Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Education is fun at LVM!

As the seasons change so do the activities in the Education Department at Landis Valley Museum. During the summer our focus is on summer camps. At Landis Valley we offer camps including the Summer Sampler and Historic Trades. At Summer Sampler the younger campers enjoyed a week of theme based activities. This year our themes were the “American Girl Doll” and “Apprenticeships.”

The American Girl Doll camp enjoyed activities from the Felicity, Samantha and Kit time periods. These activities included a Victorian Tea Party with parlor games, a price comparison lesson in the Country Store and creating a purse from a burlap sack.

The Apprenticeship camp enjoyed working with David Lunin , a furniture maker. They built their own stool and painted it with milk paint.

The older campers in Historic Trades Camp worked with master cabinet maker, Claire Garman. They built a large bench and learned how to decorate it with a Pennsylvania German technique known as wood graining. The campers were also able to enjoy a clay tablet and bead project with Mike Keller, our potter. The week was only complete after Tom Martin instructed the campers on baking in the wood-fired brick oven behind the Tavern. They tried recipes from the Landis Valley Cookbook which Tom helped to write. We were also able to eat delicious hand made pizzas made in the brick oven for lunch (What a treat!).

This summer was the first time the Education Department offered summertime Hands on History Days. Families and other summer camps from the area took part in both fun filled days. Participants were treated to a lesson in the 1890s school house, processing wool, playing colonial games, learning about artifacts and making an “old fashioned” craft. Many participants also enjoyed a picnic lunch in our picnic grove and a wagon ride.

Due to their success, we will continue to offer the Hands on History Days next summer. Keep watching our web-site for updates on our fall, winter and spring activities in the Education Department and thank you for your continued support.

A quick group shot before putting their homemade pizzas into the wood-fired brick oven!

Participants with instructor Dave Lunin giving their projects the "stress" test!

If you have any questions about any of the programs offered by the Educational Department at Landis Valley Museum, please feel free to give Sheri Brown a call at 717-569-0401, ext. 228.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


There was a very recent discovery in the Landis Valley archives.

What was found was a "commutation" receipt for Henry Harrison Landis (the father of the Landis brothers).

As Henry H. was drafted for service in the Civil War on July 18, 1863 (the Battle of Gettysburg was July 1-3, 1863), he paid a commutation fee of $300 to receive discharge from further liability under the draft instituted in March of the same year. The receipt is dated August 20, 1863.

$300 in 1863 is approximately $5300 in 2009 dollars!

Although Henry obviously did not serve in the military, this still makes an interesting tie-in to our Civil War day event here at Landis Valley.

Here are a few photos from Civil War Day.

Union encampment right outside of the Jacob Landis farmhouse.

Visitors getting an explanation of Civil War military tactics.

A firing demonstration.

Our very own Mike Elmer in uniform atop of our very own horse, Lizzie. Mike is a volunteer with our Farm Program and can often be seen driving or riding our horses.