Taking a Little Break

Taking a Little Break Please be sure to check the PHMC Events Calendar for information on upcoming programs (in-person and virtual). I've included highlights for the coming week below. The Trailheads Rec Room pages to the right of your screen offer an array of online content generated by Trails of History sites. Also, if you're looking for a Covid vaccine provider, check out Vaccines.gov and enter your zip code.

Please note that staff and volunteers at Commonwealth of PA worksites, including the PA Trails of History, are wearing masks while indoors. Visitors are encouraged, though not required, to do so as well.


A big splash of purple flowers in the front with the rear porch of a brick house and a bright blue sky behind them.
The garden at the George Rapp House continues to offer color even in the fall (photo via Old Economy Village Facebook page)

Trailheads HQ is taking a little break next week, so I won't be here to update changes in program schedules. I'd hate for people to be disappointed, and it's always a good idea to check specific site info to be sure. See you in a bit.

Upcoming Events (virtual and in-person)

Today, October 15
  • Learn at Lunchtime (in-person and virtual): learn about new findings in archaeology and what they tell us about the arrival of Paleoindians in the Americas, The State Museum of PA, 12:15-12:45 pm, included in regular admission or watch via Zoom (L@L info and Zoom registration)
Saturday, October 16
  • Civil War Living History Event (in-person): meet interpreters from the Detachment, US Engineers, Cornwal Iron Furnace, 9 am-4 pm, event is outdoors and free, regular admission applies for guided tours of the furnace (Living History event info)
  • StoryTime (in-person): today's book is Bones, Bones Dinosaur Bones by Byron Barton, The State Museum of PA, 10:30-11:30 am, geared for kids age 2 to Pre-K and included in regular admission (StoryTime info)
  • Iron Pour (in-person): artist Brian Glaze and volunteers will use a cupola furnace to melt iron and cast molds, Scranton Iron Furnaces, 11 am-4 pm (Iron Pour info)
  • Halloween Lantern Tours (in-person): an outdoor immersive tour, Hope Lodge, as of 10/13 there were only a few tickets left for the 8:30 and 9 pm tours (Lantern Tour info)
Sunday, October 17
  • Open-Hearth Cooking Demonstration (in-person): chat with the cooks while they prepare recipes from William Penn's time, Pennsbury Manor, 1-4 pm, included in regular admission (Pennsbury info)
Tuesday, October 19
  • STEAM on the Rails (virtual): sessions take place today and Thursday featuring a range of topics in science, tech, engineering, arts and math presented by staff from multiple museums, Railroad Museum of PA, 10 am-3 pm each day (four 30-minute sessions), designed for students in grades K-6, tickets are by donation (STEAM info and ticket link)
Wednesday, October 20
  • Explore! (in-person): learn about the sciences of digging in the ground, The State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, for kids in grades 3-5 and included in regular admission (Explore! info)
Thursday, October 21
  • Curiosity Kids (in-person): learn about memory and logic and how we use them every day, The State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, for kids in grades K-2 and included in regular admission, space is limited to so sign up at the Ground Floor Information Desk when you arrive (Curiosity Kids info)
  • PA History: Read It, See It (virtual): make a virtual visit to Pennsbury Manor and hear about relevant books at your library in this collaborative program from PHMC and the State Library of Pennsylvania, noon-1 pm (email ra-edmakerspace@pa.gov with your name and topic to receive link)

On Sale Now (tickets still available as of 10/13, but supplies may be limited)

  • Graeme Park Haunted Lantern Tours, Oct. 22 and 29 (Oct. 22 tickets and Oct. 29 tickets)
  • Workshops in Archaeology (virtual): this year's theme is "Hidden Stories: Uncovering African American History Through Archaeology and Community Engagement," The State Museum of PA, 9 am-5 pm (Workshop details and registration)
  • Old Economy Village After Dark, Oct. 30 (Oct. 30 tickets)
  • Joseph Priestley House Riverview Cemetery Tour, Oct. 30, tickets available at the site weekends 1-4 pm or by calling 570/473-9474 (JPH event info)

Harvest Time!

Harvest Time! Please be sure to check the PHMC Events Calendar for information on upcoming programs (in-person and virtual). I've included highlights for the coming week below. The Trailheads Rec Room pages to the right of your screen offer an array of online content generated by Trails of History sites. Also, if you're looking for a Covid vaccine provider, check out Vaccines.gov and enter your zip code.

Please note that staff and volunteers at Commonwealth of PA worksites, including the PA Trails of History, are wearing masks while indoors. Visitors are encouraged, though not required, to do so as well.


Slices of apple drying on a wooden tray. Pewter plates, a stoneware bottle and other pottery, and a basket are on the table in the background.
This weekend's Harvest Days event at Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum is all about apples

Just because the weather has turned warm-ish again, it doesn't mean there isn't plenty of fall fun to be had. Several northern tier counties have their best color right now, the rest of the northern half of Pennsylvania and the Laurel Highlands are approaching peak leaf-peeping season, while the southern half of the state is just starting to see fall colors, according to DCNR's foliage tracker. Fall programming is going full tilt and advance tickets are on sale for several. I hope you find something or someplace to enjoy this weekend! (Please note that PHMC sites and offices will be closed on Monday, Oct. 11.)

Upcoming Events (virtual and in-person)

Today, October 8
  • Apple Dumpling Sales (in-person): stop by to purchase delicious apple dumplings and support the Back to the Cloister Fund, Ephrata Cloister, 10 am-3 pm today and 10 am until supplies run out tomorrow (Ephrata info)
  • Learn at Lunchtime (in-person and virtual): join DCNR wildlife biologist Emily Domoto to talk about Pennsylvania deer habitat, The State Museum of PA, 12:15-12:45 pm, included in regular admission or sign up to watch via Zoom (Learn at Lunchtime info)
Saturday, October 9
  • Harvest Days (in-person): celebrate the harvest and learn about apples and more, Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum, 11 am-5 pm today and tomorrow, regular admission fees apply (Harvest Days info)
  • Exeter Fall Festival (in-person): Exeter Township's festival includes music, food, games, and fun, Daniel Boone Homestead, 11 am-6 pm, $5 per car (Festival info)
  • Fall Antique Show and Sawmill Run (in-person): vendors and historic trade demonstrations today and tomorrow, steam-powered sawmill running Saturday only, tickets are $5 and event runs 10 am-4 pm both days (event info)
Sunday, October 10
  • Living History Theater (in-person): attend the Quaker wedding ceremony of John Sotcher and Mary Lofty, Pennsbury Manor, 12:15, 1:45, or 3:15, included in regular admission (Sotcher wedding info)
Tuesday, October 12
  • Safety in the Mines (virtual): Michael Weber will present a historical exploration of the day in a life of a miner, Cornwall Iron Furnace, 7 pm (info and link for Zoom registration)
Wednesday, October 13
  • Explore! (in-person): learn about fossils on National Fossil Day, The State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, for kids in grades 3-5 and included in regular admission (Explore! info)
Thursday, October 14
  • Curiosity Kids (in-person): learn how prehistoric animals walked, crawled, swam, and flew, The State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, for kids in grades K-2 and included in regular admission, space is limited so please sign up at the Ground Floor Information Desk (Curiosity Kids info)
  • Ephrata Virtual Academy: Susan McLellan Plaisted will present a program on Native American foodways, Ephrata Cloister, 7 pm (Ephrata link for Zoom registration)

On Sale Now

Tickets for the following in-person Fall programs are currently on sale (as of 10/6 - supplies may be limited):

It's October - There's So Much To Do

It's October - There's So Much To Do Please be sure to check the PHMC Events Calendar for information on upcoming programs (in-person and virtual). I've included highlights for the coming week below. The Trailheads Rec Room pages to the right of your screen offer an array of online content generated by Trails of History sites. Also, if you're looking for a Covid vaccine provider, check out Vaccines.gov and enter your zip code.

Please note that staff and volunteers at Commonwealth of PA worksites, including the PA Trails of History, are wearing masks while indoors. Visitors are encouraged, though not required, to do so as well.


Large 18th-century cooking fireplace with wood fire burning. Beehive oven in wall and metal cooking utensils are also seen.
A crackling fire at Conrad Weiser Homestead welcomes October (photo via CWH Facebook)

It might not be quite time for fireplaces yet, but it certainly looks cozy. There are lots of fall programs coming up this weekend and in the coming weeks. I hope you'll find something to suit your tastes on the Trails of History. Have a safe and healthy weekend!

The Week Ahead (virtual and in-person)

Today, October 1
  • StoryTime (in-person): read "Bones, Bones Dinosaur Bones" by Byron Barton and learn about dinosaur exhibits, The State Museum of PA, 10:30-11:30 am, for kids age 2 to pre-K and included in regular admission (StoryTime info)
  • Learn at Lunchtime (in-person and virtual): artists Hee Sook Kim and Sanh Tran will talk about how they represent their Asian American identities in their work, The State Museum of PA, 12:15-12:45 pm, included in regular admission or available via Zoom (Learn at Lunchtime info)
Saturday, October 2
  • Erntedankfest (in-person): celebrate the harvest and enjoy food, music and family-friendly activities, Old Economy Village, 10 am-4 pm today and tomorrow, Oct. 3, regular admission fees apply (Erntedankfest info)
Sunday, October 3
  • Living History Sunday & Fall Park Walk (in-person): explore local history and savor the fall weather, Conrad Weiser Homestead, noon-4 pm, park walk starts at 2 (CWH info)
  • Historic Trades (in-person): learn about historic trades from demonstrators on site, Pennsbury Manor, 1-4 pm, included in regular admission (Pennsbury info)
  • Garden Railways Tour (in-person): visit garden railway layouts at homes and organizations around the Lancaster area, Railroad Museum of PA, 1-5 pm, tickets must be purchased in advance (Tour tickets)
Wednesday, October 6
  • The Life of Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson (in-person): lunch and learn program presented by Wendy Long Stanley, Graeme Park, 10 am-2 pm, $30 includes program, breakfast, lunch, tours of Keith House, (lunch and learn registration)
  • Explore! (in-person): learn about the importance of clean water in PA and beyond, The State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, for kids in grade 3-5 and included in regular admission (Explore! info)
Thursday, October 7
  • Curiosity Kids (in-person): learn about 2-dimensional shapes and try to find them in the Art of the State exhibit, The State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, for kids in grades K-2 and included in regular admission (Curiosity Kids info)

On Sale Now

Tickets for the following in-person Fall programs are currently on sale (as of 9/29 - supplies may be limited):

Happy Fall!

Happy Fall! Please be sure to check the PHMC Events Calendar for information on upcoming programs (in-person and virtual). I've included highlights for the coming week below. The Trailheads Rec Room pages to the right of your screen offer an array of online content generated by Trails of History sites. Also, if you're looking for a Covid vaccine provider, check out Vaccines.gov and enter your zip code.

Please note that staff and volunteers at Commonwealth of PA worksites, including the PA Trails of History, are wearing masks while indoors. Visitors are encouraged, though not required, to do so as well.


The leaves and fruit of a crabapple tree are set against a brilliant blue sky and stand next to a cobblestone street and two-story brick buildings.
The crabapple trees at Old Economy Village are starting to bear fruit (photo via OEV Facebook)

It is now officially Fall, so I hope you'll have a chance to enjoy cooler weather as you visit our sites along the PA Trails of History. If you want to keep an eye on fall colors around the state, be sure to check out DCNR's foliage map (not updated for 2021 just yet, but it should be soon).

Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum's curator, Jennifer Royer, participated in last week's worldwide Twitter event, Ask a Curator Day, working with PHMC's digital director, Sean Adkins. Sean posted some highlights on the PA Trails of History Facebook page.


Last fall, PHMC received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to fund "PA History to Go," a project to produce video tours and highlights at each of the Trails of History sites. Working with Mark Polonia Productions, site staff and volunteers are sharing the essential stories of their sites. Filming took place at Daniel Boone Homestead last week, and they shared some views of the project.



Since July, PHMC has been collaborating with the State Library of PA on a monthly lunchtime series called "PA History: Read It, See It." The programs include a presentation about one of our Trails of History sites paired with related info available from local libraries or found in the State Library's rare book collection. September's program featured Cornwall Iron Furnace, and you can watch the video on YouTube if you missed it.

I'll leave you with some atmospheric images and ambient sound as we enter the weekend. This was posted to the PA Military Museum's Facebook page by the NGP (National Guard of PA) History Project last week. There is no narration, but the ambient sound includes water rushing in the creekbed on the museum grounds, wind blowing against the microphone, and towards the end the sound of vehicles on nearby roads. Enjoy!


On Sale Now

Tickets for the following in-person Fall programs are currently on sale (as of 9/22 - supplies may be limited):

Upcoming Events (virtual and in-person)

Today, Sept. 24
  • Learn at Lunchtime (virtual): curators Amy Hammond and Carol Buck will talk with museum director Beth Hager about this year's Art of the State exhibit. The conversation will be pre-recorded and released today (SMOP info)
Saturday, Sept. 25
  • Fall Nature Walk (in-person): learn about plants and animals of western PA with naturalist Lindsey Praksti, Bushy Run Battlefield, 10 am-noon, $5 includes admission and tour of battlefield, pre-registration not required but appreciated (Nature Walk details)
Sunday, Sept. 26
  • An Afternoon with the Graemes (in-person): dancing, tea, and living history, Graeme Park, noon-3 pm, outdoor activities are free, tours of the Keith House will be available at discounted admission rate (Afternoon info)
  • Last Sunday Sewing Circle (in-person): bring your projects and join in the company, Bushy Run Battlefield, 1-4 pm, no charge to participate (Sewing Circle info)
  • Beer Brewing and Garden Highlights (in-person): explore some of the recipes and plants that fed Pennsbury's residents, Pennsbury Manor, 1-4 pm, included in regular admission (Highlights info)
  • Art of the State exhibit (in-person): a juried exhibition of works by artists and craftspeople from around the state, The State Museum of PA, noon-5 pm, included in regular admission and open during operating hours today through Jan. 2, 2022 (AOS21 info)
Wednesday, Sept. 29
  • Explore! (in-person): kids in grades 3-5 are invited to learn how reducing, reusing, and recycling can improve the lives of all living things in PA, The State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm (Explore! info)
Thursday, Sept. 30
  • Curiosity Kids (in-person): use your senses to learn about ways that rocks can be used, The State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, for kids in grades K-2 and included in regular admission (Curiosity Kids info)

Halfway Through September?

Halfway Through September? Please be sure to check the PHMC Events Calendar for information on upcoming programs (in-person and virtual). I've included highlights for the coming week below. The Trailheads Rec Room pages to the right of your screen offer an array of online content generated by Trails of History sites. Also, if you're looking for a Covid vaccine provider, check out Vaccines.gov and enter your zip code.

Please note that staff and volunteers at Commonwealth of PA worksites, including the PA Trails of History, are wearing masks while indoors. Visitors are encouraged, though not required, to do so as well.


A great blue heron stands next to a lake and is reflected in the surface of the water.
This Great Blue Heron was hanging out at Conrad Weiser Homestead last weekend (photo via CWH Facebook)

Last week was pretty somber, with our focus on the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001, not to mention the anniversaries of the Battle of Lake Erie and the Battle of Brandywine. So this week, I'm just going to share some posts that I hope will brighten your day a bit. I hope you have a great weekend, whenever yours happens to fall, and a restful week ahead.

The milkweed at Daniel Boone Homestead supports native honey bees, wasps, and monarch butterflies.



Pennsbury Manor's kitchen garden is graced with a hyacinth bean arbor that is blooming vibrantly as summer winds down.



Somerset Historical Center had a very successful Mountain Craft Days event last weekend and shared a quick video of their limekiln burning during the night.



And at the Erie Maritime Museum, the cover came off the U.S. Brig Niagara this week, on purpose, so that it can sail to Cleveland for maintenance.



Upcoming Events (in-person and virtual)

Today, September 17
  • Learn at Lunchtime (in-person and virtual): program director Bradley Smith will talk with senior curator of zoology and botany Walter Meshaka about extinct birds of PA, The State Museum of PA, 12:15-12:45 pm, included in regular admission or join via Zoom (SMOP link for info and Zoom registration)
Saturday, September 18
  • Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day (in-person): Ephrata Cloister and the Railroad Museum of PA are participating sites this year. Select a site and download your free tickets by visiting the Museum Day website.
  • StoryTime (in-person): learn about PA's crayon history and read "The Day the Crayons Quit" by Drew Daywalt, The State Museum of PA, 10:30-11:30 am, included in regular admission (StoryTime info)
  • Paws in the Park (in-person): celebrate dogs and their walkers, Bushy Run Battlefield, 11 am-3 pm (BRB Facebook for info)
Sunday, September 19
  • Open-Hearth Cooking (in-person): chat with the cooks while they prepare recipes from William Penn's time, Pennsbury Manor, 1-4 pm, included in regular admission (PM link for info)
Wednesday, September 22
  • Explore! (in-person): learn about the seasonal change from Summer to Fall, The State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, for kids in grades 3-5 and included in regular admission (Explore! info)
  • History Speaks lecture series (virtual): George Bray will present a talk on John Bradstreet, Bushy Run Battlefield, 7 pm, cost is $10 (Eventbrite link for tickets)
Thursday, September 23
  • Curiosity Kids (in-person): learn about the shapes and colors of the falling leaves, The State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, for kids in grades K-2 and included in regular admission (Curiosity Kids info)

Twenty Years Ago

Twenty Years Ago Please be sure to check the PHMC Events Calendar for information on upcoming programs (in-person and virtual). I've included highlights for the coming week below. The Trailheads Rec Room pages to the right of your screen offer an array of online content generated by Trails of History sites. Also, if you're looking for a Covid vaccine provider, check out Vaccines.gov and enter your zip code.

Please note that staff and volunteers at Commonwealth of PA worksites, including the PA Trails of History, are wearing masks while indoors. Visitors are encouraged, though not required, to do so as well.

Chain link fence with flowers, toys, flags inserted as tribute to passengers and crew of Flight 93. Two large pieces of plywood painted white have signatures all over them. A large sign in the center says "Our Prayers Are With You."
Tributes at the Temporary Memorial to the passengers and crew of Flight 93 in Somerset County, PA (PHMC staff photo)

I was with my family at Ocean City, Maryland - my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, my nephew and niece (their brother was born a month later). My brother had gone back to Baltimore for meetings the night before. He called that morning to tell us we should turn on the tv. Those of you old enough to remember know what we saw. My mom and sister-in-law and I took the kids, who were nearly 4 and 2-and-a-half, to Assateague to see the horses and get them away from the tv. My retired journalist dad, ever the news junkie, remained at the house to watch things unfold. We heard reports of one tower collapsing on the car radio, which I think we then turned off. While we got the kids a snack, we spoke with a Secret Service agent who was cutting his family vacation short to return to work. My brother, his meetings now cancelled, made his way back to Ocean City later in the day. We learned that a family friend, a flight attendant who regularly flew the route that crashed into the Pentagon, had flown to Los Angeles the day before. She was safe, although she'd lost colleagues and friends and didn't return home to Virginia until flights resumed a few days later. We tried to balance keeping the news on with sheltering the little ones from it. At the time, my nephew was going through a period of worrying about monsters. As we all sat on the porch that night, he asked "Are there monsters in the world?" We tried our best to reassure him, and ourselves, that we would keep him safe.

Remembering September 11 on the Trails of History

The State Museum of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania State Archives opened an exhibit this week featuring the handwritten field notes of Col. Paul J. Evanko, who was head of the Pennsylvania State Police on September 11, 2001. These notes document the response to the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 outside of Shanksville, Somerset County. In 2016, Evanko donated his notes to the Archives, and they are on public display for the first time. In August, archivist Richard Saylor spoke with the State Museum's program director, Brad Smith, about the Paul Evanko Collection and the exhibit (Witness to History on YouTube). The exhibit will be on view at The State Museum during regular operating hours through January 2, 2022.

The summer issue of Pennsylvania Heritage magazine includes a piece by Rich Saylor about the Evanko collection, an article by Peter Durantine titled "The Man for the Moment: Tom Ridge and the 9/11 Inflection Point," and a Trailheads piece about the role of the Somerset Historical Center in collecting and preserving tribute items left at the temporary memorial to Flight 93 that quickly sprang up near the crash site.

The Pennsylvania Military Museum is hosting a series of talks this weekend related to the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001. Tomorrow (Saturday, 9/11), Jennifer Bennie, who served as a combat aviator, will present "Naval Aviation in the Greater War on Terror" at noon, and MG John Gronski (Ret.), former Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Europe, and Commanding General of the 28th Division, PA National Guard, will present "The 28th Division, Combatting Terrorism" at 2 pm. Saturday's talks are in-person at the museum. On Sunday, Sept. 12, SW2 Charles Johnson, currently a Naval Reservist and museum educator at the Erie Maritime Museum, will present an online talk, "Seabees in the War on Terror" at 2 pm. Seating for Saturday's events is first come, first served. You can register for Sunday's event via Zoom. Visit the museum's website for additional information.

Brandywine Battlefield will hold their traditional Remembrance Ceremony tomorrow (Saturday) on-site starting at 6 pm. The event commemorates the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777, and the events of September 11, 2001. Please visit Brandywine's website for details.

Other Upcoming Events (in-person and virtual)

Today, September 10
  • Mountain Craft Days (in-person): Somerset Historical Center, 10 am-5 pm today through Sunday, tickets $9 for adults (SHC Facebook page for details)
  • Learn at Lunchtime (in-person and virtual): Pennsylvania black bears, The State Museum of PA, 12:15-12:45 pm, included in regular admission or join via Zoom (info and SMOP Zoom registration)
  • Commemoration of the Battle of Lake Erie (virtual): Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara, events throughout the day on social media, wreath-laying ceremony beginning at 5:30 pm (EMM Facebook event).
  • Battlefield Paranormal Tour (in-person): Bushy Run Battlefield, 6:30 pm-1 am, tickets (advance sales only) are $20 (BRB Facebook event for info and tickets)
Sunday, September 12
  • Online bidding starts (virtual): Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum, now through Sept. 18 (online auction to preview and bid)
  • Living History Sunday (in-person): Conrad Weiser Homestead, noon-4 pm (CWH website for details)
  • Gallery Walk (in-person): The State Museum of Pennsylvania will be one of the stops, noon-5 pm (SMOP website for info).
  • Living History Theater (in-person): Pennsbury Manor, presented at 12:15, 1:45, and 3:15 (site open noon-5 pm), included in regular admission (Pennsbury website for details)
Tuesday, September 14
Wednesday, September 15
  • Ask A Curator (virtual): Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum curator Jennifer Royer will take your questions via PHMC's Twitter account as part of this worldwide social media event, 10 am
  • Explore! (in-person): PA industrial towns, The State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, for kids in grades 3-5 and included in regular admission (Explore! info)
  • What's in a theme? PHMC Virtual Collections Showcase (virtual): this month's theme is music, 7-8 pm (VCS link for Zoom registration)
Thursday, September 16
  • Curiosity Kids (in-person): kids in grades K-2 are invited to learn about structures, The State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, included in regular admission (Curiosity Kids info)
  • PA History: Read It, See It (virtual): make a virtual visit to Cornwall Iron Furnace, hosted by State Library of PA, noon-1 pm (Read It, See It link for Zoom registration)


What a Week

What a Week Please be sure to check the PHMC Events Calendar for information on upcoming programs (in-person and virtual). I've included highlights below. The Trailheads Rec Room pages to the right of your screen offer an array of online content generated by Trails of History sites. Also, if you're looking for a Covid vaccine provider, check out Vaccines.gov and enter your zip code.

Please note that staff and volunteers at Commonwealth of PA worksites, including the PA Trails of History, are wearing masks while indoors. Visitors are encouraged, though not required, to do so as well.


An overflowing creek is flanked on one side by green grass and plants, on the other by a stone sidewalk and stone wall with World War 1 and 2 memorial plaques.
The remnants of Hurricane Ida flooded the 28th Infantry Division Shrine at the PA Military Museum on Wed., Sept. 1 (PMM staff photo)

As I write this on Wednesday afternoon, heavy rain is falling in many parts of Pennsylvania and is expected to continue through tonight at least. Although the weather is expected to clear and be pretty lovely for the weekend, please be sure to check ahead with any Trails of History sites you plan to visit. They'll update their Facebook pages if there are weather-induced schedule changes. Likewise, if you're thinking of visiting on Labor Day (Sept. 6), please confirm that the site is open. Many sites are still on adjusted (from pre-Covid) schedules.

With that out of the way, here are a few bits and pieces I'd like to share. I hope you are safe and healthy and survived this week's weather unscathed. See you next week.

Old black & white photo shows five men of Erie's Life-Saving service with their beach cart, which has large metal wheels and spools of rope. A small black dog is seen to their right.
Members of Erie's Life Saving Service during a drill with their beach cart, supervised by a small black dog (posted for #InternationalDogDay)

The Erie Maritime Museum has "opened" a new virtual exhibit, "Surfmen of Erie, Pennsylvania," exploring the history of the U.S. Life-Saving Station in Erie. The exhibit features photos and archival materials from the Freeburg Collection, assembled by Anders Freeburg, who was assigned to the Erie station from 1904 to 1915.

Staff from the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation took a Trails of History road trip last week, visiting Daniel Boone Homestead, Cornwall Iron Furnace, Ephrata Cloister, Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum, and the Railroad Museum of PA over the course of a couple of days. They shared their trip via the PHF Facebook page. You can visit all those sites, too, and more with a PHF membership!

Before all the rain came, Ephrata posted video of a gray goose and a white goose feeding under an apple tree. I'm sure there are more specific names for them, that's all I've got. Please leave a comment if you know what they are. You can hear other birds calling on the video, but I don't want to guess what those are either. Here ends today's ornithology lesson.



Upcoming Events (virtual and in-person)

Today, September 3
  • StoryTime (in-person): this month's book is "The Day the Crayons Quit" by Drew Daywalt, The State Museum of PA, 10:30-11:30 am, designed for kids age 2 to Pre-K and included in regular admission (StoryTime info)
  • Artists Conversations (in-person & virtual): fine arts curator Amy Hammond will talk with several artists about how Covid-19 has affected their work, The State Museum of PA, 12:15-12:45 pm, included in regular admission or tune in via Zoom (info and Zoom registration).
Saturday, September 4
  • Community Yard Sale (in-person): vendors will be located near the museum entrance along Route 6, PA Lumber Museum, 9 am-4 pm (Yard Sale info)
Sunday, September 5
  • Online Benefit Auction (virtual): preview week today through Sept. 11, online bidding takes place Sept. 12-18, Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum (auction info)
  • Historic Trades (in-person): demonstrators are eager to talk with you as they showcase their skills, Pennsbury Manor, 1-4 pm, included in regular admission (Pennsbury info)
  • UPDATE 9/5/21 CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER Patriotic Concert (in-person): bring your lawn chairs and enjoy an evening of music (buildings will not be open), Conrad Weiser Homestead, 5-6 pm (concert info)
Wednesday, September 8
  • Explore! (in-person): kids in grades 3 to 5 are invited to learn about the history of communication, The State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, included in regular admission (Explore info)
Thursday, September 9
  • Curiosity Kids (in-person): learn how lanterns light up the night and make your own decoupage lantern, The State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, geared for kids in grades K-2 and included in regular admission (Curiosity Kids info)
  • Exhibit opens (in-person): "Witness to History: Col. Paul Evanko's 9/11 Field Notes," The State Museum of PA, today through January 2, 2022 during regular hours (exhibit info)
  • JUST ADDED: Ephrata Virtual Academy: this month's program features Cornwall Iron Furnace, Ephrata Cloister, 7-8 pm (Ephrata link for Zoom registration)

Taking Care of History

Taking Care of History UPDATE SEPT. 1: Due to the remnants of Hurricane Ida, some sites and museums may be cancelling programs or changing operating hours. Always be sure to check ahead before visiting.

Please be sure to check the PHMC Events Calendar for information on upcoming programs (in-person and virtual). I've included highlights below. The Trailheads Rec Room pages to the right of your screen offer an array of online content generated by Trails of History sites. Also, if you're looking for a Covid vaccine provider, check out Vaccines.gov and enter your zip code.

Please note that staff and volunteers at Commonwealth of PA worksites, including the PA Trails of History, are wearing masks while indoors. Visitors are encouraged, though not required, to do so as well.

People in military uniform and civilians gather near two 44-foot gray artillery guns mounted on a concrete pedestal to mark the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
The annual Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day tribute at the Pennsylvania Military Museum takes place beneath two guns from the USS Pennsylvania (photo PMM)

As we've noted in this blog many times, the work of caring for the objects in our collections never ends (nor does the work of sharing those objects and their stories with our audiences and communities). Sometimes those objects are small and delicate. Sometimes they're, to reveal an insider term, "Big Metal Objects." This week the staff of the Pennsylvania Military Museum began a project to make necessary repairs to the Pennsy Guns, two 44-foot-long gun barrels from the USS Pennsylvania that are now displayed on the museum grounds (see photo above). The ship was at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and these guns saw action during World War II. Site administrator Tyler Gum explains, “After more than 10 years of exposure, the necessary adjustments, and improvements are certainly due, as they would be if the barrels were still aboard the Pennsy.”

Work will include the temporary removal of the barrels from their pedestals, allowing for repairs to be completed successfully and safely. Caring for these immense artifacts is a responsibility held by museum curator Jennifer Gleim. “The Pennsylvania Military Museum is lucky to be the stewards of these important pieces of history," said Gleim. “We ensure the safety and integrity of the barrels on display by performing yearly condition reports and upkeep, in accordance with standards provided by the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command.” Maintenance and repairs are performed by a team of engineers, architects, and historians. Once completed, both barrels will be remounted, allowing for continued interpretation and long-term preservation.

Two large red cranes lift a 44-foot long metal gun barrel onto a concrete pedestal at the PA Military Museum. There are people watching the work.
The Pennsy Guns being lifted into place at the museum in 2009 (photo by intern William Cawthern)

Upcoming Events (virtual & in-person)

Today, August 27
  • Drake Days (in-person): enjoy some extras with your visit today & tomorrow marking the 162nd anniversary of Col. Edwin L. Drake striking oil in northwestern PA, Drake Well Museum & Park, 10 am-4 pm each day, included in regular admission (DWM Facebook post for details)
  • Learn at Lunchtime (virtual): view "Witness to History: WITF's Tim Lambert and 9/11," a pre-recorded interview by State Museum Director Beth Hager, 12:15-12:45 pm (SMOP link for program)
Saturday, August 28
  • Sawblades & Spinning Wheels (in-person): members of the local fiber arts community will be on site so bring your knitting, crochet, or other fiber projects, Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, 1-3 pm (PLM Facebook for info)
Sunday, August 29
  • Last Sunday Sewing Circle (in-person): bring your sewing or embroidery projects and spend time with others who like to sew, Bushy Run Battlefield, 1-4 pm, repeats the last Sunday of each month, except Oct. (BRB Facebook post for details)
Wednesday, Sept. 1
  • Explore! (in-person): kids in grades 3-5 are invited to learn about black bears, The State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, included in regular admission (Explore! info)
Thursday, Sept. 2
  • Curiosity Kids (in-person): learn about the basic motions of the Earth and the Sun that cause us to experience seasons, The State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, included in regular admission, but space is limited (Curiosity Kids info)

On and Off the Trails

On and Off the Trails
Bright yellow sunflowers with brown centers and green leaves grow along a fence.
Sunflowers in the George Rapp Garden at Old Economy Village (photo via OEV Facebook)


Please be sure to check the PHMC Events Calendar for information on upcoming programs (in-person and virtual). I've included highlights below. The Trailheads Rec Room pages to the right of your screen offer an array of online content generated by Trails of History sites. Also, if you're looking for a Covid vaccine provider, check out Vaccines.gov and enter your zip code.

Old Economy Village was featured in the Uncovering PA blog recently. Their lovely sunflowers are featured at the top of today's post, but there's lots more to see there.



For National Relaxation Day, Erie Maritime Museum featured a painting by Joseph Plavcan called "Rowboats on Lake Pleasant." The museum collection includes other work by Plavcan, many showing water scenes from the region.



Fans of Drake Well Museum & Park have a chance to vote in the inaugural Oil Regional Alliance Tourism Awards. Drake Well is nominated as Best Landmark and Best Must-Do Activity in the Oil Region. Voting closes August 31.



Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum posted an object from their collection, an extra valve for Mattson's Improved Breast Pump, patented in 1868. Morris Mattson of New York received a patent for a breast pump in September 1868 and then for the improved pump that December.

Upcoming Events (virtual and in-person)

Today, August 20
  • Learn at Lunchtime (in-person and online) - archivist Rich Saylor and State Museum Program Director Brad Smith will present "Witness to History: Col. Paul Evanko's 9/11 Field Notes," The State Museum of PA, 12:15-12:45 pm, included in regular admission for in-person attendees (SMP Zoom registration link for virtual participants)
Saturday, August 21
  • StoryTime (in-person) - "The Case of the Missing Chalk Drawings" by Richard Byrne, The State Museum of PA, 10:30-11:30 am, included in regular admission and geared for kids age 2-PreK, sign up at the Ground Floor Information Desk (StoryTime info)
  • Classic Car Cruise (in-person) - classic cars, music, food & drink, and more, Bushy Run Battlefield, noon-4 pm, event is free, admission rates apply for museum and battlefield tours (Car Cruise info)
Wednesday, August 25
  • Explore! (in-person) - learn about the Pennsylvania Turnpike and map out your trip, The State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, included in regular admission and designed for kids in grades 3-5, sign up at the Ground Floor Information Desk (Explore! info)
Thursday, August 26
  • Curiosity Kids (in-person) - discover squirrels and other rodents, The State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, included in regular admission and designed for kids ages K-grade 2, space is limited so sign up at the Ground Floor Information Desk (Curiosity Kids info)
  • Digitizing a Community's History (virtual) - by digitizing local history materials, a community can bring their history and memories together in one place, Pennsylvania State Archives, noon-1:30 pm (info and webinar Zoom registration)

More Pictures than Words

More Pictures than Words Please be sure to check the PHMC Events Calendar for information on upcoming programs (in-person and virtual). I've included highlights below. The Trailheads Rec Room pages to the right of your screen offer an array of online content generated by Trails of History sites.

If you're looking for a Covid vaccine provider, check out Vaccines.gov and enter your zip code.


A rough wooden picket fence surrounds a garden with raised beds, two log buildings are in the background. A plant with purple flowers grows next to the fence at the front of the image.
Garden at Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum in late July (photo via LVM Facebook)

It's been one of those weeks. I hope you're all staying safe and healthy and enjoy these glimpses of life on the Trails of History.

The Erie Maritime Museum has kicked off a new webseries highlighting the museum building, which started life generating electricity for the good people of Erie.



This past weekend at Hope Lodge, the grounds were filled with over 200 British cars and motorcycles of varied vintage.


For #InternationalCatDay earlier this week, Ephrata Cloister shared a photo of local cat Foben, named for community member Sister Foben, one of the first documented female composers in America


I know I share a lot of Pennsbury garden photos, but I can't help myself. This most recent is of a monarch caterpillar snacking on butterfly weed.


Upcoming Events (virtual and in-person)

Today, August 13
  • Adventures in Nature Lab (virtual & in-person) - learn about different kinds of turtles in PA, The State Museum of PA, 12:15-12:45 pm, in-person program included in regular admission, Zoom program is free (Turtle program info and Zoom registration)
Saturday, August 14
  • Spy Pilot (in-person) - lecture by Francis Gary Powers, Jr. based on his book about the 1960 downing of American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, Sr., Pennsylvania Military Museum, 1:30-2:30 pm (additional info)
Sunday, August 15
  • Ice Cream Social (in-person) - stroll the grounds, visit the historic buildings, meet the K-PETS therapy dogs, and eat ice cream, Ephrata Cloister, 1-4 pm, $10 ($5 for members) covers it all (event info)
Wednesday, August 18
  • Explore! (in-person) - herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores, oh my, The State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, included in regular admission (Explore! info)
Thursday, August 19
  • Curiosity Kids (in-person) - observe nature in Mammal Hall using binoculars to look at the dioramas, The State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, included in regular admission (Curiosity Kids info)
  • PA History: Read It, See It (virtual) - hosted by the State Library of PA, today's virtual visit is to Drake Well Museum & Park, noon-1 pm (Read It, See It info and Zoom registration)

Peak Summer

Peak Summer Please be sure to check the PHMC Events Calendar for information on upcoming programs (in-person and virtual). I've included highlights below. The Trailheads Rec Room pages to the right of your screen offer an array of online content generated by Trails of History sites.

If you're looking for a Covid vaccine provider, check out Vaccines.gov and enter your zip code.


Interior staircase at Pennsbury Manor seen fr second floor landing. Light tan plaster walls are accented with wood trim and panelling. There is a casement window on the lower landing and a brass chandelier overhead.
Second floor landing of the Manor House, looking toward the rear of the house (photo via Pennsbury Facebook)
Pennsbury Manor announced this week that the reconstructed Manor House is once again open to the public as part of the site's guided tours. The house had been closed due to some ongoing projects at Pennsbury. Please visit Pennsbury's website for details on hours of operation, admissions, and guided tour schedules.

Heading to the beach? Erie Maritime Museum's recent post breaks down the parts of a wave for you.



And another in our long-running series of posts from Old Economy Village showcasing the beautiful grounds and gardens (kudos to museum educator David Miller). I hope you've enjoyed the vicarious visits as much as I have.


Think of this as a public service announcement, even though it's not directly Trails of History. The PA Dept of Conservation and Natural Resources says it's time to start stomping on spotted lantern flies. Tread carefully as they tend to jump away, so be prepared to persist. I was 1 for 2 on my lunchtime walk yesterday.


Upcoming Events (in-person and virtual)

Today, August 6
  • StoryTime (in-person) - today's book is "The Case of the Missing Chalk Drawings" by Richard Byrne, The State Museum of PA, included in regular admission, 10:30-11:30 am (StoryTime info)
  • Learn at Lunchtime (virtual) - fine art curator Amy Hammond talks with artist Lauren Litwa about PA landscapes, plein air painting, and the creation of "Tekla's Ladder," The State Museum of PA, 12:15-12:45 pm (register for Zoom link)
  • First Friday Food Trucks (in-person) - live music, food truck fare, and funnel cake, Somerset Historical Center, $5 parking fee, 5:30-8:30 pm (Food Truck event info)
Saturday, August 7
  • Battle of Bushy Run (in-person) - includes historical reenactments, demonstrations, music, and more, Bushy Run Battlefield, admission is by donation, 9 am-6 pm today and tomorrow, August 8 (BRB event info)
  • Ales & Petals/Cars & Motorcycles of England Car Show (in-person) - car show, live music, and (for those 21 and older with valid ID) craft beer tasting, Hope Lodge, admission is $10 for adults (add'l charge for beer and food concessions), 10 am-4 pm (HL event info, including online ticket purchase)
Sunday, August 8
  • Battle of Bushy Run (in-person) - see August 7 for info
  • Tonight's Sky: A Live Chat with the Planetarium Director (virtual) - this monthly program helps you know what to look for in the night sky, The State Museum of PA, 2-3 pm (Tonight's Sky Zoom registration)
Tuesday, August 10
  • The Pennsylvania Barn in Form and Function (virtual) - Patrick J. Donmoyer will discuss his research on the anatomy of the PA barn and its larger context, Cornwall Iron Furnace, 7-8 pm (PA Barn Zoom registration)
Wednesday, August 11
  • Explore! (in-person) - this week's program looks at the role of beavers in the survival of specific plants and animals, The State Museum of PA, included in regular admission, 11:30 am-12:30 pm (Explore! info)
Thursday, August 12
  • Curiosity Kids (in-person) - today's program explores gristmills and takes place in the Transportation & Industry Gallery, The State Museum of PA, included in regular admission but space is limited, 11:30 am-12:30 pm (Curiosity Kids info)
  • Webinar on creating hands-on natural history materials (virtual) - Carissa Longo (PA State Parks) and Susan Gallagher (Carbon County Environmental Education Ctr) will show you how to safely and legally curate, preserve, and care for natural history items for educational use, 5:30-7:30 pm (webinar Zoom link)

Agriculture and Art!

Agriculture and Art!
Please be sure to check the PHMC Events Calendar for information on upcoming programs (in-person and virtual). I've included highlights below. The Trailheads Rec Room pages to the right of your screen offer an array of online content generated by Trails of History sites. Also a quick reminder that PHMC sites participate in the Blue Star Museums and Museums for All programs.

6 people in blue jeans, workshirts and caps harvest and bundle flax plants. A pile of plants is in the foreground
Staff and volunteers at Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum harvesting flax (photo Heirloom Seed Project)

My thanks for this week's opening photo go to Joanne Ranck-Dirks of the Heirloom Seed Project at Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum. Joanne sent along a series of photos, along with an explanation of the effort:
The flax harvest is underway at Landis Valley. This historic crop is planted in early April and harvested in mid-July. After drying in our hoop house, the flax is retted in a tub of water and dried again. We use the flax in our textile barn to show how it is processed into linen fiber. We also sell the flax straw to other historic sites and individual spinners and weavers.

Man in jeans, green shirt and cap stacks bundles of flax upright to dry
Landis Valley's Farm and Garden Manager, Joe Schott, stacks flax bundles to begin drying 

I've saved some additional photos and info on a separate Landis Valley Flax Harvest page. Thanks, Joanne, and all the folks at Landis Valley for this update on your work.

Last weekend, Old Economy Village received a visit from the family of artist Richard Hay Kenah (1907-1982), who painted a mural of George Rapp and other members of the Harmony Society that now hangs in the Visitor Center. The mural, painted in 1934 on a canvas backing, was originally adhered to a wall at Ambridge High School and then painted over. It was later rediscovered by the Ambridge School District and donated to Old Economy. Following an extensive conservation effort that involved removing plaster and constructing a frame, the mural was installed in Old Economy's new Visitor Center when it opened in 2002. The site posted a photo of the artist's son Chris with the mural.


Upcoming Events (in-person and virtual)

Today, July 30
  • Learn at Lunchtime (virtual), curator Katie McGowan will talk about a 1946 silk wedding dress made from a surplus WWII parachute, State Museum of PA, 12:15-12:45 pm (SMP web link for info and registration)
Sunday, August 1
  • Garden Party and Oxygen Day (in-person), spend some time in the gardens (11 am-12:30 pm) and learn about Dr. Priestley's discovery of oxygen (1-4 pm), Joseph Priestley House (JPH Facebook page for details)
  • Living History Sunday, guided tours will be offered, Conrad Weiser Homestead, noon-4 pm (CWH website)
Wednesday, August 4
  • Explore! (in-person), kids in grades 3-5 are invited to learn about Pennsylvania Turtles, State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, included in general admission - sign up at Ground Floor Information Desk (Explore! info)
Thursday, August 5
  • Curiosity Kids (in-person), help kids K-Grade 2 discover what natural resources are, State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, included in general admission - sign up at Ground Floor Information Desk (Curiosity Kids info)

Change is Constant

Well, I Tried
Bright green and black caterpillar shown among green leaves with a glimpse of a brick building in the background
This swallowtail caterpillar is munching on lovage in Pennsbury Manor's garden. What critters is your garden feeding this weekend? (Photo via Pennsbury Facebook page)

So what happened was...Although staff at our Trails of History sites have been at work in person for a while - some were on-site throughout the pandemic, others returned in April - it's my first week back in the office since March 2020. I'd been trying to anticipate what it would be like, but I failed to account for all the little pieces that went with teleworking for over a year. Things kind of got away from me, and I hit some technical glitches in readjusting. So this week's post is very brief (thank you for pretending to notice the difference).

Please check out the PHMC Events Calendar for information on upcoming programs (in-person and virtual).

However you're planning to spend your weekend, I hope you have a chance to rest and recharge. The gardens and grounds, not to mention the fascinating stories, on the Trails of History can offer the perfect spot to notice the changes that are all around us.

A Little of This, A Little of That

A Little of This, A Little of That
Please be sure to check the PHMC Events Calendar for information on upcoming programs (in-person and virtual). I've included highlights below. The Trailheads Rec Room pages to the right of your screen offer an array of online content generated by Trails of History sites.

Text for event graphic reads What's in a theme? PHMC Virtual Collections Showcase
Join us July 20 at 7 pm EDT for the next Virtual Collections Showcase (registration link)

What are summer Fridays for if not for some random fun? I'm here to share some items than showed up in my timeline over the past week. You never know what you'll find on the Trails of History.

The folks at Ephrata Cloister took part in last Friday's #CuratorBattle that featured museum objects that look like celebrities. Who wore it better?


The Erie Maritime Museum has quite a few ship models, but here's one that allows a view below decks to the crew quarters and galley.



Cornwall Iron Furnace was recently visited by a group of Studebaker enthusiasts. The site is a popular destination for car clubs since it's close to Hershey and the Antique Automobile Museum.



I've really been loving Pennsbury Manor's garden posts this summer. It's not quite like being there, but it's not bad.



The Lumber Heritage Region of PA shared the PA Lumber Museum's photo scavenger hunt this week. All of the items on the hunt can be found even when the buildings and exhibits are closed or by remembering a visit or even checking out their Facebook timeline (download the scavenger hunt). Of course, you can also visit when they're open!




Upcoming Events (in-person and virtual)

Today, July 16
  • Learn at Lunchtime (virtual), program director Bradley Smith will share new research on several prominent artifact legends in the collection, The State Museum of PA, 12:15-12:45 pm (link for Zoom registration)
Saturday, July 17
  • StoryTime (in-person), read "Big Bad Bubble" by Adam Rubin with illustrations by Daniel Solirieri and blow some bubbles, The State Museum of PA, 10:30-11:30 am, included in regular admission (sign up at ground floor info desk)
  • Agent Orange & Napalm (virtual), Ronald Lenox will present a program on Vietnam War chemical warfare, PA Military Museum, 2-3 pm (PMM link for registration)
Tuesday, July 20
  • What's in a theme? PHMC Virtual Collections Showcase (virtual), this month's theme is Travel & Destinations, 7-8 pm (Facebook link for registration)
Wednesday, July 21
  • Explore! (in-person), visit Nature Lab to learn about butterflies and moths of PA, The State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, included in regular admission (Explore! info)
Thursday, July 22
  • Curiosity Kids (in-person), learn about living and non-living things, The State Museum of PA, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, included in regular admission (Curiosity Kids info)

Works in Progress

Works in Progress
Please be sure to check the PHMC Events Calendar for information on upcoming programs (in-person and virtual). I've included highlights below. The Trailheads Rec Room pages to the right of your screen offer an array of online content generated by Trails of History sites.

Civil War era cannon on carriage with two large wheels sits on a concrete pad in the middle of a grassy parking lot median
Front view of restored artillery carriage and reproduction tube (photo courtesy PA Military Museum)

The Pennsylvania Military Museum has been working on a multi-year project to complete the restoration of several Civil War-era artillery pieces. These are reproductions manufactured after the war, under contract to the War Department, to be used for military history education. In its collection, the museum has an artillery carriage, limber, and caisson. As site administrator Tyler Gum explains, "Between 1895 and 1913, a Civil War veteran, Calvin Gilbert, who served in the 87th Pennsylvania Infantry, manufactured several hundred of these artillery pieces at his metal foundry in Gettysburg, PA. The surviving artillery pieces are referred to as 'Gilberts,' which is what we have in our collection."

Last Friday, the restored carriage was returned to the site, along with a brand new cannon tube. The Friends of the Pennsylvania Military Museum raised the funds to support the manufacturing of a 6 lb. tube. The new cannon is non-firing. In coming weeks, Tyler reports, the restored limber and caisson will complete the project. Exhibited outdoors with artillery pieces from different eras, this Civil War-era cannon will be used to teach about the evolution of artillery from muzzle loading to breach loading, along with the associated math knowledge needed to aim and fire.

Artillery carriage sitting on the back of a flatbed trailer, ready to be placed on its new concrete pad in the parking lot median
Taking delivery of the restored carriage (photo courtesy PA Military Museum)

Throughout the pandemic, and even now that the site has reopened to the public, Old Economy Village has undergone a major restoration and construction project that has added new pathways, ramps, and new roofs to buildings in the historic area. Staff have done a wonderful job of documenting the project with photos and sharing them on Facebook. This past week, they updated the progress on window repair and replacement in the Feast Hall, used by the Harmony Society as a museum and as a gathering place for music performances and communal meals. It looks a little scary with boarded-up spaces right now, but it will have many healthy years ahead when its windows are back in shape.

Large 3-story brick building set next to a cobblestone street and white picket fence. Some windows are boarded up due to a restoration project.
Work continues to replace windows in the Feast Hall at Old Economy Village (photo via Facebook)

Upcoming Events (in-person and virtual)

Today, July 9
  • Learn at Lunchtime (virtual), PA Fish and Boat Commission biologist Geoffrey Smith will talk about fish that live in the Susquehanna River, 12:15-12:45 pm, The State Museum of PA (SMP link for registration)
Saturday, July 10
  • Virtual Tour of M1917 Tractor (Tank), Mike Siggins and Tyler Gum will be your guides, 2-4 pm, PA Military Museum (PMM Facebook to register)
Sunday, July 11
  • Living History Sunday (in-person), Darius Puff will share knowledge of Native American culture and Greg Geiger will demonstrate 18th-century shoemaking, Noon-4 pm, Conrad Weiser Homestead (CWH Facebook page for details)
  • Tonight's Sky: Live Chat with the Planetarium Director (virtual), Linda Powell will help you discover what you can see for yourself in the night sky, 2-3 pm, The State Museum of PA (registration info on SMP website)
Tuesday, July 13
  • Education in Lebanon County - 1700s to Present (virtual), Jared Blouch and Michael Blouch will share their research on the transition from one-room schoolhouses to today's education landscape, 7-8 pm, Cornwall Iron Furnace (CIF Facebook page to register)
Wednesday, July 14
  • Explore! (in-person), kids in grades 3-5 are invited to Nature Lab to learn about identifying organisms, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, included in regular admission, The State Museum of PA (link for Explore! details)
  • Pittsburgh's Last Outpost: Captain Trent's Fort (virtual), Jason Cherry will talk about the strategic significance of the Forks of the Ohio, 7-8 pm, $7.50 per ticket, Bushy Run Battlefield (Eventbrite link for tickets)
Thursday, July 15
  • Curiosity Kids (in-person), kids in grades K-2 can learn about the Great-horned Owl, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, included in regular admission, The State Museum of PA (Curiosity Kids link for details)
  • PA History: Read It, See It (virtual), enjoy a virtual tour of Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum as part of this new series hosted by the Pennsylvania State Library, noon-1 pm (Zoom registration link)