Whole Lotta Shearin’ Goin’ On

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Mother's Day, or so I read on the interwebs. Happy Mother's Day, mom!

AND AN UPDATE, thanks to Karen Galle of PHMC's Historical Marker Program: "Founded by Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia. First officially observed in 1908, it honored motherhood & family life at a time of rising feminist activism. An early supporter was John Wanamaker, whose store stood opposite. Mother's Day was given federal recognition, 1914."

For those of us who don’t live on farms or work at museums with farm animal programs, spring means, well, whatever it means. Flowers. Rain. Mowing the grass for the first time in a while. Allergies. Overdosing on Peeps or Reese’s peanut butter eggs. As I’ve watched my Facebook news feed the last couple of weeks, however, sheep shearing is definitely “trending.” (And yes, I know that my putting it in quotes means I’m hopelessly unhip. Big surprise.) If you’re reading this early enough, you might still make it to Washington Crossing Historic Park to see their program (see listings below).

BEFORE (via Daniel Boone Homestead Facebook page)

By the end of the day, it looks like most of the sheep on the PA Trails of History will have had their summer haircuts and supplied the spinners and weavers with fleece to turn into wool thread and cloth. You can find online photos of programs at Daniel Boone Homestead and Pennsbury Manor (stills and video courtesy of the Bucks County Courier Times).


Events this weekend and next week (full list for May):

Bushy Run Battlefield
May 10: Annual Spring Tea—learn about the 18th-century history of tea in the colonies and play children’s games at this family-friendly event. Cost is $18/adult (age 13+), $12/child (age 6-12); includes tea, hot chocolate, sandwiches, and pastries. Reservation deadline was May 7, so be sure to call ahead: 724/972-7396.

Cornwall Iron Furnace
May 13: Friends Lecture Series—“Charcoal Making” will be speaker Rick Brouse’s topic for the evening. During his presentation, Brouse will describe not only how charcoal was made but will also briefly talk about the year-long process, from cutting down the trees to feeding the charcoal into the furnace. Friends Lectures are held in Freeman Auditorium at Cornwall Manor, across the road from the furnace site. Admission is free (donations are welcome). 7 pm.

Ephrata Cloister
May 11: Mothers Day Tea—enjoy afternoon tea and conversation with mothers from Ephrata’s past. Cost is $10 for a mother/daughter pair, $3 for each additional child. 1-3 pm.
May 14: Storytime—Preschoolers with an accompanying adult can enjoy a story and an activity as they learn about life at Ephrata. Cost is $6 for one adult and child (age 3-5), $3 for each additional child (includes regular admission to the site); free to Family Level Members of Ephrata Cloister Associates. 10-11 am.
May 16: Community Days—students learn about life in 18th-century Ephrata through 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.

Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
May 9-10: 27th Annual Herb & Garden Faire—so many plants, plus lectures by gardening experts, garden furniture, herbal products and baked goods, and lots of great food by local groups and caterers. Admission is $10 (children 5 and under free). 9 am-5 pm.

Old Economy Village
Opened May 8: A Style of Their Own: Clothing and Textiles of the Harmony Society—a new exhibit in the visitor center featuring textiles produced in Harmonist factories and clothing worn by members of the Harmony Society, including founder George Rapp (his cap and coat were part of the PA's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts initiative). Included in regular admission. 10 am-5 pm.
May 10: 19th-century Trade and Craft Demonstrations—The Fabric of Their Lives: Textiles. Included in regular admission. 10 am-5 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
May 11: Living History Theater—“Women’s Monthly Meeting” explores women’s roles in the community and the issues they discussed. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
May 10-11: National Train Days—activities for all ages will be offered to celebrate the role of railroads in American life. Included in museum admission. Saturday, 9 am-5 pm; Sunday, Noon-5 pm.

Somerset Historical Center
May 16: The Sound of Silents—enjoy a presentation about silent movies featuring the work of film pioneer Edwin Stanton Porter (born in Fayette County, one-time resident of and buried in Somerset). As part of this fundraising event, there will be a pre-show reception and exhibit of movie memorabilia. Cost is $50 ($25 if you wish to attend the cinema presentation only). Held at Mountain Playhouse. Call 814/445-6077 for tickets. 7-9 pm.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
May 16: 3rd in the Burg—opening of new exhibit, “A Fondness for Birds: Pennsylvania’s Alexander Wilson,” featuring work that pre-dated John James Audubon by a decade. This is the inaugural show for the museum's new third Floor changing exhibit gallery. Admission is free for 3rd in the Burg. 5:30-7:30 pm.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
May 9: Sheep Shearing—the sheep will be relieved of their winter coats, and there will be demos of how the fleece is turned into clothing (spoiler alert – it takes a lot of work). Thompson-Neely House. Admission is $8 per person, ages 5 and older. 10 am-2 pm.


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