Artful Trails

In honor of the 50th Art of the State exhibition, open through September 10, 2017, at The State Museum of Pennsylvania, we’re exploring art at other historic sites and museums along PHMC’s Pennsylvania Trails of History. As visual storytellers, our sites employ a multidisciplinary approach to documenting and sharing Pennsylvania heritage. Artworks frequently play a role in the study...
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World War I Centennial Trails

As part of PHMC’s Pennsylvania at War initiative, sites on the Pennsylvania Trails of History have planned programs and events to commemorate the centennial of America’s entry into World War I. Check the websites listed below or the weekly Trailheads blog and its monthly program pages for updates and additions to events and activities.   Erie Maritime Museum On April 6, 1917,...
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The Year That Was

2014 was a good year on the Pennsylvania Trails of History, with more than half a million visitors to sites spread across the Commonwealth. Long-standing programs continued to draw crowds, and many sites branched out in new directions as well. Trying new things can present challenges, but our staff and volunteers are committed to expanding audiences and generating new resources to keep sites...
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Model of U.S.S. Michigan at Erie Maritime Museum

While she was being constructed, beginning in July 1842, the vessel known at her December 5, 1843 launch as U.S.S. Michigan (in honor of the Union’s newest state) and later as U.S.S. Wolverine (renamed in 1905 for Michgan’s state animal so the state name could be used for a new dreadnought battleship) was simply called “Lake Steamer” or “Iron Steamer.” Two...
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U.S.S. Niagara Spans Over 160 Years

Erie’s claim to maritime fame came early in its history. And this was due mainly to its geographic location. War was declared by the United States against Great Britain on June 18, 1812. The British were much better prepared for the war. Along the Great Lakes they had military posts from Niagara to Sault Ste. Marie and, equally important, had a fresh water navy. The summer campaign of 1812...
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Erie Maritime Museum: A New Museum Opens a Window to History

Nearly two centuries ago, a newly built squadron of United States Navy warships set sail from the shores of Lake Erie to battle a contingent of the British Navy, the most formidable naval force in the world. The ensuing battle of the War of 1812 shocked the British admiralty and boosted the morale of the U.S. Navy and the entire nation. The legacy of this battle is graphically chronicled by the...
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Experience Lake Erie as a Seaman!

Standing on Lake Erie’s shoreline on a summer day, your eye catches a glint of sunlight on a tiny speck white far off in the distance. Eventually, sails, masts, and rigging of a magnificent tall ship emerge over the horizon, unlike any other structure for hundreds of miles in any direction. For those on board this stately vessel, the US Brig Niagara offers an incomparable experience. They can...
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