Learning and Research Opportunities Ahead for 2018

Last week's post has holiday schedules for New Year's, as well as events happening this weekend on the Trails of History. (The January 2018 program page is available for those of you who want to plan ahead.)Have a safe and sane New Year's everybody.

As we say goodbye to 2017, we also need to look ahead to two exciting opportunities for people interested in the study of Pennsylvania history and culture. Both have application deadlines in February, so this seems like a good time to focus your attention.

Keystone Internship Participants on field trip to Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, Summer 2017
The PHMC Keystone Summer Internship Program provides pre-professional training for undergraduate and graduate students interested in careers in public history. Applicants have the opportunity to request their preferred internship location - in the various Harrisburg-based parts of the PHMC or at our administered historic sites and museums around Pennsylvania. Every effort is made to match student interests to available internship locations and mentors. For more information and application materials, please visit the Internships page on the PHMC website. The deadline for applications is February 9, 2018. Please note that the required submissions include a letter of recommendation, so don't wait until the last minute!


The Pennsylvania State Archives and the Pennsylvania Historical Association invite applications for the 2018-2019 Scholars in Residence Program, which provides support for up to four weeks of full-time research and study in manuscript and state record collections maintained by the Pennsylvania State Archives.

Residency programs are open to all who are conducting research on Pennsylvania history, including academic scholars, public sector professionals, independent scholars, graduate students, educators, writers, filmmakers, and others. Residencies may be scheduled for up to four weeks at any time during the period June 15-August 15, 2018; stipends are awarded at the rate of up to $800 per week.

Researchers in PA State Archives Search Room (photo PA State Archives)
Applicants are encouraged to conceive of research topics related to Pennsylvania history. They are further encouraged to identify relevant archival collections, assess their availability and accessibility, and discuss their research agenda with appropriate staff prior to submitting a proposal. Because the State Archives is interested in making history meaningful and accessible to diverse audiences, research that is likely to result in widespread dissemination through nonspecialized publications, films, exhibitions, or other means is particularly welcome. Research topics that may have an impact on public policy are also most welcomed.

The State Archives does not discriminate based on sex, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability. Individuals with disabilities who require assistance or accommodation to participate in this program should contact the Archives at (717) 705-5785 or the Pennsylvania TDD relay service at (800) 654-5984 to discuss their needs.

For a full description of the residency program, including contact information, evaluation criteria, application materials, and information about State Archives research collections, go to the Scholars in Residence page on the PHMC website.

Deadline for application is February 15, 2018. Notification of awards will be made in early April.

Holiday Schedules on the Trails of History

The information below is accurate, to the best of my knowledge, as of Dec. 21, 2017. It is always advisable to check ahead when you make plans, to be sure the site you want to visit will be open when you plan to be there. This is especially true in the winter when holidays and weather events can disrupt the regular schedules.

On behalf of everyone here at Trailheads HQ, I hope you have a chance in the coming week to spend time with family and friends, enjoy some quiet reflection, or maybe a little of both. If you are traveling, I wish you safe and easy roads, rails, and skies.

BREAKING NEWS UPDATED 12/28/17: Many sites will be closing early today, Dec. 22 29, but will be open regular hours tomorrow, Dec. 23 30 (unless otherwise noted below).

The replica oil derrick at Drake Well Museum and Park (via Facebook)

Anthracite Heritage Museum and Scranton Iron Furnaces
  • Closed 12/24-25, 12/31-1/1 (winter: open Wed-Sun)

  • Brandywine Battlefield Park
  • Closed 12/24-25, 12/31-1/1 (winter: closed through mid-March 2018 except by appt)

  • Bushy Run Battlefield
  • Closed for the winter; reopens April 18, 2018

  • Conrad Weiser Homestead
  • Closed for the winter; reopens on Charter Day, March 11, 2018

  • Cornwall Iron Furnace
  • Closed 12/24-25, 12/31-1/1 (regular: open Thurs-Sun)

  • Daniel Boone Homestead
  • Closed 12/24-25, 1/1 (winter: open Sat-Sun through mid-March 2018)

  • Drake Well Museum and Park
  • Closed 12/24-25, 12/31-1/1 (regular hours thru 12/31, Tues-Sun, then winter hours: open Sat-Sun through Feb. 28, 2018)
  • Dec. 30: Something More Saturday—enjoy family-friendly activities and learning added to the museum's regular offerings (watch the Facebook event page for details). 10 am-3 pm.

  • Eckley Miners’ Village
  • Closed 12/24-25, 12/31-1/1 (regular: open Mon-Sun)

  • Ephrata Cloister
  • Closed 12/24-25, 12/31-1/1 (check website for winter hours)
  • Dec. 27-30: Lantern Tours—reservations are required (details on the website)

  • Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara
  • Closed 12/24-25, 12/31-1/1 (winter: open Thurs-Sat through March 2018)

  • Fort Pitt Museum
  • Closed 12/25, 1/1 (in between, regular: open Mon-Sun. AS OF 1/1, closed for maintenance and exhibit updates, reopening Jan. 27, 2018.)

  • Graeme Park
  • Closed 12/22-25, 12/29-1/1 (regular Fri-Sun schedule resumes 1/5/18)

  • Hope Lodge
  • Closed for the winter; reopens spring 2018

  • Joseph Priestley House
  • Closed for the winter except for Twelfth Night event on Jan. 7; reopens Charter Day, March 11, 2018

  • Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
  • Closed 12/24-25, 12/31-1/1 (winter: open Wed-Sun)
  • Dec. 28 & 29: Winter Day Camp—fun stuff to chase those school vacation blues (whose?). Registration is required (details on the website)

  • Old Economy Village
  • Closed 12/24-25, 12/31-1/1 (winter: closed through March 31, 2018)

  • Pennsbury Manor
  • Closed 12/24-25, 1/1 (open 12/31, self-guided tours only) (winter: closed through Feb. 28, 2018)

  • Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
  • Closed 12/24-25, 12/31-1/1 (regular: open Wed-Sun)

  • Pennsylvania Military Museum
  • Closed 12/24-25, 12/31-1/1 (regular: open Wed-Sun)

  • Pennsylvania State Archives
  • Closed 12/23-25, 12/30-1/1 (regular: open Wed-Sat; please note that the Search Room will be closed Jan. 6-13; they'll be staffing a booth at the PA Farm Show)

  • Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
  • Closed 12/24-25, 12/31-1/1 (winter: open Tues-Sun)

  • Somerset Historical Center
  • Closed 12/24-25, 12/31-1/1 (winter: open Tues-Sat)

  • State Museum of Pennsylvania
  • Closed 12/24-25, 1/1 (regular: open Wed-Sun)
  • Dec. 29: Noon Year’s Eve Celebration—ring in 2018 a little early at this annual event (see website for details). 10 am-1 pm.

  • Washington Crossing Historic Park
  • Check website for updates on 12/25 Christmas Crossing Reenactment and winter schedule changes.

  • Gift Ideas for Your History Lovers (or Yourself)

    The December program page lists events coming up this weekend and the rest of the month. Next week's post will include info (to the best of my knowledge) on site schedules around Christmas and New Year's. With luck, the January program page will be available next week as well (depends on the elves).

    UPDATED 11 AM 12/15 to add Pennsbury ornament info

    Luminaries and lighted fences at Daniel Boone Homestead's Christkindlmarket event (via Facebook)
    We are in the midst of a multi-holiday season where the exchanging of gifts and the sharing of bounty are part and parcel of the festivities. That can be fraught with expectations, disappointment, resentment, frustration, you name it. Commercialism runs rampant. (As does, apparently, a tendency toward Dickensian language. Just me? Ok.) To combat the seasonal angst, we at Trailheads HQ have pulled together a list of suggestions to make your holiday gift-giving more meaningful, if only because your purchases help to support the programs and operations of the sites on the Trails of History. (I suppose you could also shop at other museums and historic sites, but they can get their own blog.)

    A number of sites on the Trails of History are collection points for the U.S. Marine Corps "Toys for Tots" program. I have seen info from Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara, the Pennsylvania Military Museum, and the Railroad Museum of PA. There may be others (please let me know and I'll add you to this list). New, unwrapped toys will be shared with children in these communities - you can purchase items at the museum stores to donate or purchase elsewhere and bring them in. Collections continue through Dec. 20. (Search the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation website for locations in PA.)

    Last weekend's Christmas Tree Ship event at Erie Maritime Museum included Santa, reindeer, and festive lights on the rigging of U.S. Brig Niagara (via Facebook)
    If you have a history lover on your gift list (or want to treat yourself), why not a gift membership at your favorite Trails of History site? Or a "buy one, get one" membership deal from the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation? Or tickets to one of many popular beer and/or wine fests, which often sell out ahead of time?

    Tickets to Ephrata Cloister's annual lantern tours would make a great gift.

    From State Museum of PA Facebook page
    If you're in the Harrisburg area today, the Museum Store at the State Museum is having a pop up sale.

    Cornwall Iron Furnace was recently featured in a Lebanon Daily News article about gift ideas at area museums. Your favorite Trails of History site has loads of creative and imaginative items, many of them locally made and one-of-a-kind. You don't have to worry about sizes, either.

    Thanks to the work of the Friends of the Joseph Priestley House, a modern edition of Dr. Priestley's 1799 Letters to the Inhabitants of Northumberland and its Neighborhood is now available. The new edition updates spelling, typography, and punctuation for contemporary readers who want to learn more about Joseph Priestley's views on politics and religion (the original was written in response to his critics). Read more about the book and find out where to get it on the Joseph Priestley House website.

    And Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum has continued to add photos to its Museum Store Holiday 2017 album on Facebook. Lots of lovely things there.


    Just saw this lovely ornament on Pennsbury Manor's Facebook page and had to share!

    Wishing you lots of light, warmth, and friendship (and food!), no matter what you're celebrating.

    Are We Feeling Festive Yet?

    The December program page has info on this month's happenings. I've highlighted this weekend's activities below (along with a few things that happen before the next Trailheads hits the streets).

    So many lovely pictures in my news feed this week.


    Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum's Country Christmas Village event included (among other things) musical entertainment and freshly baked cookies, such as the traditional German anise-flavored springerle pictured above. You can see more photos on Landis Valley's Facebook page. (You can also find a collection of Landis Valley photos on Jennifer MacNeill Photography's Facebook page, posted at Thanksgiving.)


    Another successful Cornwall Iron Furnace Holiday House Tour is in the books (see exterior view above). If you missed your chance to snoop around in other people's houses, there are interior photos of some of the featured homes on Cornwall's Facebook page. Seriously though, thank you to all the folks who opened their homes for this annual event, which benefits the public programs and educational activities of the museum.

    Hooray for volunteers!! Doug O'Brien was the Railroad Museum of PA's Volunteer of the Year for 2015 and Stu Jack was their honoree for 2016. You can read about Doug and Stu in the 50plus LIFE article to learn more about their work at the Museum. Let me take this opportunity to thank all of PHMC's volunteers for their efforts. You are priceless.

    Lanterns light a path at historic Hope Lodge (via Facebook)
    Bushy Run Battlefield
    Dec. 9: Children's Colonial Christmas Party—kids age 4-12 are invited to learn about and make homemade decorations, learn a colonial-era dance, and enjoy a snack. Cost is $2 per child. Advance registration is required: contact Marlene at 724/744-4193 or marsawayda@yahoo.com. 1-3 pm.
    Dec. 10: Christmas Sale—last chance to visit the museum store for this season to find the perfect gift. Six additional vendors will be on hand in the Stone Room. 1-4 pm.

    Daniel Boone Homestead
    Dec. 8-9: Christkindlmarket—crafts, wine, candlelight, and shopping (details on the Facebook event page). Admission is $7 for adults. Tickets available by calling 610/582-4900. 4-9 pm both days.

    Ephrata Cloister
    Dec. 11-12: Christmas at the Cloister—this popular annual program combines seasonal readings and traditional music performed by the Ephrata Cloister Chorus in the 1741 Meetinghouse (Saal). Performance times are 6:30 and 8 pm each evening. Tickets are $6 per person and seating is limited; call 717/733-6600 for availability.

    Erie Maritime Museum and Flagship Niagara
    Dec. 9: Christmas Tree ShipNiagara will be lit up for Christmas, and there will be lots of family activities, a visit with Santa and a live reindeer (due to arrive at 5:45 pm), and the story of The Christmas Tree Ship (more program details on the website). Admission is free. Please bring a new, unwrapped toy for the local Toys for Tots collection. 5:30-8:30 pm.

    Hope Lodge
    Dec. 9: Guided Tours of the Mansion—tours of the mansion will be offered at 10 and 11:30 am, 1 and 2:30 pm. Regular admission charged; fee includes cookies and cider. Site open 10 am-4 pm.

    Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
    Dec. 9: Artists Showcase at the Museum Store—meet 15 of LVM's tradespeople and artisans, learn about their work, and purchase beautiful handmade and locally produced merchandise. Regular admission rates apply to visit the exhibit buildings, but there's never a charge to visit the Museum Store. 9 am-5 pm.

    Pennsbury Manor celebrates the season (via Facebook)
    Pennsbury Manor
    Dec 8: Holly Nights—a special opportunity to see Pennsbury illuminated by candlelight, bonfires, and hearth fires. Enjoy caroling, hot cider, and throwing a green sprig on the Yule log for luck (details on the website). Admission (at the door only): Adults, $14; Seniors, $12; Children, $6. 6-9 pm.

    Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
    Dec 10: Santa in the Shay—St. Nick will forgo his sleigh in favor of a geared locomotive as he listens to children's requests. Take an instant photo and turn it into an ornament, browse unique gifts from local artisans and the museum store, and enjoy hot cocoa (details). Admission is $5 (ages 12+), $3 (ages 3-11), ages 3 and under are always free. Noon-4pm.

    Pennsylvania Military Museum
    Dec. 9: Lecture—the program will explore the occult roots of nazism during its rise in the 1930s and 40s. 3-4 pm.

    Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
    Dec. 9: Home for the Holidays—costumed engineers, conductors, ticket agents, and passengers representing the past century bring historic rail travel to life. (RMP shared an article from the New York Times about the historic link between holiday travel and the railroads.) Kids can visit with Santa or work with a telegrapher to send a Christmas telegram to the North Pole. Holiday music, refreshments (while supplies last), and shopping are part of the day too (lots more details). Included in regular admission. 9 am-5 pm.

    Somerset Historical Center
    Dec. 9: Christmas Fun—enjoy music, tree decorating, children's activities, and shopping for locally made crafts and regional foods (maple syrup and honey top the list). The site will be open extended hours today, 9 am to 7 pm.

    December? Yes, Please

    The December program page is now up and running for those of you who like to plan your month. I've highlighted this weekend's events (and a couple that happen before the next edition of Trailheads) for those of you who like to be more spontaneous.

    Conrad Weiser Homestead
    Dec. 3: Christmas Open House—enjoy one last chance to visit the homestead before winter sets in (site will be open by appointment only until Charter Day in March). The Visitor Center Bookstore will be open and books will be marked down 10%. American Art Designs and Stone House History will be on site (more info on the Facebook event page). Guided tours will be available. Admission is free and donations will be gratefully accepted. Noon-4 pm.

    Cornwall's Christmas House Tour is a rare chance to see the interior of the Paymaster's Office (via Facebook)
    Cornwall Iron Furnace
    Dec. 2: Christmas at Cornwall House Tour—this annual tour lets you explore private homes in the Cornwall/Lebanon area (list of this year's homes) while supporting the Friends of Cornwall Iron Furnace. Tickets are $15 in advance at several locations in the community and at the Furnace. Tickets are $20 on the day of the tour and are available only at the Iron Furnace. Your ticket includes a guided tour of the Furnace, which you may redeem during regular operating hours up through Dec. 29, 2017. Light refreshments will be offered throughout the day at the Furnace. 10 am-4 pm.

    Eckley Miners' Village
    Dec. 2-3: Christmas at Eckley—from carolers to cocoa, crafts to St. Nick, you are sure to find something delightful in this old-fashioned Christmas celebration. Admission is $7. Noon-4 pm both days.

    Ephrata Cloister
    As of today, Dec. 1, tickets are now on sale for this year's Lantern Tours (slated for Dec. 27-30). Information on tour times and reservations is on the website.

    Degn Living Room at Hope Lodge decorated for Christmas (photo Friends of Hope Lodge)
    Hope Lodge
    Dec. 2: Holidays at Hope Lodge and Beer Tasting—tour the mansion at your leisure to enjoy the festive decorations and enjoy light refreshments (details on Facebook). Baked goods will be available for purchase. Admission is $3 for ages 13 and up. Visitors age 21 and older (must have ID) may visit the Summer Kitchen for samples of seasonal ales from Round Guys Brewing Company and Pub ($5 for 4 4-oz. samples). 11 am-5 pm (beer tasting, 1-5 pm).

    Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
    Dec. 2-3: Country Christmas Village—enjoy a Pennsylvania German Christmas, with all kinds of trees, der Belsnickel, and take-home crafts to try. See a Civil War winter camp and traditional foods prepared in the tavern. Children can learn about the history of Santa Claus and (with parental permission) post a letter to Santa at the Landis Valley Post Office ($1 postage) and receive a reply from the North Pole. Musical entertainment will be provided in the Yellow Barn (different performers each day). Admission: Adults, $12; Seniors, $10; Youth (age 3-11), $8; LVA members and age 2 and under, free. Saturday, 10 am-4 pm; Sunday, noon-4 pm.

    Dining room of the George Rapp House, Old Economy Village (via Facebook)
    Old Economy Village
    Dec. 2-3: Christmas at the Village—enjoy Christmas carols sung by local choirs and shop for handmade wares by local craftspeople. Children will find activities just for them and can even visit with mean old Belsnickel (details). Admission charged; please purchase tickets at the Visitor Center, as no tickets will be sold at the Village gate. Saturday, 2-9 pm; Sunday, 2-7 pm.
    Dec. 6: Christmas Dinner—join with other supporters of Old Economy for a festive evening of dining and music in the Feast Hall (details). Reservations are required. The deadline was Nov. 27, so please call 724/266-4500 x101 to see if there's still space. Doors open at 6 pm.

    Pennsbury Manor
    Dec 7-8: Holly Nights—a special opportunity to see Pennsbury illuminated by candlelight, bonfires, and hearth fires. Enjoy caroling, hot cider, and throwing a green sprig on the Yule log for luck (details on the website). Admission: Adults, $14; Seniors, $12; Children, $6 (purchase tickets online). 6-9 pm both nights.

    Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
    Dec. 2: Home for the Holidays and Christmas with the Conductor—costumed engineers, conductors, ticket agents, and passengers representing the past century bring historic rail travel to life. Please note that this program is also offered on Dec. 9. Kids can visit with Santa or work with a telegrapher to send a Christmas telegram to the North Pole. Holiday music, refreshments (while supplies last), and shopping are part of the day too (lots more details). Included in regular admission (extra charge for Christmas with the Conductor parties, call the museum at 717/687-8628 to check availability - as of 11/29 the Dec. 2 parties are sold out but there may still be spots available for Dec. 9). 9 am-5 pm.

    State Museum of Pennsylvania
    Dec. 1: StoryTime—take a stroll through the museum's Village Square and read Caldecott Medal winner On Market Street by Anita and Arnold Lobel. Included in general admission and intended for children age 3-5 with an adult. 10-11 am.
    Dec. 7: Nature Lab Programs—explore "Reintroduction of Beaver and Elk". Included in general admission. 11:30 am-12:30 pm.

    Thanksgiving Week at a Glance

    First of all, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for and try to have the good sense never to take any of it for granted. I hope that you and yours are warm, safe, and well fed. And I hope that we all find ways in the coming weeks and months to help people who aren't as fortunate.

    Fall garden scene at Pennsbury Manor (via Facebook)
    All PA Trails of History sites will be closed tomorrow, Nov. 23, for Thanksgiving Day. If you still want some history, how about participating in The Great Thanksgiving Listen? This is an initiative developed by Story Corps (#TheGreatListen) to help teachers and students conduct oral history interviews with family members, but the app and questions (and the ability to save interviews in the Story Corps Archive) are available to everyone. There's even a printable placemat that might make a great addition to the kids' table. Whether you're recording interviews or not, the placemat provides some conversation starters that can help any gathering along or keep it from going off the rails.

    Some sites will be open on Friday, Nov. 24, and I've indicated that in the schedule below. The info is accurate to the best of my knowledge, but as always, it's a good idea to check with specific sites if you're making a special trip to visit them. Friday is also a good day to #OptOutside and visit one of Pennsylvania's many state parks.

    Stoneware mugs at Cornwall Iron Furnace Museum Store (via Sunset Hill Stoneware's Facebook page)
    That brings us to Saturday, Nov. 25. Trails of History sites will be back to their regular schedules - please note that some sites are now on winter seasonal schedules. As noted above, be sure to check that the site you want to visit will be open when you plan to be there. I've noted special events below. If you want to participate in Small Business Saturday and #shopsmall, remember that our museum stores are great places to buy locally made crafts and art. Not to mention regional and local food specialties or one-of-a-kind gifts.

    Redware plates and other traditional items at Ephrata Cloister Museum Store (via Facebook)
    If your Saturday is full, why not spend Sunday, Nov. 26, on the Trails of History supporting #MuseumStoreSunday? This is a new program from the Museum Store Association, and many PHMC sites will be taking part (at least informally). Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum has been updating an album on their Facebook page with beautiful stuff from their Museum Store. (I wanted to share, but I couldn't pick just one - please visit the album and the site to see for yourself.) You can read about deals at Landis Valley and the Railroad Museum of PA in this article from LancasterOnline.

    On #CyberMonday, Nov. 27, visit the Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara website to book your 2018 Day Sails (actually that deal is going on Nov. 24 through Nov. 27, but I'm trying to work a theme here). Save $10 per member or non-member ticket and beat the spring rush. Gift cards are also available online.

    Day sailors on board U.S. Brig Niagara, 2010 (AKF photo)
    Tuesday, Nov. 28, brings an opportunity to follow-up all that holiday eating and shopping with donations to good causes of your choosing. One such cause on the Trails of History is the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation (PHF) #GivingTuesday project. PHF is the PHMC's support organization and this year has a #GivingTuesday goal of $3,000 to assist school visits to PHMC's sites and museums. PHF will post more specific info on Tuesday, but they'll use their Annual Fund page to receive #GivingTuesday donations. UPDATE: info posted today, Monday, Nov. 27.

    It seems to me that we need a hashtag for the Wednesday after Thanksgiving to round out the week, but I haven't found one. #WhateverWednesday to denote our exhaustion and apathy might be a possibility but maybe that's too cynical. C'mon Trailheads nation, let's start a trend - post your suggestions in the comments.

    Holiday weekend schedule...

    Brandywine Battlefield Park
    Nov. 25: Patriot’s Day—living history demonstrations, musket drills, blacksmith, house tours, and 18th-century medical "experts"--lots of activities for all ages. At 2 pm, Dr. Robert Selig will present "The Politics of Arming America: The Vallière 4-lb Cannon at Brandywine," which will help answer questions on how/why this piece came to America during the Revolution and will also discuss its importance in assisting the American cause of liberty. 10 am-4 pm.

    Daniel Boone Homestead
    Nov. 24: Day After Thanksgiving—site open 10 am-4 pm.

    Drake Well Museum and Park
    Nov. 25: Something More Saturday—members of the Venango County ARES/RACES ham radio club will be on hand to help visitors speak with Santa at the North Pole. There will also be holiday craft projects using recycled materials and other family-friendly activities (details on Facebook). Included in regular admission (special group admission: buy 2 full-price adult tickets and get 3 youth tickets free). Site open 9 am-5 pm; special programming, 10 am-3 pm.

    Ephrata Cloister
    Nov. 25: Candlelight Open House—spend a lovely evening exploring the Ephrata Cloister, with music, craftspeople, and more. Cost is $6 per person. 5-8:30 pm.

    Fort Pitt Museum
    Nov. 24: Day After Thanksgiving—site open 10 am-5 pm.

    Graeme Park
    Nov. 25: A Continental Christmas—more than 2,000 men of the Continental Army were encamped around Graeme Park from December 1777 through January 1778. Learn about what Christmas was like that year for the soldiers and the residents of Graeme Park. Suggested donation, $2 (free for members). 10 am-3 pm.

    Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
    Nov. 24: Day After Thanksgiving—site open 9 am-5 pm.
    Nov. 24: Last Day for Reservations—advance registration is required for the museum's Christmas with the Conductor parties, scheduled for Dec. 2 and 9 (see flyer for details).

    Washington Crossing Historic Park
    Please check the website for details on this weekend's schedule.

    Life Comes at You Fast

    Next week will be busy with Thanksgiving preparation and clean-up, so why not take some time this weekend for a nice quiet visit on the PA Trails of History? (The November program page has a full list.) UPDATE: I've also included info below about a few programs coming up in December for which limited advance tickets are currently on sale. Watch for the full December program page going online at the end of November.

    Bushy Run Battlefield
    Nov. 18: Masquerade Harvest Ball—kids ages 4 to 12 are invited to dance the minuet (we'll teach you), decorate masquerade masks, play colonial games, and enjoy a light snack. Come in costume if you like. Cost is $2 per person. Reservations are a must: contact Marlene Sawayda at 724/744-4193 or marsawayda@yahoo.com to register. 2-4 pm.

    Candlelight at Conrad Weiser Homestead (via Facebook)
    Conrad Weiser Homestead
    Nov. 18: Candlelight Tours—this annual program features Native American storytelling, 18th-century music, and a chance to see the site by night. This is an all-weather event. Admission is free (donations gratefully accepted). 5:30-8 pm (last tour starts at 7:30).

    Cornwall Iron Furnace
    House Tour Tickets on Sale—tickets for this year's Christmas at Cornwall House Tour (scheduled for Dec. 2) are now on sale. There will be 5 stops in Lebanon, 4 in Cornwall and 3 in Mt. Gretna. Furnace tours are also included in the ticket price - $15 in advance, $20 on the day. For details and advance tickets contact the Museum Office at 717/272-9711 or stop by the site during regular hours.

    Ephrata Cloister
    Tickets for Christmas at the Cloister—tickets are currently on sale for this annual event that features seasonal readings and music in the historic meetinghouse. The program takes place on Dec. 11 and 12, with two performances each night, 6:30 and 8 pm. Seating is limited. Tickets are $6 per person; call 717/733-2592.
    Nov. 17: Extraordinary Give—Ephrata Cloister will once again participate in the Lancaster County Community Foundation's one-day, online giving campaign. Visit their page anytime between 12:00 am and 11:59 pm to donate.

    Fort Pitt Museum
    Nov. 18: Lecture and Exhibit Tour—get a curator's eye view of the new exhibit, "From Maps to Mermaids: Carved Powder Horns in Early America." Program is included in regular admission, but advance registration is highly recommended (visit website for more registration info). 11 am-1 pm.

    Graeme Park
    Nov. 18: Paranormal Investigation—Glenn Orwan III and Olde City Paranormal will lead an investigation and equipment seminar. Cost is $50 per person (also includes refreshments); advance registrations are required (more details and registration info). 5 pm-midnight.

    Joseph Priestley House
    Nov. 19: Last day of the season—as of Nov. 20, site closed until Charter Day (except for Twelfth Night event in January or by appointment).

    Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
    Nov. 17: Extraordinary Give—Landis Valley will once again participate in the Lancaster County Community Foundation's one-day, online giving campaign. Visit their page anytime between 12:00 am and 11:59 pm to donate.
    Nov. 18-19: Landis Valley Museum Store Holiday Open House—shop for locally handmade art, crafts and heirloom-quality gifts and enjoy holiday decorations in the museum store. At 2 pm on Sat., Dave Rippy will be on hand to talk about his memoir, Captain of My Soul: Mastering a Destiny Altered, which recounts his journey following a car crash that left him with paralysis from the shoulders down. Two-day store event is free; regular rates apply for museum admission. Sat., 9 am-5 pm; Sun., noon-5 pm.

    Members of the Pittsburgh Opera company will perform again at this year's Christmas Dinner at OEV
    Old Economy Village
    Reservations available for Christmas Dinner Fundraiser—this annual event, which takes place in the historic Feast Hall on Dec. 6, requires advance reservations (visit the website for details).

    Pennsbury Manor
    Nov. 19: Cooking Demonstration—join the cooks as they revel in the extravagant use of sugar and spices, using 17th-century confectionary recipes. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.

    Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
    Nov. 17: 3rd "Sunday" Program—this month's 3rd Sunday program will be held on Friday, Nov. 17. Come learn about Night Sky Photography from Curt Weinhold, PA Wilds Juried Artist and board member of the PA Lumber Museum Associates. Weinhold's photography is featured within the museum's exhibits as well (samples of his night sky photography). Potter County has some of the darkest skies around, so this is a great opportunity to explore. Cost is $60, $55 for members. Pre-registration for this limited-space event is required, but you can pay (by check or cash) upon arrival (see Facebook event page for registration and program details). 5-9 pm.

    PA Military Museum Kids Day (via Facebook)
    Pennsylvania Military Museum
    Nov. 18: Kids Day - Dress Up and Discover!!—Kids of all ages get to try on military uniforms from the museum education collection. Photo ops in the museum theatre. Visit the education stations in the galleries for more fun discoveries throughout the day. Parents must remain on-site while their kids participate in the activities. Included in regular admission. 10:00 am-3:00 pm.

    Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
    Reservations currently open—advance registration is required for the museum's Christmas with the Conductor parties, scheduled for Dec. 2 and 9 (see flyer for details). Deadline to reserve is Nov. 24.
    Nov. 17: Extraordinary Give—the Railroad Museum is participating in the Lancaster County Community Foundation's one-day, online giving campaign. Visit their page (listed as "Friends of the Railroad Museum") anytime between 12:00 am and 11:59 pm to donate.

    Somerset Historical Center
    Nov. 19: Last Day to Register—tickets are limited for the Dec. 3 "Ethnic Traditions" program, sponsored by the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County and hosted by Friedens Lutheran Church. Tickets are $20 per person ($35 for couple) and can be purchased at the Historical Center; call 814/445-6077.

    State Museum of Pennsylvania
    Nov. 17: Holiday Marketplace—back by popular demand, in a new location. Shop the Trails of History with representatives from The State Museum of PA, Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, Ephrata Cloister, and Somerset Historical Center (details). Museum admission will be free for shoppers. Hours on Thursday are 10 am-3 pm. Friday opens at 10 am and runs until 7:30 pm for 3rd in the Burg, and includes a preview of the new exhibit, Every Thing of Interest Shown: T.M. Fowler’s Pennsylvania Bird’s-Eye Views, 1885-1905.

    Veterans Day

    Trailheads is coming to you a little early this week to make sure to get all the Veterans Day info out there. Please note that due to an adjusted holiday for some state staff, several sites will be closed on Friday, Nov. 10. Some of those will also be closed on Nov. 11, but some will be open. I've indicated schedule changes and holiday openings below, to the best of my knowledge. As always, if you want to visit a specific site, it's best to check their schedule before you go. And please check the November program page for other events at sites on Sunday or the remainder of the month.

    But first, a look at military history events that took place on the PA Trails of History prior to this week's holiday.

    PMM trench display at Beaver Stadium
    WWI trench display at PSU's Beaver Stadium (photo PA Military Museum)
    The Pennsylvania Military Museum was invited by the Penn State University All Sports Museum to provide an interpretive display of WWI in support of their temporary exhibit of alumni who participated in the Great War. So outside Beaver Stadium on Oct. 21, as Penn State prepared to beat Michigan, PMM staff and volunteers in period uniforms manned a trench. Museum educator Joe Horvath reports that the tailgaters were quite enthusiastic about honoring veterans: "We were showered with hugs, kisses, high-fives, fist bumps, requests for selfies (many, many, many selfies), food and drink." Although their service post-dated World War I by quite a bit, PMM's representatives at the event were in fact all veterans of military service - Horvath served in the US Navy, volunteer Mark Roland is a US Army veteran, and volunteer Thomas Stoner served in the US Marine Corps. Thank you all for your service and for sharing history with the public.

    PMM staff and volunteers as WWI doughboys
    From l to r: Joe Horvath, Mark Roland, and Thomas Stoner with PMM's WWI display at Beaver Stadium (photo PA Military Museum)

    The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania hosted their annual Trains and Troops event last weekend, commemorating and honoring the connections between the U.S. military and the railroads. This rich history is represented in the museum's collections; for this yearly event exhibitors, reenactors, and military honor guard members round out the experience for visitors. You can see photos of the event on Norfolk Southern's Facebook page.

    A number of participants and attendees shared photos of Hope Lodge's annual Whitemarsh Encampment. The Revolutionary War reenactment commemorates the period of Nov. 2-Dec. 11, 1777, when General George Washington and the Continental Army encamped in the Whitemarsh Hills before settling in for the winter at Valley Forge. You'll find all sorts of photos on the Historic Hope Lodge Facebook page.

    Official 2017 Veterans Day Poster (U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs)

    Veterans Day-related activities this weekend...

    Brandywine Battlefield Park
    Nov. 11: Veterans Day—site open 9 am-4 pm.

    Drake Well Museum and Park
    Nov. 11: Veterans Day—site open 9 am-5 pm. Admission will be free for veterans. All other visitors will receive a $2.00 per ticket discount with the donation of a personal care item (soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, razors, deodorant, etc.) for the Veterans Miracle Center project. Cash donations will also be gratefully accepted.

    Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara
    Nov. 11: Veterans Day—the museum is open 9 am-5 pm. Admission will be free for veterans and their immediate families. The museum is working with the Presque Isle Partnership to collect personal care items for military personnel; items and cash donations may be dropped off at the museum through today. Elsewhere in the Erie area, U.S. Brig Niagara’s "Ship’s Company 1813" reenactor troupe will again participate in Presque Isle State Park’s third annual Veterans Appreciation Day event, scheduled for 10 a.m. at the Park’s Rotary Pavilion.
    Nov. 13: Members and Veterans Invited—to commemorate this year's Veterans Day, the museum invites members and veterans to share your stories as we honor your service and sacrifice. The morning will include light refreshments and a behind-the-scenes tour of the U.S. Brig Niagara and wood shop with Captain Sabatini and Shipwright Adam Stanisz. We encourage our members to bring any commemorative photos or memorabilia that they would like to share. Please RSVP by Sunday, November 12, to Marcus Masternak at mmasternak@flagshipniagara.org or call 814-452-2744 ext.222.

    Fort Pitt Museum
    Nov. 11: Veterans Day—site open 10 am-5 pm.

    Graeme Park
    Nov. 11: Veterans Day—site open 10 am-4 pm. Admission is free for veterans.

    Joseph Priestley House
    Nov. 11: Veterans Day—site open 1-4 pm.

    Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
    Nov. 10: Site closed in observance of Veterans Day.
    Nov. 11: Site open 9 am-5 pm.

    Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
    Nov. 11: Veterans Day—museum open 9 am-5 pm. Locally made, hand-crafted, and holiday-themed items will be featured by a variety of vendors in the museum program room from 10 am to 4 pm.

    Pennsylvania Military Museum
    Nov. 11: Veterans Day—the museum is open 10 am-5 pm. Admission is free for veterans and their families.

    Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
    Nov. 11: Veterans Day—museum open 9 am-5 pm.

    Somerset Historical Center
    Nov. 11: Veterans Day—museum open 9 am-5 pm.

    State Museum of Pennsylvania
    Nov. 10: Museum closed in observance of Veterans Day.
    Nov. 11: Museum open 9 am-5 pm.—please also note that parking in downtown Harrisburg will be free on Nov. 11.

    Washington Crossing Historic Park
    Nov. 10: Historic buildings and visitor center closed in observance of Veterans Day.
    Nov. 11: Site open 10 am-4 pm—the park will offer free guided tours to all veterans and active-duty military personnel with military ID.

    Five Reasons (at Least) to Join the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation

    Be sure to check the November program page for details on events coming up this weekend. And don't forget to turn your clocks back an hour by 2 am on Sunday, Nov. 5, as we say goodbye to Daylight Saving Time for another year.

    This week's post comes to us from the staff of the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation (PHF), which supports the work of PHMC.

    The Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation and The State Museum of Pennsylvania are excited to offer a Buy One Get One Free membership offer! This is your opportunity to visit all the great Pennsylvania Trails of History sites you read about on Trailheads. Renew, rejoin, or join for the first time and gift a free membership (of equal or lesser value) to a friend, family member, or co-worker. You can also donate a subscription to a local middle or high school, public library, VA hospital, or nursing home. This is a limited time offer - good only until December 31, 2017!

    Locations of  PHMC's Trails of History sites (key to map)
    Membership grants you the following benefits:
    • General admission to all 23 Trails of History sites and museums for a full year, so you can take advantage of the exciting activities in all seasons (please note: many special events require an additional fee). This includes The State Museum of Pennsylvania, with access to the Planetarium and, for Family-level members, Curiosity Connection!
    • A full-year subscription to the award-winning Pennsylvania Heritage magazine (4 issues).
    • Membership in Time Travelers, a reciprocal membership program of over 300 nationally participating museums with a variety of benefits, including free or discounted museum admission, gift shop discounts, and many others.
    • A personalized membership card.
    • Special member events throughout the year.
    To take advantage of this special offer by December 31, 2017:
    • Visit www.paheritage.org and join online.
    • OR
    • Call (717) 787-2407 and join over the telephone with friendly PHF staff.
    • OR
    • Visit The State Museum of Pennsylvania in person and join through the Museum Store.
    More information is available on the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation website at paheritage.org or by calling the office at (717) 787-2407. Join over 2,500 members who know how exciting history is on the Pennsylvania Trails of History!

    While I'm Away...

    Trailheads HQ staff has been away this week, so this post was written further ahead of time than usual (that is, not at the last minute the day before it posts, ahem). Given the season, I found two guest posts from late last year that I thought might be interesting to revisit.

    Panoramic view of Saron Saal and Bakery at Ephrata Cloister
    Bakery, Saal, and Saron at Ephrata Cloister (photo by Charlie Fox)
    Last October, just in time for Halloween, Corine Lehigh of the PA State Archives wrote about York County's Hex Hollow Murders.

    In December, Rachel Yerger, a curator in the Bureau of Historic Sites and Museums, wrote about hunting-related objects belonging to Helen Sites Miller that are in the core exhibit at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum.

    Coming up this weekend...[info is accurate as of Oct. 20]

    Anthracite Heritage Museum and Scranton Iron Furnaces
    Oct. 28: Dramatic Reading—writer Robert Thomas Hughes will present "John Mitchell: An American Hero." Cost is $5 and reservations are suggested (call the museum at 570/963-4804). 2 pm.

    Bushy Run Battlefield
    Oct. 29: Last Day of the 2017 Season—starting Mon., Oct. 30, the visitor center is closed to the public until Spring 2018. There are events scheduled in Nov. and Dec., so check the website for details.

    Daniel Boone Homestead
    Oct. 28: Trick or Treat at the Homestead—there will be loads of activities for kids and their families (more info on Facebook). Cost is $5 for adults, $4 for kids. 10 am-4 pm.

    Drake Well Museum and Park
    Oct. 28: Something More Saturday—special activities included in regular admission (check Facebook event page for more info). Special: purchase 2 adult tickets and get 3 youth tickets free. 10 am-3 pm.

    Eckley Miners’ Village
    Oct. 27-28: Haunted Halloween Lantern Tours—tour groups walk through the 19th-century village and encounter ghosts, goblins, and ghoulish fun. Tours last about an hour and are filled on a first come, first served basis. Bring your own flashlight or purchase one at the museum store. Admission is $10 for adults (age 13+), $5 for children (age 6-12). Please start at the visitor center: doors open at 6 pm, last tour starts at 9.

    Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara
    Oct. 28: Little Mates Halloween Spooktacular—members of the Little Mates Kids Club are invited for a visit with the Captain of the U.S. Brig Niagara, including lunch, costume contests, and a behind-the-scenes tour. Non-members are also invited and can attend for a $5 fee (info here on membership). 11 am-1 pm.

    Graeme Park
    Oct. 27: Haunted Lantern Tours—experience the Keith House by lantern light (you may bring your own flashlight if you wish). Cost is $5; tickets must be purchased online and there is a small processing fee (more details and link to Eventbrite). Beverages (alcoholic and non) and snacks will be available for purchase. Weather permitting, there will be a campfire. 7-8:45 pm.

    Old Economy Village
    Oct. 28: A Halloween Haunting—children 10 and under are invited to come in costume and trick-or-treat among the historic buildings. Please check the website for details. Admission is $5 per person. 10 am-3:30 pm.

    Pennsbury Manor
    Oct. 29: Sunday programming—this week's program is Meet the Animals (Pennsbury's furry and feathered residents await your visit). Included in regular admission 1-4 pm.

    Pennsylvania Military Museum
    Oct. 28: Inside the Belly of the Beast—take a behind-the-scenes tour inside and outside of the museum, going into areas normally off-limits to visitors. Cost is $15, $5 for museum members. Space is limited, and advance registration is required (online form). 2-4 pm.
    Oct. 29: Vietnam Lecture Series—this week's topic is "Americans in Battle." Admission is free. 2-4 pm.

    State Museum of Pennsylvania
    Oct. 28: Workshops in Archaeology—for more information and registration form, visit the State Museum website.

    Hope Lodge Rev War Encampment 2014
    Scene from Hope Lodge Rev War Encampment in 2014 (photo by Al Pockek)
    And next weekend...
    Nov. 4: Revolutionary War Encampment—the Friends of Hope Lodge will host their 36th annual encampment re-enactment, commemorating the time from November 2 to December 11, 1777, when General George Washington and the Continental Army encamped in the Whitemarsh Hills. Come and experience 18th-century life in Fort Washington. Reenactors dressed in authentic American and British uniforms will march to the beat of fife and drum and demonstrate the military tactics used during the Revolutionary War. Revolutionary War skirmishes on the grounds are scheduled for 11:30 am & 2:30 pm. After the skirmish, come visit a Revolutionary encampment where women in colonial dress cook over an open fire and children play colonial games. Other events occurring during the day include textile and dyeing demonstrations and a papermaking activity (presented by Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation); a lecture & book signing by Jeffrey Finegan, Sr., author of the I Knew George Washington series; a Children's Muster Drill and scavenger hunt; experiments of Dr. Benjamin Franklin (presented by Michael Kochan); and open hearth cooking demonstrations. The Hope Lodge mansion will be open for tours. Sutlers, bake sale, and Catering by Tonellis of Lafayette Hill will also be available. Admission charged (details on the website). 10 am-4 pm.

    Change of Seasons

    The October program page has info on events coming up this weekend and beyond.

    Despite recent weather that has alternated between fall and summer, there are actually a few signs of impending winter on the Trails of History. As we move into late fall, we see evidence of the passing year as some sites prepare for cold weather and/or reduced hours.

    Olin engine exhibit at Drake Well
    The Olin engine at Drake Well Museum and Park powers oil field equipment on the museum grounds. It will start its long winter's nap on Oct. 23. (photo Drake Well Museum)
    At Drake Well Museum and Park, the oil field machinery on the grounds operates from late spring to late fall. This coming Sunday, Oct. 22, is the last day of the year that the Replica (of Col. Drake's oil derrick) and the Olin engine will be running. The site remains open throughout the year, so there's plenty to see. Weather permitting, Engine Start-Up is scheduled for Saturday, April 28, 2018.

    It is also worth noting that some sites are closed to the public during the winter, except by appointment or for special events. Bushy Run Battlefield wraps up its regular visitation season on Sunday, Oct. 29, although there are a couple of special events planned in November and December. Joseph Priestley House will finish its 2017 season on Sunday, Nov. 19, and remain closed (with the exception of their Twelfth Night program in January) until Charter Day (March 11, 2018). There will be some other winter closings that kick in after the new year, but we'll update you on that later.

    Frequent guest blogger Linda Bolla from the Erie Maritime Museum sent along this update about the U.S. Brig Niagara's preparations for winter:

    Downrigging Niagara using block and tackle
    Niagara crew using block and tackle to lower the fore topgallant mast (photo L. Bolla)
    "Looking back on the past two weeks, Niagara rigging down for the winter offers some interesting contrasts. On one hand, we’ve had many opportunities to witness work being done as it might have been 200 years ago, using muscle and mechanical advantage (see above). Upper masts were sent down with the aid of the capstan, and block and tackle. Less than two weeks later, that same capstan, along with anchors, deck boxes and the main mast, was removed using a modern heavy crane (below)."

    Crane used to remove main mast (photo Marcus Masternak)

    USMC promotion ceremony onboard Niagara
    "All work stopped, however, as U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Charles Bays was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant in a brief ceremony onboard Niagara on October 6th." (photo L Bolla)