Join the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) in celebrating the commonwealth’s 336th birthday on Charter Day, Sunday, March 12, with free admission to many of the historic sites and museums along the Pennsylvania Trails of History.

Pennsylvania was created when England’s King Charles II granted a charter to William Penn in 1681. Once each year the Pennsylvania State Archives exhibits the original document, for a limited time, at the State Museum of Pennsylvania. For the remainder of the year the Charter is safeguarded in a special vault within the Archives.

In addition to the Charter, the Archives will also display the original Great Law, passed between December 4 and 7, 1682, during the General Assembly’s very first session.

The Great Law is a series of statutes that provided a stable groundwork for Pennsylvania’s representative government. Among other things, it addressed elections and taxation, and it guaranteed a greater degree of religious freedom than any other legal code of its day. Like the Charter, the Great Law is fragile and rarely displayed. It is on view this year in honor of the 335th anniversary of the General Assembly.

Admission to The State Museum is free on Charter Day, Sunday, March 12, only, and includes visits to the Planetarium, the Curiosity Connection, and galleries. Free tickets are required for the Planetarium and the Curiosity Connection.

Additionally, State Museum Archaeologists will be talking about petroglyphs from 12:00 noon to 4:00 PM in Nature Lab. Petroglyphs are images carved into rock surfaces. These consist of lines, dots, human, animal, supernatural and symbolic designs and are a rare glimpse into the minds of ancient Native Americans.

The Pennsylvania Charter and Great Law will remain on display until 1:00 PM, Friday, March 17 at the Museum when the documents will be returned to the vault for another year.

In addition to programing at The State Museum, many historic sites and museums along the Pennsylvania Trails of History will offer free admission on Sunday, March 12.

Participating historic sites and museums include:

• Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum, Scranton
• Brandywine Battlefield Park, Chadds Ford
• Conrad Weiser Homestead, Womelsdorf
• Cornwall Iron Furnace, Cornwall
• Daniel Boone Homestead, Birdsboro
• Drake Well Museum, Titusville
• Eckley Miners’ Village, Weatherly
• Ephrata Cloister, Ephrata
• Erie Maritime Museum & Flagship Niagara, Erie
• Fort Pitt Museum, Pittsburgh
• Graeme Park, Horsham
• Hope Lodge, Ft. Washington
• Joseph Priestley House, Northumberland
• Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, Lancaster
• Pennsbury Manor, Morrisville
• Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, Ulysses
• Pennsylvania Military Museum, Boalsburg
• Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Strasburg
• Somerset Historical Center, Somerset

Plenty of wildlife topics in this spring issue: photos, bear tagging, stream clean up, photographing ducks. Lots to do, too: the newly restored Memorial Hall in Philadelphia, the Omni Bedford Resort, and the amazing Jay Bee Circus in Butler County.


Shooting Ducks
A wide variety of ducks live in and migrate through Pennsylvania. Learn techniques and tips for taking excellent photos this spring. by wayne miller

Child’s Play
Philadelphia’s Please Touch Museum, a family playland, recently moved into Memorial Hall by jim mcclelland

Bedford Springs
Historic resort reopens as a world-class luxury destination by larry g. mckee

Back at You!
No matter how we try to blend in, our state’s wild residents almost always see us before we see them.

Round Up:

Jay Bee Circus, Festival of the Birds (Presque Isle), Sherman Theater, Hickory Run State Park, Chester County Hall of Heroes, tagging black bears, and restoring mine-drainage damaged streams

Bed & Breakfast:
Lawrence County
Book Reviews:
Spring Events Calendar :
March through mid-May
Town & Country Stories: The Geologist on the Strip
Although he dreams of his native Albania every night, Koko Prifanti has found a home in Pittsburgh, next to the cheese and olives by bette mcdevitt

Did ’ja Know? : Our Native Residents
Who were they and where did they go? This may be the easiest or the most difficult quiz in “Did ’ja Know” history—you be the judge  by publisher al holliday