PHMC Highlights

Here are a few of the PHMC Highlights that appeared in the Fall 2009 issue of PA Heritage magazine, as well as some extras that didn't fit in this issue.



Living History Sunday at Graeme Park



Museum volunteer Sue Tafel (left, in doorway), portrayed Lady Anne Keith, eighteenth-century mistress of the Keith House and mother-in-law of Dr. Thomas Graeme, after whom PHMC's Graeme Park in Horsham, Montgomery County, is named. Guided tours of the Keith House were part of the Living History Sunday held at Graeme Park in June. Colonial life, including hearth cooking and period crafts and trades, were also presented during the event.



Colonial Spring at Washington Crossing Historic Park



In an effort to bring living history to the public year round, Washington Crossing Historic Park, Washington Crossing, Bucks County, presented a "colonial spring," giving the public a look at eighteenth-century domestic arts and farming. Connie Unangst (top, right), a frequent demonstrator at the park, tempted appetites with a presentation of colonial spring cooking. The event also featured sheep shearing, spinning and weaving demonstrations, period laundering, children's games and activities, historic garden interpretation, and tours of the Thompson-Neely House. The dwelling was built in the 1730s, with a second floor added in 1757 by Robert Thompson, a wealthy miller, and his wife Hannah.



Ephrata Cloister Chorus celebrated its fiftieth anniversary



The Ephrata Cloister Chorus celebrated its fiftieth anniversary on May 31 with an outdoor concert recreating its first performance at the historic site in Ephrata, Lancaster County. In 1959, the chorus, directed by Russell Getz, was formed to recreate the original music of this eighteenthcentury religious community. Getz's work to document this music continues with scholars researching and transcribing Ephrata's music. The Ephrata Cloister Associates has performed in New York, Washington, D.C., North Carolina, Philadelphia, and in four European concert tours, and is preparing for a fifth tour abroad. Directing the chorus is composer, organist, and consultant Dr. Daryl Hollinger, of Lebanon, Lebanon County.



Folk Songs at the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum



On June 28, Jay Smar (left) and Van Wagner performed folk songs at the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum in McDade Park, Scranton, Lackawanna County. Songs from the musicians' most recent album, Heritage & Coal Mining Songs of Northeast Pennsylvania, featured Wagner performing "Lattimer Massacre." The goal of the album is to rekindle interest in anthracite miners' songs and stories collected and recorded by amateur folklorist George Korson (1899–1967) of Pottsville, Schuylkill County, from the mid-1920s until his death, and to introduce contemporary songwriters of the northeastern Pennsylvania coal region. Smar and Wagner provided historical narrative and origins for the songs.



People's Choice Festival at the Pennsylvania Military Museum



The Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg, Centre County, an important resource for Pennsylvania's military history, honors past and present soldiers, as well as hosts activities for the entire family. The sluggish economy did not deter record crowds from attending the annual People's Choice Festival on the museum grounds in July 2009. The festival's nonprofit organizer rents property from the museum and receives volunteer assistance from veterans groups, the public, and the Friends of the Pennsylvania Military Museum. The museum building (above), with its colorful display of military service and campaign award ribbons painted on the façade, beckons festival visitors to visit the museum.

PHMC Pennsylvania Military Museum/Photo by Joseph Horvath



Patch Town Days at Eckley Miners' Village



Custodial Guide Thomas J. Curney (above) is a regular participant among the reenactors who populate Eckley Miners' Village in Weatherly, Pa., during Patch Town Days, held each June at the historic site, where the story of coal miners and their families are told. Patch Town Days celebrate the customs and traditions of the anthracite coal region through music, dancing, food, living history demonstrations, crafts, artisans, and more.



Volunteers at Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum and Iron Furnaces



Gerry and Leonard Janus are a quiet and unassuming couple. Yet their contributions to the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum and Iron Furnaces in Scranton, in 2008 have been extraordinary. Leonard Janus, or Len, began volunteering as a docent in 2007. His friendly smile, twinkling eyes gentle voice behind a Santa-like beard worked their magic in holding children's attention for coal region heritage stories. Because the Januses are well known in the region for their knowledge of plants and herbs, Len was asked for suggestions on caring for the plantings at the museum's entrance. On her next visit, Gerry Janus had volunteered to design a plan to replant the garden beds. Gerry presented a plan for an Anthracite Heritage Garden of ornamental plants and herbs common during the coal mining era, from the turn of the century to the 1940s. Specimens of these heritage plants were donated by the Januses from their gardens. In July 2008 the Anthracite Heritage Garden was dedicated, complete with labels and a written guide created by Keystone Intern Nora Mattern under Len and Gerry's guidance. In July 2008 the Anthracite Heritage Garden was dedicated, complete with labels and a written guide created by Keystone intern Nora Mattern. Other members of the museum's horticultural team include Julie Waydeman, Carol Lizell, Carol Gargan, JoAnn Hector, Bill Hector, Mary Polkowski, Mary Eleanor Dziak, and Elaine Hannis.



Vietnam Revisited 2009



An Associated Press multi-media photographer snaps an action photo of a 1st CAV reenactor during the annual VIETNAM Revisited Combat Bivouac held at the Pennsylvania Military Museum on 25-26 July.



Museum educator Joe Horvath dressed as a cavalry officer demonstrates the use of the canteen cup to hold morning coffee at the annual VIETNAM Revisited Combat Bivouac held at the Pennsylvania Military Museum on 25-26 July.



SGT Tom Gray of Altoona quizzes a camp visitor as to whether they want to be come a soldier or a reenactor when they get older at the annual VIETNAM Revisited Combat Bivouac held at the Pennsylvania Military Museum on 25-26 July.



"A" Company orderly room at the Forward Operations Center ready for action during the annual VIETNAM Revisited Combat Bivouac held at the Pennsylvania Military Museum on 25-26 July.