November Awaits

November Awaits
Green Army jeep with canvas top sits next to a brown metal railcar with the words "Railway Express Agency" on the side.
Visit the Railroad Museum's Trains & Troops event this weekend and learn more about this ca. 1966 MUTT jeep on loan from the PA Military Museum (photo & info via RMP Facebook page)

I'll post this info again next week, but to help with planning, please note that most Trails of History sites will be closed on November 11 for Veterans Day. Brandywine Battlefield Park, Fort Pitt Museum, Graeme Park, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, and Somerset Historical Center will be open on their regular Friday schedules. In addition, as noted below, Erie Maritime Museum, Pennsylvania Military Museum, and The State Museum of Pennsylvania will have special programming that day. In the meantime, several sites have military history programs this weekend and during the week. Don't forget to set your clocks back an hour Sunday morning.

Stylized flag graphic with text: "11.11.22 - Veterans Day - Honoring Those Who Served"

Up Next

Today, November 4

  • StoryTime (in-person); 10:30-11:30 am; The State Museum of PA
    • Read ART by Patrick McDonnell and create your own work of art to display at home. For ages 2 to Pre-K and included in regular admission (StoryTime info).
  • Art of the State Exhibition Tour (in-person); 12:15-12:45 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Enjoy a lunchtime tour of this year's juried art exhibition, featuring works by 92 finalists selected from 1,850 entries. First Lady Frances Wolf and PHMC Commissioner Ophelia Chambliss will lead this casual tour. Included in regular admission (AOS Tour info).
  • Learn at Lunchtime (virtual); 12:15-12:45 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Join Mary Jo Casalena, PA Game Commission, to learn about the eastern wild turkey found throughout Pennsylvania's forests and more than a few backyards. The program is free, but you must register to receive the link (Learn at Lunchtime info and registration).

Saturday, November 5

  • 1777 Whitemarsh Encampment (in-person); 10 am-4 pm; Hope Lodge
    • Lots of military and civilian reenactment activities, open hearth cooking, beer brewing, music, book signings and more. Purchase tickets at the door or buy them ahead online (Whitemarsh Encampment info and tickets).
  • Trains & Troops (in-person); Saturday 10 am-4 pm, Sunday Noon-4 pm; Railroad Museum of PA
    • Learn about the relationship between the U.S. military and the railroads. Included in regular admission (Trains & Troops info).
  • Commemorating WWII and Cold War in Berlin (in-person); 2-3 pm; PA Military Museum
    • David Blackburn, site administrator at Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum, will present "Commemorating WWII and the Cold War in Berlin: Commemorating the Past to Inform the Present." Monuments and memorials placed throughout the city are highly visible and ever-present. These sites and structures commemorate the genocide, destruction, and loss of life that defined Berlin throughout the mid to late 20th Century. The lecture is free (donations welcome) and takes place in the site theater (Berlin lecture info).
  • 1940s Swing Dance (in-person); 7-10 pm; Railroad Museum of PA
    • The Moonlighters big band will play live among the historic trains. Dress in vintage 1940s attire, military uniform, or modern party clothes. Light refreshments will be served. Advance tickets available online and highly recommended; a limited number of tickets will be sold at the door (Swing Dance tickets).

Sunday, November 6

  • Guided Tours (in-person); Noon-4 pm; Conrad Weiser Homestead
    • Enjoy the park and historic buildings and browse the museum store for books and locally made redware pottery (CWH info).
  • Wild Teas & Jellies (in-person); 2-3 pm; PA Lumber Museum
    • Brian Budjanec from Kettle Creek State Park will teach you how to harvest and make tasty treats using wild ingredients straight from the forest. Delicious samples will be available to try. Suitable for all ages and included in regular admission (Wild Teas & Jellies info).

Tuesday, November 8

  • Cornwall Goes to War (virtual); 7-8 pm; Cornwall Iron Furnace
    • In honor of Veterans Day, Michael Weber will present an overview the ways Cornwall helped defend the United States during the Seven Years War, Revolutionary War, Whiskey Rebellion, Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the Korean War. Site administrator Mike Emery will moderate a brief discussion. The program is free, but you must register to receive the link (Cornwall lecture info and registration).

Wednesday, November 9

  • Homeschool Program (in-person); 10-11:30 am; The State Museum of PA
    • Learn about woven coverlets and other textiles and the techniques and creativity that go into making them. Compare historic coverlets with woven artworks in this year's Art of the State exhibit. Cost is $10 per person ($3 for members), and advance registration is required (Homeschool Program info and registration).

Thursday, November 10

  • Curiosity Kids (in-person); 11:30 am-12:30 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Learn about communication and how people have used different innovations to help them share ideas and thoughts with others. Create a secret message using the same techniques George Washington used at Valley Forge. For grades K-2 and included in regular admission. Space is limited, so please sign up at the Ground Floor Info Desk when you arrive (Curiosity Kids info).
  • Movie Night (in-person); 6-8:30 pm; Railroad Museum of PA
    • Enjoy a screening of The Polar Express (Rated G) amid the historic trains in Rolling Stock Hall. Tickets are $10 for ages 3 and up and include popcorn and hot chocolate. Doors open at 6 pm, movie starts at 6:30. Tickets available online via Eventbrite; some tickets available at the door (Movie Night info and tickets).
  • Virtual Ephrata Academy (virtual); 7-8 pm; Ephrata Cloister
    • Foodways historian and demonstrator Susan Plaisted will present "Preserving the Harvest," offering a look at colonial food preservation practices including drying, potting, and the broad definition of "pickle." The program is free, but you must register to receive the link (Ephrata Academy info and registration).

Friday, November 11

  • Veterans Day (in-person); 10 am-3 pm; PA Military Museum
    • Join the Pennsylvania Military Museum as we celebrate Veteran’s Day in partnership with the Red Cross’s “Holidays for Heroes” card writing campaign. Stop by the Museum on Veteran’s Day to make a card or drop cards off during our Museum Hours through November 20th (PMM Veterans Day info).
  • Bells of Peace: 104th Anniversary of the End of WWI (in-person & virtual); 11-11:30 am; Erie Maritime Museum
    • The museum will take part in this national remembrance by ringing the bell of the USS Michigan/Wolverine. Visitors will hear it live, others can watch the livestream on EMM's Facebook page (Bells of Peace info).
  • Veterans Day Program (in-person); 11 am-Noon; The State Museum of PA
    • Throughout history soldiers have created artwork as ways of remembrances, coping with boredom, and even a form of therapy. Bob Hill, curator of military history, will share examples from the collections, including a Revolutionary War powder horn, World War I trench art, and more. Visitors will have a chance to create their own carved artwork and make a thank you card for a soldier or veteran. Included in regular admission (SMOP Veterans Day info).

Advance Tickets or Registrations

  • Sensory Hours (in-person); Tuesday, Nov. 15, 9-11 am; Railroad Museum of PA
    • Lighting, noise and crowd levels will be lowered, and there will be some quiet spaces in the galleries for when you need a break. Several of the historic trains will be open, with staff on hand to answer questions. Advance reservations are required (11/15 Sensory Hours tickets).
  • From Seneca to Seneca-Cayuga (in-person); Saturday, Nov. 19, 10 am-5 pm; Fort Pitt Museum
    • This one-day conference will welcome speakers from federally recognized tribes as they explore the past, present, and future of the Iroquoian peoples who found a second homeland in the Ohio Country. The museum's new exhibit, "Guyasuta: The Life and Legend of a Seneca Chief," will also be open for participants to explore (Seneca symposium info and registration).
  • Colonial Cocktail Hour (in-person); Saturday, Nov. 19, 7-10 pm; Bushy Run Battlefield
    • Explore the history of England's 18th-century "Gin Craze" and taste test some cocktails of the period 1720-1765 along with some hors d'oeuvres. Must be at least 21 years old to attend. Tickets are $25 and are available online (Cocktail Hour info and tickets).
  • Candlelight Open House (in-person); Saturday, Nov. 26, 5-8:30 pm; Ephrata Cloister
    • Spend a few minutes or hours visiting with local craftsmen as they share their stories and wares. Included in the evening’s event will be Fraktur calligraphy by Emily Smucker-Beidler, and Matt and Elaine Vardjan of Pennsylvania Folk Art Papers showing paper stars and block prints. Additionally, demonstrations will be provided by local spinners and the letterpress will be working in the Printing Office. The whole family can become craftsmen making small treasure boxes just the size for stocking stuffers. The Ephrata Cloister Chorus will be singing a short program at 5:30, 6:30, and 7:30, and the Woodlands Trio will add to the sounds of the evening at 6:00, 7:00 and 8:00. Tickets are $7 for ages 3 and up, available online or at the door (Candlelight Open House info and tickets).
  • Christmas with the Conductor (in-person); Saturday, Dec. 3, and Saturday, Dec. 10, 11 am and 2 pm; Railroad Museum of PA
    • Do you love a classic holiday story? The Museum conductor will punch your child’s souvenir train ticket and welcome you on board one of the historic railroad cars for a lively reading. Kids then have more fun decorating their own gingerbread cookie in Jack Frost Station and receive a small bag of special goodies to take home. Two 45-minute sessions, one at 11 am and one at 2 pm. For ages 3 and older; children must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Space is limited and registration is required. Cost is $10 per child, in addition to regular admission (Dec. 3 info and tickets OR Dec. 10 info and tickets).
  • Late Nite with the Belsnickle! (in-person); Friday, Dec. 16, 7-9 pm; Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
    • Holiday-themed crafts, PA Dutch traditions, a visit with Belsnickle, and an adult beverage. Must be at least 21 to attend. Event is rain or shine; dress for the weather, including shoes appropriate for walking the site. Tickets are $40 (Late Nite info and tickets).
  • Putz'n and Brutz'n with the Belsnickle! (in-person); Saturday, Dec. 17, 1-3 pm; Landis Valley Vilage & Farm Museum
    • This family-friendly event includes a walking tour, making a punched tin ornament, light refreshments, a visit with the Belsnickle, and more. The program will be held rain or shine, so please dress for the weather with appropriate shoes. Tickets are $30 for people age 8 and up, $20 for ages 3-7. Space is limited, and reservations are required (Family Belsnickle event).


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