February 2015 on the Trails of History

But first, I wanted to share two links related to Trails of History sites that might bring a smile on a cold winter day (unless your heart is frozen). Earlier this week, Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara hosted their monthly "Storytime at the Maritime" program, with guest readers from the local US Navy Reserve Center (local news covered it and there's video on the Your Erie website). In totally unrelated news, the Ephrata Merchants Association has a small figure of a burro (aka The Burro of Ephrata - get it?) whose visits to local attractions are posted on Facebook. A recent stop at Ephrata Cloister included dressing the burro in the familiar white habit of the brothers and sisters (photo from Facebook).

Eckley Miners' Village in winter (this photo is a few years old, but I'm having trouble uploading new photos - UPDATE: find a new winter image from Eckley on Facebook)
Okay, so February. Winter schedules in effect, weather-induced closures, blah-blah-blah. Be sure to check ahead to make sure the site you want to visit will be open when you plan to be there. Fort Pitt Museum and the Railroad Museum of PA will be open on Feb. 16 for Presidents Day; the other Trails of History sites will be closed that day.

Anthracite Heritage Museum
Feb. 15: Lackawanna Audubon Society—speaker is Nick Spinelli, executive director of the Lake Wallenpaupack Watershed Management District. Program is free, but admission is charged to visit the museum’s exhibits. 2:30 pm.

Daniel Boone Homestead
Feb. 15: Fireside Tales—children ages 4-8 and their families are invited to enjoy an afternoon of storytelling in the Wayside Lodge, with animal tales Daniel Boone might have heard as a child. Dress for the weather and bring an extra blanket if it’s really chilly. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served. Donations accepted; regular admission is charged for touring the Boone Homestead and the historic area. 2 pm.

Drake Well Museum
Feb. 7: Pithole Sledding Party—Enjoy an old-fashioned sledding party at historic Pithole. Refreshments will be available. Weather permitting (as of last week the sledding hill looked fabulous). Call Drake Well Museum, 814/827-2797, for directions. 11 am-2 pm.
Feb. 14: Something More Saturday—this month's program is "Love Among the Derricks." View handwritten love letters from the past, try your hand at calligraphy, and make a Valentine for your Valentine. Included in regular admission; special family rate, up to 2 adults and 3 children for $20. More info on Facebook. 10 am-3 pm.

Ephrata Cloister
Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26: Winter History Class—each Thursday participants in the Winter History Class learn about the history of the celibate brothers and sisters, the world they lived in, and the work of preserving the collections and buildings. Check out the class schedule for details.
Feb. 11: Storytime—designed for pre-K students, this program will pair a story with age-appropriate hands on activities to help young learners and their adults explore the historic site. Cost is $6 for one adult and accompanying child (age 3-5), $3 for each additional child; program is free with Ephrata Cloister Associates Family Membership. 10-11 am.
UPDATE (and then corrected): Feb. 21: Making History Workshop, Cloaks and Capes - learn to make a simple 18th-century style winter garment. Deadline for registration is Feb. 19 (more details here).

Erie Maritime Museum and Flagship Niagara
Feb. 17: Museum Lecture Serieshistorian Gene Allen Smith will present "African Americans and the War of 1812." African Americans made up 15-20% of enlisted men on all ships and stations of the US Navy during the War of 1812. Program is free; RSVP to Andrew at 814/452-2744 x225 or outreach@flagshipniagara.org. 6:30 pm.
Feb. 20: Wintertime at the Maritime—shake those winter blahs (and your booty) with live music, heated tents, hors d'oeuvres, and adult beverages. Enter the Funky Winter Hat Contest. Must be 21 or older to attend. Cost is $60 per person, $100 per couple (a portion of your ticket is tax deductible). Purchase tickets online, by calling 814/452-2744 x208, or in person at the Erie Maritime Museum gift shop. 6-10 pm.

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Feb. 4, 11, 18, 25: Homeschool Classes—Activities and age ranges vary; check the website for details.

Winter Craft and Trade Classes (details and registration form)
  • Feb. 7: Needlebook and Collections Care; Intro to Hearth Cooking; Domestic Medicine Traditions; Basic Blacksmithing
  • Feb. 14: Broom Making; Beginning Genealogy; Basic Blacksmithing; Beginning Woodcarving
  • UPDATE: this class is full - Feb. 20-21: Advanced Open Hearth Cooking
Folk Art & Friendship (registration form and details, including additional March and April classes)
  • Feb. 21: Pressed Flower Art
  • Feb. 28: German Paper Star
Feb. 21: Heirloom Seed Project workshops—sessions cover a variety of topics (visit website for class descriptions and registration info). Registration deadline is Feb. 13.

Old Economy Village
Last night (Jan. 29) was the opening preview for "Harmony in Wood, Revisited," which brings back a popular exhibit on Harmonist furniture and craftmanship (Trailheads visited the original exhibit and it was one of our early posts).
Feb. 4: Behind the Scenes Tours—a chance to see the "Harmony in Wood" exhibit, visit artifact storage, and get beyond the velvet ropes in the newly restored George and Frederick Rapp Houses. The evening includes light refreshments. Reservations are required; cost is $20 ($16 for Friends of OEV). The website has more info. 6-9 pm.
Feb 8: Open Sunday—OEV's new operating schedule includes staying open (just the visitor center thru the end of March) until 8 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays and being closed on all but one Sunday a month. Visitor center will be open noon-5 pm on the 8th.
Feb. 11, 18 and 25: Beginner Knitting Class—come learn basic knitting techniques and skills. Cost is $25 for all 3 classes ($20 for Friends of OEV); the instructor will have some materials at the first class for an additional fee. More info is on the website, including how to register. 6:30-8:30 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
UPDATE - Feb. 21: Rural History Confederation Interpretation Workshop—this year's RHC workshop is "'At This Unseasonable Hour': Illuminating Night Life of Our Past." Open to historic site and museum professionals and volunteers and lovers of history. Details are on the RHC website. Snow date is March 7.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Visit the State Museum website to see the February calendar of events.
Through Feb. 15: Inaugural Exhibit of Pennsylvania Art—organized as part of the inaugural activities for Gov. Tom Wolf, this exhibit brings together artwork from 45 institutions across the state and features works by a wide variety of Pennsylvania artists. (Find posts about individual artists on The State Museum's Facebook page.) Included in regular admission. (There will be a Learn@Lunchtime event Feb. 13, with tours of the exhibit and free admission, 11 am-1:30 pm. UPDATE: Feb. 13 will be a free day at the museum (more info).)

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Feb. 22: George Washington's Birthday—Celebrate GW's birthday with blacksmithing and cooking demos, a book signing, birthday cards, and cake. Admission is $1. 10 am-2 pm (Genl. Washington arrives around 1 pm to receive birthday greetings and serve the cake.)


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