To celebrate PHMC’s 2012 annual theme “The Land of Penn and Plenty: Bringing History to the Table,” Historical Marker Program staff developed a scavenger hunt featuring markers related to Pennsylvania’s rural and agricultural history for the 2012 Pennsylvania Farm Show.
Last January, twenty-two replica markers were located at strategic locations throughout the Farm Show Complex. Visitors obtained scavenger hunt booklets, and followed a map to each marker location to answer questions about each marker subject. We were excited about the fact that this activity seemed to appeal to young and old alike. Those that submitted correct answers were entered into a prize drawing for a Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation family membership and other educational prizes.
Last year’s booth featured The Beginning of Agricultural Cooperative Extension Service historical marker. This nationwide program started in Bedford County. The marker was featured in the Farm Show’s celebration of the 100thanniversary of the 4-H youth farming program in the Commonwealth, as 4-H is a component of the Cooperative Extension Service currently administered by Penn State University. The marker was later installed and dedicated in its permanent location in Schellsburg, PA.
The 2012 booth offered a photo exhibit about the various programs and activities involved with Penn State Extension. Utilizing both historic and modern photographs, the exhibit illustrated how the program had an impact in the past and continues to provide opportunities and assistance to Pennsylvanians today. A second exhibit featured historic photographs of Governor Gifford Pinchot’s rural road improvement initiative. Entitled “Get the Farmer Out of the Mud,” the exhibit showed how transportation enhancements greatly improved farmers’ ability to do business and their general way of life.
The Scavenger Hunt activity proved so popular that we plan to reprise this program at the 2013 Farm Show with two additional replica markers. This year’s Farm Show runs from January 5 – 12. The BHP booth in the Main Hall will feature a new marker entitled The Birthplace of Commercial Ice Cream Production. The marker will be installed in York County this spring. Visitors can obtain scavenger hunt booklets at our booth, the main information desk, and several other locations throughout the Farm Show Complex. We hope that we have even more participants this year. The booth will also have a photo map identifying and explaining the particular farming traditions that are prevalent in various regions of the Commonwealth.
Please consider a trip to the 2013 PA Farm Show. Along with our Bureau’s offerings, the State Museum of PA will have a booth nearby focusing on archaeology related to the French and Indian War. There are also hundreds of other booths providing educational information and selling products made in PA, thousands of common and exotic animals to see up close, many craft and activity demonstrations, and a wide variety of delicious food items to enjoy.