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)