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Tuesday, 26 March 2019 / Published in News

Morgantown, PA. On Saturday, April 6th Civil War buffs and enthusiasts are invited to come out to Historic Joanna Furnace to learn about Civil War reenacting. On this day the PA 50th & 69th Civil War regiments will meet at historic Joanna Furnace for their annual training day. This is where participants in these Civil War groups will go over all safety aspects of the hobby including proper handling of the rifle, as well as proper rifle firing techniques. The groups will also drill their troops, so they are ready to maneuver properly while out at Civil War reenactments. In addition, all personal reenactment equipment is checked to make sure that each member is ready to take the field safely. Guests are welcome to come out to Joanna Furnace on this day to observe and to ask questions. Plus, visitors who want to get involved in Civil War reenacting are welcome to sign up to be a part of this living history group. Admission and parking are free at this event.

The event starts off at 7 am with an all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfast in the Joanna Furnace Mule Stable. Other light fare including hot dogs, soup and drinks will be sold throughout the day. In the evening from 6:30 to 8:30 pm Hay Creek Valley Historical Association volunteers will join in the festivities with a lantern-lit tour of the 18th & 19th century Iron Works. Visitors will be able to visit the old furnace store/office, charcoal barn, blacksmith shop, casting house and see the iron furnace itself.

The 69th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry an Irish Unit, also known as the 69th Penna. Irish Volunteers is mostly known for repulsing Pickett’s charge at the “Angle” at Gettysburg on July 3rd, 1863. The 69th PVI fought every campaign with the Army of the Potomac from 1861-1865. Of the 1,007 men mustered in, in 1861, less the 56 still served at the surrender at Appomattox in 1865.

Today the 69th PVI is made up of individual men, women, fathers, sons, women, and families from all walks of life who are engaged in a wide variety of activities. We welcome all individuals who are interested in joining us to honor the men of the 69th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. The 69th PVI honors the original 69th members by participating in Civil War reenactments, School presentations, Parades, Living histories programs as well as raising money for grave preservation of the unmarked graves of the original 69th PVI members.

Each year before our reenacting season starts, the 69th PVI participates in the School of Soldier. This is where we get together to refresh and to shake off the rust so to speak over the winter down time. We go over all safety aspects of the hobby including proper handling of the rifle, as well as proper rifle firing techniques. We also drill the troops, so they are ready to maneuver properly while fighting in the field. All personal equipment is checked to make sure that each member of the 69th PVI is ready to take the field safely.

The School of Soldier event will be shared with the 50th PVI. The 50th PVI is from Berks County, Schuylkill County, Lancaster County, and Luzerne County. The 50th was mostly a German unit. They were known by General Grant as “Old Reliable”. The 50th PVI was at Ft. Wagner with the 54th Mass. You may have seen the movie “Glory” which covers this battle at the end of the film.

The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization dedicated to the preservation and education of America’s iron heritage. Net proceeds from this event support the restoration and educational projects of The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association and Joanna Furnace, a historically significant 18th and 19th-century charcoal-fueled iron furnace. Anyone wishing to find more information about the 2019 events or educational programs at Joanna Furnace can visit the Hay Creek Valley Historical Association website at www.haycreek.org or call 610-286-0388. The Joanna Furnace site is located three miles north of Morgantown, along Route 10. For entrance turn at Furnace Road.

Friday, 08 March 2019 / Published in News

MORGANTOWN, PA    The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association is a-wear’n the green!! So pick up an Irish Brogue . . . bring your clan and your appetite to a fabulous ‘Irish Breakfast buffet’ on Saturday, March 16 from 7:00 a.m. to noon. That morning Joanna Furnace, figuratively, turns green with the best Gaelic atmosphere and eating imaginable. And if the food isn’t enough to draw people to the furnace, the entire buffet will be enhanced by traditional Irish music performed by Hay Creek’s own Lady of Song, Phyllis Hummel.

Many of the early Joanna Furnace workers were Irish

This homage to Ireland will feature a hearty, traditional Irish buffet of Pancakes, French toast, County Sausage, Homemade Corned Beef Hash, Bacon, Scrapple, Creamed Chipped Beef, Scrambled Eggs, Country Style Potatoes, Baked Oatmeal, Fruit, Coffee, Juice and more.  The cost for the Buffet: Adults $9.50 Children (5-11) $4.50 Children under 5 FREE.  Most of the Irish, and some Scottish songs to be heard would have been familiar to the Scotch-Irish workers at Joanna Furnace and their families in the local community.  Reservations are not required to attend.

Mark Zerr, Executive Director of the Hay Creek Valley Clan and the historic site, says “We start the new year off with our February Valentine’s event which brings an end to the winter doldrums.   This is now followed by our upcoming March 16th  Irish Buffet.  It’s our way of bringing out the green in anticipation of spring for the families in our area communities. We want them to come out and see what’s new at Joanna Furnace. This event always previews of all the exciting events, programs and projects everyone can look forward to for the rest of the year.“

Learn about upcoming Hay Creek Valley Historical Association & Historic Joanna Furnace Volunteer Opportunities

March is the month when the Hay Creek Valley Historical Association opens up its doors and welcomes new volunteers to step forward and learn about being a tour guide at Joanna Furnace or taking a hands-on craft class on an early American trade.  This year’s course offerings includes:  March 12th – Learn to be a Joanna Furnace Tour Guide, March 16th – 19th Century Metal Casting, March 16th – Candle Making, March 19th – “Letters of a Daughter’s Devotion Preserved for Centuries”, March 26th – 19th Century Iron Production at Joanna Furnace, March 30th – Early American Cooking —  Colonial Chocolate, April 6th – School of Soldier, April 27th – Natural Dying.  For more information or to register for any of these classes please email info@haycreek.org.

The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization dedicated to the preservation and education of America’s iron heritage. Net proceeds from this event support the restoration and educational projects of The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association and Joanna Furnace, a historically significant 18th and 19th-century charcoal-fueled iron furnace.  Anyone wishing to find more information about the 2019 events or educational programs at Joanna Furnace can visit the Hay Creek Valley Historical Association website at www.haycreek.org  or call 610-286-0388.  The Joanna Furnace site is located three miles north of Morgantown, along Route 10.  For entrance turn at Furnace Road.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019 / Published in News

“Enjoy the quiet historic destination, calming romantic music and delicious breakfast with your Valentine… we’ll fill the air with history and love”

MORGANTOWN, PA . . . The 12th annual all-you-can-eat Joanna Furnace Valentine’s Breakfast Buffet, with live musical performances, will be held Saturday, February 16, at Historic Joanna Furnace Iron Works. This first event of the year opens the Joanna Furnace museum for a tremendously exciting season. In 2019 there will be many things happening at Joanna Furnace. The 1791 iron-making community will be preparing for three major annual festivals, numerous programs for public schools and three significant restoration projects, plus the Monthly Saturday morning events.

The Valentine Breakfast Buffet, open from 7 a.m. to 12 noon., will feature a traditional and varied breakfast buffet. Families can enjoy fresh country sausage, ham, scrapple, bacon, creamed chipped beef, scrambled eggs, pancakes, pancakes with chocolate chips French toast, hash browns, fruit sauce, beverages (including whipped hot chocolate) and our delicious Joanna Furnace chocolate covered strawberries.

Denver area guitarist Phyllis Hummel will play acoustical guitar and sing a variety of romantic ballads throughout the event. Ms. Hummel has been performing for more than 20 years in the Tri-County area and has performed at many area establishments.

“We have something for everyone, including the kids,” says Mark Zerr, executive director for the Joanna Furnace Museum and the Hay Creek Valley Historical Association. “This year we are looking forward to attracting new families and retired people to join us in our quest to become an even more significant historical and educational center. At this event visitors will be able to get information on the opportunity openings we have in various committees and prospects available to learn so many special crafts, foods, technology and educational interest areas. ”

Reservations for the Valentine’s Breakfast Buffet are not required. Admission for individual adults is $9.50, Children are encouraged; ages 5 – 11 are $5.00 and those under 5 eat free.

The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association is a non-profit organization. Net proceeds from this event are used to support the educational programs and restoration of Joanna Furnace. This significant 18th and 19th-century charcoal-fueled iron furnace community is nestled in a valley just off Route 10 on Furnace Road—north of Morgantown.

For more information, visit the Hay Creek Valley Historical Association website at www.haycreek.org or call 610-286-0388.

Wednesday, 02 May 2018 / Published in News

An 1868 Historic Ironmaster’s Wedding . . . and you can be a guest!

Morgantown, PA. The Hay Creek Historians are honored to announce their most exciting historical reenactment event for 2018!

The invitation has just been issued inviting area residents to the wedding reenactment of the last Joanna Furnace Iron Works ironmaster L. Heber Smith and Ella Jane (Jennie) Grubb of Lancaster. This elegant Victorian Wedding, dinner and reception will take place Saturday, June 16, 2018 – 5 to 9 pm at Historic Joanna Furnace, near Morgantown.

The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association is proud to partner with Fecho Productions, LLC in cooperation with the Genesius Theater of Reading PA, to bring a one-of-kind historical theater/dining/dancing experience that will honor the last ironmaster of Joanna Furnace, L. Heber Smith and his bride, Ella Jane Grubb.

Theater master, Lawrence Fecho, and an all-star professional cast will bring the Smith and Grubb families to life. Fecho is currently the Artistic Director of Genesius Theatre, in Reading, Pennsylvania, where he began his theatrical career at the age of twelve. He started his professional career as a staff assistant for the late great Broadway Producer, Alexander H. Cohen, and consequently worked on the 1977 Tony Awards. Mr. Fecho has directed, produced and designed over fifty productions at Genesius Theatre and his company, Fecho Productions, produces the annual “A CHRISTMAS CAROL IN WEST READING,” murder mystery presentations, and corporate team building games up and down the East Coast.

This will be an evening of interactive historical theater, an elegant catered dinner, wines by Starving Artist Winery for a discriminating audience. It all happens under a wedding tent at Historic Joanna Furnace Iron Works near Morgantown, PA

This entire event gives new meaning to the concept of dinner theater. From the time the bride arrives in her elegant two-horse Victorian carriage, to the ceremony, then the dinner/reception and finally the dancing, attendees will become participants in an accurately depicted 1868 Victorian wedding. The horses and carriage are from White Chimneys Estate in Lancaster County. Weather permitting, after dinner, attendees can have a carriage ride for a nominal fee. Also, a photographer will be on hand to take photos of the wedding guests in the Victorian parlor. Photographer, Bill Swedas will then post files online and guests will be able to print out their photos in a period genre.

Nine Professional actors will take on the roles of the newlyweds and the Smith and Grubb families. To round out their 19th-century experience, members of the audience will be given 1868 period identities.

Guests to this summer social will interact with historical figures from 1868 and become part of the show!

Followed the wedding ceremony, before the dinner, butlered hors-d’oeuvres created by the HCVHA food service team, will be served. The appetizers include puffed pastry with crab, cheese salmon rounds and fruit skewers. A catered dinner by Shady Maple Catering will follow. The main courses feature herb baked chicken breast, slow roasted tender beef, green bean almandine, parsley buttered potatoes, tossed salad with lemonade, coffee then be served. A wedding toast to the new couple happens after the meal.

Dinner will be followed by the cutting of the beautiful Victorian Wedding Cake and then dancing as part of a traditional 19th -century wedding celebration. The Victorian Wedding Cake is created by Shady Maple Bakery. The 19th-century ceremony and dance music will be provided by Beck’s Civil War Brass Band. The Civil War period dance styles will be presented by the Civil War Dance Foundation. A dance master and floor managers will guide guests in dancing to the steps of the era. As an added benefit for people making reservations to attend this event, a free two-hour workshop will allow all those interested in learning 19th-century dance styles. This free pre-event workshop for reservation holders will be held on Thursday, June 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Joanna Furnace.

In keeping with the historical interpretation standards of the HCVHA, this event will be as accurate as possible to the social conventions of the 1860’s.

The Ironmaster’s Wedding takes place at Historic Joanna Furnace off Route 10, on Furnace Road, three miles north of Morgantown.

The June 16th wedding and celebration begins at 5:00 pm and ends at 9:00 pm.

Parking is free. The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Tickets are required to attend. Cost: $65.00 per person or $120 per couple.

To reserve tickets or for information about this once-in-a-lifetime celebration call, 610-286-0388 or email mzerr@haycreek.org .

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