The Fort Pitt Museum, located in historic Point State Park, is preparing for an active summer season you won’t want to miss.
The 18th Century Frontier Speaker Series
The new Fort Pitt Museum speaker series began in March with an Indian Captivity-themed program featuring Dr. R. Scott Stephenson from the Museum of the American Revolution and Shawnee Tribal Member Jeremy Turner. The series continues with three events in July.
On the anniversary of the Battle of the Monongahela, July 9, join Dr. David Preston, author of the book “Braddock’s Defeat,” for a lecture about Braddock’s expedition. The book, using untapped sources and collections, reinterprets this pivotal battle in American history. Preston’s presentation will draw on his findings and show how the battle altered the balance of power and escalated into a world conflict.
On July 17, CeCe Moore, a professional genetic genealogist who has appeared on 20/20, CBS This Morning, The Doctors, and Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., will give a talk on how to use DNA for family research.
The final speaker series event is the second annual Women’s History Seminar on July 30, an all-day symposium followed by a small evening reception. Scheduled presenters include Alan Gutchess, director of the Fort Pitt Museum, who will discuss women and 18th century body modifications, including tattoos and piercings; Mary Miley Theobald, author of “Death by Petticoat: American History Myths Debunked;” and several additional speakers.
The museum’s annual art show opens on Friday, June 3 with an evening reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The multimedia show, which is inspired by 18th century Western Pennsylvania history, will feature local Pittsburgh artists, including Brad Bianchi, Dan Burfield, Ron Copeland, Dave D’Incau Jr., George Gaadst, Ryder Henry, Jen Joyce, Amber Kear, Steph Neary, and Meg Prall. The show runs through Sunday, July 10.
Three Rivers Arts Festival
Visitors to the Three Rivers Arts Festival are encouraged to bring young history explorers to the Creativity Zone to make an item related to 18th century life. Projects may include wampum strings, tin punch ornaments, rag dolls, and more. Sit with museum staff and volunteers and learn about life on the frontier while making a souvenir to take home.
This summer’s Living History program begins on May 21 with a friendly game of 18th century cricket during Venture Outdoors Day when visitors are invited to join a match throughout the day. The program calendar picks up again on May 29 with a fishing program in partnership with Point State Park.
The Fort Pitt Cannon Crew will provide demonstrations on June 4, June 5, June 18, July 9, July 23, Aug. 13, and Aug. 20, featuring the museum’s 18th century six-pounder cannon. Visitors can enjoy cannon, blacksmithing, and carpentry demonstrations on each of these days.
The newly expanded Fort Pitt Fife and Drum Corps will also perform on June 11, July 4, and Aug. 6. Visitors will be able to listen to music and talk to corps members about the historic significance behind the fife and drum corps and learn how to join the corps’ ever expanding ranks.
We hope you’ll join the Fort Pitt Museum this summer to experience life on the 18th century Western Pennsylvania frontier first-hand.
Kathleen McLean is the education manager at the Fort Pitt Museum.