Signs of Life

This and That
Please check the PHMC Events Calendar if you're looking for virtual programs. I've highlighted events below, but there's more to see in the weeks ahead. The Trailheads Rec Room to the right of your screen has all kinds of online offerings. Enjoy!

Green lawn, blue sky, and a pair of two-story brick buildings. There are trees and two bright red azalea bushes.
A beautiful day at Old Economy Village (photo via OEV Facebook page)

I hope you're enjoying the beautiful spring weather. I'm always afraid that summer heat is just around the corner, because I love moderate temps. But life is short, so I'm trying to just embrace it while it lasts. I'm always happy to see photos (like the ones above and below) from our Trails of History sites.

Mostly green leaves with a few white lily of the valley blooms
Lilies of the Valley at Ephrata Cloister (photo via EC Facebook page)

Life on the Trails of History is forever changed by the past year. As I've tried to chronicle in this blog, staff and volunteers moved quickly to respond to the closures brought by Covid-19 back in March 2020. Maintenance staff kept up with seasonal work through the summer and winter to make sure that buildings and grounds would be in good shape for reopening. Administrative staff adjusted to telework and online meetings (oh, so many Zoom and Skype and Teams meetings, but they helped us stay in touch). Staff and volunteers created a wide array of virtual programs over the past year, and those will remain an option as staff time permits, even as we reopen to the public.

If you're visiting our sites, please be aware that CDC and PA Dept. of Health guidance is changing rapidly. Our primary goal at all times is the safety and health of our staff, volunteers, and visitors. Your patience and support and, in my opinion, your vaccination will help us all get through this transition smoothly. (If you're still looking for a vaccine appointment, visit

Speaking of vaccinations, members of the 28th Division medical and transportation team recently paid a visit to the Pennsylvania Military Museum. They were assisting with a mass vaccination site on the Penn State University campus and used some downtime for a tour with museum staff. They enjoyed it so much they recommended it to PA Emergency Management Agency staff, who will be stopping by next week when they take some time off from the clinic.

Military Unit Visit During COVID Ops On the 6th of May, members of the 28th Division medical and transportation team...

Posted by Pennsylvania Military Museum on Friday, May 7, 2021

Cornwall Iron Furnace posted an interesting image this week, evidence of the people who worked in the casting room of the furnace. You can also catch a recording of the latest Cornwall lecture, "Gold in Them Hills," by geologist Mike Weber.

Cornwall Iron Furnace operated 24 hours a day 7 days a week for much of the year. All of that foot traffic on the charging room floor wore away the softer wood and left the harder knots.

Posted by Cornwall Iron Furnace on Saturday, May 8, 2021

Have you met Tansy, Eleanor, and Peppercorn? Be sure to say hello to these lovely sheep if you're visiting Pennsbury Manor. EDIT 5/14/21: I've replaced the post I initially shared below with one from today showing before and after shearing.

Folks at Graeme Park noticed a familiar face on the set of the new TV show "Rutherford Falls." Among the many treasures in the Rutherford Falls Museum, right next to the diorama of the early town, is an 18th-century portrait of a woman who bears a striking resemblance to Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson. I don't usually make viewing recommendations that aren't for things on the Trails of History, but if you're interested in history, museums, heritage and memory, Native American heritage, small town life (and many other topics) and don't mind some profanity, you might want to check it out (see a clip on YouTube).

Anyone recognize the lady in the portrait to the right of Ed Helms on the set of Rutherford Falls on Peacock TV? Hmmmm, she looks a bit familiar! Thanks to the Brunners for letting us know about this!

Posted by Graeme Park on Friday, May 7, 2021

Upcoming Virtual Events

Today, May 14
  • Learn at Lunchtime, botanist Andrew Rohrbaugh will talk about native plants in your landscape plans, The State Museum of PA, 12:15-12:45 pm (SMP link to register)
Tuesday, May 18
  • A Brief Intro to Wooden Shipbuilding (Part 3 of 4), Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara, 6-7 pm (EMM Facebook event to register)
  • Preserving the Kaufman Farm: 250 Years of PA German Agriculture, with speaker Jim Lewars, former site administrator at Landis Valley, Daniel Boone Homestead, and Conrad Weiser Homestead, presented by Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum, 7-8 pm (5/18 Zoom link to register)
Wednesday, May 19
  • History Speaks Series, "The Braddock and Forbes Campaigns to Take Fort Duquesne," Bushy Run Battlefield, 7-8:30 pm (link for tickets, $7.50 for nonmembers)
  • Amtrak: The 50th Anniversary, a virtual tour about the life, death, and rebirth of the American passenger train, Railroad Museum of PA, 7-8 pm (tickets by donation)
Thursday, May 20
  • The Heirloom Seed Project: Preserving Our Agriculture Heritage, with speaker Joanne Ranck-Dirks, director of the Heirloom Seed Project, presented by Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum, 7-8 pm (5/20 Zoom link to register)


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