By Betsy Natter
Experience the rich local history of Montgomery County as it comes to life this fall during several events designed to inform and stimulate your appreciation for the past. Kids will love the hands-on experience of becoming a soldier and adults might just learn a few things they missed in history class. Check out these opportunities offered below:
Soldiers – Then & Now
Peter Wentz Farmstead
2030 Shearer Rd., Lansdale, PA 19446
Children will enjoy learning about the lives of soldiers during the American Revolution during this Child’s Play Series program on Wed., Nov. 1. After learning about the past, children will participate in writing a thank you note to current service members. Two sessions are planned beginning at 10 am and 1 pm. The program is designed for children ages 3 and older and pre-registration is required. There is a $5 per child fee and adults are required to accompany their children.
1777 Whitemarsh Encampment Reenactment
553 S. Bethlehem Pk., Fort Washington, PA, 19034
Experience daily life at a Revolutionary War Encampment during this living history display on Sat., Nov. 4, from 10 am to 4 pm. Re-enactors will engage in skirmishes at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm and children can participate in the muster drill at 12:45 pm. Watch demonstrations in colonial skills such as textiles and dying, paper making and open hearth cooking. Children can join in a scavenger hunt as well as a variety of activities designed especially for them.
Enjoy a lecture at 10:30 am by Jeffrey Finegan, Sr., author of the I Knew George Washington series. The author will have copies available for purchase and signing. Also learn about the experiments of Benjamin Franklin during a presentation by Michael Kochan at 1 pm.
The re-enactment commemorates the period from Nov. 2 to Dec. 11, 1777 when General George Washington and the Continental Army camped in the Whitemarsh Hills, just prior to their move to winter quarters in Valley Forge. Tours of Hope Lodge, built about 30 years before the War, will also be available.
Nighttime History Hike: Odd Stories of West Laurel Hill
West Laurel Hill Cemetery
225 Belmont Avenue, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
Discover the history of West Laurel Hill cemetery, founded nearly 140 years ago, during this nighttime hike on Thurs., Nov. 16 from 6 to 8 pm. Visit the sites of notable figures and hear strange tales of some of the local “residents” from a 19th century cult leader to the drastic measures Charles Goldbeck took to make sure he wasn’t buried alive and more! The program is for anyone over 13 years of age. Participants should dress appropriately for the nighttime weather. The hike will begin at the Conservatory and light refreshments will be served. Registration is required and can be made online. Admission is $10 for members and $20 for non-members. All proceeds will benefit the Lower Merion Conservancy.