Monday, October 4, 2010

Harvest Days Are Here!

Join in a celebration of Pennsylvania German traditions during Landis Valley Museum's Harvest Days: Oct. 9 & 10th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There will be lots of good food, fun and demonstrations. Take a tour of Landis Valley by foot or by horse driven carriages, choose a pumpkin from our pumpkin patch and enjoy living history as our wonderful volunteers demonstrate German traditions. The museum is also open for tours and discussions about the Landis family.

Demonstrations include:
  • Fraktur
  • Bobbin Lace
  • Chair Caning
  • Pottery
  • Leatherworking
  • Blacksmithing
  • Candle Making
  • Soap Making
  • Corn Milling
  • Plowing
  • Clockworks
  • Hearth & Bake Oven Cooking
  • Apple Butter Boiling
  • Heirloom Apple Tasting
  • Natural Dye Demonstrations
  • Broom Making
  • Textile Arts
  • Coopering
  • Much More!
Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens, $8 for youth ages 6 to 11 and children ages 5 and under are free.

Helpful hint: Sign up for a Landis Valley Associates family membership or renew your membership and your admission to Harvest Days is covered! Stop by the membership table before paying admission to Harvest Days.

Monday, September 20, 2010

New Paint for the Erisman House

Fresh Paint for an Historic Home

Now that the summer heat has finally relinquished its firm hold on Lancaster County, it's time to get some much needed painting done before the cold weather moves in. One of our current projects is repainting the historic Erisman House on the grounds of the Landis Valley Musuem.

Site staff workers Mike and Kyle are busy with the project that requires them to strip away old coats of paint and prepare the wood in a fashion that would deter mold from adhering (a problem with wooden structures, especially aging wood). Next, a linseed oil based paint is applied to the wooden slats. The paint is a traditional base that was once the standard paint used during the 18th and 19th centuries. The advantage of linseed oil based paint is that it lasts longer than Latex paint. The blue paint that is being applied to the window frames and trim is called Prussian Blue -- a color that dates back to 1706.

The Erisman House

The Erisman House was moved to Landis Valley in the 1960s from downtown Lancaster (315 West Orange Street). It was owned since the 1920s by the Erisman family and the last owner, George Erisman, had a business there where he first sold theatrical supplies such as costumes and later repaired dolls (called Erisman's Doll Hospital).

The home is believed to have been built in the late 1700s and it is constructed of logs that are covered with clapboard siding. If you look on the left side of the building (facing the yellow barn) there is a small window where you can see the orginal logs.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Two Great Museums, One Great Deal!

During the month of September, Hands-on House Children's Museum and Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum are partnering to offer a great opportunity for members to enjoy both venues!
If you are a member of the Hands-on House Children's Museum you will be able to visit Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum for free throughout the month of September 2010. Landis Valley Associate members will be able to enjoy the same priviledge at the Hands-on House. How great is that?
For either museum, you must show your current membership card and a valid driver's license. You are limited to bringing only those people who are listed on your membership with you. Showing your card is only good for admission and not for any other museum benefits. If you don't have a membership to either museum, you may purchase one at one or the other (or both!)
We hope to see you soon!

Sundaes on Sundays in the Month of September

Don't let the dog days of summer get you down! Come on out and celebrate the end of one long, hot summer with Ice Cream Sundays at the Landis Valley Museum. It's every Sunday during the month of September from noon until 3 p.m. Enjoy lively fiddle music provided by the Lancaster County Folk Music and Fiddlers Society, horse drawn wagon rides and make your own ice cream sundaes for $1. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $8 for children 3 to 11-years-old, children 2-years-old and under are free. Landis Valley Associate members are free. See you on Sundays!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Bountiful Tomato Season

Tomatos are plentiful this season thanks to long, hot days and drenching late summer rain storms. One local gardner recently plucked her first yield of heirloom tomatos off the vine and said they were the most tastiest tomatos she ever ate. We hear that a lot! Thanks to Landis Valley Museum's Heirloom Seed Project, many gardners from around the world grow succulent and healthy heirloom varieties.

The Heirloom Seed Project

The Heirloom Seed Project at Landis Valley Museum has been a forerunner to the seed preservation movement for the past 25-years. Started in 1985 with only a handful of seed varieties, the Heirloom Seed Project now preserves over 200 varieties that have historical significance to Pennsylvania Germans from 1750 to 1940.

Just as important to preservation is education of individucals and groups of the significance of seed conservation. Volunteers are essential to the success of our project. Weekly volunteers come year round to work in the gardens, process the seeds and fill catalog orders. Youth volunteers join us during their summer vacations. Young or seasoned, there is always a place for a committed individual with the Heirloom Seed Project.

Environmentally Conscious Program

We primarily use organic pest management techniques in our gardens, fields and orchards. Located within idyllic acres of Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, the Heirloom Seed Project volunteers tend to the many gardens that grace the grounds of the museum, including two renowned historic raised bed gardens that illustrate gardens from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Over 100 acres of grounds give visitors the opportunity to experience living history at its best. Fields of flax, horses and plows, heritage breeds of cows and chickens and the smell of dinner cooking over an open fire from our tavern fireplace are only a small part of each visitor's experience.

Heirloom or open pollinated varieties produce plants true to their parents from generation to generation. Our open-pollinated varieties produce seeds that can be saved from your gardens year after year.

2011 Seed Varieties List
Will be available in January 2011 and can be mailed to you at your request. Please contact Beth at (717) 569-0401, ext. 204. Our varieties and their descriptions along with an order blank that you can print out, are readily available online at:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Landis Valley Featured at the Barnstormers

On a recent balmy Saturday night, volunteers from the Landis Valley Associates and employees of the Museum spent the evening at a Lancaster Barmstormers game. Although the Barnstormers lost 3-1 to the Somerset Patriots, we met lots of great people and, hopefully, future LVA members!

Landis Valley was one of 11 local historical institutions featured during the park's History Night on Aug. 21. The first 1,000 fans received a bobble head of the 15th President of the United States, James Buchanan. And actors portraying President Buchanan, his niece and family threw out the first pitch.

From our table, located on the third base line in the stadium's main concourse, we handed out brochures, membership information and a calendar of the museum's upcoming events. There were quite a few people who approached us to express their love for Landis Valley. One such admirer asked, "Is this the place where they make apple butter during a fall festival." Yep! That would be Harvest Days. And it's just around the corner...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Springtime at Landis Valley

The warmer weather is working wonders around our site! Beautiful clusters of blossoms in shades of pink, white and purple are making their appearance on the trees.

Poke your head in the hoophouse where our seed house volunteers are busy preparing for the Herb Faire and the wonderful smell of basil and other herbs will greet you.

If you visit on a Thursday and walk down to the Log Farm, you might get to watch volunteers, Floyd and John, bundling rye straw and attaching it to the lowered roof of the hay barrack. Thatching is no easy job!