May 2015 on the Trails of History

Happy May Day! We have quite a list of activities for the coming month. Most sites on the Trails of History will be open on Memorial Day, but we'll post a list in a week or two so you can plan. If you've been following the Museum Danceoff 2 (mentioned in a previous post), voting is now into Round 2.

Anthracite Heritage Museum
UPDATE: May 23—author Louis Ronald Scatena will present a program and sign copies of his book, Anthracite Grade School on Irish Hill, which explores the immigration of mine workers, hardships that families faced during the Depression, and his experiences working with his father in the coal industry. Program is free; admission is charged to visit the museum's exhibits. 3:30 pm.
UPDATE: NEW LISTING-May 30: Anthracite Heritage Conference 2015—featured speakers this year include Nancy Deisroth, Mike Korb, James LaRegina, Patrick McKnight, Noreen O'Connor, and Richard Sedlisky. Cost is $20 (includes refreshments, lunch, and museum admission). Register by May 27 by calling 560/963-4845; check Anthracite Heritage Museum's Facebook page for updates.

Brandywine Battlefield
May 16: Encampment Day 2015—program includes military and civilian reenactors, firing demonstrations, and lecture by Mike Harris, author of Brandywine: The Military History of the Battle that Lost Philadelphia but Saved America. 10 am-4 pm.

Bushy Run Battlefield
May 1: Visitor Center reopens for the season—hours are Wed.-Sat., 9 am-5 pm, and Sun., noon-5 pm. Park is open daily 8 am to dusk.
May 5: Westmoreland Day of Giving—donations to Bushy Run through this online initiative will be enhanced from a pool of about $50,000 by the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County. Find more info on the foundation's website. 6 am-midnight.
May 9: 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. No registration required; wear sturdy, water-resistant walking or hiking shoes and dress for the weather. 10 am.
May 16: Annual Spring Tea—as of April 29, this event is sold out.

Conrad Weiser Homestead
May 3: Living History Sunday—the public is invited to visit the homestead and park to learn about life in Berks County during the 18th century. Admission is free. Noon-4 pm.

Cornwall Iron Furnace
May 12: Friends Lecture Series—Dr. Bode Morin will present a talk on the Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama. Morin is the site administrator at Eckley Miners' Village and is a former curator at Sloss Furnaces National Historic Site. 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.

Daniel Boone Homestead
May 3: Children’s Day 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. 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. Admission is $8 for age 13 and older, free for children 12 and under; light refreshments will be available. Noon-4 pm.
May 9: Boone's Beerfest—2nd annual event features tastings from numerous breweries; food concessions will also be available. Details are here. 2-6 pm (Boone house tours 2-4 pm).

Drake Well Museum
May 2: Engine Start-up Day—when the steam engines that power the Drake Well replica and the oil field equipment start up again, it must be (almost) summer! Included in regular admission. 9 am-5 pm.
May 9: Something More Saturday—"Cooking in the Oilfields" is today's topic. Family-friendly activities help you explore the museum and grounds. Included in regular admission; special family rate of up to 2 adults and 3 children for $20. 10 am-3 pm.
May 16: MEET-U in 5 and a Half Trail Run—enjoy a 5-mile or 13-mile run through the grounds of Drake Well Museum and Oil Creek State Park and help the museum’s MEET-U educational outreach program. More info on Facebook.
May 21: Heritage Lecture Series—Linda Gray will use jewelry and clothing to illustrate her talk on mourning practices of the Civil War era. Cost is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors; members get in free. Doors open at 6 pm, program starts at 6:30.
May 30: Blacksmithing Demos—monthly blacksmithing demonstrations on the grounds of Drake Well Museum by Oil Valley Blacksmiths the last Saturday of the month. Included in regular admission. 10 am-2 pm.

Eckley Miners' Village
UPDATE: May 31: Anthracite Films Program—in conjunction with the Anthracite Heritage Conference on May 30 (see listing under Anthracite Heritage Museum above), Eckley will present a program of anthracite coal films. The program will be led by F. Charles Petrillo and Prof. Philip Moseley (find more info about the films on Eckley's Facebook page). Included in regular admission. 1 pm.

Ephrata Cloister
May 7: Evening Conversations Series—"Ephrata and the Early Mormon Church," presented by Nick Siegert, explores possible connections and ongoing research. Admission is free; donations welcome. 7-8 pm.
May 10: Mother's Day Tea—enjoy afternoon tea and learn about women's lives in 18th-century Ephrata. Cost is $25 and includes tea, gourmet baked goods, and fruit, plus a special tour of the Sisters' House and admission to the Ephrata Cloister Chorus Spring Concert. 1-3 pm.
May 10: Ephrata Cloister Chorus Spring Concert—in the historic meetinghouse. The program includes 18th-century music from Ephrata Cloister and other early communities, as well as works by Schubert, Brahms, Dawson, Billings, Mendelssohn, and Bechler. Admission charged. 4 pm.
May 15: Opening Reception for Student Art Exhibit at Ephrata Public Library—throughout the spring, Ephrata Cloister has partnered with the Ephrata Public Library on a series of art workshops for students. The resulting Student Art Exhibit will be on view at the library through June 15. The opening reception is at the library; light refreshments will be served. 6:30-8:30 pm.
May 16: William Woys Weaver—the noted food historian will present "PA German Kitchen Gardens and Heirloom Seeds," a talk postponed from the Winter History Class due to inclement weather. Cost is $15, $10 for members of Ephrata Cloister Associates, free for those who paid registration for Winter History Class. 10 am-noon.
May 29: Community Days—geared for elementary age students, this program provides a number of education and activity stations for students and their teachers. Ideal for homeschool groups or others who want to learn at their own pace. Registration suggested; call 717/733-6600.
May 30: Ephrata Cloister Chorus Fundraiser—featuring Kauffman’s Chicken BBQ (and sides). Tickets are $7; call 717/733-6600 to order. 10 am until sold out.

Erie Maritime Museum and Flagship Niagara
May 9: Little Mates Discovery Day—family-friendly activities include knot-tying, nautical face painting, and maritime music. There will also be info on plastics pollution of lakes and oceans and a chance to view the Plastic Waters exhibit, which closes May 25 July 6 (held over by popular demand). For more info, contact Andrew at 10 am-2 pm.
May 9: Adopt-a-Beach—help clean up the beach at Presque Isle State Park. More info here.
May 17: Special Movie PresentationPlastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch will be shown in H.O. Hirt Auditorium (off the museum/library lobby). Admission is free; you can RSVP at 2 pm.
UPDATE: May 18: Little Mates Storytime at the Maritime—enjoy a maritime-themed story, meet and greet the guest reader, and tour the museum. Free and open to the public. For more info, contact Andrew at 10 am.
May 22: Gallery Night—come see Plastic Waters and a related exhibit of artwork by students from Mercyhurst Prep as part of Erie Art Museum's Gallery Night program (visit other Erie galleries as well). Attendees will receive a 15% discount in the museum store; refreshments will be available. Admission is free (more info is here). 7-10 pm.

Fort Pitt Museum
May 16: Living History: Play Ball—before there was baseball (and a bunch of other sports that don't interest me), there was cricket. Take part in a pick-up cricket match in Point State Park and learn how soldiers at Fort Pitt might have passed some of their time. No experience necessary to play (more info here). 10 am-4:30 pm.
UPDATE: May 22: Exhibit opening—using documentary evidence gleaned from 18th- and early 19th-century primary sources, dozens of rare artifacts, and a wide array of imagery, "Captured by Indians" examines the practice of captivity from its prehistoric roots to its impact on modern American Indians and other ethnicities. Included in regular admission.

Graeme Park
May 2-3: World War II Weekend—held in cooperation with The Horsham Preservation & Historical Association, this program features battle reenactments, displays of military equipment, and swing music. Admission charged (info and schedule here). Gates open at 9:30 am both days.

Hope Lodge
May 17: Site open—Hope Lodge is open the 3rd Sunday of each month through October. Tours of the mansion are offered at 1 and 2:30 pm (corrected from original post); cost is $5 for adults and $4 for seniors and students age 6-17 (free for age 5 and under as well as members of the Friends of Hope Lodge). 12:30-4 pm.

Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
May 8-9: 28th 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 (details here). Admission is $10 for ages 5 and up. 9 am-5 pm.

Old Economy Village
May 2-3: Beaver County History Days—Please check the website for more information.
May 8: Home School Day—families can explore the village and take part in hands-on activities and demonstrations at a special rate of $5 per person. You must pre-register to get the education rate (more info here).
May 10: Open Sunday—OEV is open the 2nd Sunday of each month (full operating schedule here), noon-5 pm.
May 16: Garden Mart and Spring Garden Workshop—The Garden Mart offers free admission to OEV’s gardens, which will be filled with vendors and local garden-related organizations. The Spring Garden Workshop includes a full program of speakers, a tour of the gardens, door prizes, and lunch (must register for the full program by May 11). Details for both events, including registration options for the workshop. 9 am-2 pm.
UPDATE: May 23: Basket Class—learn to make a flat fruit basket (see photo on OEV's Facebook page) with Sister Donna Wojtyna of Basket Creations. Cost is $60 and includes materials, coffee, and tea (feel free to pack a lunch); Friends of OEV pay $48. 11:30 am-4 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
May 3: Historic Trades—the blacksmith and joyner will be on hand to demonstrate the skills needed to make furnishings and accessories for a 17th-century home. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
May 10: Happy Mother's Day—Pennsbury's living history theater role players will explore marriage, discipline, and care of children in the 17th century. And the sheep will be losing their winter coats today as well. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
May 17: Open Hearth Cooking—fresh milk is the star ingredient today as the cooks talk about the importance of butter and cheese. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
May 24: Animals at Pennsbury—meet the furry residents and learn about the work they do. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
May 31: Beer Brewing Demonstration and Spring in Pennsbury's Garden—see what the gardeners are up to and then visit the Kitchen House to see a batch of Dorchester Ale being brewed. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
May 15: Grand Reopening Ceremony—the public is invited to attend the grand reopening ceremony (May 15) for the expanded and enhanced Visitor Center, including a brand new core exhibit (the building reopened to the public on April 1). 10 am.

Old Economy Village
UPDATE: May 30: Spotlight on Natural History—tour the Feast Hall exhibit that recreates aspects of the Harmonists' natural history museum, one of the earliest in the country. Interpreters will be available in the exhibit from 11 am to 4 pm. Included in regular admission; please stop in the Visitor Center first to purchase tickets.

Pennsylvania Military Museum
May 2: Battery B Drill Exercise—Civil War-era reenactors from the 3rd Pennsylvania Volunteers will demonstrate loading and firing artillery pieces as they conduct their annual safety training and recruitment event. 10 am-4 pm.
UPDATE: May 5: Centre Gives—help support the museum by donating during this 36-hour online giving campaign. Donations will be accepted starting at 6 am, concluding on May 6 at 6 pm. You can go directly to the Friends of the PA Military Museum page to donate. All donations will be stretched from a pool of funds administered by The Centre Foundation.
May 5: Central PA Civil War Roundtable Series—"To Whom Would You Entrust the Confederate Treasury?" Captain James Bloom, US Navy (ret), traces the story of Confederate Navy Commander John Taylor Wood, who was tasked with delivering a supply of gold to his uncle, Jefferson Davis, in exile in Texas after the fall of Richmond in April 1865. Program is free; donation requested. 7 pm.
May 6: Friends’ Richard Koontz Memorial Lecture Series—“Gettysburg: Myths, Misconceptions, and Misinformation." Author Robert P. Broadwater will compare first-hand accounts with the historic record to show how the event battle has been altered and maligned. Program is free; donation requested. 7:30 pm.
May 9-10: The Great War Remembered: World War One—this living history program with encampments adjacent to the museum will interpret life on the Western Front. Additional programs (admission required) will take place in the Museum theater (check here for the schedule). 10 am-4 pm.
May 17: A Celebration of Service—US Army reunion and memorial service sponsored by the PA National Guard and held on the museum grounds (photos of previous programs here). 9 am-4 pm (ceremony begins at 12:30 pm, but military vehicles, helicopters, and equipment begin arriving earlier in the day).
May 23-24: 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. Grounds will be open 10 am-4 pm. On May 23 at 2:30 pm, "Letters from Home: A Serviceman's Canteen Show” will entertain the troops and homefront crowd in the Service Canteen (please bring your own seating).
May 25: Allegheny Mountain Region AACA Car Show—kick off summer with pre-war through modern classics on the grounds of the museum. $5 for on-site parking. 9 am-4 pm.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
May 9: National Train Day—activities for all ages will be offered to celebrate the role of railroads in American life. Kids can enjoy a Museum scavenger hunt, design-a-paint-scheme posters of the Museum's own GG1 No. 4800 electric locomotive and the Workin' on the Railroad track building activity. Included in museum admission. 9 am-5 pm.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
May 15: 3rd in the Burg—museum director David Dunn will offer a sneak peek at the renovations currently underway in Mammal Hall. Admission is free during the event. 5:30-7 pm.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
May 2: Washington Crossing Brewfest—as of April 27, the Brewfest is officially sold out.
May 8: Sheep Shearing—the sheep will be relieved of their winter coats, and there will be demos of how the fleece is turned into clothing. Thompson-Neely House. Admission is $9 per person, ages 4 and older; reservations are required for groups of 15 or more (call 215/493-4076). 10 am-2 pm.
May 9: Farmer's Market—the weekly Saturday market kicks off today and continues through the fall. Vendors set up near the corner of River Road and Rt. 532 (or Visitor Center parking lot when it rains). 9 am-1 pm.
May 12: Lecture—Steven Cohen, collector, and Susan Taylor, executive director of the Friends of the Delaware Canal, will present "Unique and Rare Postcards of the Delaware Canal and Nearby Sites." The program will be held in the Visitor Center auditorium. Admission is free. 7:30 pm.
May 15: Workshop—As part of a larger conference being held on-site, the public is invited to a half-day program featuring lectures and historic weapons demos (more info here). Cost is $20, payable at the door. Noon-4 pm.
May 24: Memorial Day observance—this event, honoring the Continental soldiers' graves near the Thompson-Neely house, takes place the day before Memorial Day (program details in this article). Program is free. 1 pm.


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