Well, that was August, I guess

The September program page is now available and will be updated as events are added. For online activities available 24/7, check out the Trailheads Rec Room (to the right of your screen).

August has been a blur, and I guess that's not unusual. But we're all dealing with some degree of upheaval and disruption, some of us more than others (I realize what an understatement that is). The Commonwealth of PA website has gathered mental health resources, if you're looking for some help with coping.

Life on the Trails of History continues - it's mostly online, but it continues. This has been a big week for anniversaries and commemorations.

Replica oil derrick with geese in foreground
Replica oil derrick at Drake Well Museum and Park (via Facebook)
Normally, Drake Well Museum and Park marks Drake Day (the anniversary of the first successful oil well) with an onsite program the weekend closest to August 27. Recent years have included a 19th-century traveling circus, with a glimpse of life in the oil region, and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History's "Spinosaurus Encounter," exploring the geology of the oil fields. This year's Drake Day featured an online presentation by museum curator Sue Beates, who recounted the history of the industry that started at Drake's well and the development of the museum.

A new monument in Harrisburg honors the Old 8th Ward, a predominantly Black and immigrant neighborhood that was removed to make way for what is now the Capitol Complex, home to (among many other state agencies) The State Museum of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State Archives, and PHMC's headquarters offices. The monument dedication was held on Wednesday to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment. (In 2015, one of PHMC's Keystone Interns wrote a guest post for Trailheads about a walking tour that included part of the Old 8th Ward.)

Yesterday at the Capitol Complex, we dedicated a monument honoring the city’s Old 8th Ward. This diverse and densely...

Posted by Governor Tom Wolf on Thursday, August 27, 2020

Last week's post (and the week before) included news about the commemoration of the 19th Amendment, which opened the way for women to vote. With the 100th Anniversary on Aug. 26, a number of sites posted in honor of the day, also known as Women's Equality Day.

The ratification of the 19th Amendment became official on August 26, 1920, but what came next? Following Pennsylvania's...

Posted by The Somerset Historical Center on Thursday, August 27, 2020

Today, on #nationaldogday and #womensequalityday, one of our research assistants decided to check out the autobiography...

Posted by Pennsbury Manor on Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The 19th Amendment and women's right to vote turn 100 years old today! We're honoring this milestone in American history...

Posted by Historic Ephrata Cloister on Wednesday, August 26, 2020

What's Up?

The August program page has a list of online events, including a couple of updates since last week's post. The September list will be available sometime next week. For online activities available 24/7, check out the Trailheads Rec Room (to the right of your screen).

View of wooden-sided two story building with a small wooden bridge closest to camera
View of (left to right) Bakery, Saal, and Saron at Ephrata Cloister (photo via Facebook)

The photo above shows a lovely scene at Ephrata Cloister. For a less familiar view of the site, check out the new drone's eye view video adorning the banner on Ephrata's homepage. It's well worth your time.

Collage of black and white photos showing scenes of people and oil wells. Text reads Memories to Museums
Graphic for Drake Day 2020 Virtual Lecture, August 27 at 7 pm

For the annual Drake Day event, commemorating the first successful well drilled for oil in 1859, curator Susan Beates will present an online lecture exploring the history of the Drake Well Museum and Park. The program is free and will be offered Thursday, August 27, at 7 pm EDT via Zoom, so you must register to get the link. Visit the Facebook event page for details and registration information.

Modern brick museum building with covered walkway in front
Erie Maritime Museum entrance (from website)

Congratulations to the staff and volunteers at the Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara for their recent Trip Advisor Travelers' Choice Award for 2020. The award is based on an accumulation of reviews and ratings. Recipients are in the top 10% of attractions worldwide.

Centennial of the 19th Amendment

Tuesday, Aug. 18, was the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which says that the right to vote cannot be denied on the basis of sex. Last week's Trailheads included some links related to the centennial, including The State Museum of Pennsylvania's exhibit on the suffrage movement in Pennsylvania. Additional resources include the National Park Service's story map of historic places that are part of the suffrage story, the Institute of Museum and Library Service's blog post about how museums nationwide are marking the anniversary>/a>, and the National Museum of African American History & Culture's post about African American Suffragists.

And several posts from along the Pennsylvania Trails of History:

The #19thAmendment was ratified on Aug. 18, 1920, when Tennessee’s approval met the requirement that amendments be...

Posted by Drake Well Museum and Park on Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment! The story of women's suffrage is a story...

Posted by Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania on Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The #19thAmendment was ratified on Aug. 18, 1920, when Tennessee’s approval met the requirement that amendments be...

Posted by Pennsylvania Trails of History on Tuesday, August 18, 2020

A Few Peeks Behind the Scenes

The August page has a growing list of online events, including a couple of updates since last week's post. For online activities available 24/7, check out the Trailheads Rec Room (to the right of your screen).

View looking down a set of stairs. There is a door to the right at the bottom.
From Facebook post: "This is the money vault on display from the closet of George Rapp's bedroom. We have 'fake' money on display at the bottom of the steps. We believe the doorway to the right at the bottom of the steps led to George Rapp's alchemy lab." (photo via Facebook)

Earlier this week, Old Economy Village's museum educator, David Miller, posted some images of the site that I had (mostly) never seen before. I've spent some time at Old Economy, but I have not made it into some of the most secret places. As David notes, tours of the George Rapp and Frederick Rapp Houses provide visitors with information on money vaults used to secure funds the Harmonists accumulated to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem (which they believed they would need sooner rather than later). Visitors get a peek at the entrances to those spaces but don't get to see very much. David's post includes the image above and half a dozen more. Well worth a look!

Architect's rendering of original museum building shows multiple sections, roadway, and surrounding countryside
Architectural rendering of the original Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania building. It has been expanded twice in the 50 years since it opened (image via Facebook)

Last week's post noted the 50th anniversary of the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, along with a number of other milestones. But I missed one from earlier in the year (what is time, anyway?). Next week, on August 17 at 7 pm, the staff at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania will present an online program marking the museum's 45th Anniversary, which fell in April. They'll provide an in-depth look at the museum's history, its growth (it looks very different now than the image above), and what lies ahead. The event is being offered on Zoom and is suitable for all ages. Tickets are $5 per person or for a group viewing on a single screen (so you can watch as a family, pod, or bubble for one low price). The Facebook event page has details and a link to Eventbrite for tickets.

Blue and gold state historical marker - title reads The Invention of the Jeep
State Historical Marker for the Invention of the Jeep (recently featured on the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation's Facebook page)

Looking ahead to the end of next month, if you want the inside scoop on state historical markers, the State Historic Preservation Office is planning a free one-hour webinar to share advice on how to submit a successful marker nomination. Historical Marker Program Coordinator Karen Galle will provide an overview of the marker program, explain the nomination process and criteria, tell you what to expect if your marker is approved, and offer tips for success. "PHMC's Historical Markers: Tips & Tricks for a Successful Nomination" is scheduled for 10 am on Sept. 30 (details and registration information).

The video above is part of The State Museum of Pennsylvania's "Perspectives" series. In this installment, museum director Beth Hager talks with Dr. Curt Miner, senior curator of history, for some background on a temporary exhibit, Why Not in Pennsylvania? Campaigning for Women's Suffrage in the Keystone State 1910-1920, marking the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. For a more complete look at the exhibit, the State Museum's Facebook page has a two-part video tour of the exhibit led by the curator (part one and part two). For a look at the national story, check out #19suffragestories on Facebook, a collaborative project of the National Archives, Library of Congress, and The Smithsonian Institution. ADDED 8/14: The New York Times series, Suffrage at 100, presents stories of a diverse array of suffragists.

So Many Milestones

The August page has a growing list of online events, including a couple of updates since last week's post. For online activities available 24/7, check out the Trailheads Rec Room (to the right of your screen).

Large shrub with dark pink flowers and green leaves
A splash of color (photo by AKF)

This month - this week - included some important milestones and one that's not-so-historic but worth noting, I think (I'm sure you'll be able to tell which it is). Let's get started.

The Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PHC) announced this week that 140 cultural nonprofits across the state had received $780,500 in PHC CARES emergency relief grants to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on their programs and operations. Six Trails of History sites were among the awardees, for a total of $29,500 (grants ranging from $4,000 to $7,000). Congratulations to Ephrata Cloister, Graeme Park, Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum, Old Economy Village, Pennsbury Manor, and Somerset Historical Center!

PHMC's public portal for museum collections, ARGUS, now includes more than 10,000 entries. Curators on the Trails of History have used their time very productively, turning institutional catalog records into descriptions that convey the essential history of the objects. You can browse to your heart's content by visiting the PHMC website and clicking on Museum Collection (or use this link). And speaking of curators, Susan Hanna, who retired earlier this year after a storied career with PHMC, recently received a Special Achievement Award from PA Museums, our statewide museum association. UPDATE: my sincere apologies for neglecting to mention that Pennsbury Manor received an Institutional Achievement Award for their Gathering of Governors program.

100 Years - Ratification of the 19th Amendment

75 Years - Atomic Bombs Dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

55 Years - The Voting Rights Act

50 Years - Pennsylvania Lumber Museum

11 Years - Trailheads Blog

August 1 marked the 11 year anniversary of the first Trailheads blog post. As far as I can tell, I failed to note the 10th anniversary last year. Since we'll be coming up on the 600 post milestone in the next month or so (and because the new Blogger format afforded me some additional stats), I've included the top 5 most-viewed posts. Only one of them was actually written by me, but that's fine. Really. Juuuuuust fine. But seriously, it's been a pleasure to work with staff and guest bloggers to help showcase the work of all the people who make the Pennsylvania Trails of History what it is. Thanks for reading. See you next week.