What to Do When the Turkey's Gone

Please check the PHMC Events Calendar for info on upcoming events on the Trails of History. The Trailheads Rec Room pages to the right of your screen have examples of online stuff that you can access anytime you like.

Candles light a table with a redware dish full of walnuts. An repro newspaper and glass bottle are also on the table.
Scene from 2017 Candlelight Tours at Conrad Weiser Homestead (photo via Facebook)

Opportunities for Support and Shopping

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Museum Store Sunday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday all lie ahead of us as I write this. (Okay, it's true that every Monday feels like Cyber Monday for those of us working from home.) Everything looks different this year, but these are all opportunities to support your favorite sites. Donations are always welcome, if you can afford it, and memberships provide you (or your "giftees") with direct benefits in return. You can find links to all the Trails of History sites on the PHMC website.

Many of our sites offer online shopping or mail order options for at least some of their museum store inventory. The links below will make it all so easy:
Design with birds and stylized flowers in shades of red, orange, and yellow. Text reads Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah, we found it in the fields of the wood. Psalm 137:6
Ephrata Cloister Christmas Card 2020 (photo via Facebook)
Gingerbread cookie in the shape of a train locomotive is decorated with colored sprinkles. Dishes of different types of sprinkles are in the background.
Gingerbread cookies shaped like locomotives. What's not to like? (photo via Facebook)
Other ways to support Trails of History sites include following them on social media (if you don't already), sharing their posts with your friends and followers or commenting to let sites know you support them, attending a virtual program (most are free or by donation), or watching a recorded program on YouTube or Facebook. Everything helps.

In the Coming Week or So

What Are You Thankful For?

Please visit the PHMC Events Calendar for information on virtual events scheduled in the next month or so (I've highlighted a few below). The Trailheads Rec Room links to the right of your screen have examples of online offerings available whenever you are.
Highway with dark clouds and rainbow arched over the road
For some reason, thankfulness makes me think of rainbows (photo AKF)

Over the next week, many of us will be preparing for Thanksgiving, in one way or another. My guess is that the experience will be different this year, as we adjust our plans to the times (as we've done for the past 8 months). Some families who normally travel - won't. Groups gathering for Friendsgiving celebrations will be smaller or via Zoom. Some chairs will be empty because of COVID itself (or the many other ways we lose friends and family over the course of a year). Whatever 2020 brings to your Thanksgiving holiday, I hope that you will be able to find a rainbow somewhere and that you have things you can be thankful for.

I am thankful, as always, for my husband, my mom, my brother and his family, my in-laws (adding a niece-in-law this year via a wedding most of us watched on Facebook), and my friends. I am thankful for my colleagues at PHMC who have risen beautifully to the challenges of maintaining our historic buildings and landscapes and providing the people of Pennsylvania and the world with connections to our history, collections, and educational opportunities. I'm thankful for front-line workers everywhere who risk their health and safety to provide essential services. I'm thankful for poll watchers and vote counters and everyone else who works to make sure that democracy has a fighting chance in the midst of a pandemic. And I'm thankful for Trailheads readers.

What's on Your Menu?

The State Museum of Pennsylvania shared info about the wild turkey on their Facebook page

When you hear that distinctive gobble, gobble sound, you know that a turkey is nearby. Turkeys are found throughout...

Posted by The State Museum of Pennsylvania on Monday, November 16, 2020

And for dessert, Pennsbury Manor shared an old pumpkin pie recipe in this Facebook post

What spices do you expect in a pumpkin pie? This 1658 recipe for “Pumpion Pye” is one of the first recipes for pumpkin...

Posted by Pennsbury Manor on Saturday, October 31, 2020

Upcoming Events (virtual unless otherwise noted)

Today, Nov. 20 Saturday, Nov. 21 Sunday, Nov. 22
  • Pennsbury Manor, deadline to order Holly Nights at Home kits for pick-up on Nov. 29 at the site (link for ordering) - the event will take place on Facebook Dec. 3-4

The Week Ahead

This week's post highlights upcoming virtual events on the Trails of History. If you're planning further ahead, please visit the PHMC Events Calendar. The Trailheads Rec Room to the right of your screen has examples of online offerings available whenever you need a break from your routine.
Golden fall foliage and late afternoon sun with stone walls of iron ore roasting oven
I've loved Cornwall Iron Furnace's fall foliage posts - this one shows the Roasting Oven bathed in golden light (roasting oven was used to remove sulfur from iron ore) - photo via Facebook

In the week ahead, Trails of History sites will be hosting a variety of virtual programs on a wide range of topics. I bet you can find at least one to help you weather the pre-Thanksgiving lull.

Graphic shows 3 small circles joined by a larger circle. The small circles have logos for Old Economy Village, Historic Harmony, and Historic New Harmony

On Nov. 17 at 7 pm (EST), Old Economy Village will join with two other Harmonist-related sites for a new quarterly program exploring the history of the Harmony Society. The Harmony Museum (Harmony, PA) celebrates the Harmony Society's first communal settlement and New Harmony, Indiana, preserves the history of their second. Economy was the third and final community settled by George Rapp and his followers. Learn more about the program and register to receive the Zoom link by visiting the Facebook event for "The Harmonist Connection."

Wednesday, November 18, brings two programs for those looking for a midweek break. At noon, the Pennsylvania State Archives will present "Caring for Artifacts and Objects," the latest in their Community History Dialog series. The 90-minute workshop, led by Bureau of Historic Sites and Museums curator Rachel Yerger and Railroad Museum of PA collections manager Dodie Robbins, will discuss ways to handle, clean, and store your important family and/or community artifacts. Visit the PA State Archives webpage to learn more about the series and to register for the Zoom link.

That evening from 7 to 8:30 pm, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania will transform their popular "Trains & Troops" event into a virtual program exploring how World War II changed the railroad industry, how railroads aided the war effort, and the effect that railroads had on civilian life on the homefront. Tickets are by donation; you can register by visiting the Eventbrite page.

Wooden building with peaked roof and wooden tower that houses replica oil derrick. The building is set among trees and a green lawn on which 7 geese are gathered.
Replica oil derrick at Drake Well Museum & Park (photo via Facebook)
On Thursday, November 19 from 7 to 8 pm, join staff from Drake Well Museum & Park, Erie Maritime Museum, and the Pennsylvania Military Museum for "Revolution! How Black Gold Transformed the Military." The program will explore the oil industry's intersection with the U.S. Civil War up through the 20th century and beyond. The program is free (donations are welcome), but you must register to receive the Zoom link. Visit the Facebook event for more info and ticket link.

What November Brings

Please visit the PHMC Events Calendar for info on upcoming programs on the Trails of History (mostly virtual). Check out the Trailheads Rec Room pages to the right of your screen for online offerings available whenever you need them.

Gear and lever style voting machine with gray metal structure and blue privacy curtain
Voting machine used in Lebanon County, 1950s-60s (via State Museum of PA Facebook page)

As I write this on Thursday afternoon, votes are still being counted and the outcome of the Presidential election is not yet clear. So let's just set that aside and think about some of the other things going on this month. Any objections? I didn't think so. (But please join me in thanking all the poll workers, voters, and vote counters who did their part for democracy this week.)

Wednesday, November 11, is Veterans Day, a time to honor all who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. As you probably know, the Pennsylvania Military Museum's mission is to honor and tell the stories of Pennsylvanians who have served, so be sure to visit their Facebook page or their blog to learn more about the objects and related stories from their collections, covering all periods of American colonial and national history. The other sites on the Military History Trail and the State Museum of Pennsylvania relate the stories of specific conflicts and military service, as well. Commonwealth of PA resources for veterans and active duty military are available on the web.

November is Native American Heritage Month. If you want to learn more about Native American history and heritage, the National Museum of the American Indian has all kinds of online resources, including a section on Thanksgiving that presents indigenous perspectives on the holiday. There's also a Facebook page devoted to Native American Heritage Month and you can learn more about land acknowledgments at native-land.ca.

Aqua square with yellow text listing topics for #Museum30
Ephrata Cloister is participating in #Museum30, sharing a post each day to illustrate a variety of themes and topics. If you aren't already following them, find them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram

The deadline to nominate a state historical marker is December 1. For information and guidelines on submitting a nomination, visit the State Historic Preservation Office marker page, where you'll also find a recording of a recent webinar that provided tips for success.

Upcoming Events

  • You may have heard that the 2021 Pennsylvania Farm Show will be mostly virtual this year (and if you hadn't heard, I'm so sorry to be the one to break the news). Fear not, milkshake and fried mushroom lovers (at least if you're in the Harrisburg area or are willing to travel). November 13-15 is the PA Farm Show Fall Food Fest, which will take place outdoors at the PA Farm Show Complex from 11 am to 6 pm each day.
  • On Nov. 18 from noon to 1:30 pm, the Pennsylvania State Archives will host another of its Community History Dialog webinars, this one focused on caring for artifacts and objects. The webinar is designed for folks who are working to preserve their community history, but the information will be useful for those caring for family history as well. Rachel Yerger, Bureau of Historic Sites and Museums curator, and Dodie Robbins, collections manager at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, will be the presenters. The webinar is free and is offered via Zoom; you must register to get the link. To learn more about the Community History Dialog series, find a list of resources, or watch recordings of previous programs, visit the Archives webpage.