What does the groundhog say?

Please be sure to check out the February program listings to find your favorite Trails of History site.

So, Groundhog Day (#GHD130) was Tuesday. You've probably heard what Punxsutawney Phil had to say, since he has a robust media operation. Lancaster County's Octoraro Orphie agreed with Phil that we should look for an early spring (they don't always agree). That's a good thing, in my opinion, since Winter Storm Jonas brought Lancaster County (where I live) all of its average yearly snowfall in one fell swoop (or swell foop, as one of my grandfathers used to say).

The folks at Somerset Historical Center had to delay their 18th-century cap workshop by a week due to the storm, but a small group gathered last Saturday to learn hand-sewing techniques while making an authentic cap. SHC will offer a tole painting workshop on Feb. 20, a pysanky egg workshop on March 19, and a weekend-long coopering workshop starting April 29.

(Top) Workshop participants making progress on their caps (photo courtesy of Elyse Bennett)
(Bottom) A finished cap by one of the attendees (photo courtesy of Linda Marker)

This week marked the centennial of the Commonwealth of PA's acquisition of the property we now know as Old Economy Village. As the result of a court case, the land and buildings that comprise the historic site were awarded to Pennsylvania on Feb. 3, 1916. It was, in fact, the first historic site to come under the direct ownership of the state and opened to the public in 1921. There will be commemorative programs throughout the year and you can follow Old Economy on Facebook to learn "100 facts for 100 years." State Rep. Rob Matzie, whose legislative district includes Old Economy Village, sponsored a resolution in the General Assembly to honor the occasion. (UPDATE: The Beaver County Times online has a nice article about the event.)


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