August 2019 on the Trails of History

This page will be updated whenever possible. Biweekly calendar posts will also appear on the Trailheads blog, with updated info..

Brandywine Battlefield Park
Thru week of Aug. 5: Summer History Campcheck the website for details and contact info to see if space is available in the final weeks of camp.

Bushy Run Battlefield
Aug. 3-4: 256th Anniversary of the Battle of Bushy Run—the reenactment of the first day of the battle will take place on the afternoon of Aug. 3, with the 2nd day reenactment on the afternoon of Aug. 4 (see the website or Facebook event page for details). You'll also find military camps, period craftspeople and musical performances, and food vendors at this annual event. Admission is $10 for ages 13+, $5 for ages 4-12; a two-day pass is available for $15 (adult) and $7 (child). 10 am-4 pm both days.
Aug. 24: Bushy Run Market—it's the 4th Saturday of the month, so that means a variety of vendors will be on site for your shopping enjoyment (more info on the website). Free for visitors and vendors. 8 am-noon.

Conrad Weiser Homestead
Aug. 4: Living History Sunday—learn about life in Berks County in the mid-18th century. Guided tours offered. Free admission. Noon-4 pm.

Cornwall Iron Furnace
Aug. 13: Lecture—James A. Lewars will present "The Kauffman Farm of Oley" (additional info on topic and speaker). Part of the Friends of Cornwall Iron Furnace lecture series, the program takes place in the auditorium of Freeman Community Center at Cornwall Manor. 7 pm.
UPDATE 8/15: EVENT IS SOLD OUT - NO TICKETS AT THE DOOR Aug. 16: Blast!—this event features local breweries and wineries (more info on Facebook event page), music by jazz keyboardist Wayne Fox, and catering by Hess Barbecue (pulled pork sandwiches, marinated chicken, sides, and dessert). You must be at least 18 years old to attend and 21 to sample alcoholic beverages. Advance tickets are $40; designated driver and under 21, $25. On the day of the event, tickets are $45 ($30 for DDs and under 21). Advance tickets may be purchased at the furnace or by calling 717/272-9711 to charge by phone. 6-9 pm.

Daniel Boone Homestead
Wednesdays in August: Sawmill Operation Days—subject to staff availability, there will be demonstrations of the site’s water-powered sawmill at 11 am and 2 pm.
Aug. 17: Braided Wool Rug Workshop—learn to make a round braided rug. Materials are included in the cost ($40), and the instructor will have tools for participant use (and to purchase if you want to take them home). More info on the Facebook event page. You must be at least 18 years old to participate and registration is required; call the site at 610/582-4900. 10 am-4 pm.

Drake Well Museum
Saturdays and Sundays in August: Historic Pithole Open—the visitor center will be open, so enjoy the orientation film and the excellent diorama that shows the town in its heyday. Admission charged. 10 am-4 pm.
Aug. 4: Drake Well Marathon and 1/2—this is a qualifying event for the Boston Marathon. Both races (full marathon and half marathon) begin and end at the Museum and make use of Titusville streets and the bike path in Oil Creek State Park. Proceeds benefit Drake Well Museum and Park. You must register to participate.
Aug. 24: Drake Day—this year's theme, "Let's Rock," explores the origins of oil with a rock climbing wall and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History's "Spinosaurus Encounter!" (more info on Facebook event page). Admission charged. Noon-4 pm.
Aug. 31: Something More Saturday—the last Saturday of each month, Drake Well offers something extra with regular admission. Today, it's guided tours. 10 am-3 pm.

Eckley Miners’ Village
Aug. 3-4: Time Warp - From Civil War to WWII—this is a mixed-era military and homefront history event packed with reenactors, music, food, and more throughout the site. (At 6 pm on the 3rd, there will be a Swing Dance at Freeland Public Park Pavilion.) Admission charged (separate fee for dance). 10 am-5 pm.
Aug. 24: Back to School at Eckley—explore the village, visit the buildings, and take part in hands-on activities and a scavenger hunt as you go. Admission charged. 10 am-4 pm.

Ephrata Cloister
Aug. 4: Ice Cream Social—enjoy ice cream sundaes and live music, meet therapy dogs from KPETS, and visit the historic buildings. $5 per person. 1-4 pm.

Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara
Thursday-Saturday through August 31st: Experience History – Rolling Cart Series—the new rolling cart program presents maritime-themed activities for visitors or all ages. Find out what’s in a sailor’s seabag, learn about the busy life of a lighthouse keeper, build your own warship and more! Included with Museum admission. Stay tuned to Erie Maritime Museum’s social media accounts (such as Facebook) for more information and weekly schedules.
Aug. 22-25: Tall Ships® Erie—this is a huge event with 14 ships, sailing excursions, entertainment, and more. Find details (on the website or the Facebook event page. Schedule varies by day.

Fort Pitt Museum
Please visit the Fort Pitt Museum website for information on this month's programs and events.

Graeme Park
Aug. 18: Living History Sunday—costumed interpreters will be on hand to talk about life at Graeme Park (info on the website). There will be a special focus on 18th-century clothing and what it reflects about the wearer's status. Living history program is free; admission is charged to tour the Keith House. Noon-3 pm.

Hope Lodge
Sundays in August: Site open—enjoy the grounds and take a guided tour of the mansion. Admission charged. 1-4 pm (tours at 1:00 and 2:30 pm).
UPDATE 8/6 - Due to expected weather, this event is moving to the raindate of Aug. 8 Aug. 7: Movie Night—bring a blanket or lawn chair and settle in to watch A League of Their Own (1992)--say it with me, "There's no crying in baseball!" Presented by Whitemarsh Township Parks and Recreation. Admission is free, snacks available for purchase. 8-10 pm. Raindate is Aug. 8.

Joseph Priestley House
Aug. 4: Oxygen Day—in honor of Dr. Priestley’s best known scientific contribution, this program features costumed docents throughout the house and chemistry demonstrations (more info on the website). Admission is free, but space is limited for the chemistry demos, so be sure to pick up a ticket at the visitor center (or reserve a spot by calling 570/473-9474). 1-4 pm; chemistry demos at 1:30 and 2:30 pm.

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Aug. 6: Hands-On History Day—wind down the summer and learn what life was like for kids a century ago. (Additional Hands-On History Days are scheduled for October; more info on website). Cost per program is $11 per person (FREE for Landis Valley Associates members and kids age 5 and under). August program runs 10 am-3 pm.
Aug. 10, 17, 24: Workshops—Landis Valley offers a variety of craft workshops for adults throughout the year. See the list and find out how to register on the website. Costs and times vary.

Old Economy Village
Aug. 1: Culture and Foods of the Native Americans—part of Old Economy's series on food and culture. This presentation focuses on the people who lived at Logstown in the mid-1700s and their uses of local flora and fauna. Food samples will be provided. The program is free, but registration is required (contact Chloe Thomas at 724-266-4500 x104 or at 7-8 pm.
Aug. 9: Exhibit Opening and Reception—in 1832, one-third of the members of the Harmony Society living at Oekonomie left to follow a new leader. This new exhibit, Out of Harmony: Secession from the Harmony Society, takes a look at the seceders and the impact of their leaving on the group they left behind (more info on the website). The exhibit will be on view through Dec. 31. To register for the opening reception, contact Chloe Thomas at or 724/266-4500 x104. 7-9 pm.
Aug. 11: Picnic in the Garden—bring a picnic and a blanket and enjoy the beautiful gardens. There will be some tents, tables, and chairs available. Included in regular admission (Buy One-Get One if you bring a picnic basket), so please start at the Visitor Center (more info on Facebook event page). Noon-5 pm.
Aug. 17 and 31: Beer Brewing Class, Parts 1 and 2—in Part 1, brewer Zack Ruskin will teach you how to make beer from scratch, using only water, barley, and wheat. Part 2 will be when you come back to taste the beer you made. Class size is limited, so please register by August 10 (info on the website). 10 am-4 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
Sundays in August: Special programming—8/4, Historic Trades; 8/11, Living History Theater: "The Runaway Servant"; 8/18, Open Hearth Cooking: "Cook's Choice"; 8/25, Beer Brewing and Garden Highlights. Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
Aug. 3: Monthly Book Club—this month's selection is Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin by Jill Lepore (more info on the book and the meeting). 10 am.

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
Aug. 3-4: Cork Camp—this 2-day program is designed with kids age 10 and older in mind (families are welcome). On Day 1, learn about the history of logging in PA and the skills needed to be a successful "woodhick." On Day 2, help demonstrate those skills at the Cherry Springs Park Woodsmen's Show. Pre-registration is required (visit the museum website for details).
Aug. 17: All about BATS!—the Pennsylvania Game Commission will present this family-friendly program. Included in regular admission (or membership). 1-2 pm.
Aug. 30: Entry deadline—today is the last day to enter the "Hooked on Science Art Contest," part of northcentral PA's Hometown Science Series and Festival. Learn more on the Facebook event page.
Aug. 31: Community Yard Sale—this takes place at the Route 6 entrance to the museum. If you're interested in reserving a space, call Bob at 814/435-2652.

Pennsylvania Military Museum
Aug. 4: Lecture—Joseph R. Fischer, PhD, will present "Road to Nowhere: The Struggle for the Hürtgen," exploring the Battle of Hürtgen Forest, which stretched from Sept. 19 to Dec. 16, 1944 (details on the website). 2-3 pm.
Aug. 10: Lecture—Rick Bigelow will present "American Caesar: MacArthur as Viceroy of Japan, 1945-1951," discussing General Douglas MacArthur's role in post-WWII planning for peace in the Pacific. Included in regular admission. 2 pm.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Aug. 1: Garden Railway Tour and Swing Dance Tickets on saleGarden Railway Tour: this year's (self-guided) tour is on Sunday, Oct. 6 (rain or shine). Tickets may be purchased at the museum starting today and will be available at Stauffer's locations in central PA starting Sept. 1. Swing Dance: Saturday night, Nov. 2, will find 1940s dance music and dancers among the trains in Rolling Stock Hall from 7 to 10 pm.
Aug. 17-18: Model Railroading Days—model train layouts from numerous railroading clubs will join the museum's layouts for a weekend of family fun and learning. Included in regular admission. 9 am-5 pm.

Somerset Historical Center
Aug. 2: First Friday Food Fest—local food trucks and vendors will be on site with casual dinner options. There will also be live music and tractor-drawn hayrides. Free admission; $2 per car for parking. 5-8 pm.
Aug. 3: Family Fun 5K Run/Walk—the Center's groomed trail makes a loop through woods and meadows; once around is 5K (you can make as many circuits as you want). Enjoy the scenery! No admission charged, and maps are available. 8 am-noon.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Please visit the Planetarium webpage for a full schedule of shows.
Wednesdays and Thursdays thru Aug. 22: Nature Lab and Curiosity Kids programs—a variety of presenters will share their expertise in Nature Lab and lead younger visitors on an exploration of the museum (program details are on the events calendar). Included in regular admission. 11:30 am.
Thru Aug. 23: Summer Fridays—general admission is "pay as you wish" on Fridays, 9 am to 5 pm. Curiosity Connection will have free timed tickets available. Art docents will be on hand in the "Art of the State" exhibit from 11 am to 1 pm. Regular fees apply for planetarium shows. From 12:15 to 12:45 pm, a variety of Learn at Lunchtime programs will be offered (check website for specifics).
Aug. 2: StoryTime—this month's participants will enjoy a reading of Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet and then use finger paints to try to recreate the images in the story. Geared for children ages 3-5 with an adult. Included in general admission. 10:30-11:30 am.
Aug. 4: Artist's Conversations—take an informal tour of this year's Art of the State exhibit with PHMC executive director Andrea Lowery and artist Amy LeFever, whose ceramic piece, Untitled, won first prize in the craft category this year. Included in general admission. 2-3 pm.
Aug. 16: 3rd in the Burg—the "Great Summer Switch" is on the program. Susquehanna Art Museum director of education Tina Sell will lead a tour of the State Museum's Art of the State exhibit at 6 pm. Visitors can then walk up the street to the Susquehanna Art Museum, where PHMC Commissioner and artist Ophelia Chambliss will lead a group through Picasso: A Life in Print. Admission is free. The State Museum will be open 5:30-7:30 pm.
Aug. 23: Stroller Tour—parents and caregivers of very young children (age 0-18 months or so) are invited to join curator Amy Hammond for a half-hour tour of the Art of the State exhibit. Strollers and front carriers are welcome, and no one will flinch if babies cry or get fussy while the adults talk about art. Included in general admission. 10:30-11 am.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Please visit the Washington Crossing website for information on programs and events.