U.S. World War I Centennial Continues and Other News

The May program page has info on upcoming events on the PHMC's Trails of History.

Updates on World War I Centennial on the Trails of History

Among the events happening this weekend is a military history timeline at Conrad Weiser Homestead, with reenactors representing PA German units who fought in US conflicts from the French and Indian War up through WWI. A highlight of the event will be the "American doughboy" statue honoring men of the Tulpehocken Valley who served during WWI. Over the years, the statue had become dirty, and the surface was invaded by algae. Professional conservators from the firm of B.R. Howard and Associates (under contract to PHMC) cleaned the statue and treated it with a biocide to kill the algae. Now it looks much better, more like its original appearance, and just in time for the centennial of U.S. entry into World War I.

Weiser doughboy statue during cleaning BRHoward
Weiser doughboy statue after cleaning BR Howard
(Top) Doughboy statue during cleaning
(Bottom) Statue after cleaning and treatment with biocide (photos B.R. Howard & Associates)

I remember one of my grandmothers, who was born in 1907, talking about knitting socks for the soldiers in WWI. Knitting for the soldiers has been an important part of home front activities in many American wars. It strikes me as a highly personal connection between the knitters and the recipients, who may know each other well or who may never ever meet in person. Kudos to Somerset Historical Center for a hands-on lesson about the home front.

Community Connections

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a historic site with beautiful grounds must be in want of throngs of prom-goers lining up to take photos (sorry, Jane). This spring, Ephrata Cloister embraced that truth and decided to reach out more systematically to local high schools. They've scheduled the photo opportunities, staffed information tables to promote programs and membership, and provided complimentary snacks and refreshments. The first weekend drew about 375 people (including prom-goers and families). The primary purpose of this effort was to be a good neighbor, but there have been benefits as well in the form of museum store sales and greater community awareness and appreciation of the site, its beauty, and its history.

On May 2, members of the Pennsylvania Cultural Response Team (PCRT) were at the Pennsylvania State Archives for a hands-on disaster recovery exercise. Along with Archives staff, the team of emergency management and cultural professionals simulated a flood response involving archival and library materials. The PCRT members have been trained in recovery and preservation techniques so that they can assist anywhere in the state when cultural and heritage collections are affected by flooding, fire, or other disasters. They shared some video of Tuesday's drill on Facebook (see below). Staff from the State Archives will also be assisting communities in June with their popular "Archives Without Tears" workshop designed for anyone who is responsible for archival and/or historical records (program brochure and registration info.)

The Pennsylvania Lumber Museum recently posted a thank you to several Galeton businesses who sponsored a visit to the museum by the Gale-Pride after school program.

Drake Well Museum and Park has received funding from the Oil Regional Alliance Educational Mini-Grants Program and the Bridge Builders Community Foundation to fund their new "Transportation Scholarship" program. The funding will subsidize transportation costs for some 800 6th graders in 10 public schools within the Oil Regional National Heritage Area so that they can participate in the Museum's School Tour program.

Last week, in the midst of getting the ship ready for the sailing season, the crew of U.S. Brig Niagara helped with waterfront cleanup in the area around the Erie Maritime Museum and shared some photos on Facebook.

Niagara crew helped with waterfront cleanup April 2017
Niagara crew with their clean-up haul (via Facebook)


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