How Did it Get to Be So Late?

This week is turning out to be a little tight on time, so I thought it would be great to provide a few updates on events coming up before the end of August.

But before I do, a few tidbits:

If you enjoyed the August 12 guest post about Pennsylvanians and the Olympics, you might enjoy this wrap-up from Penn Live about how all of the 2016 PA athletes fared in Rio.

Vikings have invaded Erie! On its way from tall ships events in the Great Lakes to Connecticut (where it will spend the winter) Viking ship Draken made a stop at the Erie Maritime Museum. Not a sight you see everyday in Pennsylvania. Of course, there's "film at 11" on the local news (although I guess the 24-hour news cycle means that phrase, like so many I use, is outdated). Thanks to Linda Bolla for additional photos.

Viking ship Draken docked in Erie (top), detail from bow of ship (bottom) (photos by Linda Bolla)

Stephanie Kalina-Metzger of the Carlisle Sentinel wrote about a visit to Bucks County that included Pennsbury Manor in a recent article, "Stepping Back into History with a Visit to Pearl S. Buck House and Pennsbury Manor."

And speaking of Pennsbury, photographer Jennifer MacNeill has posted images from a visit to Pennsbury on her Facebook page. In addition to her other photography interests, MacNeill regularly shares photos of Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum. Her work is also included in the current "Art of the State" exhibit at the State Museum of PA.

Saturday, August 27
  • Drake Day Circus at Drake Well Museum - experience a 19th-century style traveling circus and learn about life in the oil region during the boom. More info on Facebook about tickets and other details (and read about in the Titusville Herald). 10 am-4 pm. (Please note that because the circus is an "all hands on deck" event, the visitor center at Historic Pithole will be closed on 8/27.)
  • Spotlight Saturday at Old Economy Village - this week's feature is woodworking and children's games. Included in regular admission, 11 am to 4 pm.
  • Please note that the Youth and Family Field Day scheduled for 8/27 at the PA Lumber Museum has been cancelled. They hope to reschedule for June 2017 and we'll have more info in the new year.

Sunday, August 28
  • Picnic at Bushy Run Battlefield - bring a picnic lunch and enjoy old-fashioned fun (such as Capture the Flag and face-painting) and new-fashioned fun (a Pokemon Go tournament). Entry to the battlefield is free. Noon-4 pm.
  • Learn to make a one-pie basket at Daniel Boone Homestead - details are on the website, but you might want to call ahead to make sure there is still room in the workshop.
  • Enjoy the late summer garden at Pennsbury Manor and visit the brew house, where they will be making "Garden Surprise" beer. Included in regular admission, 1 to 4 pm.

I'm planning to post the September program page next week, along with a list of Trails of History sites open on Labor Day. Stay tuned and enjoy the summer while it lasts.

Stuff You May Have Missed

If you're looking for something to do this weekend (I hope it's cooler than last), the August program page is the place to look for ideas.

A old-style Radio Show was part of the 1940s weekend event at Eckley (via FB)

Eckley Miners' Village held their annual 1940s weekend earlier this month and got some good local coverage, not to mention enthusiastic visitors. In addition to a 1940s-style radio show, homefront displays, and a swing dance, the program also featured Sarah Jane "Salty" Sands, who played professional baseball for the Rockford (IL) Peaches in the early 1950s. She was on hand to talk about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which began during WWII. Salty, an Orangeville (Columbia County) native, played right field and catcher for the team that was featured in the 1992 film, A League of Their Own; she had a small part in the movie.

ABC News coverage of the opening of the new National Museum of Industrial History in Bethlehem (in part of the old Bethlehem Steel plant) included mentions of other industrial museums in PA, including the Anthracite Heritage Museum and the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum. Cool!

Native American camp at Battle of Bushy Run event
Bushy Run Battlefield's annual reenactment of the 1763 battle between British and Native American forces drew 100 reenactors and sutlers and just over 1,300 visitors the first weekend in August. You'll find more photos and video on Bushy Run's Facebook page.

On Sept.10, the borough of Ephrata will host the 43rd Annual Arts and Crafts Fest (9 am-3 pm), and Ephrata Cloister will host its annual Artisans' Fair (10 am-3 pm). If you or someone you know is interested in participating as an artisan or vendor, you'll find more info in this article in the Ephrata Review. And speaking of Ephrata Cloister, the site is the star image on Discover Lancaster's Facebook posts about their new Faith and Heritage Trail.

The current issue of Heirloom Gardener magazine features a profile of Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum's Heirloom Seed Project by Andrew Weidman. Landis Valley's program started in the 1980s and is highly regarded nationally. Weidman's article favorably compares the Heirloom Seed Project similar types of programs at Monticello, Old Sturbridge Village, and Colonial Williamsburg.

Pennsylvania Olympians: Viva Sua Paixao!

The August program page is what you need for the weekend, unless you're staying in to watch the Olympics!

Today’s post comes from guest blogger Corine Lehigh, a former PHMC Keystone intern and currently on staff of the Pennsylvania State Archives. This is her third guest post for Trailheads; her previous posts covered the acquisition of Gov. Milton Shapp’s personal papers and a historic walking tour last summer’s interns took in Harrisburg. To save you from looking it up—“Viva Sua Paixao” is the slogan for the Rio Olympics and means “Live Your Passion” in Portuguese (you can see lots of logos online – I couldn’t figure out if it was okay to use one here so I decided to avoid the IOC’s copyright maze).

In addition to the athletes Corine mentions below, I’ll include two other PA Connections. As in 2012, the uniforms for this year's U.S. gymnastics teams were made in PA (this story on PennLive gives details and photos). Not only are many members of the U.S. Field Hockey team from Pennsylvania, the team is based in Lancaster County, training at Spooky Nook Sports Complex; they’re doing well as of 8/9/16 (may be more news by the time you read this) (UPDATE 8/12: they're still undefeated.) (Update 8/15/16: Team USA has lost to Germany in the quarterfinals but has many proud and loyal fans cheering back home.)

Pennsylvania has been home to the first World’s Fair in the United States (1876), President James Buchanan, the Battle of Gettysburg, Hershey’s Chocolate, Steeltown USA, the City of Brotherly Love, and so much more. However, few Pennsylvanians remember our citizens who have represented the Keystone State in the Olympics throughout the years. Here are just a few of many who have attended and medaled in the past:

John Woodruff, 1936 Olympian
Olympian John Woodruff (via Wikimedia Commons

Grandson of two Virginia slaves, Connellsville native John Woodruff won the gold medal in the 800-meter event at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. Along with that of Jesse Owens, Woodruff’s victory helped to challenge the notion of Aryan racial supremacy. The National Visionary Leadership Project website has more information on John Woodruff’s life before and after the Olympics. (Editor’s note: at the time of his passing in 2007, Woodruff was the last surviving U.S. gold medalist from the 1936 games).

Winning a gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, wrestler Kurt Angle (born Mt. Lebanon, north of Pittsburgh) reportedly competed with a broken neck and three slipped disks. An article on Bleacher Report from 2013 provides info about Kurt’s wrestle through the pain as well as how he feels about wrestling being removed from the Olympic Games.

Allentown native and current Lehigh County Commissioner Marty Nothstein earned a silver medal in the 1996 Olympics in the cycling sprint. At the Sydney Olympics in 2000 he became the first American (oops! editing error - thanks to an eagle-eyed reader for the correction) since Mark Gorski in 1984 to win the gold medal in that event. Learn more about Nothstein’s road to the Olympics on Cycling

At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, sprinter Lauryn Williams won the silver medal in the 100-meter; she won a gold medal in the 4 x 100-meter race at the London Games in 2012. Williams (born in Rochester, near Pittsburgh) is one of only five athletes (and the first American woman) who has medaled in both the summer and winter Olympics. In 2014 she won the silver medal for two-woman bobsled team at the Sochi Olympics. Learn more about this amazing athlete on her professional website.

This summer at the Rio Olympics, the Keystone State is represented by 26 athletes (read about all of them in this Doylestown Patch post). Learn more about individual PA Olympians by checking out the following links, competition schedules, and videos:
Inspired? If you’re interested in learning how you can make your own Olympic dream come true, check out the NBC Olympics "gold map."

Pennsylvania State Archives Completes National Historical Publications and Records Commission Documenting Democracy Grant

Thanks to Josh Stahlman from the Pennsylvania State Archives for providing this recap of an important project completed by the Archives staff this spring. Funding for the project came from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, a federal agency "affiliated with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) that supports a wide range of activities to preserve, publish, and encourage the use of documentary sources, created in every medium ranging from quill pen to computer, relating to the history of the United States."

NHPRC logo

In October 2014, the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation® (PHF), a fiduciary of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, received a $60,456 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) “Documenting Democracy: Access to Historical Records” program. The grant enabled the Pennsylvania State Archives to expand public accessibility, ensure long-term preservation, and further increase intellectual control over records of the Office of the Governor, specifically those related to the administrations of late-20th-century Governors Milton Shapp, Richard Thornburgh, and Robert P. Casey. Collectively these records, many pertaining to the Civil Rights era, provide valuable insight into the workings of Pennsylvania’s Chief Executive and how critical decisions affecting the Commonwealth and the nation were made.

Records prior to arrangement and rehousing (photo PA State Archives)
The project, completed on March 31, 2016, involved the detailed processing of 251.5 cubic feet of documents and the digital conversion of 406 videotapes (the latter was part of the required cost sharing by PHMC). The records were reappraised, arranged and re-housed in acid-free folders and containers for long-term preservation.

Records of the PA Commission for Women, after processing (photo PA State Archives)

Folder-level finding aids were produced and are available on the Archives website (or click on series names): four series from the Pennsylvania Commission for Women, 1962-2012 (77 cubic feet); two series from the Bureau of Affirmative Action, 1970-1994; the Governor’s Review of Government Management Committee Records, 1971-1974 (43 cubic feet); and the Records of the Chief Clerk’s Office, 1874-1979.

The State Archives and the PHF again wish to thank the NHPRC for providing the funding to enable detailed processing and digital conversion of these records from the Office of the Governor, which allow for the critical study of how the Commonwealth has responded to seminal events in United States history and its relationship with the federal government. These important records truly document democracy in action.


Summer is speeding by, and I probably always say that right about this time. But this year, I mean it! The August program page will provide you with lots of ideas for making the most of the last full month of summer. If you're still looking for something to do this evening (8/5), call Cornwall Iron Furnace to see if tickets are available for their Blast! event, featuring beer, wine, and a pig roast next to the iron furnace building.

On Thursday, July 28, Pennsbury Manor provided a beautiful setting for 47 people from 21 countries to become naturalized American citizens. As the Democratic National Convention was in its final day in nearby Philadelphia, some reporters covering the event asked many of the new citizens about their new right to vote. (You can see more from the Bucks County Courier Times or ABC6 news.) This was not the first time that Pennsbury has hosted a naturalization ceremony; the most recent was in July 2014.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has an ongoing series devoted to National Park Service sites in Pennsylvania in honor of NPS's Centennial this year. The most recent entry in the series looks at the Oil Region National Heritage Area, located in northwestern PA. One of the stars of the piece is, of course, PHMC's own Drake Well Museum, which tells the story of the birth of the oil and gas industries and features a replica of Edwin Drake's oil well. The author notes that the best souvenirs in the region are PA crude oil or pieces of the Marcellus Shale sold in Drake Well's museum store. There is also video of oil field machinery (be sure the speakers on your computer or device are on).

The Pennsylvania Military Museum held its annual "Vietnam Revisited" program this past weekend. Exploring the combat and non-combat experiences of serving in Vietnam, the event featured a bivouac and simulated jungle patrols. Among other features was a map of Vietnam that veterans could sign to show where they were during the war (see photo below and check out PMM's Facebook page for more).

Vietnam Remembered (via PA Military Museum Facebook page)

If you're reading this Friday morning (Aug. 5) you might still have time to get to the State Museum for a lunchtime talk on the newly renovated Carboniferous Forest exhibit on the museum's 3rd floor (even if you miss the talk, you can see the reopened gallery). Get details on the museum's website; museum is open 9 am to 5 pm, the gallery talk is 12:15-12:45 pm (or come at come at 11:30 am to learn about new plans for Mammal Hall). Programs are included in general admission.

Somerset Historical Center has announced the upcoming publication of a book on the Shade Furnace, a 19th-century iron furnace and community located in the northern part of Somerset County. Pre-publication orders are now being accepted (see form for more details).

The PA Lumber Museum reminds us that the first in a series of local Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) reunions is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 13, at Leonard Harrison State Park. As you may know, the Lumber Museum's core exhibit includes a history of CCC activity in PA and the outdoor exhibits include a CCC-built chestnut cabin and statue honoring CCC workers. (On a side note, the Lumber Museum has a couple of on-site programs coming up this month that I initially left off the August program page but have now remedied, so please check that out, too. Thx.)