Charter Day All Over the State

So Sunday is Charter Day, and we'll be celebrating Pennsylvania's birthday all along PHMC's Trails of History. A couple of sites will celebrate other birthdays as well - Dr. Joseph Priestley and Ephrata founder Conrad Beissel. Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum will debut their 2016 exhibit on weathervanes. The State Museum will have the original Charter of 1681 on display. Conrad Weiser Homestead will hold their largest living history event and kickoff their season. And those are just a few of the activities planned - be sure to check out the list of open sites and the March program listings for details. Be sure all your clocks are set ahead one hour early Sunday morning for Daylight Saving Time or you might miss some of the fun!

UPDATE: If you tweet about your Charter Day visit please include #PaCharter2016 and tweet to @PHMC.

Landis Valley's 2016 exhibit will be open through December

In recent weeks I've been sharing links to media mentions of our sites and museums, and this week is no different...

Jim Cheney, who has written about a number of Trails of History sites on his blog,, recently described his visit to Ephrata Cloister. Appropriately for Charter Day, Cheney concludes his post (after noting that he quite enjoyed his visit) with: "It offers a peek into one of colonial America’s most unusual religious societies and gives a great perspective on how the religious freedom instilled into Pennsylvania by William Penn shaped the colony in the 18th century and beyond."

A Los Angeles Times article about the west coast debut of Julia Wolfe's Pulitzer-Prize-winning choral work, Anthracite Fields, noted that her research included folks at the PA Anthracite Heritage Museum in Scranton (read more about it in a previous Trailheads post).

Last week, had a post listing the "25 Best Things to See & Do in Erie, PA." Near the top was our very own Erie Maritime Museum - the article noted the museum's exhibits of historical artifacts, its interactives, the Lawrence ship-section exhibit (which shows the effects of cannon-fire on a wooden sailing ship), and the GE steam-powered generator. Visitors also know that the museum is the homeport of the US Brig Niagara.

Earlier this winter, DC-based blogger Erin Gifford ( and her four kids had some unexpected school vacation time due to snow. They headed north to PA to avoid cabin fever. Their visit to Lancaster County (recounted in a post called "Exploring with Kids: 36 Hours in Lancaster, PA") included stops at the Railroad Museum of PA and Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum.

And okay, this last one isn't specific to the PHMC or the Trails of History, but I'm sharing it anyway because. On the blog for the Association of Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM), Derrick Birdsall recently wrote a post called "The Walking Dead and ALHFAM?" that explores an interesting point. (I don't follow the show so I don't know if this constitutes a spoiler or not - if that matters to you then stop reading now.) Birdsall notes that a location called the Hilltop that serves as a refuge from the zombie apocalypse was chosen because it had been a living history site, preserving the knowledge of how to survive without the modern amenities. He wonders if any living history sites might be able to take advantage of that fact in their marketing. Thoughts?

Finally, since we're talking about marketing and promotion and all that, the PA Tourism Office this week unveiled a new brand for Pennsylvania. They produced a video to launch the idea and I thought you might like to see it, if you haven't already.


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