August 2015 on the Trails of History

A quick note from this past week. On Sunday, July 26, "Cheers to You," a show that features craft brewing and related info in Bucks County, was at Pennsbury Manor for a feature on their historic brewing program. We'll let you know when and where the show is available; it should be sometime this fall. And now, without further interruption - your feature presentation.

Anthracite Heritage Museum and Scranton Iron Furnaces
Saturdays in August: South Side Farmers Market at Scranton Iron Furnaces

Bushy Run Battlefield
Aug. 1-2: 252nd Anniversary of the Battle of Bushy Run—there are two battle reenactments (morning and afternoon), so you can learn about the events of August 5-6, 1763, all in one day. You'll also find military camps, period craftspeople, and food vendors at this annual event. (To read more about the anniversary, check out a post from 2014 on the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation blog.) Admission is $5. 10 am-4 pm.

Conrad Weiser Homestead
Expanded Summer Schedule: Site open Wednesdays and Saturdays, 10 am-4 pm; Sundays, noon-4 pm.
Aug. 2: Living History Sunday—learn about life in Berks County in the mid-18th century. Noon-4 pm.

Cornwall Iron Furnace
Aug. 7: Blast!—this event features local breweries and wineries (see full list on the website), music by the Wayne Fox Trio, and (new this year!) a pig roast with all the trimmings. There will be “soft” refreshments (including root beer) suitable for designated drivers and folks younger than 21 (you must be at least 18 to attend this event). 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.
Aug. 11: Lecture—Wendy Looker's topic will be "The History and Mystery of Mary Ann Furnace." 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.

Daniel Boone Homestead
Aug. 2, 9, 23, 30: Interpretive Sundays—spend Sunday afternoons in August learning about gunsmithing (8/2); blacksmithing (8/9); clothing and textile processing (8/23); and basketmaking (8/30). Included in regular admission. Noon-4 pm.
Aug. 5, 12, 19, 26: Sawmill Operation Days—subject to staff availability, there will be demonstrations of the site’s water-powered sawmill. Free of charge (admission rates apply to visit the historic area and the homestead). 11 am & 2 pm.
Aug. 15-16: Battles at Boone—learn about 18th-century military and home life, including battle tactics, medical care, and trades. More details, including a list of participating units and sutlers, are on the website. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $6 for children; food will be available for purchase on-site.

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. 8: Something More Saturday—Today's theme is "Oil Past and Present," with family activities and fun. Included in regular admission; special family rate of $20 for up to 2 adults and 3 kids. 10 am-3 pm.
Aug. 22: Drake Day Circus—the oil boom era comes to life with jugglers, fire-eaters, music, and acrobats. Included in regular admission; special family rate of $20 for up to 2 adults and 3 kids. 10 am-4 pm.
Aug. 29: Oil Valley Blacksmiths Association—this monthly event brings local blacksmiths to the site to show how it’s done. Included in regular admission. 10 am-2 pm.

Eckley Miners’ Village
Aug. 15-16: Civil War Weekend—learn about soldiers' experiences and life on the homefront through encampments, demonstrations, presentations by the Eckley Players, and musical entertainment of the Civil War era. EMV's website has the details. Admission charged. 10 am-5 pm.

Ephrata Cloister
Aug. 2: Ice Cream Social—ice cream (courtesy of Turkey Hill and dipped by WGAL's Jere Gish) and music (award-winning banjoist Conlan Kerschner) in a beautiful setting. Tickets are $4 and may be purchased at the Museum Store. On Central Penn Parents list of the Top 5 things to do this weekend. 1:30-4:30 pm (ice cream is "all-you-can-eat" while supplies last).
Aug. 11-14: Colonial Summer Camp—for ages 6-12 (children will be divided into groups age 6-8 and 9-12). Hands-on activities, role-playing, arts and crafts are on the agenda while students learn about life at the Ephrata Cloister. Cost is $125 ($100 for members of the Ephrata Cloister Associates). Call 717/733-6600 to register or go to the camp page on Eventbrite. 9:30 am-1 pm (snack break 11-11:30).

Erie Maritime Museum and Flagship Niagara
Aug. 11: Erie Gives—on behalf of the museum and ship, the Flagship Niagara League is participating in this year’s community-wide online fundraising drive. Your donation (minimum $25) any time between 8 am and 8 pm on August 11 will be stretched by the Erie Community Foundation. Go to www.eriegives.org and search "Flagship Niagara League."

Fort Pitt Museum
Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22: Saturdays at the Fort—Aug. 1, Living History: Fife and Drum; Aug. 8, Living History: Artillery; Aug. 15, Living History: Cooking; Aug. 22, Living History: Timber Framing. 10 am-4 pm.
Aug. 15: Women's History Seminar—for full details on the topics and speakers visit Fort Pitt's website. Included in museum admission. 11 am-5 pm.

Graeme Park
Aug. 23: Living History Theater—"Elizabeth Graeme's Loves and Losses" features special tours of the Keith House, where visitors will encounter scenes from the life of Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson and her contemporaries. Light refreshments will be served in the visitor center. Admission charged. 1-3 pm (tours approximately every half hour). Noon-4 pm.

Hope Lodge
Aug. 5: Movie Night—bring a blanket or lawn chair and settle in to watch Unbroken, the story of Olympic athlete and WWII POW Louis Zamperini. Presented by Whitemarsh Township Parks and Recreation. Admission is free. Starts at dusk (about 8:30 pm).
Aug. 16: Site open—enjoy the grounds and take a guided tour of the mansion. Admission is $5 (age 18-59), $4 (age 6-17 and 60+), FREE for Friends of Hope Lodge members and visitors age 5 and under. 12:30-4 pm (tours at 1:00 and 2:30 pm).

Joseph Priestley House
Aug. 2: Oxygen Day—in honor of Dr. Priestley’s best known scientific contribution, this program features costumed docents throughout the house (which includes what may be the first laboratory in America) and chemistry demonstrations. Special guest "Benjamin Franklin" will also be on hand. Admission is free. 1-4 pm; chemistry demos at 1:30 and 3 pm.

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Aug. 4: Hands-On History Day—experience chores, games, and crafts from the past, take a wagon ride, and learn your lessons in the one-room schoolhouse. Cost is $10 per person (FREE for Landis Valley Associate members and kids age 5 and under). 10 am-3 pm.
Aug. 8: Tales, Legends, and Lore—a full day of storytelling around the site, plus hands-on activities and wagon rides. Admission charged. 10 am-4 pm.
Aug. 16: Henry K. Landis Birthday Party—come celebrate the birthday of one of the museum's founders and learn about life in Landis Valley the year he was born, 1865. Be sure to visit this year's Visitor Center exhibit, "1865: Lancaster County at the Close of the Civil War." Don't miss out on the birthday cake. Admission is FREE. Noon-4 pm.
Aug. 22: Art Show at Landis Valley—Landis Valley’s museum store will host an array of local artisans selling their wares (many will also demonstrate their crafts). Music and food (for purchase) are also on tap. Admission to the art show is free; regular admission prices apply to visit the rest of the site. 9 am-4 pm

Old Economy Village
Saturdays: 19th-century Trades and Other Topics—glimpse life and work in the 19th century through demonstrations and tours - natural history (8/1); blacksmithing (8/8); breadbaking and cooking (8/15); niceties and necessities (8/22); woodworking and children's games (8/29). Included in regular admission, so please start at the Visitor Center. 11 am-4 pm (site open 10 am-5 pm).
Aug. 3-7: Summer Art Camp—for ages 8-12. Artist Gary Means will teach children about sketching and creating artwork with pastels and colored pencils. Attendees will also view artwork on exhibit and go behind-the-scenes to collections storage. (Info and registration flyer.)
Aug. 6: Lecture—Eileen Aiken English will present a talk entitled "A Harlot in the Harmonie?" exploring the life and times of Harmonist Hildegarde Mutschler. She will also sign copies of her book on the same topic, which is available for sale in the Village Rose museum store. The program is free and will be held in the Visitor Center classroom. 7 pm.
Aug. 9: Site Open—Old Economy Village is open the 2nd Sunday of each month, noon-4 pm.

Pennsbury Manor
Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30: Special Sunday Programming—Aug. 2, Historic Trades; Aug. 9, Living History Theater, "The Germantown Protest of 1688," exploring the first documented protest against slavery in America; Aug. 16, Open Hearth Cooking, "A Bountiful Harvest," cooks will prepare their favorite recipes using produce from the garden; Aug. 23, Garden Highlights and Beer Brewing Demonstration—enjoy the garden in summer and stop by the brew house, where they'll be brewing Welsh Ale; Aug. 30, Animals at Pennsbury, meet the furry and feathered residents of Pennsbury. Sunday programs are included in regular admission. 1-4 pm.

Pennsylvania Military Museum
Saturdays and Sundays: On weekends in August, the 1 pm guided tour is included in museum admission.
Aug. 4: Central PA Civil War Round Table Series—"Military Ballooning and the American Civil War," with speaker John Augustine, explores Thaddeus Lowe, chief of the U.S. Army Balloon Corps, technical developments of ballooning, and the use of balloons in the 1862 Peninsula Campaign. Donation requested. 7 pm.
Aug. 5: Friends' Richard Koontz Memorial Lecture Series—"General Stilwell's Burma Campaign," with speaker Dr. Jon Diamond. Donation requested. 7:30 pm.
Aug. 15: Kids' Day III, Dress Up & Discover—kids and their families can try on military items from the education collection and sit in a WWII or Korean War era jeep. Photo ops galore. Included in regular admission. 10 am-3 pm.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Aug. 22-23: Model Railroading Day—model train layouts from numerous railroading clubs will join the museum's layouts for a weekend of family fun and learning. There will also be clinics and workshops offered (watch the museum website for further details). Included in regular admission (clinics/workshops may be extra). 9 am-5 pm.

State Museum of Pennsylvania
Wednesdays and Thursdays (plus Fridays 8/14 and 8/28): Nature Laba variety of presenters will share their expertise as visitors explore the museum's Nature Lab. Included in regular admission. 1-1:45 pm. Thursdays: StoryTime in Curiosity Connection—staff and volunteers read a different book each week, selected with children ages 3-5 in mind, and then direct a related play activity. StoryTime is included in regular admission. 10 am.
Fridays: Learn@Lunchtime—the museum offers free admission from 11:30 am to 1 pm, along with talks by varied presenters. 11 am-1:30 pm (presentations start at 12:15 pm).
Aug. 21: 3rd in the Burg—"Artist's Conversations" shines the spotlight on the 2015 Art of the State Exhibit, presenting Catherine Prescott, 2015 Awards Juror (and 2014 Purchase Prize winner), talking with Michael Allen, this year's first prize winner for Work on Paper. Admission is free. 5:30-7:30 pm.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Saturdays: Weekly Farmers Market—vendors set up near the intersection of River Rd. and Rt. 532 (or the Visitor Center parking lot when it rains). 9 am-1 pm.
Aug. 17-21 & 24-28: Summer Camps—designed for children in kindergarten through grade 5, the week-long camps, which run from 9 am to 4 pm, provide a range of hands-on activities, games, and skills. Cost for a 1-week camp is $200 per child, $350 for two. For more information or to register, contact Jennifer Martin, 215/493-4076.
Aug. 28: Films at the Farmstead—a family-friendly movie night under the stars at the Thompson-Neely House and Farmstead. Tonight's feature is Brave. Admission is $5 (age 5+); please bring a blanket to sit on and feel free to bring a picnic. Popcorn and other concessions will be available for purchase. 7-10 pm.

More Updates from the Trails of History

Activities continue apace as the summer doldrums make their appearance. (Well, lah-di-dah.) Why not enjoy a nice air-conditioned museum or a walk through a shaded garden? The July program listings have it all.

A special, short-term exhibit has opened at the Ephrata Cloister and will continue through mid-September. You may know that the religious community at Ephrata was known for, among other things, its printing press. One of the books printed there (in 1748-49) was The Bloody Theater (more commonly known by its subtitle, The Martyrs' Mirror), an important book of faith for Anabaptists. The new Visitor Center exhibit showcases ten copies of the Martyrs' Mirror and is open during regular hours, Monday-Saturday, 9 am-5 pm, and Sunday, noon-5 pm. (You can learn more about the book in a Trailheads post from 2012.)

Martyrs'_Mirror_from_Ephrata_Cloister
A copy of The Martyrs' Mirror from Ephrata Cloister

In other Ephrata news, the Ephrata Cloister Associates are offering a day-long bus trip to New York City on Saturday, August 1, to explore the immigrant experience. Tour Ellis Island and the Tenement Museum, with stops at Chelsea Market and the High Line in between. Cost includes bus, entrance fees, guides, and an after-hours reception at the Tenement Museum. Find out more on Ephrata's website or register for the trip via Eventbrite.

Somerset Historical Center just opened a new exhibit, "The Barn: Icon of Somerset County Rural Life." The exhibit, which runs through October, explores the design, construction, and use of barns throughout county history. This is particularly timely, since the PA General Assembly has designated 2015 as The Year of the Pennsylvania Barn.

Barn_star_Somerset_Historical_Center
Earlier this year, museum staff installed a Somerset County barn star outside the changing exhibit gallery.

Three new behind-the-scenes tours have debuted at the Railroad Museum of PA. Available by advance reservation only, these tours provide guided access to areas that are generally off-limits to visitors. They require an additional fee beyond general admission; proceeds help to support the museum's preservation efforts. More info and instructions on how to book your spot are on the website.

Interior_of_Lotos_Club_Pullman_car_RMP
Interior of Lotos Club, a Pullman-built car (Railroad Museum Facebook page)

For those of you who enjoy the Twitter, please mark your calendars for this year's #AskACurator day, Sept. 16. PHMC curators participated for the first time last year and we hope to have an even more stellar line-up this year. We'll provide more info as plans are formulated. In the meantime, be thinking about what you want to know about our sites, especially the numerous and varied collections we care for.

What's Going On?

So much to do on the Trails of History this month. Be sure to check out the July program listings to make your plans. Remember, July is National Anti-Boredom Month. Only you can prevent boredom, but we can help.

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Independence Day Weekend was abuzz with activity on the Trails of History. On July 3, a team of horses, driver, and wagon from Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum provided transportation for the Moravian Trombone Choir during the (nearby) Lititz parade (photo below by AKF).

Landis_Valley_Wagon_Lititz_Parade

On July 4, visitors to Washington Crossing Historic Park enjoyed military demonstrations, a reading of the Declaration of Independence (Andrea Pearlman Richards shared her photo to the Crossing's Facebook page), and the christening of a newly restored replica Durham boat. The Pennsylvania Military Museum offered one of its Kids Day programs, where children can try on military items from the education collection.

Family_photo_op_at_PA_Military_Museum
Family photo ops at the PA Military Museum on July 4
included a genuine military jeep (from Facebook)
It was a beautiful Sunday at Conrad Weiser Homestead on July 5 for the annual Patriotic Concert, which featured the famous Ringgold Band. Over 100 veterans signed in, each receiving an American flag and a certificate; all names were read as part of the program. In total, more than 450 people were on hand for the event.

Veterans_sign_in_at_Conrad_Weiser_Homestead
Spectators_at_Conrad_Weiser_Homestead
(Top) Veterans sign in so they can be recognized during the program
(Bottom) Spectators enjoy music by the Ringgold Band, founded in 1852
(photos courtesy Friends of Conrad Weiser Homestead)
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In other news...

In late June, representatives of the United States World War One Centennial Commission visited the State Museum, the State Archives, and the Pennsylvania Military Museum. Among other activities the Centennial Commission is partnering with Saving Hallowed Ground to document existing monuments related to "The Great War," while their mission also includes the development of a national WWI memorial. During this centennial period (2014-18), the Military Museum has increased their attention to Pennsylvanians' experience in WWI (already a substantial part of the museum's focus), and the PHMC has a committee working on commemoration of both World Wars (2016 is the 75th anniversary of U.S. entry into WWII).

WWI_Centennial_Commission_at_PA_Military_via_Twitter
WWI Centennial Commission and Saving Hallowed Ground volunteers at
the PA Military Museum's 28th Division Shrine (via @phmc on Twitter)

Archaeological excavations have been going on this summer at Eckley Miners' Village, focused on what is known as the back street, home to the least well-paid workers. The work at Eckley is an extension of the Lattimer Archaeology Project, under the auspices of the Dept. of Anthropology at the Univ. of Maryland. The crew have found a number of interesting artifacts that shed light on the daily lives of mining families. During this year's Patch Town Days event, which was pretty rainy, they shared info with visitors and welcomed them into the on-site lab where they are processing the artifacts unearthed. To learn more about the Eckley dig or the earlier work in nearby Lattimer and Pardeesville, check out the Lattimer Archaeology Project blog.

The Bucks County Courier Times shared video of Pennsbury Manor's first week of Colonial Camp, and it looks like fun. If you're in the area and missed it this week, Time Traveler Camp (for grades 5-7) starts this Monday, July 20, and Colonial Camp II (for grades 1-4) starts July 27.