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BARB'S MUSICAL NOTES: SOUTH-CENTRAL PA & NORTHERN MD HAPPENINGS

Updated January 17, 2001

Hello! I am a person of many interests. Because of the many photos and wealth of information, this page takes a bit of time to download. Grab a coffee, tea, soda or your heart's desire until the page finishes. Thanks for hanging around and staying to visit. 'Much appreciated!

Barb camping in New York

Barb Camping Out

Brushwood, New York

My husband and I went camping in July 2000 at a unique and beautiful site in Sherman, New York. The Brushwood Folklore Center boasts acres of land and is well known for its Pagan Festivals. The Center offers a variety of festivals and gatherings throughout the year. One of the beautiful moments is at dusk, when the star-lit sky overhead is brilliantly clear while the mist rises curling from the earth. It gets rather chilly, so the bonfires each night are quite welcome. Pagan drumming takes place throughout the night. Campers can stay up all night to participate in the dancing or can drift off to sleep in the tent with the rhythmic drumming lulling the senses. You can really "rough it" by preparing your own food or you can sign up for breakfast and have it made for you(be sure to check with the management-this option might depend on what event is happening at the time). Brushwood is about an hour from Erie, PA and is near the Canadian border, so you could take in other sites of interest.

York, Nation's First Capitol

If you ever happen to visit South-Central PA, you might want to consider visiting York, the nation's First Capitol. The city offers self-guided downtown tours, outdoor summer events, a Riverwalk Art Festival in August, a huge craft show during Mother's Day weekend, tours of the Harley-Davidson plant, First Night York and, of course, the York Fair in September. For cultural events, the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center offers a variety of programs. For more information be sure to visit the Strand-Capitol Complex web site.

The Stone Mill

This restored 18th century mill serves as a showcase for the combined talents of its owners, Inez and Jerry Fenster and other artisans. There is a large selection of antique furniture, folk art, gifts, jewelry, toiletries and decorative accessories. Floral arrangements are designed on the premises. I have traditionally visited this lovely place set back in the woods during the Christmas season. The Stone Mill is located on the corner of Rte. 216 and Smoketown Road in Brodbecks(Glenville), PA. It is about halfway between Glen Rock and Hanover. Hours are February through September: Wednesday-Sunday; October through December: Tuesday -Sunday; Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00-5:00 and Sunday, 12:00-5:00. For further information, call (717)235-6078.

Naylor's Winery

This lovely winery is located outside the small town of Stewartstown, PA. During the summer, the winery offers a variety of different musical groups and bands. You can reserve a table if you want and there is plenty of good food to go around, including a variety of hot sandwiches and cheese trays to go with the wine. You are welcome to buy a bottle of Naylor's wine. They also have sodas available for non-wine drinkers and children. If you are looking for laid back ambiance and an "at-one-with-nature" evening, then this is the place for you! Surrounding the guests are ample trees and lush grapes! There is an outdoor patio encircled with small white lights. A section of the patio area is set aside for dancing. A variety of musical groups are featured during the summer season. "Big Wheeley and the Whitewalls" performed the night we were there. This band features 50's and 60's rockin' music and they have a great "Blues Brothers" routine. The dancers had a ball-everyone was young at heart! As the evening progressed, the sky got darker and the stars got clearer. Evening insect sounds were everywhere. The moon was bright and beautiful and our friend happened to look up in time to see a shooting star! Very good karma and very romantic!

Gettysburg Civil War

Of course, Gettysburg is famous for the Civil War and there are many sights to see and things to do in this tourist town. The following photos feature my children when they were much younger. We were also allowed to sit on the cannons at that time!

Cannon in Gettysburg Heidi on a cannon

Two views of Gettysburg cannons

Susquehanna Folk Music Society

The Susquehanna Folk Music Society Concert Series presents a variety of musical events throughout the year. For information or ticket reservations, call SFMS at (717)763-5744.

Crabbs Tropical Treat

A delicious place to visit near Hanover, PA is the Tropical Treat. When this drive-in opened in 1953, only ice cream was served. The Treat quickly became the favored hang-out of the local teenagers. As time went on, the menu grew, leading to today's most popluar item: the "Fat Boy" consists of twin beef patties, melted cheese, lettuce, onions and special dressing on a bun. Each year, The Tropical Treat opens in March, on the Wednesday closest to the 15th. It's open Monday through Saturday until the first Saturday in October, when it closes for the season. This is one of the few places where you can have your ice cream cones and "Fat Boys" delivered to your car by a car hop. The business has become more family-oriented than teen-oriented, with many of the faithful customers of today having been the teens of the past who took their first dates to The Treat. Many local residents traditionally visit on opening day, with some of them having done so for the past 30 years! Crabbs Tropical Treat is located north of Hanover on Rt. 94. Be sure to stop in and "Good Eating"!

Fiddlers' Convention

Fiddlers' Convention

Carroll County Farm Museum

Since I live near the Maryland border, I should mention the town of Westminster, Maryland. Westminster is in Carroll County, which is home to the Carroll County Farm Museum. Initially the museum was the county almshouse, in use from 1852-1965. Now the museum depicts late 19th century rural life. A variety of outbuildings house displays and activities. Festivals and events occur on most weekends during April-October. A holiday open house occurs the first week in December. The Maryland Wine Festival is one of the annual events. Another event that is held each year is the Fiddlers' Convention, which features soloists, various small groups, cloggers and impromptu groups. Also offered are wagon rides, animals, nature walks, crafts and good food! The Farm Museum is located at 500 South Center Street. For further information, call: 800-654-4645 or 410-848-7775.

Black Rose Antiques & Collectibles

Located at the North Hanover Mall in Hanover, PA, Black Rose features quality antiques, collectibles, toys, primitives, glassware, trains, books, sleds, clocks, tools, military antiques, kitchen, political and sports collectibles, furniture, pictures, mirrors, rocking chairs, advertising, pottery, records and much more!! Over 160 dealers. Handicapped accessible. Open 7 days a week, evenings & weekends. Open Monday-Saturday: 10-9 & Sunday 12-5. For more information, call: (717) 632-0589. 1155 Carlisle Street, Rt.94. 3 miles south of Rt. 30 in Hanover.

Pennsylvania Dutch Attractions

My grandparents were Pennsylvania Dutch. You can read about them on my Homespun Memories page, if that kind of thing interests you. If you're looking for some good PA Dutch food and entertainment, you might want to visit the Dutch Apple Theatre in Lancaster, PA.

You can find an interesting perspective on living in Pa Dutch Country in this article by Anabella Wewer. For tourist info, visit the Pa Dutch Country Welcome Center and see what is available in this area of the USA!

For a typical Pennsylvania Dutch recipe(Dandelion Salad), see my Homespun Memories page.

Ephrata Cloister/Lancaster County Happenings

A good historical site to visit is the Ephrata Cloister , founded in 1732 by the German Pietist Conrad Beissel. This was one of America's first communal societies. The Hans Herr House is the oldest surviving dwelling in Lancaster County. The house was built in 1719 and restored in 1970. Another site is the Landis Valley Museum. This is a cluster of 18 buildings that portray rural Pennsylvania German life. Other museums include the Railroad Museum of PA, the Heritage Map Museum, Le Petit Museum of Musical Boxes and the National Watch and Clock Museum.

Lancaster County is famous for covered bridges and has 26 of them that are still standing. Most are painted red with white trim. Hex signs are very visible on Pennsylvania Dutch barns. These originated in southeastern PA in the mid-19th century.

Good Places for Books

Like to read or keep company with a good book? Try "Ross Reads" at 65 West Middle St. in Gettysburg. They also have coffee and sandwiches, poetry and prose readings and musical happenings.

Hanover, too, has its own book shop in the "Readers' Cafe" at 125 Broadway Street. Not only do they have an excellent variety of childrens' and adult books, but they also offer a variety of coffee, a small but delicious assortment of soups and croissant sandwiches and a variety of music. When the weather is nice, you can sit outside at the tables set up on the sidewalk and enjoy a cup of coffee or watch the local folk walk by. Musical programs are every Friday night. The first Friday of every month is open mike night for anyone who wants to bring a guitar, autoharp, pennywhistle, recorder or whatever lends itself to small group music. If you enjoy a small, friendly atmosphere, you might want to attend one of the programs. There are also poetry groups and readings held on a regular basis. The room is small and there are armchairs scattered among the tables and the hardback chairs. You can sit up on the second floor if you want to get a balcony view, curl up with a good book or chat informally while the music is playing. Very relaxing and quite enjoyable!

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh offers many services to PA residents. You might want to visit their site for further information.

Celtic Music

Since I love Celtic music, I'd like to introduce you to Ceolas, "Home of Celtic Music on the Internet". This excellent site by Gerard Manning, is loaded with information and related links. If you like Celtic music, you will appreciate this page. Gerard also includes an IrishNet link.

Music Helps

Some sites specializing in choral music include The Silvis Woodshed is a collection of Midi files to help singers learn their notes before rehearsals. If you are interested in Gregorian Chant, then you will find information at this link.

Christ United Church of Christ

This church, located in Littlestown, PA celebrated its 250th anniversary in 1997. A new organ dedication service was held. Several local organists presented selections, along with featured organist, Joche Wilmot of Poolesville, MD. All the performers were associated with the new organ in some way: included in the program were the present organist and assistant organist, the former owner of the new organ, the present owner of the old organ(he is refinishing the organ in his spare time) and the consultant who assisted Christ Church in the purchase of the new organ. The church's very first pipe organ was installed in 1896 and was built by the Estey Organ Co. of Vermont. The first record of an organ pumper was in 1903. The organ pumper was paid .15 each Sunday and .25 for Holy Communion. In 1930, the Sunday School paid for a Kenetic motor for the organ, effectively ending the pumping of the organ by man power. The organ was dismantled in 1953 and was taken to Fred Furst Organ Co. to be repaired and electrified. Finally, in 1997, the old organ began to develop maintenance problems and was sold to a local man who wanted to work on it in his spare time. A "new" organ was purchased from a Md. man and was put into place , with the first service being March 4, 1997. The church is located on Christ Church Road east of Littlestown. It sits on top of a hill and is very easy to spot from the road.

Christ UCC celebrated its 250th Anniversary with year-long special events. The congregation was treated to an old-fashioned PA Dutch service. Part of the liturgy was spoken in Dutch, part in German. Congregation members were invited to dress in period costumes.

Church Members Wearing Period Costumes

Church Members in Period Costumes

The men sat on the left of the church, with the ladies sitting on the right. Various consistory members sat behind the pulpit, with some of the men also sitting in the front pew of the church. The choir sat in the back of the church, in accordance with the customs of the times. The seating was actually more formal in the 1700-1800's, with the older men and women sitting in the back of the church(on opposite sides), the young couples and singles sitting closer to the front and the youth sitting closest to the preacher. Hymns were not accompanied by a musical instrument. The school master led the singing in a line-by-line style (the leader sang a line with the congregation answering). This was done because most of the congregation members could not read. This particular church is called the "Mother Church", because most of the other churches in the area branched out from this congregation. The first group met under a tree and in a log schoolhouse with no heat and no mortar between the logs, so the room was quite cold and windy in the winter. One of the first early ministers was paid in money, grain and transportation fare. The present cemetary is visited by many people from various states who have ancestors in the area. Michael Schlatter was instrumental in getting ministers from Europe to come to this country and serve as pastors in the area. If you are interested in this kind of history, the church has details available. Call (717)359-9023 for further information.

Carl's Creations & Wanda's Wonderland

Carl's Creations and Wanda's Wonderland of Littlestown, PA offers year-round Christmas decorations, flower arrangements, scented candles, potpourri, Victorian cards, collectibles, Ty Beanie Babies, relaxation tapes/CD's, a wide assortment of silk flowers and baskets and assorted other items. Also offered are fresh flowers and Carl will duplicate arrangements from magazine pictures or make them to suit your specifications. Carl's Creations is located at 312 North Queen Street in Littlestown. The business occupies the former Schotties Restaurant, which once had a ballroom and a bowling alley. Carl's periodically offers floral design classes and will continue with a variety of classes in the future, depending on public interest.

Carl's also features a wide variety of aromatherapy products, more Ty Beanie Babies and accessories, a collection of resin cats by Bronwen Ross and an expanded Camille Beckman line(scented bath and body products). Carl specializes in customized fresh and/or silk flower arrangements and will be offering new floral design classes routinely.

Baltimore, MD Happenings

For a myriad of Baltimore area literary events, please check Lite: Literary Events Calendar. The Baltimore Inner Harbor offers several ethnic events throughout the year and is also the site of the Baltimore Aquarium. The National Aquarium includes two buildings: the Main Aquarium and the Marine Mammal Pavilion. The Main Aquarium offers the South American Rain Forest, Atlantic Coral Reef, The Children's Cove and Sharks: The Open Ocean among other displays. The Marine Mammal Pavilion includes live animals, exhibits and shows. Food and shopping are available. For general information, call (410)576-3800

Baltimore Harbor

Baltimore Inner Harbor

Contra Dancing

If you enjoy folk dancing, you might want to try contra dancing. I've been contra dancing a few times: once in Frederick, MD at the City Rec Center(aka Old Armory) and twice at a farm near the small town of Fawn Grove, PA. The Fawn Grove dance was sponsored by the York Folk Dance Association. I really don't know how to define contra dancing: it's like a square dance only rounder(!?). The caller teaches each dance by going through the steps, so the dancers get to practice. You don't really need a partner for this type of dance, which is nice. You will probably end up dancing with just about everyone who shows up! There are some basic rules to follow regarding dance protocol that all the groups go by and are very willing to share with you. Most of the contra dancing groups are very friendly and encourage new members. This is a great way to meet people, to get exercise(quite a few of the guys bring an extra shirt along so they can change during the break!), to get rid of stress and to have fun. There is always live music and the groups are great! The dances sometimes involve a lot of swirling and twirling, sometimes are similar to a type of line dance, in which you change partners frequently. This is an up and coming type of recreational activity. Contra dancing can be quite addictive. Some people I know will spend an entire weekend going to different locales and dancing the weekend away. Information on contra dancing and related folk dancing/folk music activities can be found on my Links Page. The Baltimore Folk Music Society has listings of upcoming events. Ladies, make sure you wear skirts that give plenty of leg room, as you turn a lot during these dances. The music is very contagious and you're guaranteed to have a good time!

Kingsdale, PA

The small Pennsylvania town of Kingsdale(south of Littlestown and near the Maryland border) annually hosts the Firemen's Carnival, dirt racing and a steam engine show. Here is a photo of one of the steam engines:

Steam Engine

Steam Engine

In case you think it odd that a female would be interested in steam engines, I have to lay the blame on my grandfather. I followed him around to horse shows and steam engine shows as a child and came to love all the sights, sounds and smells associated with these events. Hence, the above photo.

Dutch Country Dancing & Bluegrass Jams

The Dutch Country Restaurant is located on Baltimore Street in Hanover, PA. Besides delicious food in the first-floor restaurant, they offer Blue Grass jams every Monday night from 7:00-10:00p.m. on the second floor. The cost is $3.00 admission. Snacks are served halfway through the evening. You can sit and listen to a variety of performers, dance the night away or sit in the back room listening or playing with the jammers. Anyone who wants to perform is invited to do so. The dancing is informal and the folks are friendly. This is a great way to fight those "Back-to-work" Monday blues!

Cactus Flats

Near Frederick, MD is a small bar called Cactus Flats. They offer great bluegrass music every Sunday from 4:00-8:00p.m. Recently, a band called Bob Scott and Stone Ridge played. Their breaks were about 15 minutes between sets, which meant that the music was almost non-stop! Excellent music, featuring guitars, bass fiddle and mandolin. Cactus Flats has been featured several times in the newspaper for their bluegrass music. Peanuts are plentiful and good. You haven't lived until you've dumped your share of peanut shells onto the floor! (I really enjoyed that! Definitely more fun than cleaning floors!) The food is pretty good too!

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