Memorial Day

Please check the May program listings to see which Trails of History sites will be open on Monday, May 28, and for info on events coming up this weekend. The June program listings are also now available for those of you who like to plan ahead (you know who you are).

National Guard members with colorful unit flags at 28th Division shrine
Members of the PA National Guard line the 28th Division Shrine at the Pennsylvania Military Museum (via Facebook)
The annual Celebration of Service organized by the Pennsylvania National Guard took place Sunday, May 20, on the grounds of the Pennsylvania Military Museum. The event is a vibrant combination of family reunion, military equipment show, and solemn memorial service. You can get a good sense of the day by browsing the extensive photo album posted on PMM's Facebook page or see how WTAJ-TV covered the event. This weekend the museum will be offering its annual World War II Revisited living history program on Saturday and Sunday.

Helmets, boots, and rifles used to make a memorial to fallen soldiers
Remembering fallen soldiers (via Facebook)

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is working to find a photo of every Pennsylvania service member who died as a result of the Vietnam War. The photos are needed to complete the Vietnam Memorial Wall of Faces for Pennsylvania. As of this week, they are missing 30 photos from 8 counties. For a list of names still needing photos and to find out how to submit a photo, visit DMVA's Wall of Faces page.

This is also a good time to note that sites on PHMC's Trails of History participate in the Blue Star Museums program, which provides free regular admission to active duty military members and their immediate families. The Blue Star Museums program runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day, but the admission offer is good all year on the Trails of History.

Snapshots from the Trails of History

See below for info on this weekend's events on the Trails of History. Visit the May program page for additional information or to plan ahead for Memorial Day weekend.

There were some great visuals shared this week by sites on the Trails of History. Here are just a few of them for your viewing pleasure.

Variety of old metal paper clips removed from documents at Drake Well Museum
Photo via Drake Well Museum Facebook page
This looks like some kind of encoded message to me, but it is actually an array of metal paper clips removed from historic documents at Drake Well Museum and Park. According to Drake Well's Facebook post, a volunteer at the museum has been assisting with caring for documents from the United Refining Company Collection by removing the metal clips, pins, etc., and replacing them with plastic (metal fasteners have a tendency to rust and can do damage to long-term paper collections). Drake Well staff did some research to identify some of the clips:
Who thinks about the history of paperclips? The Early Office Museum does. That’s where I found information about the ones Mary Jane found. Left to Right Top Row: Mussian Paper Clip 1902; Owl 1905 to the present: Niagara clip patented 1897 and advertised until 1950; Standard Paper Clip advertised 1910-1941; Fay Paper Clip originally patented in 1867 and manufactured by many companies after 1896; straight pins; Rinklip patented 1903 and still made; Gem patented in 1903 still used. Bottom Row: little straight pin; Improved Niagara Paper Clip advertised 1908-1950; T-shaped pins were machine made for clothing by 1836 but were patented as paper clips in 1902. The rest are stamped out of sheet metal – star, smiley face and heart with no known maker – yet.

Two Drake Well Museum staffers host display at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair
Photo via Drake Well Museum Facebook page
Also this week, folks from Drake Well's Mobile Energy Education Training Unit (MEET-U) staffed a display booth at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh. They promoted MEET-U programs, Drake Well, and the PHMC at this annual event that features nearly 2,000 high schoolers showcasing their inventions and independent research to approximately 11,000 attendees.

Army soldiers running the paths at PA Military Museum on a cloudy morning
Photo courtesy of PA Military Museum
Yesterday morning (Thursday, May 17) roughly 100 U.S. Army soldiers mustered on the grounds of the Pennsylvania Military Museum for PT (physical training). It's a little hard to see in the photo (I was afraid to crop too much of the scene), but the soldiers were running on the paths that circumnavigate the parade grounds. This Sunday, May 20, the grounds will be crowded with military equipment and personnel for the Pennsylvania National Guard's annual Celebration of Service.

PA Railroad round metal baggage tags marked "emigrant" (19th century?)
Photo via Railroad Museum of PA Facebook page
The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania posted a photo on Facebook of two rare baggage tags. The museum's collections include thousands of fascinating objects with stories to tell.
The story of the United States of America is one of migration of individuals, families and communities traveling to these shores and over this land, motivated by a quest for something better in life. These emigrant baggage tags were discovered in the ground in western Pennsylvania and are a rare find of tags issued by the Pennsylvania Railroad in Philadelphia, and made by the Hoole Manufacturing Company of New York.

Pennsbury Manor has introduced apiaries (bee hives) into the orchards (see video below from Facebook). Students attending the Pennsylvania Day school program in two weeks will get the first look at new bee-centered educational programs at the site.

This weekend...

Get out there and enjoy

There's lots to do on the PHMC's Trails of History this weekend, so get out there.

Summer flowers are here or coming (photo AKF)
Anthracite Heritage Museum
May 12: 250 Years of Anthracite Mining—members of the Leadership Lackawanna Core Program Class of 2018 will join museum staff and volunteers to mark two and a half centuries of history in the anthracite region. Members of the class raised funds for a commemorative plaque, which will be unveiled at 10 am (see more info on Facebook event page). Program is free and open to the public. 9 am-noon.

Brandywine Battlefield
May 12: Encampment Day—please check the website for updates. 10 am-4 pm.

Bushy Run Battlefield
May 12: Spring Nature Walk—this annual event takes participants on an exploration of the woods and fields around the site; cost is $5, free for members of Bushy Run Battlefield Heritage Society. No registration required; wear sturdy, water-resistant walking or hiking shoes and dress for the weather. 10 am.

Daniel Boone Homestead
May 12: Tavern Night—this fundraiser event will include food and beverage samples from local eateries and wineries, eighteenth-century tavern games throughout the evening, and music performed by County Line. Cost is $30 per person, $50 per couple; advance tickets only, none sold at the door (more info on website). 5-9 pm.

Erie Maritime Museum and Flagship Niagara
May 12: Little Mates Discovery Day—family-friendly hands-on maritime activities. Event is free. 10 am-2 pm.

Graeme Park
May 13: Mother's Day Breakfast—enjoy a delicious meal and tour the Keith House. Prepaid reservations are required and can be made online (link to Eventbrite). Seatings at 10:30, 11, and 11:30 am.

Hope Lodge
May 13: Site open—Hope Lodge is open for tours every Sunday through October. Admission is charged. 1-4 pm.

Joseph Priestley House
May 13: Mother's Day—site closed.

Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
May 11-12: Herb & Garden Faire—so many plants, plus lectures by gardening experts, garden furniture, herbal products and baked goods, and lots of great food by local groups and caterers (details here). Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $8 ages 6-11 (free for ages 0-5 and Landis Valley Associates members). 9 am-5 pm.

Old Economy Village
May 12: Garden Mart—the Garden Mart offers free admission to OEV’s gardens, where you can purchase heirloom varieties from the greenhouses and browse among vendors and local garden-related organizations (more info on website). 9 am-2 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
May 13: Sunday Programming—"Living History Theater: Tea and Gossip." Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
May 12: Yoga Classes—two offerings today: Shake Your Soul Yoga (10-11 am) and Shake Your Seat Yoga (noon-1 pm), which uses a chair to assist with balance. Both classes incorporate elements of movement therapy, Qi Gong, yoga, and dance; no formal dance or yoga training is required. Register online: Shake Your Soul Yoga or Shake Your Seat Yoga.

The Future is Here

Please be sure to check out the May program page for events this weekend and the rest of the month.


PA Lumber Museum hosted the Potter County Conservation District's 2018 Envirothon on Thursday. High school students tested their knowledge on a variety of environmental science topics. The winning team goes on to the state level contest. (See PLM's Facebook page for more info. UPDATE: see a photo of the winning team, from Coudersport, getting their awards.)

A number of items (including the photo above) drifted across my screen in the last couple of weeks that focused my attention on the "younger generation." Or generations, I guess I should say. So I thought I'd highlight some activities involving high school and college students. I'm sure there are other stories out there - feel free to share in the comments.

Interns and apprentices will be starting their summers on the Trails of History soon. Some applied through the PHMC's Keystone Summer Internship or Summer Apprenticeship programs. Some interns applied to their host sites directly or through their schools. Depending on their assignment and interests, they will learn construction and restoration skills, care and management of object and archival collections, interpretation of historic sites, management of historic preservation programs, and much more. I hope that you'll hear from some of them through guest blog posts on Trailheads (I'll be recruiting heavily once they get started). It's always a pleasure to see new faces and learn about their career plans. (If you're a former PHMC intern, give us a shout in the comments to let us know what you're up to - I know some of you are right here at PHMC.)

My Google Alerts clued me in to a story about the Sewickley Herald's 2018 Emerging Citizen, Katie Rostek, a senior at Quaker Valley High School, near Ambridge. Among many other activities, Katie is a member of Old Economy Village's Young Harmonist group, which learns about the history of the community and shares it with the public. According to the article, she plans to double major in political science and secondary education at Penn State. Congratulations to Katie and to all of our younger volunteers who are graduating high school and moving on to the next chapter in their lives.

Bushy Run volunteers on Charter Day 2018 celebrate funds raised (via Facebook)
When we talked about Charter Day programming back in March, I think I mentioned that Bushy Run Battlefield was open on Charter Day for the first time in a while due to the efforts of a local high school student working on her senior project at Penn-Trafford High School. Emily Liska (second from left in the above photo) coordinated activities for Charter Day and organized a marketing campaign (with a GoFundMe component) to help raise awareness of Bushy Run in the local community. She helped raise more than $1,000 to support activities at the site. Emily will be giving a presentation at the high school next week to share what she learned. Thank you, Emily, for your efforts.

I recently learned about an interesting new project through the Eckley Miners' Village volunteer newsletter. This semester, students in Prof. Dan Kimbrough's video class (Misericordia University's Dept. of Mass Communication and Design) have been working on a documentary about the history of Eckley and its impact on the region. As part of the production, they interviewed a number of volunteers and others at the village to gain their insights. Students screened their work yesterday for an audience that included folks from Eckley. Word has it that the documentary will be made available online. I'll share a link if and when I'm able to do so.

Mercyhurst University Dancers perform on the Erie Maritime Museum floor, the wind in our sails!  L-R, Emily Black, Caitlin Cummings and Olivia Duke (photo by Ashlyn Duke Photography, used with permission)
This final item comes from Linda Bolla at Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara, who regular readers will recognize as our most prolific guest blogger. Last month, the museum hosted Erie's participation in a project called National Water Dance, "an artist-driven collective of dancers and educators confronting critical water issues facing the United States." With its proximity to Lake Erie, the museum was the perfect venue for this multi-media event led by a group from the Mercyhurst University Departments of Dance and Chemistry.

Doug Lodge performs in the museum lobby, dragging the weight of one week’s single use plastic bottles, as collected by students from Harborcreek Youth Services. (photo by Ashlyn Duke Photography, used with permission)
Linda writes:
Because winds were high and temps were unseasonably low on April 14th, the Erie event did not commence next to the water at 4:00 p.m., as it did simultaneously at other waterways throughout our nation. An indoor start did not diminish anyone’s enthusiasm! The Erie event is unique in its scope: in addition to dance, the museum hosted live jazz, sculpture, poetry and infographs created by Mercyhurst students, along with a multitude of partners from the community. Poetry and art remain on exhibit until May 4th. [editor's note: that's today!]

Highlights from the finale mainstage performance included choreography by Elizabeth Hite, who will graduate this term. Undercurrents is her Senior Capstone thesis project. When interviewed about her work, Elizabeth cited her concerns about the environment as inspiration for this piece, and noted the challenges of representing the beauty of water and the threat to it.
Undercurrents, performed by (1st row, l – r) Jenna Swartz, Emily Black, Sophia Thorman, Caitlyn Cummings, (2nd row, l – r) Olivia Duke, Hannah Schayes, Rachel Rhodanz, Katarina Flores. (photo by Ashlyn Duke Photography, used with permission)