On the Trails of History, February 14-27

Many sites are on adjusted winter schedules, and February is notorious for bad weather, so it is advisable to check ahead before planning a visit. Most Trails of History sites will be closed on February 17 for Presidents Day; I’ve noted exceptions below where I have info.

Wood and stone museum building with snow on the ground and wooded hillside in the background
Celebrate winter this weekend at the PA Lumber Museum - see details below (photo via Facebook)
Bushy Run Battlefield
Feb. 22-23: Make an 18th-Century Shift—this 2-day workshop will explore women’s shifts from 1760 to 1800, including examining an extant shift ca. 1790-1800 and a reproduction 1770s shift. Some experience is necessary—participants should be confident in their hand-sewing skills, including running stitch, backstitch, buttonhole stitch, and felling stitch. Additional details on the Facebook event page. Cost is $180 and includes all materials, catered lunch, and snacks both days. Sat., 9 am-5 pm; Sun., 9 am-3 pm.

Ephrata Cloister
Feb. 20, 27: Winter History Class—each Thursday morning participants in the Winter History Class learn about the history of the celibate brothers and sisters, the world they lived in, and the work of preserving the collections and buildings. Sign up for the series or for individual dates (visit website for session details and cost). Contact the site at 717/733-6600 to register. Class continues through March.

Fort Pitt Museum
Please visit the Fort Pitt Museum website for info on any events and programs happening this month. Fort Pitt Museum is open on Presidents Day, Feb. 17.

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Winter/Spring Workshops—February brings learning opportunities, including craft and trade classes, lectures, and classes offered by the Heirloom Seed Project. Schedules and costs vary. The full list of classes through April is on the website, along with registration info.
Homeschool Classes—this year marks the 10th anniversary of Landis Valley’s homeschool program. On six Wednesdays in February through mid-March, the site offers a series of classes designed for homeschool groups. Each week has a different focus and activities. Sign up for all or some, depending on your schedule and interest (full details are on the website). 9 am-12:30 pm.

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
Feb. 14-16: Snow-mobility Weekend—ride your snowmobile to the museum all weekend-long. Cross-country ski/ hike to the museum on Saturday (Feb. 15) for a Pancake Breakfast (9:30 am-1:30 pm). (Cross-country ski trek will meet at Susquehannock State Forest District HQ on Route 6, 4 miles west of the museum at the top of Denton Hill. Please be there no later than 9 am. They will have cross country skis to borrow. Call 814/274-3600 for more info.) Documentaries will be shown in the program room during breakfast. Check out the Facebook event for updates and details.

Pennsylvania Military Museum
Feb. 23: Lecture/Movie—today’s event is focused on Iwo Jima; visit the museum’s calendar of events for updated info. 2-3 pm.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Feb. 17: Presidents Day—the museum is open today, 9 am-5 pm (otherwise closed on Mondays through March).

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Planetarium Shows—check the State Museum website for schedule and program descriptions.
Feb. 16: Exhibit Tour—join Dr. Curt Miner and Amy Hammond for a curatorial tour of Picturing a More Perfect Union: Violet Oakley’s Mural Studies for the Pennsylvania Senate Chamber, 1911-1919 (more info on the website).  Included in regular admission. 2-3 pm.
Feb. 21: Learn at Lunch—Jason Wilson, historian for the Pennsylvania Capitol Preservation Committee, will lead a tour of Violet Oakley’s Senate Chamber murals, discussing their history and preservation (details on the website). Participants should meet at the Third Street entrance to the PA Capitol Building (if you don’t have a Commonwealth of PA id badge, you’ll need to go through security, so please gauge your time accordingly). 12:15-12:45 pm.
Feb. 27: Nature Lab—learn about Pennsylvania’s Wild Cats, native bobcats and cougars. Included in regular admission. 11:30 am-noon.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Please visit the Washington Crossing website for operating schedules and info on events and programs happening this month. Washington Crossing will be open on Feb. 17 for Presidents Day.

On the Trails of History, January 31 to February 13

Many sites are on adjusted winter schedules, and February is notorious for bad weather, so it is advisable to check ahead before planning a visit. This week’s post gets you almost to Valentine’s Day; if you’re planning further ahead, the February program page is available.

Image: drawing of midcentury modern visitor center building at Historic Pithole shown with snow-covered trees. Text says Pithole Cabin Fever, February 1st
Join the fun at Historic Pithole this Saturday (Feb. 1) - see details below under Drake Well listing (image via Facebook)

Bushy Run Battlefield
Feb. 13: Historic Sewing Workshop Series—each program in the series starts with one hour of instruction in basic techniques, followed by an hour of open studio time to work on your projects and enjoy the company of the group (see Facebook event page for details (additional dates in series are Mar. 12 and Apr. 9). 6-8 pm.

Drake Well Museum and Park
Feb. 1: Pithole Cabin Fever Party—shake off your winter blues with food, crafts, games, and fun. If there is snow, grab your sled and cruise down the legendary boomtown’s slopes or build a snowman! Donations welcome. Takes place at Historic Pithole City, 14118 Pithole Road, Pleasantville, PA 16341 (check out the Facebook event for details). 10 am-2 pm.

Ephrata Cloister
Feb. 6, 13: Winter History Class—each Thursday morning participants in the Winter History Class learn about the history of the celibate brothers and sisters, the world they lived in, and the work of preserving the collections and buildings. Sign up for the series or for individual dates (visit website for session details and cost). Contact the site at 717/733-6600 to register. Class continues through March.

Fort Pitt Museum
Please visit the Fort Pitt Museum website for info on any events and programs happening this month.

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Winter/Spring Workshops—February brings learning opportunities, including craft and trade classes, lectures, and classes offered by the Heirloom Seed Project. Schedules and costs vary. The full list of classes through April is on the website, along with registration info.
Homeschool Classes—this year marks the 10th anniversary of Landis Valley’s homeschool program. On six Wednesdays in February through mid-March, the site offers a series of classes designed for homeschool groups. Each week has a different focus and activities. Sign up for all or some, depending on your schedule and interest (full details are on the website). 9 am-12:30 pm.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Planetarium Shows—check the State Museum website for schedule and program descriptions.
Feb. 7: Storytime—this month's program takes place in the Planetarium, with Max and the Tag-Along Moon by Floyd Cooper and a planetarium show. Geared for ages 3-5 with accompanying adult. Included in regular admission. 10:30-11:30 am.
Feb. 13: Curiosity Kids—this month's program will explore Native American clothing. Geared for young visitors, ages 3-6. Included in regular admission, but space is limited so be sure to sign up at the front desk when you arrive at the museum. 11:30 am-noon.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Please visit the Washington Crossing website for operating schedules and info on events and programs happening this month.

On the Trails of History, January 17-30

Please note that Trails of History sites will be closed on Monday, January 20, for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. Also, winter weather can interfere with operating schedules, so it can't hurt to check before heading to a site. Social media is the best place to look for updates. 1/26/20: February program page is now available.

Anthracite Heritage Museum
Jan. 18: Knox Mine Disaster Commemoration—the program includes speakers, music, and a display of mining memorabilia (see Facebook event for details). Admission is free. 2-3:30 pm.

Brandywine Battlefield Park
Jan. 21: Revolutionary Dining Series—Joseph Seymour, Army National Guard historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History, will present a talk on the Military Association of Pennsylvania, commonly known as the Pennsylvania Associators. Cost is $50 per person and includes salad, entree, and dessert in addition to the program (see Facebook event page for more info). Program takes place at The Gables at Chadds Ford, 6-9 pm.

Bushy Run Battlefield
Jan. 25-26: Making Basic 18th-Century Accessories—learn to make a plain pocket, a triangular linen neck handkerchief, a silk bonnet, and a pair of fancy garters during this two-day hands-on workshop. Cost is $165 and includes lunch and snacks both days. Check out the Facebook event page for details on how to register. Sat., 9 am-5 pm; Sun., 10 am-4 pm.

Ephrata Cloister
Jan. 30: Winter History Class begins—learn about the history of the community at Ephrata and the world that surrounded it. Speakers include site staff as well as outside scholars. Sessions are held from 9 am to noon each Thursday through March 26, and there is a field trip (extra charge) on April 2. Cost for the entire class is $55, $45 for members; you can attend individual classes for $10 each. Call the site at 717/733-6600 for more information or to register.

Fort Pitt Museum
Fort Pitt will be closed in January for collections inventory and exhibit maintenance/upgrades. Please visit the website for information.

Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
Jan. 18, 19, 25: Winter Workshops—check out the workshop page on Landis Valley’s website for details on a variety of hands-on classes for adults; you’ll see the schedule for February and March as well. Times and costs vary.

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
Jan. 25: Winter in the Lumber Camp— outdoor fun in the snow with sledding, snow men, and snow art activities. Try your hand at cross-country skis, snowshoes and ice skates (conditions permitting) with the help of equipment provided by PA DCNR and volunteer instructors. Food and drink available in the program room. Keep an eye on the Facebook event page for details. 10 am-4 pm.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Through Feb. 9: Murder on the Orient Express at Fulton Theatre—the museum is partnering with Fulton Theatre to offer group and individual tour packages during the run of the play, for a great cross-over experience. Visit the museum’s Facebook page for details and to see video of the play's cast touring the museum to learn more about trains and their history.

The State Museum of Pennsylvania
Please visit the museum’s Planetarium page for a full schedule.
Jan. 17: Learn at Lunch—join the Art Docents for a tour of Picturing a More Perfect Union: Violet Oakley’s Mural Studies for the Pennsylvania Senate Chamber, 1911-1919, on view through April 26. 12:15 pm.
Jan. 23: Nature Lab—learn how to identify different kinds of rocks. Included in general admission. 11:30 am.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Please visit the Washington Crossing website for info on this month's programs and schedule.

On the Trails of History, January 3-16

This week's post covers the first half of January. If you're looking further ahead, please visit the January program page to see the rest of the month. Remember that many sites adjust schedules during the winter and that winter weather can impact operations. It never hurts to double check before heading to your favorite site.

Tomorrow, Jan. 4, is the start of the Pennsylvania Farm Show. As in past years, staff from various parts of PHMC will be there to share our agency's work with show goers. For more info, check PHMC's Facebook page or the Farm Show website. And don't miss the food court!

People stand in front of display of archaeology info and a recreated dugout canoe
PA Farm Show 2019 at the Archaeology Booth (photo via Facebook)

Bushy Run Battlefield
Jan. 9: Historic Sewing Workshop Series—each workshop consists of one hour of formal instruction followed by an hour of open studio stitching (see Facebook event page for details and registration instructions. Also offered Feb. 13, Mar. 12, and Apr. 9. 6-8 pm.
Jan. 11: Intro to Embroidery—Jessica Young will lead this beginner-level class exploring the basics of embroidery (all skill levels are welcome). Participants will make a hanging pincushion appropriate for accentuating your 18th-century wardrobe. Cost is $75 and includes all materials (and refreshments). See Facebook event page for details. 9:30 am-3 pm.

Fort Pitt Museum
Fort Pitt will be closed in January for collections inventory and exhibit maintenance/upgrades. Please visit the website for information.

Joseph Priestley House
Jan. 5: Twelfth Night—glimpse the Priestley family’s life in Northumberland with a taste of the English customs they remembered. The house will be decorated as an English country manor, costumed docents will be on hand, and there will be chemistry demonstrations and children’s games. Free admission. 4-7 pm (chem demos in the Pond Building at 4:30 and 5:30 - space is limited for those, get tickets at the visitor center).

Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
Jan. 4 (and later in the month): Winter Workshops—check out the workshop page on Landis Valley’s website for details on a variety of hands-on classes for adults; you’ll see the schedule for February and March as well. Times and costs vary.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Jan. 14-Feb. 9: Murder on the Orient Express at Fulton Theatre—the museum is partnering with Fulton Theatre to offer group and individual tour packages during the run of the play, for a great cross-over experience. Visit the museum’s Facebook page for details.

The State Museum of Pennsylvania
Please visit the museum’s Planetarium page for a full schedule.
Jan. 3: StoryTimethis month's program takes place in Nature Lab and features Charlotte the Scientist is Squished by Camille Andros. Program is designed for children ages 3-5 with an accompanying adult. Included in general admission. 10:30-11:30 am.
Jan. 9: Curiosity Kids—visit Nature Lab to learn about owls. Geared for ages 3-6 with an adult. This program is included in general admission, but space is limited, so be sure to sign up at the front desk when you arrive. 11:30 am.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Please visit the Washington Crossing website for info on this month's programs and schedule.