2009 News & Events Archive

Historical Society programs, events, and news from 2009

Second Tuesdays at Seven Speaker Series

December 8, 2009 at 7:00 PM

A Conversation with Simon and Margaretta Cameron presented by Joe and Christine Meiczkowski. Admission is free.

Annual Deck the Hall Celebration

December 2, 2009 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Please join the Historical Society of Dauphin County as we celebrate the start of the holiday season and present the 2009 John Harris Award for contributions to the community of historic proportions to The Honorable Stephen R. Reed, for his commitment to preserving the history of our region and for his historic tenure as Mayor of the City of Harrisburg.

The 15th annual Deck the Halls celebration and Harris Award ceremony will be held on Wednesday, December 2, 2009, from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM in the historic John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion. Guests will include a capacity crowd of community and corporate leaders, and friends of the honoree and the HSDC.

This will be the eighth year that the celebration has been the setting for presentation of the John Harris Award to a leader whose contributions to the community will become part of Dauphin County history for generations to come. Without a doubt, Mayor Reed fits that description. And, his efforts of the past thirty years on behalf of the City of Harrisburg and the greater region are certainly worthy of recognition.

The award will carry added significance this year because it will be accepted on the eve of the year-long 2010 "SusqueCentennial" celebration, Harrisburg150, initiated by the Mayor to recognize the 150th anniversary of Harrisburg’s incorporation as a city.

Sponsors of Deck the Halls help the Historical Society preserve and present our rich past, meet critical funding needs in the present and celebrate the achievements of those who have had an impact on our future. Please contact us to join in sponsoring the celebration.

Second Tuesdays at Seven Speaker Series

November 10, 2009 at 7:00 PM

A (Second) Conversation with John Harris, Jr. presented by David Biser. Admission is free.

Building Harrisburg Book Signing

November 5, 2009 at 5:30 PM

Ken Frew's Building Harrisburg: The Architects and Builders, 1719-1941 will go on sale Thursday, November 5th. A book signing will be held in the Harris - Cameron Mansion. Light refreshments will be served.

Bus Trip to Dumbarton Oaks and the Kreeger Museum, Washington D.C.

October 14, 2009

This HSDC bus trip will take participants to the often "hidden" part of Washington, D.C. - the area known as Georgetown, which boasts homes of many prominent residents of Washington.

The first top will be Dumbarton Oaks. This estate, now owned by Harvard University, was home to Robert Bliss, a diplomat in the US Foreign Service, and his wife Mildred. Together with landscape designer Beatrix Farand, the Blisses transformed their property into one of the outstanding residences of the Washington, D.C. area. We will tour the room where the United Nations was created, view their magnificent collection of Byzantine art, and visit the outside "rooms" of the extensive gardens. Our visit will coincide with the Dumbarton Oaks' annual Chrysanthemum show.

Lunch will be at the elegant restaurant of Chef Geoff in the Georgetown neighborhood. Then it will be on to the Kreeger Museum, designed by noted architect Philip Johnson as a residence and built for David Kreeger, the former CEO of GEICO Insurance, and his wife, Carmen. Here you will find 200 outstanding paintings by the likes of Cezanne, Degas, Van Gogh, and Klee, and an entire room dedicated to paintings by Monet. The terrace overlooking the pool and gardens features sculptures by Henry Moore, Mailiol, Rodin, and Noguchi. The Kreeger is also home to an excellent collection of African art and contemporary works.

This is one tour that has it all: history, art, architecture, and gardens. It may be a sellout, so please register your intent early by calling 717-233-3462 or emailing office@dauphincountyhistory.org. The cost for members is $97.00; for non-members it is $107.00. As always, lunch is included in the cost of HSDC bus trips.

Second Tuesdays at Seven Speaker Series

October 13, 2009 at 7:00 PM

A Conversation with Judge Thomas Elder presented by Howard Parker. Admission is free.

Friends of the John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion Meeting

October 13, 2009 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM

The Historical Society of Dauphin County proudly introduces a new affiliate: the Friends of the John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion. We're opening the doors for you to be on the ground floor of this new organization.

Come enjoy light refreshments and learn more about this exciting new group. Meet with others who share your interest in local history, and have fun together as we work to preserve and promote the Harris-Cameron Mansion and its history.

Parking is available on the surface parking lot on River Street behind the Mansion. Reservations are welcome but not required.

Saturday Library Hours

October 10, 2009

The Research Library will be open from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Free Admission to the Harris-Cameron Mansion on Smithsonian Magazine’s 5th Annual Museum Day

September 26, 2009 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM

On Saturday, September 26 the Historical Society will participate in the fifth annual Museum Day, presented by Smithsonian magazine. A celebration of culture, learning and the dissemination of knowledge, Smithsonian’s Museum Day reflects the spirit of the magazine, and emulates the free-admission policy of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington, DC-based properties. Doors will be open free of charge to Smithsonian magazine readers and Smithsonian.com visitors at museums and cultural institutions nationwide.

Last year, upwards of 200,000 people attended Museum Day, with all 50 states plus Puerto Rico represented by over 900 participating museums, including 84 Smithsonian affiliate museums. This year, the magazine expects to attract over 1,000 museums.

Participants can tour the Harris-Cameron Mansion between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM on Museum Day. The tour takes about an hour.

Visit www.smithsonian.com/museumday to download your Museum Day Admission Card. Attendees must present the Museum Day Admission Card to gain free entry to participating institutions. Each card provides museum access for two people, and one admission card is permitted per household. Listings and links to participating museums’ can also be found at www.smithsonian.com/museumday.

Saturday Library Hours

September 12, 2009

The Research Library will be open from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Second Tuesdays at Seven Speaker Series

September 8, 2009 at 7:00 PM

HSDC's free Second Tuesdays at Seven series for the 2009 fall season opens with A Conversation with John Harris, Jr. presented by The Rev. David Biser.

Harris-Cameron Mansion Partners with Online Fundraising Program ShopforMuseums.com

Posted August 9, 2009

The Harris-Cameron Mansion recently joined national online fundraising efforts by becoming a Museum Partner with ShopforMuseums.com. Partnering with hundreds of museums, parks, zoos, aquariums and science centers across the country, ShopforMuseums.com serves as a means to raise much needed money to support operating costs at these facilities. Anyone who shops online can have a portion of their purchase donated to a museum of their choice with no extra cost to the consumer.

ShopforMuseums.com was developed by a former science museum director in Oregon, who recognized firsthand that adequate support for museum operations is the foundation upon which the future of any museum is built. In a time of ever increasing state and national budget cuts, museums are faced with raising larger amounts of money on their own.

Although major gifts are most often donated for capital projects or endowments, the fiscal health of museums depends on contributions for general operating support. This type of support is often overlooked and we seldom see major social events organized to raise money for museum operations. Yet it is this operating support that keeps museum doors open and their staffs paid. ShopforMuseums.com was developed to help raise undesignated funds that museums can put towards their operating costs or where ever their need is greatest.

Consumers can shop with hundreds of national retail merchants and at no extra cost, have a percentage of each online purchase donated to an organization of the shopper’s choice. Examples of merchants include EBay, Lands’ End, Staples, USA Today, Office Depot, Chef’s Catalog, Sears, Hickory Farms and Amazon. Even major travel companies participate including Delta Airlines, Holiday Inn, Orbitz, Jet Blue and Enterprise Rent-a-Car.

Businesses can choose to contribute on-going support to a museum at no extra cost by ordering monthly office supplies, computers, cellular phones, furniture, corporate gifts and flowers, plus coordinating corporate travel through ShopforMuseums.com.

Participation is simple and secure. To designate a portion of an online purchase to the Harris-Cameron Mansion, shoppers simply go to www.ShopforMuseums.com and log in. Then choose to support the Harris-Cameron Mansion. Shoppers click on the link of the store they would like to visit and go about their shopping. The percentage of each purchase gets tracked automatically as long as shopping begins each time at ShopforMuseums.com.

Museums serve a vital role within our communities and country. Museums serve as stewards of culture and heritage, as educators of adults and children, as teachers of multiculturalism, as preservers of natural places, and as gathering places within our communities.

Please support the Harris-Cameron Mansion when you shop online by using ShopforMuseums.com. For further information, please contact the Historical Society of Dauphin County or visit www.ShopforMuseums.com.

Saturday Library Hours

August 8, 2009

The Research Library will be open from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Speaker Series Moves to Tuesdays

Posted August 1, 2009

The 2009 - 2010 HSDC speaker series will move from Monday to the second Tuesday of every month, beginning this September, to coincide with our new schedule for Mansion tours and library services and to avoid making changes from month to month in the schedule to accommodate Monday holidays.

Fall programs will focus on the influential owners of the Harris-Cameron Mansion, with presentations by local historian/re-enactors who are well versed in the lives of their subjects. Please plan to join us to learn more about those who called the mansion home and the pivotal roles they played in the city, county, state and nation.

Winter programs will focus on two very special 150th anniversary celebrations: the Sesquicentennial (appropriately named here, the Susquecentennial) of the Borough of Harrisburg becoming the City of Harrisburg and the start of the Civil War Era. January brings an overview, followed by the stories of two members of the community who had impact at the time.

All programs begin at 7:00 PM in the Harris-Cameron Mansion and are free and open to the public. Parking is available on-site and in the PinnacleHealth physicians' lot off of River Street behind the Mansion property.

New Mansion and Library Hours

Posted August 1, 2009

The Mansion is now open for tours Tuesday through Friday and the second Saturday of the month from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM with the last tour starting at 3:00 PM.

The Research Library is now open Tuesday through Friday and the second Saturday of the month from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

Second Saturday hours are April through October.

Blast from the Past: Woodstock™

July 19, 2009 from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM

What: A celebration of the 40th anniversary of Woodstock™ including a picnic spread, Woodstock™ brownies, and a cash keg, and featuring music of hippies and flower children performed by the Durable Goods.

When: Sunday, July 19, 2009 from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Where: Camp Reily off of Fishing Creek Valley Road

How: There is a $35 ticket price and a cash keg. Call or email us to be added to our guest list. We will record your name and the number of tickets you have purchased.

Directions to Camp Reily: Follow North Front Street past Fort Hunter to Route 443/Fishing Creek Valley Road. Turn right onto Route 443. Go approximately 3/4 mile. Turn left onto Camp Reily Road. Follow the road through the woods until you smell the brownies.

All proceeds from this event benefit HSDC.

Mondays at the Mansion Speaker Series

May 18, 2009 at 7:00 PM

HSDC's free Mondays at the Mansion series for the 2009 winter-spring season concludes with Philadelphia to Hollidaysburg on the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal and Public Works presented by Steve Runkle, Susquehanna River Basin Commission's Public Information and Outreach Program volunteer. Join us and learn about early public transportation in Pennsylvania.

14th Annual John Harris Open

May 13, 2009 at 11:30 AM

The 2009 John Harris Golf Outing will be held at Blue Ridge Country Club in Harrisburg. Male, female, and mixed foursomes are welcome to participate. Build your own foursome or join one of ours. Competition is in the form of a "scramble" with four-golfer teams. Prizes are awarded for the longest straight drive, closest to the pin, low team score of male, female, and mixed foursomes, and longest putt. The 2009 Hole-in-One prize is a new Volvo provided by Lehman Motors. Raffle prizes will be awarded at the post-round reception.

11:30 - Registration and Putting Contest begin
Noon - Pre-round lunch begins
1:00 - Tee-of
Post-round reception of beer, wine, and heavy hors d'ouvres will begin when the first foursome is off the course
6:00 - Awarding of prizes

Download the brochure for sponsorship information.

Location: Blue Ridge Country Club
3940 Linglestown Road
Harrisburg, PA 17110
717-545-5593
View on Google Maps

Bus Trip to Hampton & Ladew Topiary Gardens

May 7, 2009

Please join the Historical Society of Dauphin County as we visit the Hampton Estate National Historic Site and the National Register Ladew Manor House and Topiary Gardens.

We’ll travel first to Towson, arriving with time to spare to walk the extensive landscaped grounds of the Hampton Estate. Hampton was acquired by the Ridgely family, beginning in 1745, and once encompassed 25,000 acres. The mansion was built in 1783, and the mansion and outbuildings on the remaining 43 acres have been a National Historic Site since 1948. Hampton has been recently restored and has just reopened to the public. We’ll have a guided tour of the mansion and additional time to visit the grounds and gift shop prior to our departure for Monkton and the extraordinary Ladew Manor House and Gardens.

We’ll pause for lunch at the Ladew Café prior to our 1:00 tour of the manor house. Following the house tour, we will have plenty of time for self-guided tours of the topiary garden. The garden – named the most outstanding topiary garden in America by the Garden Club of America – encompasses 22 acres of flowers, plants and greenery organized around more than 100 larger-than-life topiary forms and scenes.

The trip will depart from the Harrisburg East Mall parking lot at 7:45 AM and the Weis Market parking lot at 10th and Lowther Sts. in Lemoyne at 8:00 AM. We will leave Ladew at 3:30 PM, arriving on the West Shore around 5:00 PM and the East shore at 5:15 PM.

The cost of the trip, including lunch, is $75.00 for members and $82.00 for non-members. Non-members may choose to take advantage of a special "tripper" offer of an annual HSDC membership at $25.00 – a savings of $5.00 over the regular rate for a combined cost of $100.00. HSDC members receive a 10% discount on gift shop purchases and bus trips, as well as a free tour of the John Harris Mansion and a copy of our annual publication, The Susquehanna Journal – a value of at least $30.00.

To register, contact us to reserve a place, complete this form and return it to HSDC with payment by April 10th. We hope you will join us. We look forward to traveling back in history with you.

Mondays at the Mansion Speaker Series

April 14, 2009 at 7:00 PM

History Day Presentations featuring projects prepared by local students for the National History Day Competition

Mondays at the Mansion Speaker Series

March 16, 2009 at 7:00 PM

East Meets West: The Indian Community in Central Pennsylvania featuring a panel discussion on experiences of the local Indian community led by Dr. Nirmal Joshi

Mondays at the Mansion Speaker Series

February 9, 2009 at 7:00 PM

The Families of Midland Cemetery presented by Local African-American Historian Barbara Barksdale. Barbara, also known as The Cemetery Lady, is known for historical depiction of the lives of those who are buried in the Midland Cemetery. As she speaks you will also be entranced with the period outfit she wears. Many contributions were made in central Pennsylvania by some of the people buried at Midland.

Mondays at the Mansion Speaker Series

January 12, 2009 at 7:00 PM

Elizabeth S. Drinker: Mothers, Daughters, and the Horizons of Birth in Colonial Pennsylvania presented by Stephanie P. Gilbert, M.A.