PHMC Highlights presents stories and information about PHMC programs, events, exhibits and activities.

Old Economy Village volunteer Grant Stewart, portrays the traditional Pennsylvania German figure “Belsnickel,” and talks with young visitors to an Old Economy Village Christmas program in Ambridge, Beaver County. Belsnickel is checking his book to see who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. The Belsnickel is a Santa-like figure but not as jolly; he cautions children to behave well or receive coal in their stockings on Christmas Day.


The Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum and Iron Furnaces Associates held an event in June 2010 entitled “Arts on Fire at the Scranton Iron Furnaces.” The inaugural event featured an iron pour and Scranton’s first Industrial Arts Festival. The committee of partners and volunteers have decided to make it an annual event; the second is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, June 3–4, 2011. For more information, telephone (570) 963-4804.


Ephrata Cloister program volunteer Bonnie Martin and museum educator Michael Showalter portrayed Maria and Michael Miller for a special event at Ephrata Cloister, Ephrata, Lancaster County called “Mysterious, Melancholy, and Macabre.” The program, which was presented out- doors by candlelight on October 22 and 23, 2010, was based on stories and events found in Lancaster County newspapers in the 1700s.


Visiting teachers from Ireland listen to a historical recitation by Jolene Busher, a tour guide at Eckley Miners’ Village, Weatherly, Luzerne County at the historic site’s Church of the Immaculate Conception, an Irish Catholic Church constructed in 1861. Irish teachers have been visiting Northeastern Pennsylvania since 1974. This year’s group lifted the number of participants past 1,000 in the history of the program, the only one of its kind in the United States. The elementary and secondary school teachers also toured the Lackawanna Coal Mine and Harveys Lake and took a walking tour of Wilkes-Barre before visiting Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Lancaster, Gettysburg, and New York City.