Here is a sample of history and heritage-related events taking place around Pittsburgh and across southwestern Pennsylvania this August. Be sure to visit us at Southwestern Pennsylvania Guide daily for more news and posts from around the region.
Fort Pitt Museum: Guided Tour
8/4/18 – Saturday 11:00am – Noon
Get to the point of Pittsburgh history by taking a one-hour highlights tour of the Fort Pitt Museum, featuring the Fort Pitt diorama, the Trader’s Cabin, and the main exhibits on the museum’s second floor. Following the tour, visitors are encouraged to re-visit displays and exhibits to learn more about Fort Pitt, the French & Indian War, and the American Revolution. Guided tours of the Fort Pitt Museum are offered twice a day on Saturdays and Sundays from June through August. No registration or sign-up is required to participate in a guided tour.
Encampment: The Armies in the Meadow
Fort Necessity National Battlefield
8/4/18 – 8/5/18 – Saturday/Sunday. 9:00am – 4:30pm
On Saturday and Sunday, August 4 and 5, visit Fort Necessity National Battlefield to learn more about “The Armies in the Meadow.” Volunteer and staff living historians will portray the various members of both the British and French armies who served at the Great Meadows in 1754-55 during this 18th-century military encampment. French and British Regulars, American Provincials, French-Canadian Militia, civilians and Native American warriors will each be represented. The camp will be open from 9:00am-4:30pm on Saturday and Sunday, with additional special programs offered both days.
Free Tours for Nathanael Greene’s Birthday
Historic Hanna’s Town
8/5/18 – Sunday, 1:00 – 3:30pm
Visit Historic Hanna’s Town to celebrate the birthday of Nathanael Greene, general in the Revolutionary War and the namesake of Greensburg. While Greene’s birthday is actually August 7, we are offering free tours of Historic Hanna’s Town on Sunday, August 5. Today, Greensburg is the county seat of Westmoreland, though this title belonged to Hanna’s Town in the late eighteenth century. Discover this history and more at Historic Hanna’s Town!
The Pen in the Commons
8/7/18 – Tuesday – 7:00pm
The story of the location, construction and then removal of the Western Penitentiary in the heart of the Allegheny Commons. Learn about it as part of ACS’s “Tuesdays in the Groves With Gus” across West Ohio Street from Gus’s ice-ball stand.
History on a Hayride
Somerset Historical Center
8/11/18 – Saturday, 10:00am – 2:00pm
Enjoy a wagon ride around the Somerset Historical Center’s beautiful grounds while hearing local tales of Harmon Husband, Covered Bridges, Robber Lewis, and more! Two rides offered each day. Tickets are $8 for members, $10 for non-members. For more information visit the Somerset Historical Center’s website at www.somersethistoricalcenter.org.
Vintage Base Ball Game
Meadowcroft Rock Shelter
8/18/18 – Saturday, Noon – 5:00pm
Play ball! Celebrate America’s pastime and cheer for a baseball game, 19th-century style.
Visit Meadowcroft to watch a “base ball” (originally written as two words!) game between the Somerset Frosty Sons of Thunder and the Addison Mountain Stars. The teams will wear vintage uniforms and follow the rules commonly used during the 1860s.
Enjoy food and fun in the 19th century American tradition.
The Vintage Base Ball Day event is included with regular Meadowcroft admission.
River City Brass Band Concert
Old Economy Village
8/19/18 – Sunday, 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Once again the big band sound will return to Old Economy’s garden. River City Brass is scheduled for a concert on Sunday, August 19th, at 5:00 p.m. Gates will open at 4:00 p.m. Tickets for the concert are $15 per person and are available in advance at the Old Economy Village Visitor Center. Tickets can also be purchased at www.oldeconomyvillage.org using Paypal. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be moved into the Feast Hall so there will be a limited number of tickets available for the show.
This is a wonderful event that harkens back to the days when the Harmonists held concerts in the garden in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Bring along a lawn chair or blanket, a picnic basket, and your favorite beverage and enjoy a beautiful evening at Old Economy.
Flax to Linen
The Depreciation Lands Museum
8/19/18 – Sunday, 1:00 – 4:00pm
Come to watch and perhaps lend a hand as we process flax plants into linen !
Today we take clothing, fabrics and yarns for granted. Easy to wash fabrics abound in our shops. Until the Industrial Revolution in the first quarter of the 1800’s, all yarn, thread, cloth and clothing was made by hand. In our northern area of America, where cotton does not grow, we relied on linen for our washable clothing.
But what a process it is to create linen cloth from the flax plant! The old saying that “It Takes a Year and a Day to Make a Shirt” is very true!
The flax seed is planted in early spring and the plants harvested in mid summer. It must first be dried, then retted and dried again. Finally, by fall, we can begin the process of “Breaking” the hard stems, “Scutching” to rub away the stem debris, “Hackling” to comb the fibers and prepare them to be spun.
The small portable wheels we generally see demonstrated today were traditionally used to spin flax into linen thread. Once enough thread is spun, the loom is “Warped” and made ready for the weaver to produce cloth. After weaving, the gray linen cloth is usually bleached by wetting it and spreading it in the sun for weeks or months, before it is ready to be used for clothing.
As always, you will find our village bustling with residents carrying on their everyday lives. Attend school, visit the blacksmith, and stop in to see what is happening in the log cabin.
There truly will be plenty for Everyone to keep busy today!
Admission charged: $5/Adults, $3/Children, DLMA members are free. For more information e-mail DLMuseum@gmail.com the Museum or call 412-486-0563 and leave a message.