“From My Own Observation and Familiar Acquaintance”: Phebe Earle Gibbons Introduces the Pennsylvania Dutch to the World

  “It was on a Sunday morning in March, when the air was bleak and the roads were execrable, that I obtained a driver to escort me to the farm-house where an Amish meeting was to be held,” wrote Phebe Earle Gibbons (1821–93), describing a Lancaster County Amish religious gathering in the late 1860s. “The floors were bare, but on one of the open doors hung a long white towel,...
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Trailheads

Here we are again. As of mid-July, PHMC’s Trails of History sites and museums remain closed to the public amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Special events and programs, including Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum’s Herb & Garden Faire, the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum’s Bark Peelers’ Festival, and Somerset Historical Center’s Mountain Craft Days, have been canceled. Grounds reopened with...
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Trailheads

With more than 20 sites and museums on PHMC’s Pennsylvania Trails of History, each year is full of events, tours, programs and visits. Historical milestones are commemorated — such as the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings during World War II or the centennial of Pennsylvania’s ratification of the 19th Amendment — and “everyday” history is remembered in artifact exhibits, cooking...
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Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation Newsletter

Topics in the Spring 2019 newsletter: PHF Partners with The State Museum for Art of the State Weddings Make History at PHMC Sites PHF at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Mary M. Hull Appointed Manager of PHF  ...
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Trailheads

Autumn is a wonderful time on the Pennsylvania Trails of History. Many travelers combine a visit to one of PHMC’s historic sites and museums with a leisurely drive along Pennsylvania’s scenic highways to view the beautiful fall foliage. The days grow shorter, but there are still plenty of activities at our sites and museums as summer gives way to fall and early winter.   Celebrating the...
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From the Executive Director

People often think of history as events in the distant past, so it’s perhaps natural that visitors to our PHMC sites look for objects from Pennsylvania’s earliest historic periods. Our collections do not disappoint. If you wander through The State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, you’ll find fluted projectile points from the Shoop archaeological site in Dauphin County that date to the last...
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Trailheads

History never truly sleeps on the Pennsylvania Trails of History, but winter is generally a slower season with reduced schedules and fewer programs and events. Charter Day, the celebration of Pennsylvania’s founding (the second Sunday in March), is the traditional start to our spring season. As the weather warms, activity increases at the sites and museums. The landscape loses its dull winter...
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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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Powwowing: Ritual Healing in Pennsylvania Dutch Country

It was just after dark when the powwow doctor arrived at the elderly woman’s home in Lebanon County. The woman had been suffering from swelling in her legs that made walking difficult. Regular medical treatment had proven to be unsuccessful, so after enduring several months of painful discomfort, she called a powwower on the advice of a friend. Tonight would be the third successive...
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Ephrata’s Comet Book

  In the late winter of 1744 a bright comet with six tails that spread out like a fan was visible in the sky. It was so brilliant at its perihelion – its point closest to the sun – that it could be seen even in the daytime. Known as the Great Comet of 1744, the astronomical object mystified the world and led to speculation about its meaning in both scientific and religious...
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