January 2019 on the Trails of History

Please be sure to check site operating schedules before you visit to avoid disappointment and frustration. Winter brings adjusted days, hours, and/or building availability, as well as the occasional weather-related closure. All sites will be closed on January 1. Most sites will be closed on January 21 for the Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday; exceptions are noted below.

Please note: many sites are in the process of updating their online calendars for the coming year. I will try to post new info as it becomes available. Please check back periodically for additions or check with the site if you are looking for a particular program.


Anthracite Heritage Museum
Jan. 19: Knox Mine Disaster Program—this annual program marks the anniversary of the Knox Mine Disaster (Jan. 22, 1959), when the Susquehanna River broke through the roof of the River Slope Mine, killing 12 miners. Click "interested" on the Facebook event page to get updates on the event. 2-5 pm. Information on this and other Anthracite Heritage Month activities is available on the web.

Brandywine Battlefield Park
Jan. 22: Revolutionary Dining Series—artist Adrian Martinez will present "The Facts Remain the Same, Only the Meaning Changes: Picturing the Battle of Brandywine for the 21st Century" and discuss his latest series of oil paintings, oil sketches, and drawings which serve as the groundwork for his current project depicting the largest land engagement of the American Revolution, the Battle of Brandywine, and its immediate aftermath (details on Facebook event page). Program is held at The Gables at Chadds Ford. Cost is $50 per person (cash bar available); tickets are available online via Brandywine's website. 6-9 pm.

Daniel Boone Homestead
UPDATE Jan. 13: Fireside Tales—gather around the fire in the Wayside Lodge to hear a tale, "Fiona's Lace," and enjoy cookies and cocoa (more info on Facebook event page). Dress for the weather. Suggested donation of $2 per person. 2 pm.

Drake Well Museum
Jan. 26: Something More Saturday—enjoy family-friendly activities in addition to the museum's permanent exhibits (click "interested" on the Facebook event to receive updates). Included in regular admission. 10 am-3 pm.

Ephrata Cloister
Jan. 31: Winter History Class begins—learn about the history of the community at Ephrata and the world that surrounded it (more info on Facebook page). Speakers include site staff as well as outside scholars. Sessions are held from 9 am to noon each Thursday through March 28, and there is a field trip (extra charge) on April 4. Cost for the entire class is $55, $45 for members; you can attend individual classes for $10 each. Call the site at 717/733-6600 for more information or to register.

Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara
Starts Jan. 5: Winter Sail Training—these FREE classes are designed to provide training in many of the basic skills necessary to sail a tall ship. Takes place on Saturdays from January through March during ship maintenance hours where crew work to repair and maintain parts of NIAGARA. Open to ages 14+. This is a great way to complete community service hours! Email volunteer@flagshipniagara.org to sign up. 9:30 am-3:30 pm.
UPDATE Jan. 24: Storytime at the Maritime—guest reader Emmanual White from U.S. Coast Guard Station Erie will read A Lighthouse Saves the Day, which highlights the importance of lighthouses and the work of the Coast Guard. Program is free for members of the museum's Little Mates Kids Club. Nonmembers pay $5, or you can join for $12 to enjoy all the other programs coming up. 10-11 am.

Fort Pitt Museum
Jan. 1-Feb. 1: Museum closed—Fort Pitt Museum will be closed during the month of January for exhibit upgrades and maintenance. It will reopen on Feb. 2.

Joseph Priestley House
Jan. 6: Twelfth Night—glimpse the Priestley family’s life in Northumberland with a taste of the English customs they remembered. The house will be decorated as an English country manor, costumed docents will be on hand, and there will be chemistry demonstrations and children’s games. Free admission. 4-7 pm (chem demos in the Pond Building at 4:30 and 5:30 - space is limited for those, get tickets at the visitor center).

Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
Jan. 26: Needle Tatting Class, Part 1—learn the basics of needle tatting, including how to read a pattern. Part 2 will be offered a week later, on Feb. 2. Cost for both parts is $55 (includes #5 tatting needle and perle cotton thread). Details and registration instructions on LVM's website. 10 am-noon.
Jan. 27: Paint a Mini Blanket Chest—learn about typical PA German decorative motifs and apply them to a miniature wooden chest. Cost is $100 and includes materials. Details and registration instructions are on the website. 1-4 pm.

Old Economy Village
Jan. 19: Lecture—Univ. of Pittsburgh professor Dr. Bryan Hanks has been using various forms of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to investigate the Harmonist Cemetery in Ambridge. He will discuss the cemetery, his research, what he has learned about Harmony Society burial practices (more details). Lecture is free. 2-3:30 pm.

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
Jan. 19: Film Screening—the museum, in cooperation with Trout Unlimited (TU), the Tioga County Conservation District, and Mansfield University, will host a screening of the documentary film Stories from the Fountain: A TU Native Brook Trout Odyssey. The film explores the connection between Pennsylvania's forests and the health and well-being of our trout streams. Admission to the film is free. 1 pm.
UPDATE Jan. 20: Eclipse Viewing Party—there will be a lunar eclipse tonight and you can view it from the museum grounds. Pre-eclipse events will begin at 9 pm and eclipse viewing will start at 11 pm (details of program schedule on Facebook event page). The skies in this part of PA are especially dark and folks are very knowledgeable about nighttime photography, so this is one not to miss.
Jan. 26: Winter in the Lumber Camp—dress warmly to explore outdoor activities on the museum grounds. Bring your own sled, if you like, or try cross-country skis, snowshoes, or ice skates (conditions permitting) provided by DCNR State Parks program. Outdoor activities, including guided snowshoe hike on the Sustainable Forestry Trail, are free. There will be a nominal charge for museum admission and snacks if you want to venture indoors. Visit the website for details. 10 am-3 pm (trail hike is at 1 pm).

Pennsylvania Military Museum
UPDATE Jan. 19: Discussion—museum educator Joe Horvath will lead a discussion on the topic, "A Brief History of War and Consequences - 20th Century," exploring the evolution of military and political conflicts. Program is free. 10 am.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Jan. 21: Museum open—the museum will be open today for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday (the museum is closed the other Mondays in January). 9 am-5 pm.

The State Museum of Pennsylvania
January Planetarium Showsfull list of programs and times is on the website.
Jan. 4: StoryTimethis month's program features Best in Snow by April Pulley Sayre. Program is designed for children ages 3-5 with an accompanying adult. Included in general admission. 10 am.
Jan. 10: Nature Lab—use science activities to explore SNOW! with the museum's education staff. Geared for visitors age 7 and up. Included in general admission. 11:30 am.
Jan. 17: Curiosity Kids—visit Nature Lab to learn about SLIME! Geared for ages 3-6 with an adult, this program is included in general admission. 11:30 am.
Jan. 18: Learn at Lunchtime—special showing the museum's new planetarium show, Faster than Light! The Dream of Interstellar Flight. Appropriate for grade 6 and up. Regular fees apply. 12:15 pm (doors close promptly).

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Please visit the Washington Crossing website for info on this month's programs and schedule.