Blog Archives

kahan_paulFor the first Regional History Colloquium of the 2016-2017 Series, welcomes Paul Kahan, Ph.D. who will present a lecture on his most recent publication Amiable Scoundrel: Simon Cameron, Lincoln’s Scandalous Secretary of War. From abject poverty to undisputed political boss of Pennsylvania, Lincoln’s Secretary of War, senator, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and a founder of the Republican Party, Simon Cameron was one of the 19th-century’s most prominent political figures. In his wake, however, he left a series of questionable political and business dealings, and, at the age of eighty, even a sex scandal.

Paul Kahan, Ph.D. is a lecturer at Ohlone College in Fremont, California. He earned a Ph.D. in U.S. History from Temple University. Amiable Scoundrel is Kahan’s fourth book, after Eastern State Penitentiary: A HistorySeminary of Virtue: The Ideology and Practice of Inmate Reform at Eastern State Penitentiary, 1829-1971; and The Homestead Strike: Labor, Violence, and American Industry.

The colloquium Amiable Scoundrel will take place on Thursday, September 29, 2016 in Ryder Hall at, 230 N President Avenue, Lancaster. A social gathering with refreshments and booksigning by the author will begin at 4pm, followed by the lecture from 4:30-5:30pm. This event is free and open to the public.

the war yearsLancaster is in danger of invasion! Alarming news has reached Wheatland in Lancaster that the Confederate Army has invaded Pennsylvania! The Rebels have been seen near the bridge at Wrightsville, PA. As you step back to 1863 at Wheatland, you may be stopped by a member of Masonic Lodge 43. Be sure to show him your calling card, tell him you are a friend of the former President, and find out how those at Wheatland are handling this shocking news.

Tours will be offered:

Saturday, September 24

  • Standard Tour of Wheatland at 10am and 11am
  • Living History Tour at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm

Sunday, September 25

  • Living History Tours at 12, 1, 2, and 3pm

We strongly advise making reservations in advance for your tour since tours do fill up and walk-in space is not guaranteed. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your tour so you may use the facilities and check in.

Visit or call 717-392-4633 to purchase your tickets.

Civil War re-enactors from across the region will set up camp, relive, and remember the Burning of the Wrightsville Bridge and the ensuing Battle of Gettysburg. More than a dozen military and civilian tents will dot the landscape as soldiers and civilians display the equipment and accoutrements of a Federal Union Camp. There will be music, food, and plenty of educational displays.


On Saturday evening at 6:30pm, visitors can experience the camps at dusk as you wind through the grounds lit by luminaries and listen to the voices from the past capture life in the camps through story and song. Good walking shoes recommended.


Living History Encampment Hours:

  • September 24, 2016 from 10am-8pm  |  Torchlight Tours begin at 6:30pm
  • September 25, 2016 from 10am-4pm


This is a free event and open to the public.

This course is designed for anyone who wants to learn the basics of genealogical research. No Lancaster County connections required. Discover how to gather & organize information and use vital and census records to build your family tree.

Instructor: Marjorie Bardeen, Director of Library Services

Pricing: Members of — $15; Non-Members — $20

Special Deal! While the Genealogy Series classes can be taken individually, sign up for all three to receive a discount! Simply choose “Genealogy Series Add-On” to automatically sign up for Intermediate Genealogy AND Advanced Genealogy for a discounted rate. If you have trouble booking this deal or prefer to register over the phone, please call 717-392-4633.



Finkelman_PaulPaul Finkelman, Ph.D. will return to to discuss his research on The Pennsylvania Connection: Black Freedom, Reconstruction, & Keystone State Leadership. This year we celebrate the sesquicentennial of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the passage by Congress of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which revolutionized citizenship in America, put the final nail in the coffin of American slavery, and set the stage (ultimately) for the Civil Rights Revolution of the 1960s. With the second largest delegation in the House of Representatives, Pennsylvanians played a major role in Congress during the 1860s. The key player in the struggle to create meaningful civil rights in America was Thaddeus Stevens, who represented Lancaster County in the House of Representatives. Few members of the House are more important in our history—and more controversial—than Stevens.

Learn more about Stevens and why he helped to strengthen America by implementing Lincoln’s call for “A New Birth of Freedom.” Hated by former slave owners, adored by advocates of freedom, and feared by even his colleagues, this lecture argues that he was Lancaster’s greatest contribution to American history.

The Presidential Lecture The Pennsylvania Connection will take place on Thursday, September 8 in Ryder Hall at, 230 N President Avenue. A social gathering with refreshments will begin at 4pm, followed by the lecture at 4:30pm. This event is free and open to the public.


Anything_But_AgreeableJoin us as we transport you back to September 1866 at the Wheatland Farm of James Buchanan. Desperate for good domestic help, Mr. Buchanan has hired Thomas & Rosanna Gordon, a couple who had resigned from their posts only a few months earlier. Rosanna is the best cook Wheatland has ever had; however, Thomas is, as Mr. Buchanan describes, “anything but agreeable!” When you visit, you will have a unique opportunity to eavesdrop on the arguments and drama that took place at Wheatland in 1866.

The Living History at Wheatland program Anything but Agreeable takes place on Saturday, September 3, 2016 with tours on the hour starting at 12pm and the last starting at 3pm. A standard tour of Wheatland is also offered at 10am & 11am. We strongly advise making reservations in advance for your tour since tours do fill up and walk-in space is not guaranteed. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your tour so you may use the facilities and check in.

Visit or call 717-392-4633 to purchase your tickets.


Step back to the summer of 1867 and celebrate the 4th of July with James Buchanan, his family and friends. Raise a glass of lemonade with Mr. Buchanan and toast the Union’s 91st birthday as his niece, Miss Annie Buchanan, seeks someone to challenge her in her favorite sport of croquet.

The Living History at Wheatland program “Independence & Wickets at Wheatland” takes place on Saturday, July 2, 2016 with tours on the hour starting at 12 noon and the last starting at 3pm. A standard tour of Wheatland is also offered at 10 am & 11am. Visit or call 717-392-4633 to purchase your tickets.

Eighteenth-century consumers were competitive, fashion-driven, social climbers, always trying to keep up appearances and mimic their superiors, and then there were German Americans—the thrifty farmers, who just didn’t care. Are these historical stereotypes true? Join historical archaeologist, Dr. Lydia Garver, for a discussion on how probate inventories and archaeology illuminate the material world of German American households—their clocks, books, coffee mills, and teapots. The objects German immigrants bought, as well as what they brought with them, reveal rich patternsGarver_Headshot of economic engagement that shaped their community and identity in America.

Lydia Garver has a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Indiana University (Bloomington, IN). She is originally from southern Lancaster County and got her start in archaeology as a high school student volunteering on the State Museum of Pennsylvania’s excavations at Ephrata Cloister. Her dissertation focused on the farmstead of an Ephrata Householder family. She is currently the Principal Investigator of the Archaeology Program at the Speaker’s House in Trappe, PA. The site was the home of Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, the First Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. More information is available at

The colloquium German American Consumers will take place on Thursday, June 30, 2016 in Ryder Hall at, 230 N President Avenue, Lancaster. A social gathering will begin at 4pm, followed by the lecture from 4:30-5:30pm. This event is free and open to the public.


On Saturday night, join us to Celebrate the USO at LHO! Get ready for the big USO Show—a new performance created in partnership with the Ware Center’s Laura Kendall. Starring Jeremy “Bob Hope” Kendall and Robert “Bing Crosby” Bigley, and featuring three of Lancaster’s most talented musical ensembles—the Prima Sisters, Second Hand Suits and Temple Avenue—Celebrate the USO at LHO invites you to relive the magic of USO shows of the past when great entertainers like Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and the Andrews Sisters brought joy and humor to our troops around the globe. Cash bar provided by Tellus 360. 

Come early and enjoy a picnic on the lawn before the show. Burgers, hot dogs, and ice cream vendors will be onsite. Tellus 360’s bar opens at 7pm. 

Tickets for the show are $10 per person. Children 10 and under are free to the show. 

Tickets will also be available at door for cash or credit. Please present advance tickets at ticket booth in order to be checked in and receive a wrist band.

The World War II Encampment returns for 2016 with tanks, trucks, tents and troops to recreate the camps of WWII. Explore vintage military vehicles, inspect the weapons, talk with the troops and tour our “Homefront” trailer. A special exhibition of Lancaster WWII artifacts and photographs will be on display in the Stauffer Wing in the main building of


  • Saturday, May 21 from 10am – 10pm
  • Sunday, May 22 from 10am – 4pm

The Encampment is free and open to all ages. Parking is available on-site for free as well.