veterans Administration had placed a moratorium on applications made by parties other than family. Finally, the National Medal of Honor Foundation stepped in and provided a donor, and the marker was placed.

The Erie Maritime Museum, Flagship Niagara League, and the Erie Cemetery will honor William Young for his service and formally dedicate this marker in a solemn service on Tuesday, November 11, 2014, at 3:00 p.m.

November 2014 on the Trails of History

Happy Halloween! And goodbye, October. Don't forget that Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 am this Sunday, so if you don't reset your clocks, you'll miss an extra hour of sleep. As winter approaches, site schedules see more changes, so it's always best to check ahead. And we have several state holidays in November, so we've provided a handy-dandy summary to help you keep track of who's open and who's not. Please note that these listings will be updated as I get more info.

Anthracite Heritage Museum
Nov. 15: Lecture—David Wenzel (former mayor of Scranton) and museum board member Kate Gibbons will present a program on Scranton-area women in WWI and WWII. AAAAAND there will be an ice cream social! 2 pm.
Nov. 16: Lackawanna Audubon Society—Bill Speare's talk is entitled "Wildlife of Uganda and Kruger National Park." 2:30 pm.

Brandywine Battlefield
Nov. 29: Patriot’s Day—British and Continental troops, civilian reenactors, sutlers, and much more at this annual event commemorating the Battle of Brandywine and its significance to the American Revolution. 10 am-4 pm.

Conrad Weiser Homestead
Nov. 2: Fall Lecture—Site is open noon-4 pm; the lecture is at 2 pm.
Nov. 22: Candlelight Tours—this annual program features living history, 18th-century music, and a chance to see the site by night. 6-8:30 pm.

Daniel Boone Homestead
Nov. 2: Boone Birthday Program—celebrate Daniel’s 280th birthday with tours, storytelling, and cake (following Henry Miller's 2 pm presentation). Admission (includes guided tour): $6, age 13+; $4, age 5-12; Members get in free. Noon-4 pm.
Nov. 9: Fall Lecture Series—Zachary Long will present "A Taste of the Eighteenth Century: The Original Farm to Table Cooking." The program will explore the origins of popular Pennsylvania foods, the types of seeds and livestock available, and tools and techniques of cooking. Suggested donation: $2 (regular admission rates apply for self-guided and guided tours of the historic area). 2 pm.
Nov. 16: Fall Lecture Series—Jim Lewars, Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, will talk about "Rural Eighteenth-Century Pennsylvania Chairs," drawing on his knowledge of the Daniel Boone Homestead collections and those of the surrounding area (several pieces from Boone are included in Landis Valley's current exhibit, Chairs! Chairs! Chairs!). Suggested donation: $2 (regular admission rates apply for self-guided or guided tours of the historic area). 2 pm.

Drake Well Museum
UPDATED 11/5/14: this event has been postponed until spring.Nov. 13: Heritage Lecture Series—save the date and check back for details. 6:30 pm.

Ephrata Cloister
Nov. 8: Tickets for Christmas at the Cloister—as of today, the general public can purchase tickets for this limited-seating event, scheduled for Dec. 8 and 9. Tickets are $6. Call 717/733-6600.
Nov. 12: Storytime—preschoolers (with an adult) enjoy a story and take part in a related activity. Admission is $6 for an adult and one child (age 3-5), $3 for each additional child (free for Family-level members or with Family Museum Pass). 10 am.
Nov. 16: Sunday Conversations—Nick Siegert will discuss the use of technology by members of the Amish community. Program is free, but regular admission rates apply to visit the site. 3-4 pm.
Nov. 22: Making History Workshop—a little DIY, a little conversation, a little history. Make a small cross-stitch embroidery piece based on Sister Petronella's 1768 sampler. Cost is $15, $10 for members. 10 am-noon.

Erie Maritime Museum and Flagship Niagara
Nov. 8: Little Mates Kids Club—tour the ship, have lunch with Captain Billy Sabatini, and get a kid-friendly behind-the-scenes peek at the museum. (Info on signing up, including how to join the Little Mates Kids Club.) 11 am.
Nov. 18: Lecture Series—in partnership with S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie, the Museum presents Jerry Skrypzak on "Commercial Fishing on the Great Lakes." Free of charge. 6:30 pm.

Fort Pitt Museum
Nov. 8-9: Living History Program—250th Anniversary of the Return of the Captives, 10 am-5 pm.

Graeme Park
Nov. 29: A Soldier’s Christmas—see how soldiers have celebrated the holidays on the battlefront of different eras. Free admission. This year, Graeme Park will be collecting personal care items to send to servicemembers stationed overseas. Noon-6 pm.

Hope Lodge
Nov. 1-2: Whitemarsh Encampment Reenactment—this long-standing event commemorates the Nov. 2-Dec. 11, 1777, encampment of Gen. George Washington and the Continental Army in the Whitemarsh Hills. Program details and discount coupon. Admission charged - $8 (age 18-59), $5 (age 6-17 & 60+), family rate is $20 per car, free for age 5 and under. 10 am-4 pm, rain or shine.

Joseph Priestley House
Nov. 2: Heritage Day—costumed interpreters will be stationed in the house as you tour, Dr. Priestley will demonstrate chemical principles, and there will be games for children. 1-4 pm (chemistry demos at 1:30 and 2:30).

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Nov. 6: Hands-on History Day—experience seasonal chores, a one-room schoolhouse, hands-on crafts, and wagon rides. $10 per person (ages 5 and under and members are free). 10 am-3 pm.
Nov. 8-9: Landis Valley Museum Store Holiday Open House—shop for locally handmade art, crafts and heirloom-quality gifts and enjoy holiday decorations in the museum store. Store event is free; regular rates apply for museum admission. 9 am-5 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
Nov. 2: Philadelphia: The Great Experiment—meet executive producer Sam Katz, learn about Pennsbury's role in the making of the Emmy award-winning series, and view installments 6 and 7. Reservations required. 1-3 pm.
Nov. 29: Wreaths & Greens Workshop—make a fragrant evergreen wreath and learn how to prune and care for evergreens in your yard. $35 fee. Choose morning (10 am-noon) or afternoon (1-3 pm) and bring your own clippers. Registration is required.

Pennsylvania Military Museum
Nov. 5: Friends’ Richard Koontz Memorial Lecture Series—“The Art of the Military Diorama,” with model maker Mike Siggins. Donation requested. 7:30 pm.
Nov. 8: Kids Day II - Dress Up and Discover!!—Kids of all ages get to try on military uniforms from the museum education collection. Photo ops abound with three backdrops in the museum theatre. Visit the education stations in the galleries for more fun discoveries throughout the day. Parents must remain on-site while their kids participate in the activities. 10:00 am-3:00 pm.
Nov. 22: "GAS! GAS! GAS! - The Terrible Weapon of the Great War"—Dr. Ron Lenox, retired organic chemistry professor and senior scientist at Armstrong World Industries, will talk about chemical warfare in World War I. Admission charged. 1:30 pm.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Nov. 1-2: Trains & Troops—this annual program salutes our armed forces and explores the role of the military in railroad history (and vice versa). A Swing Dance Saturday night (separate or combo ticket) lets you enjoy big band music, refreshments, and swing, swing, swing. Program details. Sat., 9 am-5 pm; Sun., noon-5 pm.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Nov. 2: Exhibit opening—"UnCommon Modern: A Pennsylvania Glossary of Midcentury Architecture" features a series of 40 color photographs by photojournalist Betsy Manning. Manning and exhibit curator William Whitaker, of the Architectural Archives of the Univ. of Penn., will be on hand to discuss the exhibit with visitors (more info about the exhibit). The exhibit will run through April 26, 2015. Museum admission is free today. 2 pm.
Nov. 8: Annual Workshops in Archaeology—this year's focus is climate change and its impact on cultural resources. Contact Janet Johnson by Nov. 4 for a brochure (you can see part of it on Facebook).
Nov. 8: Exhibit opening—the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society presents their 35th Annual International Juried Exhibition, which will run through Feb. 8. On Nov. 14, Karen Frattali, vice president of the society, will demonstrate watercolor painting in Village Square from noon to 1:30 pm (museum admission will be free from 11 am to 1:30 pm that day).
Nov. 21: Hidden Treasures 3—a scavenger hunt for grown-ups, with food, live music, and adult beverages. Details and link to buy tickets online (online sales close Nov. 18). $30 per person, $55 per couple. 7-9 pm.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Nov. 16: Afternoon Concert Series—this month's offering is 18th-century opera. Please check back for more details. UPDATE: Graduate students from Westminster Choir College will perform. 2 pm. 11/10/14: Unfortunately this event has been cancelled. There will be a concert in December!
Nov. 23: Historical Lecture—Paul Nagy will discuss "Spies in the Continental Capital." 1 pm. UPDATE: the lecture will now take place at 2 pm.

What's New, What's Old?

Bonfire at Scranton Iron Furnaces, Oct. 2014 (via Facebook)
Now is the time to recognize historic properties or locations with statewide or national significance. 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the state Historical Marker program (the first markers didn't look like the blue and yellow signs we use today). The postmark deadline for nominations is December 1 (details on the program and how to submit).

Anthracite Heritage Museum and Scranton Iron Furnaces has posted photos from last weekend's Bonfire at the Furnaces, and the Scranton Times-Tribune had a great write-up of the program and its representation of Scranton's rich ethnic history and traditions.

The folks at Daniel Boone Homestead have shared photos of their Heritage Day celebration on Sunday, featuring the Bertolet Sawmill demos, colonial-era fly fishing, horse-drawn wagon rides (thanks to Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum), and much more.

The restoration project at the George and Frederick Rapp Houses at Old Economy Village is wrapping up in time for a grand re-opening in early November. Curator Sarah Buffington's two most recent blog posts feature the installation of new replica carpet and the work to return artifacts to their proper places.

The Pennsbury Society, the associate group at Pennsbury Manor, was recognized earlier this week by Foundations Community Partnership in Bucks County. They were among 14 non-profits cited for their work benefitting the county's children. Congratulations.

The State Museum of Pennsylvania celebrated National Fossil Day last Wednesday, and you can read about it on Storify.

This weekend:
Anthracite Heritage Museum and Scranton Iron Furnaces
Oct. 26: Remember Johnny Mitchell Day—Admission ($5) includes presentation of A Miner's Tale. Museum is open noon-5 pm; the play is at 2 pm.

Daniel Boone Homestead
Oct. 24 & 25: Haunted Homestead Tour—recommended for ages 8 and up. Admission charged (combo tickets with Sunday's program are available). 7-10 pm.
Oct. 26: Halloween at the Homestead—there will be loads of activities for kids and their families, including trick-or-treating (costumes encouraged). Admission charged (see website or Facebook for info). Noon-4 pm.

Drake Well Museum
Oct. 25: Family Day and Oil Valley Blacksmiths—Included in museum admission. Museum open 9 am-5 pm (blacksmiths on site until 2).

Eckley Miners’ Village
Oct. 24-25: Halloween Lantern Tours—this event is family-oriented but not recommended for children younger than 6. Admission charged. First tour leaves the visitor center at 6:30 pm, the last at 9 pm sharp.

Ephrata Cloister
Oct. 24-25: Mysterious, Melancholy, and Macabre—this year's program draws from some of the classics of Gothic literature. Admission charged. Performances at 7 and 8:30 pm each night.
Oct. 25: Gideon's Bones—geared for children 13 and younger. Admission charged. 1-3 pm.
Info on both programs and images from Mysterious, Melancholy and Macabre.

Erie Maritime Museum and Flagship Niagara
Oct. 27: Storytime at the Maritime—This month's story is Theodore and the Scary Cove. 10 am.

Graeme Park
Oct. 24: Moonlight Tales—see the Keith House by night and listen to spooky stories. Ticket sales begin at 6 pm, with performances at 7 and 8.
Oct. 26 Mini-Moonlight—a family event geared for kids age 4-9. RSVP requested. 2 pm.
Info on both programs.

Pennsbury Manor
Oct. 26: Family Halloween and Living History Theater—Family trick-or-treating and a presentation of the 1684 trial of Margaret Mattson, accused of witchcraft by some of her neighbors. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.

Somerset Historical Center
Oct. 25: Historical Halloween—Trick-or-treating along lantern-lit pathways. Admission is $5 per car. Please bring canned goods for the local food pantry and an apple for the cider press. 5-8 pm.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Oct. 24: Films at the Farmstead—tonight's feature is Hotel Transyvlvania. Admission charged. Movie starts at dusk (about 7 pm).
Oct. 26: Lecture at the Visitor Center—Rick Wiggins will present a talk entitled "Embattled Farmers: Campaigns and Profiles of Revolutionary Soldiers from Lincoln, Mass., 1775-1783." Free of charge. 1 pm.

Next weekend:
The November program listings will appear in next week's post, but that's cutting it too close for these events scheduled for Nov. 1-2:
1777 Whitemarsh Encampment at Hope Lodge
Trains & Troops/1940s Swing Dance at the Railroad Museum of PA

Communism and Capitalism at Old Economy Village

Program listings for October

Today's guest blogger is Kelly Westerlund, a senior at Robert Morris University. As part of her internship work with Old Economy Village curator Sarah Buffington, Kelly researched and developed an exhibit exploring the Harmony Society's economics and business practices. The exhibit, located in the lobby of the Visitor Center, will be on view through April 30, 2015 (or perhaps longer).


With Halloween just around the corner, now is the perfect time to talk about something that frightens many Americans; that big, red monster called communism. The word for most people conjures up images of the Berlin Wall, Tiananmen Square, and children hiding under their desks to hide from nuclear fallout. It is a very scary word in American culture and has been for just about all of the twentieth century. Even now, calling someone a communist is meant to discredit them. We often think of communism as the antithesis of capitalism, but the Harmony Society proved this to be untrue in the late eighteenth through the nineteenth century. Their religious beliefs melded these two ideologies together as I demonstrate in my exhibit, Juxtaposed Right Here! Communism and Capitalism, located in the Old Economy Village Visitor Center.

Oil derricks at Tidioute, PA, one of the Society’s many investments (Drake Well Museum collection)
I chose to research this topic as part of my internship with the site. I was interested in how the Harmony Society managed to provide housing, food, education, clothing and any other necessities to its members throughout its existence and still build a massive fortune. These amenities were even provided to their hired workers in addition to their normal wages. I concluded in my research that it was their religious principles that bonded communism and capitalism together. They needed to make as much money as possible to prepare for Christ’s return by operating and investing in capitalist businesses; but they also had to prepare their souls for Christ by living as equally as possible and sharing all the wealth they accumulated with each other.

Hired apple pickers (Old Economy Village collection)
I thought I would find evidence of food shortages, rationing, and possibly even harsh working conditions like what we usually associate with communism. Instead I discovered that the Harmonists lived very comfortable lives. Even now we would envy the Harmonists! Currency did not exist within the Society so members only had to ask for whatever they needed whenever they needed it. Religion and compassion for their brothers and sisters kept them from taking more than they needed.

Store where items were distributed, 1902 (Old Economy Village collection)
The Harmony Society’s religious, communist principles were able to flourish because they used capitalism to make their money. These ideas are not mutually exclusive to one another and neither are they big scary monsters coming to destroy our country. It is important that we clear the fog and change the way we discuss communism and capitalism. I invite you to come to Old Economy Village to check out my exhibit and learn about this amazing group that prospered with both ideologies working together.

(Editor's note 10/22: I had a brief chance to see the exhibit for myself late last week and snapped a photo.)
Visitor Center exhibit (photo by AKF)

A Little of This, A Little of That

Most sites on the PA Trails of History will be closed Monday, Oct. 13, for Columbus Day, but please check the list to see which ones will be open for visitors. The October program listings were posted last week, and I will continue to update them as I get new information.

This week's post is a selection of items that have come across my desk recently. I hope you'll find something new and interesting. And if not, I hope you'll have a good weekend anyway.

I have not been following closely the development of the new Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, but I did notice when I saw Facebook posts from two Trails of History sites related to the project. While the building is under construction, an elm tree will be cultivated and eventually planted at the museum as part of its opening ceremony (a couple of years from now, according to current plans). Soil from various Revolutionary battlefields, encampments, and other significant sites was collected to help nourish this modern-day Liberty Tree. Ephrata Cloister, which was the site of a makeshift military hospital after the Battle of Brandywine, and Washington Crossing Historic Park, where you-know-who crossed the you-know-what, both contributed to this collaborative effort.

Volunteer Clair Garman, photo courtesy of Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
As Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum gears up for Harvest Days this weekend (Oct. 11-12), the local news ran a feature article about Clair Garman, who was the recipient of a PHMC Outstanding Service Award in 2012. He has been a volunteer at the museum since the 1950s and is particularly known for his wood-working skills.

Making a return appearance to the Erie Maritime Museum's Hirt Auditorium, The Hardtackers performed a free concert on Saturday, Sept. 27. They filmed the concert for an upcoming DVD, which will showcase their renditions of traditional and contemporary sea shanties. The following song from The Hardtackers' YouTube Channel features images of US Brig Niagara.

October 2014 on the Trails of History

Most sites will be closed on Oct. 13 for Columbus Day, but please check the schedule for those that will be open.

"Three Generations of Employees," photo by John Horgan, Jr. (1859-1926), courtesy of Anthracite Heritage Museum and Scranton Iron Furnaces

Anthracite Heritage Museum and Scranton Iron Furnaces
Oct. 18: Bonfire at the Iron Furnaces—experience ethnic traditions from Scranton's past and present, food, music, and a roaring bonfire. Visit the Bonfire Facebook page for ticket deals and updates. 6-10 pm.
Oct. 26: Remember Johnny Mitchell Day—this annual event honors John Mitchell, president of the United Mine Workers of America during the anthracite coal strikes of 1900 and 1902. As part of the day's activities, Robert Thomas Hughes will present "The Miner's Tale," a theatrical production he wrote and regularly performs. Admission is $5 and includes the museum exhibits as well as the play. Museum is open noon-5 pm; the play is at 2 pm.

Bushy Run Battlefield
Oct. 4: Fall Nature Walk—join Bushy Run volunteers and nature enthusiasts Bob Learzaf and Dave Browning to enjoy a walk and learn about the flora and fauna of western PA. Cost is $5 (free to members of Bushy Run Battlefield Heritage Society). 10 am.
Oct. 18: Haunted History Hayride—Prepaid reservations are required; tickets are on sale now. Call 724/527-5584 to place your order (leave a message with name, phone number, and number of tickets requested). 7-10 pm.

Conrad Weiser Homestead
Oct. 5: Site open—it’s the first Sunday of the month, so the site will be welcoming visitors from noon to 4 pm.
Oct. 19: Weiser Interpretive Sunday and Fall Park Walk—enjoy the beautiful Olmsted-designed park, as well as hourly historic tours of the site. Free admission. Noon-4 pm.

Daniel Boone Homestead
Oct. 19: Heritage Day—this annual event includes craft demonstrations, hands-on activities, horse-drawn wagon rides, a program on fly fishing in the 1700s, and much more. Admission: $8 (age 13-64), $6 (age 65+), $5 (age 5-12) (Friends of Daniel Boone Homestead get in free). 10 am-4 pm.
Oct. 24 & 25: Haunted Homestead Tour—this evening program will include Halloween-themed guided walking tours of the historic area; program is intended for ages 8 and up. Admission is $6; combo tickets include admission to the Oct. 26 program as well. 7-10 pm.
Oct. 26: Halloween at the Homestead—there will be loads of activities for kids and their families, including trick-or-treating (costumes encouraged). Admission: $6 (age 13+), $4 (age 5-12) (Friends of DBH get in free). Noon-4 pm.

Drake Well Museum
Oct. 4: Drake Well by Moonlight—experience a special nighttime tour of the site, meet historical figures, and enjoy period music and seasonal refreshments. Tours last approx. one-and-a-half hours and cover about 1 mile, so please wear sturdy shoes and bring a flashlight (more details on the website). First tour starts at 6:30 pm, with tours departing every 10 minutes until 9:30.
Oct. 25: Family Day and Oil Valley Blacksmiths—loads of activities for families and the last of the monthly blacksmithing meetings and demos for the season. Included in museum admission. Site open 9 am-5 pm (blacksmiths on site until 2).

Eckley Miners’ Village
Oct. 10-11, 17-18, 24-25: Halloween Lantern Tours—tour groups walk through the 19th-century village and encounter funny, scary, and entertaining scenes (photos from previous years). Bring your own flashlight. (Info on rain dates and how to check for schedule changes.) Admission: $10 (age 13+), $5 (age 6-12); this event is family-oriented but not recommended for children younger than 6. First tour leaves the visitor center at 6:30 pm, the last at 9 pm sharp.

Ephrata Cloister
Oct. 8: Storytime—preschoolers and their adults enjoy a story and a related craft or activity. Cost is $6 for one adult and one child (age 3-5), $3 for each additional child, and includes site admission as well. Free to Family-level members of Ephrata Cloister Associates (or you can present a Museum Pass from the Library System of Lancaster County).
Oct. 10-11: Apple Dumpling Days—celebrate autumn, support the Back to the Cloister Fund (which helps to return original furnishings and objects to the site), and enjoy a wonderful Pennsylvania Dutch tradition. Saturday, Oct. 11, is also a Day of Music, featuring the Ephrata Cloister Chorus performing at 2, 3, and 4 pm. Site tours and Day of Music performances included in regular admission; no admission fee to purchase apple dumplings. 9:30 am-4 pm.
Oct. 17: Community Days—this popular program is an educational open house, with learning stations scattered around the site. Students and their accompanying adults move at their own pace as they explore the activities. Admission: $6 for age 3-17; one adult admitted free with every 10 students; additional adults, $9 each. Reservations are strongly encouraged; call 717/733-6600. 9:30 am-1 pm.
Oct. 17-18, 24-25: Mysterious, Melancholy, and Macabre—this year's program draws from some of the classics of Gothic literature. Advanced tickets (age 18+, $12; age 3-17, $10; discounts for ECA members) are recommended, call 717/733-6600. Two performances each night, 7 and 8:30 pm.
Oct. 25: Gideon's Bones—families (you can come in costume if you like) can explore the history of Ephrata Cloister, gather clues, complete projects, and trick-or-treat along the way (please bring a small bag for treats). Geared for children 13 and younger; cost is $6 for one adult and one child, $3 for each additional child (free to family-level members of ECA).

Erie Maritime Museum and Flagship Niagara
UPDATE (something I missed): Oct. 23: Special presentation on the Civil War Submarine H.L. Hunley—Jon Tirpak will speak about the history, recovery, and preservation of the Hunley, the first submarine to sink an enemy ship in combat (read more about it). The talk will be preceded by a cocktail reception. Tickets are $20 ($15 for Flagship Niagara League members); to reserve your spot, contact Andrew Adamus, 814/452-2744 x 225 or

Graeme Park
Oct. 8 and 15: Lunch and Learn Lecture Series—enjoy continental breakfast, a thought-provoking program, and lunch. Oct. 8 program is "To Normandy and Back Again," with Herbert F. Levy, AIA, speaking about his experiences in the Corps of Engineers in WWII and his recent return visit as part of the 70th Anniversary commemoration of D-Day. On Oct. 15, Kellee Green Blake, retired director of the National Archives, Mid-Atlantic Region, will present "They were Soldiers, Too: Researching Civil War Women on the Home Front." More details and a registration form are on the program flyer.
UPDATE 10/07/14: per Graeme Park's Facebook page, this event has been cancelled Oct. 12: Brews, Blues and BBQ a new event featuring craft brews and ciders, food by Joey G's Deli, and music by Scoville Blues. Must be 21 or over to attend; advance ticket purchase recommended (no guarantee that tickets will be available at the door). See the program flyer for details. 1-4 pm.
Oct. 24: Moonlight Talessee the Keith House by night and listen to spooky stories. Admission is $15 per person (includes refreshments). Performances at 7 pm and 8 pm.

Hope Lodge
UPDATE (I missed these earlier) Oct. 19: Site open—Hope Lodge will be open 12:30-4 pm, with guided tours at 1, 2, and 3 pm. Admission charged.
UPDATE 10/20 - This event as been postponed, so stay tuned for a new date. Oct. 25: Hope Lodge Beerfest for Educational Innovationvisit the website for details. 1-4 pm.

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Oct. 11-12: Harvest Days—a classic special event and a great way to celebrate the coming of fall. Loads of demonstrations and activities for the whole family in a beautiful setting. Admission: age 12-64, $12; age 65+, $10; age 6-11, $8; free parking. 11 am-5 pm.
Oct. 16 & 30: Hands-on History Days—children of all ages get to experience seasonal chores, hands-on crafts, wagon rides, and more. Admission: $10 per person (Landis Valley Associates members and children 5 and younger get in free). 10 am-3 pm.

Old Economy Village
Oct. 18: Trades Workshop—this is an opportunity to learn about crafts and trades of the Harmonists and try your hand as well. Visit the website for details. 10 am-4 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
Oct. 5: Historic Trades—your last chance for this season to visit the blacksmith and joyner as they demonstrate their skills with metal- and woodworking. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
Oct. 12: Living History Theater—you are invited to join Penn’s steward and housekeeper, John Sotcher and Mary Lofty, as they are united in marriage according to 17th-century Quaker wedding customs. Sign the wedding certificate and chat with William Penn and other guests. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
Oct. 19: Open Hearth Cooking—the cooks will have the oven fired up and the aroma of freshly baked bread will be everywhere. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
Oct. 26: Family Halloween and Living History Theater—enjoy trick-or-treating, traditional fall activities, and games. There will also be a living history theater presentation of the 1684 trial of Margaret Mattson, accused of witchcraft by some of her neighbors. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
Oct 11-12: 33rd Annual Fall Antique and Collectible Show—this semi-annual event supports the programs of the Lumber Museum, and this year includes a chance to see the newly renovated and expanded Visitor Center. Admission charged. 10 am-4:30 pm.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Oct. 5: Garden Railways Tour—this event features outdoor model train layouts at private residences or retirement communities in Lancaster County. Tickets ($10 per person for ages 6 and up) may be purchased at the museum or at any Stauffer’s of Kissel Hill store in central Pennsylvania. The Garden Railways Tour flyer has more info; a map of participating locations will be provided with your ticket. 1-5 pm.

Somerset Historical Center
Oct. 25: Historical Halloween—Trick-or-treating with a historical theme, following the site’s pathways by lantern light. Admission: $5 per car. Please bring canned goods for the local food pantry (UPDATE) and an apple to feed the cider press. 5-8 pm.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Oct. 15: Learn@Lunchtime and National Fossil Day—explore fossils from the Mesozoic Era in the museum's "Life through Time" gallery with volunteer Sid Hostettler. Museum admission is free during the hours of the event. 11 am-1:30 pm.
Oct. 17: Night of the Great Pumpkin—enjoy planetarium shows, creative pumpkin carving, storytime, crafts and snacks during this family-friendly event (UPDATE 10/9/14: press release has more details). Admission is free in conjunction with 3rd in the Burg. 6-9 pm.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Oct. 5: Artist Reception—meet Pennsylvania artist Ed Kane, this month's featured artist in the Museum Store. He works primarily with watercolors, charcoals, and ink to depict historic structures throughout the Philadelphia region. 1-4 pm.
Oct. 19: Afternoon Concert Series—"Practitioners of Musick" will perform 17th- and 18th-century music on the recorder and harpsichord in the auditorium of the Visitor Center. More info (including ticket prices) is on Facebook. 2 pm.
Oct. 24: Films at the Farmstead—tonight's seasonally appropriate feature is Hotel Transvlvania. Bring your blanket and a picnic dinner and enjoy a movie on the lawn of the Thompson-Neely House (upper park). Cost is $5 per person for ages 5 and up; popcorn and other concessions will be available. 7-10 pm (movie starts at dusk).
UPDATE, ADDITIONAL PROGRAM Oct. 26: Lecture—Rick Wiggins will present a talk entitled "Embattled Farmers: Campaigns and Profiles of Revolutionary Soldiers from Lincoln, Mass., 1775-1783." Visitor Center. Free of charge. 1 pm.