Working Together

Looking for something to do on the PA Trails of History? Check out this list of events scheduled for today through Sept. 15. If you're planning further ahead, the September program page will take you to the end of the month.

This week's post is a team effort, with text and photos supplied by Kurt Carr, Janet Johnson, and Judy Hawthorn of The State Museum of Pennsylvania's Section of Archaeology and Chuck Johnson and Linda Bolla of the Erie Maritime Museum & U.S. Brig Niagara. Thank you all.

Sailing ship with 3 masts sits at dock with a 2-masted ship to its right
At left, 3-masted barque Picton Castle (out of Nova Scotia) docked at Erie Maritime Museum, with schooner Lettie G. Howard on the right; you can just see the head of the giant yellow rubber duck between the two ships (photo Erie Maritime Museum)
The weekend of Aug. 22-25, the Section of Archaeology of The State Museum of Pennsylvania traveled to Erie to attend the Tall Ships event organized by Tall Ships America in conjunction with the Erie Maritime Museum & U.S. Brig Niagara, the Flagship Niagara League, and other local organizations. Featured were 13 sailing vessels and the world's largest rubber duck and her baby. The event, held in Erie every three years, is a celebration of maritime culture and technology from a bygone era and was attended by roughly 30,000 visitors.

Large wooden dugout canoe with 2 people inside, also banners and tables in convention center
State Museum archaeology curators Janet Johnson (front) and Kurt Carr in the 20-foot dugout canoe (photo Judy Hawthorn)
Members of the Section of Archaeology, curators Kurt Carr and Janet Johnson and volunteer Judy Hawthorn, were based at Erie's Bayfront Convention Center to promote the State Museum and Pennsylvania archaeology. Their exhibit featured the dugout canoe, guaranteed to attract visitors of all ages, and included the stone adzes used to make it. This was a joint public outreach program involving the State Museum and the Erie Maritime Museum. Local arrangements were facilitated by Linda Bolla (Erie Maritime Museum), Marcus Masternak (Tall Ships Erie 2019), and Rebecca Grimaldi (Tall Ships Erie 2019). Negotiating a 20-foot dugout in and out of the convention center with tens of thousands of visitors was very tricky, but with their help, there were very few problems.

News reporter seated in dugout canoe while cameraman records video
Erie's ABC24 reporter Samiar Nefzi provides tv coverage of the canoe exhibit (photo Judy Hawthorn)
The State Museum team spoke to 4,500 or so during the three-day event and distributed the Section's brochure series that covers a wide range of subjects in 10 different pamphlets, from pre-contact times to the archaeology of the late 19th century. The team found that in addition to the dugout, visitors were also very interested in Pennsylvania history, archaeology and natural science. They were especially interested in the archaeology of the Erie area.

View of exhibit galleries at Erie Maritime Museum
Many Tall Ships visitors also checked out the indoor exhibits at the Erie Maritime Museum (photo Erie Maritime Museum)
The Erie Maritime Museum was open throughout Tall Ships, hosting the tall ship, Picton Castle, and welcoming visitors with tours and programs designed to help them learn about U.S. Brig Niagara, the Battle of Lake Erie, Erie's maritime heritage during and after the War of 1812. There were hands-on activities for kids, and storyteller Perry Ground, a Turtle Clan member of the Onondaga Nation, was on hand to share Haudenosaunee (also known as Iroquois) stories with visitors. Visit the Erie Maritime Museum Facebook page and the U.S. Brig Niagara Facebook page for more photos from the weekend. The next Tall Ships Erie event will be in 2022.

Man in traditional Onondaga dress points to sky as he tells story to audience
Perry Ground telling a traditional Haudenosaunee story in the museum's orientation theater (photo Erie Maritime Museum)


Post a Comment