Honoring Volunteers for Service in 2016

The April program page has info on events this weekend, and the May page is up for those of you who like to plan ahead.

On Saturday, April 22, folks from all over the Trails of History gathered at The State Museum of Pennsylvania to celebrate our Volunteers of the Year for service in 2016. PHMC Commissioners Ophelia Chambliss, Bill Lewis, and Fred Powell joined James Vaughan, PHMC executive director, Brenda Reigle, director of the Bureau of Historic Sites and Museums, and Beth Hager, director of The State Museum, to present resolutions, volunteer pins, and complimentary family memberships in the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation. Most of our attendees were able to be on hand for this festive occasion.

The honorees are pictured below, and there is a link for each so that you can read more about their volunteer activities. Please join me in congratulating them and thanking them for their support of PHMC's historic sites and museums.

Maureen McGuigan and Alysia Scazafabo-Adam, Anthracite Heritage Museum & Scranton Iron Furnaces (citation)

Ralph Denlinger, Brandywine Battlefield Park (citation)

Margaret Herron, Bushy Run Battlefield (citation)

Harold Taylor, Conrad Weiser Homestead (citation)

Maxine Coopey, Cornwall Iron Furnace (citation)

Deb Drager, Daniel Boone Homestead (citation)

Jane Bradshaw, Drake Well Museum (citation)

Gina Gibbon, Eckley Miners' Village (citation)

Cathie Oliphant, Ephrata Cloister (citation)

Bill Koehle, Erie Maritime Museum & U.S. Brig Niagara (citation)

Diane Horan, Graeme Park (citation)

Hope Webster Kopf, Joseph Priestley House (citation)

Carol Vogt and Dee Perry, Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum (citation)

Sandy Smailer, Old Economy Village (citation)

Val Long and Steve Ringel, Pennsbury Manor (citation)

Carola Glennon, PA Lumber Museum (citation)

Scott Davis, PA Military Museum (citation)

Stu Jack, Railroad Museum of PA (citation)

Terry Werner (2nd from right), Somerset Historical Center (citation)

Merikay Wood, State Museum of PA (citation)

Outstanding Service Award, John "Augie" Holtz, Drake Well Museum and Park (citation)

An April Roundup

There are plenty of Trails of History activities still to come this month; the April program page has the details.

The Trailheads post on April 6 highlighted the 100th anniversary of U.S. entry into World War I. I missed noting that, in addition to a full calendar of programming, the PA Military Museum has put together a temporary exhibit on the Boal Troop, which was organized and trained on the grounds now occupied by the museum. The Boal Troop saw service during the Mexican Border campaign in 1916 and in France during WWI. If you aren't able to get to the temporary exhibit, you'll find info on the Boal Troop on PMM's website; the troop will also be highlighted in the museum's new core exhibit currently under design.

Boal Troop exhibit at PA Military Museum
Temporary exhibit on the Boal Troop (photo PA Military Museum)
You might also like to catch up with WITF's "Smart Talk" program on April 6 that featured State Museum director Beth Hager and Richard Saylor of the PA State Archives talking about the WWI poster exhibit now on display at the State Museum.

Thank you to our contributors...

Last week, Rob Coates of PHMC's Preservation Construction Field Services section shared with me a before-and-after photo of a project he and his crew recently completed. The Landis House privy (at Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum) was in bad shape. Rob and crew "removed the structure and transported it back to Daniel Boone Homestead, completed a total restoration of the structure, then returned it to the site and placed it on a new foundation." The Field Services crew works on projects all over the Trails of History; their workshop at Daniel Boone Homestead allows them to keep projects moving forward during the winter, when the weather isn't cooperative.

Landis House privy before and after restoration
Landis House privy before (L) and after (R) restoration (photo Rob Coates)

Drake Well Museum curator Sue Beates sent me some info on the latest appearance of images from the museum's collection in a major oil industry publication. The most recent issue of Connections (published by Oiltanking, an oil storage company founded in Hamburg, German) includes images from Tarr Farm and Tidioute. Sue reported that the oil droplets on the cover are heat-activated; they turned black after cooling down from the scanner/copier.

Page from Connections magazine with historic oil industry images
Cover of Connections magazine showing 3 drops of oil
(Top) Historic images of oil industry from Drake Well collection (photo Sue Beates)
(Bottom) Cover of April issue of Connections magazine

Frequent Trailheads contributor Linda Bolla sent the following info from Erie last week: There’s a real energy on the [Erie Maritime Museum] Plaza as U.S. Brig Niagara’s crew works to prepare for up rig next week (subscribe to the ship's YouTube channel to watch the action). Also, Erie Harbor welcomed a semi-annual visit from a special U.S. Coast Guard vessel, which means sailing season is coming soon. USCGC Hollyhock tied up overnight at Dobbins Landing last Tuesday, April 11th, visiting Erie to tend to maintenance on floating buoys and other aids-to-navigation along our stretch of Lake Erie. This 225-foot Seagoing Buoy Tender’s primary missions are maintaining nearly 150 aids-to-navigation on the lower Great Lakes, search and rescue, environmental protection, and domestic ice-breaking. Little ice-breaking was done during this unusually mild winter on Lake Erie, and kayakers are already out on Misery Bay at Presque Isle, braving windy conditions to get a first look at nesting birds and wildlife emerging from winter naps.

USCGC Hollyhock docked in Erie April 2017
USCGC Hollyhock docked at Dobbins Landing, Erie (photo Linda Bolla)

And I couldn't resist sharing this post of Niagara's crew training for the upcoming sailing season. It made me smile. Enjoy your weekend!

Spring is Springing

The April program page has all you need to know about what there is to do on the PA Trails of History. Please note that most sites will be closed on Sunday, April 16. However, The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and The State Museum of Pennsylvania will be open regular Sunday hours, noon to 5 pm.

With spring finally getting its feet under it, sites have been sharing photos of historic and natural landscapes coming to life. This week, I thought I'd just share some of those and let you enjoy. We'll be back with more news and recaps next week.

Grape hyacinth at Landis Valley Museum
Grape hyacinth at Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum (via Facebook)

Sustainable forestry trail at PA Lumber Museum
Signs of spring on the Sustainable Forestry Trail at the PA Lumber Museum (via Facebook)

U.S. World War I Centennial

The April program page has info on events of all kinds coming up this weekend and the rest of the month.

Photo from Great War Remembered at PA Military Museum
"The Great War Remembered" program at PA Military Museum 2016 (via Facebook)

Trailheads is a day early this week to mark the centennial of U.S. entry into World War I on April 6, 1917. This important anniversary is being commemorated in numerous places along the Pennsylvania Trails of History, not to mention the rest of the state, country, and world.

Throughout this month the Pennsylvania Military Museum will offer lectures and interpretive programming focused on World War I (see brochure). If you aren't able to be there in person, you have some options. The museum's (newly redesigned) website provides background information on the history of the site (home to the Boal Machine Gun Troop) and the 28th Division Shrine, which honors Pennsylvanians who died in World War I and later conflicts. (There is also a photo gallery of previous programs.)

In addition, site administrator Tyler Gum will take part in the National Museum of American History's World War I Social Media Day on Tuesday, April 11. From 1 to 2 pm that day, he will be "Facebook Live" representing the PHMC and talking about the role of the citizen soldier in WWI and Pennsylvania's legacy of military service.

PMM educator shows student how to use trench periscope
PMM educator Joe Horvath shows a visitor how a trench periscope works at "The Great War Remembered" in 2016. This year's event is slated for April 22-23 at the PA Military Museum (photo via Facebook)

Last weekend, The State Museum of PA opened an exhibit of World War I posters from the collections of the Pennsylvania State Archives. PHMC's Twitter account has a recap of the opening reception, which featured a tour by archivist Rich Saylor. The exhibit is open to the public during regular operating hours and is included in museum admission; it will remain on view through Nov. 12.

An article from the Erie Times-News earlier this week explored the World War I centennial. The Erie Maritime Museum's Linda Bolla spoke with reporter Ron Leonardi about the crew of USS Wolverine and their service in World War I. Wolverine had been decommissioned by the U.S. Navy in 1912 and turned over to the Pennsylvania Naval Militia, based in Erie. When word of U.S. entry into World War I reached Erie on the night of April 6, the crew of Wolverine were put on alert. On April 11, most of them marched from Erie's Public Dock to Union Station to board troop trains bound for Philadelphia. From there they were deployed for wartime. The ship itself, and some of the crew, remained on the Great Lakes during the war, recruiting sailors for the U.S. Navy and serving as a training vessel. Bolla, a regular contributor to Trailheads, has been researching Wolverine's crew, their service, and their post-war histories.

USS Wolverine crew 1913
Crew of USS Wolverine, 1913 (photo Erie Maritime Museum)

Other items of interest...

We'll try to keep you apprised of other WWI-related activities on the Trails of History as the centennial commemorations continue through the end of 2018. In the meantime: