News presents briefs about current and forthcoming programs, events, exhibits and activities of historical and cultural institutions in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) adopted as its 2012 annual theme “The Land of Penn and Plenty: Bringing History to the Table.” State Historical Marker Program staff developed a scavenger hunt featuring twenty-two replica markers related to Pennsylvania’s agricultural and food production history that was launched at the 2012 Pennsylvania Farm Show. Visitors obtained scavenger hunt booklets and followed a map to each marker location throughout the Farm Show Complex to answer questions about each marker subject. This activity appealed to young and old alike and provided an opportunity for Pennsylvanians to appreciate and celebrate their rich history. Those who submitted correct answers were entered into a prize drawing for a Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation family membership and other educational prizes.

 

Back By Popular Demand!

Based on last year’s successful launch the Pennsylvania Farm Show invited PHMC to reinstall the scavenger hunt at the 2013 Farm Show which runs from January 5–12, 2013. For the 2013 Farm Show, PHMC will expand the scavenger hunt with two additional replica markers and celebrate the dedication of a new marker recognizing the birthplace of commercial ice cream production. The Birthplace of Commercial Ice Cream Production marker, dedicated in Seven Valleys, York County, on National Ice Cream Day in July 2012, will be on exhibit at PHMC’s Bureau for Historic Preservation (BHP) booth in the Main Hall. We will also have a photo and map exhibit illustrating Pennsylvania’s Agricultural History Project, a BHP initiative. The project is a partnership program among PHMC, Federal Highways Administration, PennDOT’s Bureau of Design, and Pennsylvania State University to provide an overview of historic farming regions through an understanding of products, labor, land tenure, buildings, and landscapes.

To participate in the scavenger hunt, visitors can obtain scavenger hunt booklets at our booth, the main information desk, and several other locations throughout the Farm Show Complex. We hope to have even more participants this year.

Along with BHP’s offerings, the State Museum of Pennsylvania will have a booth nearby focusing on archaeology in the Commonwealth. In addition to the perennially popular dugout canoe, the archaeology booth will feature information about findings related to the French and Indian War.

Please consider a trip to the 2013 Pennsylvania Farm Show. You will find hundreds of booths providing educational information related to Pennsylvania and an opportunity to purchase products made in the Commonwealth. There are thousands of common and exotic animals to see up close, many craft activities including a sheep-to-shawl demonstration, and a wide variety of delicious PA Preferred™ food items to enjoy.

 

Recap of BHP 2012 Farm Show Programs

Last year’s booth featured The Beginning of Agricultural Cooperative Extension Service marker. The subject was approved for a marker by PHMC in March, 2011. This service began in Bedford County and grew into a nationwide assistance program. The marker was featured in the Farm Show’s celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the 4-H youth farming program in the Commonwealth, as 4-H is a component of the Cooperative Extension Service currently administered by Penn State University. The marker was later installed and dedicated at its permanent location in Schellsburg, Bedford County.

The 2012 booth offered a photography exhibit highlighting the various programs and activities involved with the Agricultural Cooperative Extension. Utilizing both historic and modern photographs, the exhibit illustrated how the program had an impact in the past and continues to provide opportunities and assistance to Pennsylvanians today. The program no longer serves only farmers and rural residents, but provides services for suburban and urban communities. Their outreach emphasizes the importance of agriculture for individuals not involved in farming.

A second exhibit featured historic photographs of Governor Gifford Pinchot’s rural road improvement initiative. Entitled Get the Farmer Out of the Mud, the exhibit showed how transportation enhancements greatly improved farmers’ ability to do business as well as improve their way of life. A large backdrop relating the work of the Bureau for Historic Preservation in advising and assisting communities in their preservation efforts topped off the Farm Show Booth.

 

Karen Galle is coordinator of the State Historical Marker Program with PHMC’s Bureau for Historic Preservation which includes the annual nomination and approval process and on-going marker maintenance.