The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association invites you to participate in one of our many youth educational programs at Joanna Furnace. Based on the people and times of the local community our educational programs will certainly take your child to place where they will DISCOVER, LEARN, & GROW!


Select from nine programs, half day or full day options.  Each program runs for two hours and can hold up to a maximum of 30 Students.  Due to program scheduling trips must be planned for either a Tuesday or Wednesday. Click here to download a registration form.

Here are the nine programs that we offer:

  • ARCHAEOLOGY ADVENTURE - Archaeologists are studying objects uncovered during digs from our latest site...the wheelwright shop. See what has been found, what story there is to tell, and the steps taken before they examine a fragment. Tour an actual dig.
  • COTTAGE INDUSTRIES DOMESTICS - Early American life necessitated having various artisans present in the community to help all live a quality life. Students can meet 3-5 artisans in a round table discussion, and then break into small groups for a hands-on activity with an artisan.
  • LEISURE TIME — It was not all work In the difficult times of the 19th century. Students will play with games and toys of the period, learn their history, and create a game to take home.
  • THE TRAVELING TRUNK - A highly interactive and hands-on experience using a collection of artifacts children encountered in their day to day 19th century lives. Activity begins with dressing in authentic replica garb, completing domestic chores, then off to school. Children learn life was labor intensive, but some time for period games could be made!
  • A DAY AT JOANNA — Tour the complex with interpreters to greet you in each building to share the community life and workday of the 19th century iron plantation. Options to create a period craft at the end of the tour. ONE OF OUR MOST POPULAR OPTIONS!
  • EARLY TECHNOLOGY – Science abounds as students witness authentic ‘simple’ machines from the 1800’s run from a line shaft. Lathes, post drilling, copy machines, agricultural machines and tools of the time, mass producing before the industrial revolution. History and hands on activity included.
  • HISTORIC COOKING — An interactive hands on experience where students will prepare a menu of foods using period recipes, ingredients, techniques and equipment.
  • CASTING — A moulder will meet the students in the casting house, to begin the process of each of them casting a product as historical information is shared.

We also offer …. THREE “ALL DAY” PROGRAMS

EARLY AMERICAN IRON INDUSTRY and THE IRON MAKING PROCESS—An in depth tour of the furnace complex.

“WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF….? - Problem solving scenarios are presented to the teams of students , requiring them to tour the plantation asking questions, recording answers, then reporting their findings.

THINKING ARCHAEOLOGY—A hands on simulated site exploration to include describing and analyzing artifacts.


Nature walks & 19th century herb garden tours


Our programs are perfect for scouts, civic and historical organizations, summer camp programs and church groups. Your group will be engaged and will learn during a visit to our site.

Parents and Teachers of our participating students say:

One of the very best educational outings we have done”… Vernie N.

“Well organized groups and friendly demonstrations– they make it easy to learn”… Jill G.

“...A fun and educational experience. Thank-you.”... Donna Z.

“Joy of learning was obvious...crafter, presenters, etc.”... Lynne K.

“”...standards were reached because of all the artifacts provided for students to view, touch and experience.” … Jenna W. and Heather M.

Email for more information or call 610-286-0388 to schedule your school group today. Please note – groups of 20 or more students are needed for an educational program at Joanna Furnace and one chaperone is required for every 10 students. The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association youth programs are ideal for students in grades 3 to 8.

Pennsylvania Academic Standards

are met in our programs in Pa History 8.2.6.A and US History 8.3.6.B in reference to documents, artifacts and historical sites.

Other standards are met based on the specific program and can be discussed when you register.

Education Improvement Tax Credit (EITC)

The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association is a proud participant in the PA State Education Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). Businesses looking to participate in the EITC program should click here for more information.


The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association offers a $500 scholarship to graduating seniors. Click here to get more information and to download an application.