2012 News & Events Archive

Historical Society programs, events, and news from 2012

Second Sundays: Holiday House Tours

December 9, 2012 - 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

The John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion, 219 South Front Street, the city's finest example of high Victorian architecture, will be open for holiday tours on Sunday, December 9, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The mansion, a National Historic Landmark, will be decorated for the holidays, including artful arrangements of natural flowers and greenery, red ribbons, and a Victorian-style tree in the east alcove of the grand parlor. Some of the arrangements will be presented by member clubs of the Harrisburg Area Civic Garden Center. John K. Robinson of Linglestown will play Christmas carols on the Cameron family's historic Steinway grand piano.

The mansion is administered by the Historical Society of Dauphin County, assisted by Friends of the Harris-Cameron Mansion.

Admission to the event is free for members of the Society and Friends; $4.00/adults; $3.50/seniors; $3.00 children 6-16; free for children 5 and under. Visitors presenting tickets from the Historic Harrisburg Association's Holiday House Tour will be admitted at the Seniors price.

Parking is available in the PinnacleHealth surface lots behind the Mansion at Mary and River streets, and also at Second and Vine streets.

Deck the Halls Gala Honoring Greg and Susie Sutliff

November 28, 2012 - 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

DTH Tree

The opulent splendor of the high Victorian John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion, 219 S. Front Street, Harrisburg, will be the setting for Deck the Halls, the region's premier holiday celebration, on Wednesday, November 28, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The evening is sponsored by the Historical Society of Dauphin County.

Both floors of the mansion will be open for the event, and guests will dine on heavy hors d'oeuvres and desserts provided by leading local caterers. Pianist Scott Siciliano will entertain with holiday music on the mansion's historic Steinway grand.

During the event, the society will present the 2012 John Harris Award to Greg and Susie Sutliff, for a personal and corporate commitment to our community that has become part of Dauphin County and regional history.

The Sutliff family has been making Dauphin County business history since the first family automobile dealership opened over 80 years ago. Greg Sutliff joined the business following service in the Navy during the Korean War and graduation from Dickinson Law School in 1959. During his tenure with the company, he has maintained a personal commitment to a corporate presence in Harrisburg. Greg and Susie have supported community efforts in Dauphin County, the Capital Region and beyond throughout their marriage and Greg's leadership of the business. Greg will be the ninth Highmark Blue Shield Harrisburg 150 Living Legacy to be honored by the Historical Society since the John Harris award was established in 2002.

Deck the Halls benefits the society's education programs, exhibits, archive and research services, and preservation of the National Historic Landmark Harris-Cameron Mansion, the Historical Society headquarters for over 70 years.

For ticket prices and to reserve a place, call (717) 233-3462 or email office@dauphincountyhistory.org.

Second Sundays: "Major Dick Winters Remembered"

November 11, 2012 - 2:00 PM

The John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion, 219 S. Front Street, Harrisburg, will present Ted Herman of the Hershey-Derry Township Historical Society in a presentation about Maj. Richard "Dick" Winters, U.S. Army officer and decorated war veteran and resident of Hershey. Winters was made famous by the representation of his exploits in France in World War II in a book and television mini-series, "Band of Brothers." Herman will describe Winters' post-war experiences, what led him to Hershey, how he lived in the post-Band of Brothers spotlight, and what led him to ultimately donate his memorabilia to the Hershey-Derry Township Historical Society.

Admission is free to members of the Historical Society of Dauphin County and $5.00 for non-members. A highlights tour of the mansion, free with admission to the program, will be conducted at 1:00 p.m. Free parking is available in lots behind the mansion.

Ted Herman is currently vice president of the Hershey-Derry Township Historical Society. He has previously served as president of the Snyder County Historical Society and has been involved in military history research and efforts to honor local veterans for over 20 years.

"It'll be History" Program on Coming Presidential Election

October 17, 2012 - 7:00 PM

Follow up on the October 16 presidential debate with a very special HSDC "It'll be History" program on the coming presidential election, presented by Dr. Shirley Anne Warshaw, Professor of Political Science and the Harold G. Evans Chair of Eisenhower Leadership Studies at Gettysburg College. Dr. Warshaw is the author of eight books on presidential decision making. She is a member of the Council of Scholars for the Center for the Study of the Presidency and was a member of the 2000 and 2008 Pew Transition Projects for structuring the White House staff. She is the editor of the Stanford University Press series on the presidency, a consultant to PBS, a frequent speaker on NPR and commentator for other national and international media.

The program is free to members and $10 for non-members. Dessert will be served at 6:30 PM. Seating is limited. Reserve a place at 233-3462 or office@dauphincountyhistory.org.

Second Sundays Featuring 1812 Panel Presentation

October 14, 2012 - 2:00 PM

Join us for a special panel presentation on Harrisburg and the state government in 1812, the year the state capital came to town. Mansion tours will be available at 1:00 PM. The tour and program are free to members, $5.00 for non-members.

Barnes Foundation and American Jewish History Museum Bus Trip

October 4, 2012

Climb aboard with other friends and members for a bus trip to the new Barnes Foundation and the National Museum of American Jewish History, with a three course lunch at Con Murphy's in between. $135 for members and $150 for non-members. Reserve a seat at 233-3462 or office@dauphincountyhistory.org.

Art Association of Harrisburg Gallery Walk

September 9, 2012 - 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Make the Mansion a stop on your Art Association Gallery Walk. Exhibitors will include local artists and artisans.

Happy Hour Mixer with Historic Harrisburg Association

August 15, 2012 - 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Stop in for a members-only HHA-HSDC Happy Hour mixer. Meet and greet those who share your commitment to preserving and celebrating our past. Admission is free. Cash bar and light hors d'oeuvres. Music by "Just Play." RSVP to 233-3462 or office@dauphincountyhistory.org.

Second Sundays Featuring the Works of Two Local Artists

August 12, 2012 - 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Drop in for a tour during the August Second Sunday Mansion open house, featuring the works of local artists, Patricia Toth and Kathy Corr, as well as the HSDC Hurricane Agnes Photo Exhibit in the Dining Room. Admission is free to members and $5.00 for non-members.

Patty Toth is a native Pennsylvanian, and many of her detailed paintings represent Central Pennsylvania, east coast seascapes, and the tropics. Toth is a member of the Perry County Art Association, Art Association of Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg Art Association, and the Hanover Area Arts Guild.

Many of Kathy Corr's works are of scenic, wildlife, nautical, or human interest subjects. Her work has been shown in several area exhibits and galleries. "Painting in oil has become one of my passions in life," says Corr. "It has brought me closer to nature and the excitement of the art world."

Fourth of July Celebration

July 4, 2012 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Celebrate the Fourth of July at the John Harris Mansion. That Wednesday, re-enactor Richard Fox will portray Benjamin Franklin and read the Declaration of Independence from the front porch like John Harris, Jr. did in 1776. Readings will be at 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, noon, and 1:00 PM. Colonial-era re-enactors, the Donegal Township Riflemen, will be present on the grounds throughout the day. There is no charge to hear the readings. Mansion tours will be offered at the discounted price of $4 for adults and $2 for children. Refreshments will be available as well as children's activities, a museum shop and book sale. Seasons, a group of young folk musicians, will perform 18th century music from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM in the garden.

This event is being organized by the Friends of the Harris-Camerson Mansion. The Friends are seeking volunteers to help with the program, including staffing book and refreshment stands. If you can help anytime between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM, please call the Historical Society office at 233-3462, and someone from the Friends will get in touch with you.

Program and Exhibit on Tropical Storm Agnes

July 1, 2012 - 2:00 PM

Due to popular demand and a standing-room only crowd, the Agnes Flood Program will be repeated on Sunday, July 1. It will follow the format of the program previously held on June 24. Please also note that reprints of the photographs featured in the exhibit are now available for purchase in our online gift shop.

The Historical Society of Dauphin County will commemorate the fortieth anniversary of Tropical Storm Agnes with a photographic journey through the City of Harrisburg, and the surrounding communities, revisiting the human struggle and economic devastation that resulted from the greatest natural disaster on record for the region.

The event is free to the public and will feature retired Allied Pix photographers Jim Bradley and Pete Rekus recounting their experiences covering the storm, flooding, and subsequent clean-up. The program will also include a gallery exhibit of the photographers' work and a slideshow presentation showcasing hundreds of additional Agnes images especially selected from the Allied Pix photo archives housed at the Historical Society of Dauphin County. The program begins at 2:00 PM. The Mansion will open at 1:00 PM for guests who wish to view the exhibit before the program.

In conjunction with this event, the Historical Society of Dauphin County will launch an oral history project to record and preserve the stories of those who witnessed, or experienced firsthand, the events surrounding those days in June of 1972. If you are interested in participating in this project, or if you would like more information regarding the upcoming event, please contact Erik at agnesflood@verizon.net or the Society office at (717) 233-3462 for further information.

Buy Photographs of the Flood

Program and Exhibit on Tropical Storm Agnes

June 24, 2012 - 2:00 PM

The Historical Society of Dauphin County will commemorate the fortieth anniversary of Tropical Storm Agnes with a photographic journey through the City of Harrisburg, and the surrounding communities, revisiting the human struggle and economic devastation that resulted from the greatest natural disaster on record for the region.

The event is free to the public and will feature retired Allied Pix photographers Jim Bradley and Pete Rekus recounting their experiences covering the storm, flooding, and subsequent clean-up. The program will also include a gallery exhibit of the photographers' work and a slideshow presentation showcasing hundreds of additional Agnes images especially selected from the Allied Pix photo archives housed at the Historical Society of Dauphin County. The program begins at 2:00 PM. The Mansion will open at 1:00 PM for guests who wish to view the exhibit before the program.

In conjunction with this event, the Historical Society of Dauphin County will launch an oral history project to record and preserve the stories of those who witnessed, or experienced firsthand, the events surrounding those days in June of 1972. If you are interested in participating in this project, or if you would like more information regarding the upcoming event, please contact Erik at agnesflood@verizon.net or the Society office at (717) 233-3462 for further information.

Buy Photographs of the Flood

Due to popular demand and a standing-room only crowd, the Agnes Flood Program will be repeated on Sunday, July 1. Read more...

Family Concert, Stephen Foster: American Dreamer

June 10, 2012 - 2:00 PM

Special family concert, "Stephen Foster: American Dreamer," by Bruce Young. This presentation recounts the life, times and music of Stephen Foster, America's great 19th century songwriter. Stephen Foster's biography in song is outlined - with guitar, fiddle banjo and dulcimer - in a highly interactive performance suitable for audiences of all ages. Sponsored by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. Tours of the mansion before and after the program. Free and open to the public.

Exhibit: The Graydon Family of Early Harrisburg

May 15 through June 19, 2012

A special exhibit on "The Graydon Family of Early Harrisburg" will open on May 15 in concert with the re-enactment of William Graydon and the HSDC annual meeting. The exhibit features items donated by Graydon family descendant Charles Latham, Jr.

Bus Trip to Bedford Springs Inn and Flight 93 Memorial

May 17, 2012 - 7:45 AM to 6:30 PM

Make your reservation now for Thursday, May 17, 2012, when you'll journey to Bedford Springs, PA. and the Flight 93 Memorial. We will board our bus at the Weis Markets at 1195 Lowther Street, Camp Hill, at 7:45 AM and leave the parking lot at 8:00 AM.

The first stop will be the Bedford Springs Resort, where we will have a tour of the historic hotel from 10:30 to 11:30 AM, followed by a half-hour of free time to shop or wander the grounds.

Lunch will be served at the hotel from 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM.

We leave Bedford Springs approximately 1:00 PM, traveling to the Flight 93 Memorial site. Our tour at the Memorial will be from 2:00 to 3:30 PM, leaving at 3:30 for our return to the Weis Markets' parking lot.

The cost of the trip, including lunch, is $117 for members and $129 for non-members. Non-members may take advantage of a special offer of an annual HSDC membership and this bus trip for $142.00 - a savings of $10.00. HSDC members receive a 10% discount on gift shop and photo archive purchases and bus trips, unlimited free tours of the Harris-Cameron Mansion, and use of the Research Library.

We expect this trip to be a sell-out, even though we must use a larger bus than usual, so please make your reservations early. To register, call or email HSDC at 233-3462 or office@dauphincountyhistory.org to reserve a place, then complete the form below and return it with payment by May 2nd to Historical Society of Dauphin County, 219 S. Front St., Harrisburg, PA 17104.

Download Bus Trip Registration Form

William Graydon Portrayed by Rev. David Biser & Annual Meeting

May 15, 2012 - 7:00 PM

A special re-enactment by re-enactor David Biser in the alternate persona of William Graydon, leading early citizen of Harrisburg, and the annual meeting of the Historical Society. Refreshments at 6:30 PM. Free and open to the public.

Victorian Tea and Conversation

May 12, 2012 - 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM

"Tea & Conversation," a Victorian tea sponsored by the Friends of the Harris-Cameron Mansion. Tea, lemonade, tea sandwiches, scrumptious desserts. Presentation on Victorian clothing of the Civil War era. Music; sale of geraniums. Display of teapots from private collections. $20 per person. Reservations by May 9. Call (717) 233-3462 for reservations.

At Mount Hill Tavern: An Evening with John Harris, Jr.

May 10, 2012 - 6:30 PM

An Evening with John Harris Jr. at the Historic Mount Hill Tavern, featuring a Colonial Era dinner of five courses, paired with appropriate libations of the times. Call 540-6840 for reservations. $60pp.

Mary Sachs Exhibit

May 1 through May 18, 2012

A special Mary Sachs exhibit will be on display in Strawberry Square.

At Tinian: Open House and House History Presentation

April 29, 2012 - 2:00 PM

Open house and house history presentation at Tinian, Revolutionary War Era home of Colonel James Burd, 2051 Rosedale Ave., Middletown. Free and open to the public. (Sponsored by Michelle Hoffman of Howard Hanna Real Estate company)

Harrisburg Walking Tours

April 24 through May 12, 2012

Saturdays at 9:00 AM

Walking tours of historic Harrisburg with local historian Sheldon Munn. $8 per person or $15 per couple. Call 770-0235 for reservations and information on which areas of the city will be visited.

Third Tuesdays: Student History Day Presentations

April 17, 2012 - 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Presentation of the amazing student History Day projects prepared for competition by young historians in our area. The presentation begins at 7:00 PM in the parlor of the Harris-Cameron Mansion. Dessert is served at 6:30 PM in the Jean E. Pugh Dining Room, courtesy of the Friends of the Mansion. The program is free and open to the public. Parking is available on-site and in the PinnacleHealth physician's parking lot off River Street, directly behind the Mansion property.

2012 Blast from the Past - RMS Titanic Maiden Voyage

April 14, 2012 - 7:00 PM

Enjoy an extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime event as we recreate the Edwardian elegance of a First Class dinner on RMS Titanic during her maiden voyage in April 1912.

The elegant setting of the John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion will evoke the beauty of the ship's First Class Dining Room. Dine under ornate moldings and gilded chandeliers in the glow of marble fireplaces. Enjoy a cocktail reception with hors d'oeuvres, music, and a silent auction, followed by a seven-course dinner - made from recipes used on the Titanic - with wines, champagne, and music of the era.

Black tie and Edwardian period dress are optional.

View the Menu - Catering by JDK.

Tickets are $150 per person. Seating is limited so early reservations are encouraged. To reserve a place or table, phone (717)233-3462 or email office@dauphincountyhistory.org.

Items up for auction include:

  • 4-day stay, Oceanside, Ogunquit, Maine
  • 4-day stay, Eagles Mere House
  • Original Oil Painting by Nancy Mendes
  • 2 tickets Spring HSDC Bus Trip 2012
  • 2 tickets Fall HSDC Bus Trip 2012
  • Six hour Harris-Cameron Mansion Rental
  • Collection of titles from HSDC Gift shop
  • 2 tickets each to Whitaker Imax and Science Museum
  • $100 Ollies Gift Certificate
  • Open Stage tickets for 4
  • Gift Certificate - Mount Hill Tavern
  • Historic Scrapbook
  • 2 Riverboat wine/cheese cruise tickets
  • Titanic Basket

THANK YOU, SILENT AUCTION CONTRIBUTORS

We are grateful to all who contributed items for a silent auction held during our recent Blast from the Past fundraiser. Your generous contributions help to maintain and preserve the historic John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion and provide programming for the benefit of the public.

  • Atlantis Salon
  • Bricco
  • City House Bed and Breakfast
  • Custer Design Group
  • Dauphin County Parks and Recreation
  • Carl Jr. Dorko
  • Downstreet Salon
  • Erik Fasick
  • Fort Hunter Park and Mansion
  • Alan R. Garner
  • Harrisburg Area Riverboat Society
  • Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra
  • Hershey Lodge
  • House of Cards
  • Caleb Jackson
  • Just Plain Yoga Studio
  • Kenneth and Co. Salon
  • Jack Krill
  • David and Kathryn McCorkle
  • M.S. Hershey Foundation
  • Nancy Mendes
  • Kris and Denis Milke
  • Ollie's Bargain Outlet
  • Open Stage of Harrisburg
  • Pennsylvania Heritage Society
  • Riverbottom Pottery
  • Alyce Spector
  • Robert Stadnycki
  • Elizabeth Staz
  • Stock's on Second/Carley's Ristorante
  • Theatre Harrisburg
  • Erna Tunno
  • David W. Volkman
  • Mary Webber-Weston and Tim Weston
  • Kenneth C. Wolensky/Lehigh University Press

Third Tuesdays: Multi-racial Imagery of Migrant Mothers

April 3, 2012 - 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Dr. Erin Battat of Penn State Harrisburg will present a program on the multi-racial imagery of migrant mothers during the Depression era. The presentation begins at 7:00 PM in the parlor of the Harris-Cameron Mansion. Dessert is served at 6:30 PM in the Jean E. Pugh Dining Room, courtesy of the Friends of the Mansion. The program is free and open to the public. Parking is available on-site and in the PinnacleHealth physician's parking lot off River Street, directly behind the Mansion property.

Second Sundays Mansion and Research Library Hours

March 11, 2012 - 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

The Harris-Cameron Mansion will be open for tours from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Normal admission charged. The Research Library is also open during this time.

Third Tuesdays: African-American Spirituals

February 21, 2012 - 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

In honor of Black History Month, Dr. Felicia Brown-Haywood of Penn State Harrisburg and Beulah Baptist Church will return for an encore presentation and concert of African-American spirituals, "Singing My Way Through", on Tuesday, February 21. The presentation begins at 7:00 PM in the parlor of the Harris-Cameron Mansion. Dessert is served at 6:30 PM in the Jean E. Pugh Dining Room, courtesy of the Friends of the Mansion. The program is free and open to the public. Parking is available on-site and in the PinnacleHealth physician's parking lot off River Street, directly behind the Mansion property.