How Was Your Solstice?

Summer garden with purple flowers
Summer Garden (photo AKF)
Note: This post has been updated during the day, June 23, to include more links to Trails of History sites participating in #MuseumWeek.

With the summer solstice now behind us (or ahead of us if you take the long view), it's time to really dig in and enjoy the season. For some of you, that means being outdoors a lot. For others, it's about finding cool indoor activities to stay out of the heat. Or maybe you're somewhere in between. Whatever "summer" means to you, I hope that you'll have a chance to explore the Trails of History to find it. The June program page has events coming up this weekend and next week (and I've highlighted some below). The July page is now available, as well as a list (to the best of my knowledge) of Trails of History sites open on July 4.

We are currently in the midst of #MuseumWeek and several sites have been posting throughout the week. If you're not already following them on Twitter, take a look at the Railroad Museum of PA, Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum, Daniel Boone Homestead, Graeme Park, Old Economy Village, Pennsbury Manor, or PHMC's feeds to see the cool stuff they've shared. Wednesday was National Selfie Day, and the Railroad Museum was featured in an article in the Lancaster news about local places to take selfies.

A blog post from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) about ways that history organizations are talking about environmental history included the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum's core exhibit, "Challenges and Choices in Pennsylvania's Forests." The exhibit won awards from AASLH and PA Museums in 2016.

Young soccer players learn about flax at Somerset

Somerset Historical Center shared photos on Facebook of their June living history weekend, which focused on life in the 1700s. Above, volunteer Gary Burkett explains to two young soccer players how flax is turned into linen (see more photos). The next living history weekend, July 8-9, will present local history related to World War I.

Classes at this year's Summer Institute at Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum included tours, lectures, and multi-day hands-on learning opportunities. Participants explored hearth cooking, pottery (photo above), woodworking, and working with draft horses, among other things. Visit Landis Valley's website for info on craft and skills classes held throughout the year.

This weekend on the Trails of History

Drake Well Museum
June 24: Something More Saturday—visit Historic Pithole and get a tour of the grounds (check Facebook for details). Admission charged. 10 am-3 pm.

Eckley Miners’ Village
June 24-25: Patch Town Days Irish Fest—this year's program focuses on the lives of Irish immigrants to a Pennsylvania coal patch town. Music, food, dancers, and a "St. Patrick's Day in June" parade. There will also be vintage baseball games both days. Admission charged. 10 am-5 pm both days.

Fort Pitt Museum
June 24: Lecture and Book-signing—Dr. Patrick Spero will present "When Pittsburgh was Virginia," exploring various 18th-century boundary and territorial disputes in western PA and Ohio. He will sign copies of his latest book, Frontier Country: The Politics of War in Early Pennsylvania. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students and Heinz History Center members (please register online). 11 am-12:30 pm.

Hope Lodge
June 24: Ales and Petals—bring your lawn chairs and/or picnic blankets, tour the mansion, and (only if you're age 21+) sample craft beers and ciders. Food will be available from Tonellis of Lafayette Hill and the Mason Porter band will perform from 1 to 3 pm. General admission fees apply; there is an additional $5 per person charge for beer and cider tasting (more info on website) and food is extra. Event runs 1-5 pm.

Old Economy Village
June 24: An American Celebration—enjoy music, storytelling, artisan demos, antique cars, and food as you explore the Village. All included in regular admission. 10 am-5 pm. (Rain date: June 25, 10 am-5 pm.)

Pennsbury Manor
June 25: Bitters, Blubs, and Brewing—visit the gardens and brew house to see what's on offer. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
June 25: Make Your Own Bitters Workshop—Pennsbury has partnered with Boardroom Spirits Distillery for this hands-on workshop. Bitters were thought to be good for one's health and were taken almost daily in the 17th and 18th centuries. Learn how these elixirs are made. Must be 21 or older. Cost is $20 (free for members); pre-register by calling 215/946-0400. 2-3 pm.

Pennsylvania Military Museum
June 24: Boot Camp Prep Class—designed as an adjunct to Boot Camp for Kids (August), this program will provide group instruction in close order drill, military etiquette, and the history of the 28th Division Shrine. Cost is $25 and includes lunch. Registration is required (info and form); contact Friends of the Military Museum for details. 10 am-3 pm.

State Museum and Archives Complex
June 24-25: Closed to the public—as part of the State Museum's ongoing electrical upgrades project, the Museum and Archives will be closed to the public this weekend. The Complex will also be closed July 15-16.


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