October 2019 on the Trails of History

Please be aware that most sites on the PA Trails of History will be closed on Oct. 14. Additional info noted below.

Also, please note that some site schedules change seasonally, mostly affecting which days of the week the site is open. Please be sure to check ahead before visiting.

This page will be updated as new information becomes available or programs change.

Anthracite Heritage Museum and Scranton Iron Furnaces
Oct. 19: Bonfire at the Iron Furnaces—this event explores the cultural roots of Halloween and other autumn festivals. This year's focus is Polish heritage and traditions. Visit the Facebook event page for ticket info and program updates. 6-10 pm at the historic Scranton Iron Furnaces.

Bushy Run Battlefield
Oct. 10: Historic Sewing Workshop Series—this series is open to people at all skill levels. Each workshop will have a one-hour of formal instruction on 18th- and 19th-century techniques, followed by an hour of open studio time to work on your own projects or practice in a group setting. Additional dates are Nov. 14 and Dec. 12. See the Facebook event page for details on how to register. 6-8 pm.
Oct. 16: History Speaks Series—the Loyalhannon Spinners will present a program entitled "Sheep to Shawl." Cost is $10 in advance, $12 at the door (members receive 10% discount). Contact the site at 724/527-5584 for tickets. 7 pm.
Oct. 19: Haunted History Hayride—reservations are required and will be accepted starting on Oct. 2. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for youth age 4-12 (kids younger than 4 not permitted). There will be concessions available as well. Check the calendar of events for link to online reservations; please no calls or emails. Raindate is Oct. 26. 7-10 pm.

Conrad Weiser Homestead
Oct. 20: Living History Sunday—enjoy the beautiful Olmsted-designed park, as well as guided historic tours of the site. Noon-4 pm.

Cornwall Iron Furnace
Oct. 9: Friends Lecture Series—site administrator Michael Emery will present "Pennsylvania German Gravestones" (details on the website). Lectures take place in the auditorium of Freeman Community Center at Cornwall Manor Retirement Community. Program is free; donations are welcome. 7 pm.

Daniel Boone Homestead
Oct. 12: Exeter Township Fall Festival—the Homestead will host this year's festival (more info on Exeter Twp. website). 11 am-7 pm.

Drake Well Museum and Park
Oct. 12: Pithole Lantern Tours—see the remains of a 19th-century oil boomtown, check out the visitor center, enjoy live music, and play 3-card monte (watch your wallet). Admission charged. Details, including link for online tickets, are on the Facebook event page. First tour starts at 6:30 pm, last one at 9:30.
Oct. 26: Something More Saturday—the focus of this month's special activities is "Spooktacular Recycled Crafts." Included in regular admission. 10 am-3 pm.

Eckley Miners’ Village
Oct. 1: New operating hours—now through April 30, Eckley will be open to the public Wednesday-Saturday, 9 am-5 pm, and Sunday, noon-5 pm. Reservations for group and school tours will be accepted for Mondays and Tuesdays, as well (see website for contact info).
Oct. 18-19, 25-26: Haunted Halloween Lantern Tours—tour groups walk through the 19th-century village and encounter ghosts, goblins, and ghoulish fun. Tours last about an hour and are filled on a first come, first served basis. See Facebook event page for more info. Bring your own flashlight or purchase one at the museum store. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children. Please start at the visitor center: doors open at 6 pm, last tour starts at 9.

Ephrata Cloister
Oct. 11-12: Apple Dumpling Sale—enjoy a delicious PA Dutch tradition and support the Back to the Cloister Fund (which has helped to return more than 100 original furnishings and objects to the site). There is no admission charge to buy or pick up apple dumplings (regular admission applies if you want to tour the site). Pre-orders for 5 or more dumplings will be accepted, and free local delivery can be arranged for advance orders of 20 or more; call 717/733-6600. Fri., 9:30 am-4 pm; Sat., 9:30 am until sold out.
Oct. 13: Day of Music—the Ephrata Cloister Chorus will perform music written at the site during the 1700s, Mark Herr will present a program about the Miller Reed Organ, and The Dolpehock Sanger Chor will sing traditional Pennsylvania Dutch folk songs (see website for performance schedule). All performances will take place in the 1741 Meetinghouse. Included in regular admission. Site is open noon-5 pm (guided tours will be available).

Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara
CORRECTED DATE Oct. 19 26: Little Mates Halloween Spooktacular—meet the captain of U.S. Brig Niagara, enjoy lunch, and peek behind the scenes at the museum. Free for members of the Little Mates Kids' Club (it's never too late to join, or you can pay the event fee). Check the Facebook event page for details and updates.
CORRECTION: This event won't happen this year, sorry. Oct. 26: Boos on the Brig—a Halloween party for grown-ups (must be at least 21 to attend) and a fundraiser. Check the website for details.

Fort Pitt Museum
Please visit the Fort Pitt Museum website for info on holiday schedules, events, and programs.

Graeme Park
Oct. 9: Lunch and Learn—Jim Rose and Mark Liss will present "The Bryn Athyn Train Wreck," exploring the 1921 tragedy that resulted in 27 dead and 70 injured (read more about the topic and the speakers). Cost is $30 per person ($25 for members) and includes continental breakfast and lunch buffet. Reservations are required; registration form is on the website. 10:30 am-1:30 pm.
Oct. 18 & 25: Haunted Lantern Tours—see the Keith House by lantern light (you may bring your own flashlight if you wish). For an additional fee, you can experience an hour-long sample of paranormal investigation. Reservations are required for either or both; tickets must be purchased online (a small processing fee will be added). 7-10:30 pm.
Oct. 27: Living History Sunday—it's "Dress Like a Pirate Day" as you learn the story of Sir William Keith, colonial governor, and Blackbeard the Pirate. Pirate dress welcome, but not required; there will be a hunt for hidden treasure. Noon-3 pm.

Hope Lodge
Sundays in October: Site open—Hope Lodge will be open Oct. 6, 13, 20, and 27 from 1 pm to 4 pm, with guided tours at 1:00 and 2:30 pm. Admission charged.
Oct. 19: Halloween Lantern Tours—tour the mansion by lantern light and hear local ghost stories. Check the website or Facebook event page for updates on tickets and other details. 6-9 pm.

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Throughout the month of October: Craft Skills Workshops—numerous hands-on workshops for adult are scheduled. Visit Landis Valley's workshops page for details and registration. Costs and times vary.
Oct. 4: Paint Night—the Landis Valley Museum Store will host artist Michelle Verdegem for an evening to benefit the museum and the historic animal breeds who call it home. The subject for this event's painting is a colorful rooster. Registration is required; register online or download a form. 6:30 pm.
Oct. 12-13: Harvest Days—a classic special event and a great way to celebrate the heart of the fall season. Loads of demonstrations and activities for the whole family in a beautiful setting. Admission: adults, $12; seniors, $10; age 6-11, $8; free for members and children age 5 and younger. Free parking and food available for purchase. Skip the admissions lines by purchasing your tickets through Brown Paper Tickets. 11 am-5 pm.
Oct. 17, 24, 31: Hands-On History Days—children of all ages get to experience seasonal chores, hands-on crafts, wagon rides, and more. Visit the website for details and contact info.

Old Economy Village
Oct. 5-6: Erntedankfest - A Harvest Festival—celebrate the fall harvest as artisans throughout the village cook, bake, and demonstrate their craft skills. Music, food, and family activities make this a great tradition. Included in regular admission. Sat., 10 am-5 pm; Sun., noon-5 pm.
Oct. 11 & 16: Home School Days—explore the village at a special education rate of $5 per person. Registration is due by Oct. 9 for either program; check the website for more info. 1:30-3:30 both days.
Oct. 12: Straw Hat Making Class—Sarah Hershey McKee, who makes straw hats for museums and reenactors, will teach the essentials and get you started. The class is free, but space is limited. You must register by Oct. 4 (details on how to sign up). 10 am-4 pm.
Oct. 26: Halloween Activities—from 11 am to 3 pm, children 10 and under are invited to come in costume and trick-or-treat among the historic buildings (details and registration info). From 7 to 9 pm, the 21 and older crowd can hear a variety of chilling tales (details and registration info).

Pennsbury Manor
Sundays in October: Special programming—Oct. 6, Historic Trades (the blacksmith, joyners, and spinners will demonstrate their skills); Oct. 13, Living History Theater (William Penn’s steward and housekeeper, John Sotcher and Mary Lofty, will be united in marriage according to 17th-century Quaker wedding customs); Oct. 20, Open Hearth Cooking (the cooks will prepare a complete seasonal dinner for William and Hannah Penn). Included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.
Oct 4: Escape Rooms—there are two scenarios to choose from, so please read the online ticket info carefully. Some time slots are starting to fill up, so don't wait! Details on the website.
Oct 5: Monthly Book Club—this month's selection is Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth, chronicling her experiences in postwar London. Contact info is on the website. 10-11 am.
Oct 27: Tricks and Treats at the Manor—enjoy an afternoon of festive family-friendly Halloween fun mixed with Pennsylvania history. Children can come dressed in their Halloween costumes for some trick-or-treating, games, and 17th-century demonstrations. We are partnering up again with the Teal Pumpkin Project to bring non-food games and trick-or-treating stations for those with food allergies. A living history theater presentation, "The Trial of Margaret Mattson," will be held during the event. It is 1684, Margaret Mattson has been accused by her neighbors of witchcraft. William Penn will preside over the trial. No admission charged for this event. 1-4 pm.

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
Oct 12-13: Annual Fall Antique and Collectible Show—this event features dozens of vendors and supports the programs of the Lumber Museum. Other activities include sawmill operation (Saturday only); birch still, shingle mill, and blacksmithing demos; and food for purchase in the community room. $5 admission ($3 for kids) includes the show and all museum exhibits and activities. 10 am-4 pm.
Oct. 26: Haunted Lantern Tours—hear spooky (but not too spooky) tales in the logging camp as you tour by lantern light and trick-or-treat along the way (more info on the Facebook event page). Admission charged. 6-9 pm.

Pennsylvania Military Museum
Oct. 1: Central PA Civil War Roundtable Series—David MacLean will present "Calcium Lights and Optical Entertainment in Civil War and Peace." 7-8:30 pm.
Oct. 6: Friends' Lecture Series—speaker is Jeffrey D. Wert, presenting a program on Civil War-era businesses that made significant contributions to the Union war effort and benefited from the need for goods. 2-3 pm.
Oct. 31: Tanks and Treats—local businesses and community groups will be stationed along the Front Parade Ground walking path to give out treats for local youth. Businesses/groups must pre-register. No charge for youth attendees, and parking is free. 6-8 pm.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Oct. 6: Garden Railways Tour—this event features outdoor model train layouts at private residences and retirement communities around Lancaster County. Tickets ($10 per person for ages 6 and up) may be purchased at the museum, at any Stauffer’s of Kissel Hill store in central Pennsylvania, or online through EventBrite. The program flyer has more info; a list and map of participating locations will be provided with your ticket. 1-5 pm.
Oct. 14: Columbus Day—the museum is OPEN today. 9 am-5 pm.
Oct. 19: Trains and Treats—kids go from train to train to enjoy seasonal activities, tours, and treats. Costumes welcome. Included in regular admission. 9 am-5 pm.

Somerset Historical Center
Oct. 12: Heinz Lecture Series—learn about the collection of "Mount Pleasant Glass" at Pittsburgh's Heinz History Center. Lecture is free, courtesy of sponsorship by The Fraternal Order of Eagles Somerset Aerie #1801. 2-4 pm.
Oct. 19: Historic Halloween—trick-or-treating with a historical theme, following the site’s pathways by lantern light (details on the website). Enjoy popcorn and fresh apple cider! Admission: $3 per child, plus an apple for the cider press. 5-8 pm.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Check the Planetarium webpage for a full schedule of programs.
Oct. 1-4: Archaeology at Fort Hunterthis season's excavations by the State Museum archaeology team wrap up this week. You can drop by between 9:30 am and 4:30 pm to see what's up.
Oct. 4: StoryTime—this month's program, designed for kids age 3-5 with an adult, takes place in Nature Lab with a reading of I am NOT a Dinosaur! by Will Loach. Included in general admission. 10:30-11:30 am.
Oct. 10: Curiosity Kids—young visitors, ages 3-6, will experiment with building a nest from found materials. Included in general admission. 11:30 am.
Oct. 16: National Fossil Day—learn about "the Pleistocene era" in the Paleontology Gallery. Included in general admission. 12:15 pm.
Oct. 24: Nature Lab—learn about the Carboniferous Period and the formation of Pennsylvania's coal deposits. Included in regular admission. 11:30 am.
Oct. 27: Great Pumpkin Day—family-friendly Halloween-themed activities and entertainment (details on the website). Everyone pays the "child" admission rate today - that's $5 (see website for info on $1 discount for pre-registration). Please note that the Planetarium will be closed, and Curiosity Connection will have timed tickets (first come, first served). Noon-3 pm.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Please visit the Washington Crossing Historic Park calendar of events for details of this month's events and programs.