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2023 Schedule – Check Back for Updates

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Announcing If you haven’t already done so – check out and subscribe to Rich’s 2023 video podcast series at https://www.youtube.com/@findingtilden/

2023 Program Schedule


Muleskinner’s String Band – Rich with Ken Gehret and Mike Henry – Appearing Sat. April 29 at the Camp Geiger Civil War Reenactment in Whitehall, PA and…Sat. July 29 at the Annual Bucktail Reunion at the Daniel Lady Farm in Gettysburg (programs at 10am, 11:45pm and 3:15pm)


Other Upcoming Appearances (Rich solo programs unless indicated) –

 Sat. May 6Nicholas Stolzfus Homestead Benefit Auction (1700 Tulpehocken Road, Wyomssing, PA)  – Look for Rich as he shares about the history of the nearby Union Canal throughout the day (beginning at 9am)

Fri. May 12 Allegheny National Forest (Old Powerhouse – south of Bradford, PA) – 5:30pm – ANF Centennial Program. For further information, see – https://www.fs.usda.gov/allegheny

Sat. May 27Anthracite Heritage Festival (Shamokin, PA)  “Diggin’ Dusty Diamonds” – music of the hard coal miners with Mike Henry (on stage 12-1pm); roving throughout the day.







Sat. July 1 and Sun. July 2  Bark Peelers’ Festival (Galeton, PA) Rich as “Lobby Hog” Jack Hains (and Frog Master too!) For further information, see – http://lumbermuseum.org/bark-peeler-festival/

Sat. July 29 – Annual Bucktail Reunion (Daniel Lady Farm in Gettysburg, PA) Muleskinner’s String Band at 10am, 11:45am and 3:15pm (see above)

Sat. Aug. 12LeRoy Heritage Museum (Canton, PA) – 1pm – Lumber Heritage Program

Sat. Sept. 23Sinking Spring Public Library (Sinking Spring, PA) – 10am “In the Steps of a Peacekeeper” (Conrad Weiser)

Spring – Summer 2022 Events

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Sat. May 28   Anthracite Heritage Festival of the Arts (Shamokin, PA)  11am – 3pm
Rich as Coal Miner, Frank Kehoe.

Sat. June 11   Cook Forest French & Indian War Event  (Cooksburg, PA) –
Rich as Conrad Weiser.  Sawmill Theater 1-2pm – “In the Steps of a Peacekeeper” followed by “Meet the Character Within the Character” in the Sawmill Classroom.  Also – 7-8pm Sawmill Theater – “1737: Going to Onondaga on the Path of Peace”

Sat. July 2 & Sun. July 3  Bark Peelers Festival – PA Lumber Museum (Galeton, PA)
Rich as Wood Hick – Jack Hains.  Mess Hall Living History Programs: Sat. – 11am & 3pm, Sun. – 10am & 12:30pm.  Alert – You may also find him as the Frog Master at the Frog Jumping contest at 11am (Sun.)!

Fri. July 8 – Sun. July 10  George Spangler Farm – Detachment, U.S. Engineers (Gettysburg, PA) – Rich as “Muley” Tubbs, Supply Train Wagon Master

Sat. July 16  “Porch Performance” Pennypacker Mills (Schwenksville, PA)   4-5pm
Rich as Coal Miner, Frank Kehoe

Fall 2021 Programs

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Cornwall Furnace Tours and Special October 16 Civil War Event

Rich will be conducting tours of the Furnace complex at Cornwall Iron Furnace State Historic Site in Lebanon County, PA on the following days this Fall:
Saturdays – October 16 (Special Event – see below) and October 30
Sundays – October 10, 17 and Nov. 14 (normally 12:30pm tours)

Detachment US Engineers Visits Cornwall Iron Furnace
October, 16, 2021  9am-4pm

On August 19, 1861 Ironmaster RW Coleman received an order from the Bureau of Ordnance and Hydrography – Federal Navy Department, Washington City, DC for the making of “five fifty pounder rifled gun iron.” Thus Cornwall Iron Works was involved in the production of rifled cannon iron for use in the Civil War.

On September 12, 1861 James M. McCarter received the approval to raise a 3 month regiment of Infantry (PA 93rd) recruited from Lebanon County and Berks County. Now is the time to join the cause of saving the Union. “To Arms, to Arms, to Arms.  All for the Union!!  Now is the time to enlist!”

Join us on October 16, 2021 when the Detachment of US Engineers will help the potential volunteers (visitors) understand the story of ordnance production and the logistics involved in delivering that iron to the Federal Navy Department in Washington City, DC.  On-site will be Civil War cultural interpreters including blacksmiths working a traveling forge, cooks preparing authentic foodways of the Civil War period, a surgeon and nurse interpreting medicinal methods, a wagon master/mule boss explaining the role of horses and mules and supply wagons, a topographical engineer describing mapping methods and the importance of maps,  an ordnance sergeant explaining the various firearms used in the Civil War, and the Detachment Colonel giving you a glimpse of headquarters’ procedures.

Civil War Supply Train Wagon Boss Mahlon “Skinner” Tubbs Joins the Detachment, U.S. Engineers on September 4 at Gettysburg NB

On this special free “Family Day” at the George Spangler Farm at Gettysburg National Battlefield – learn from “Skinner” about the importance of supply trains and their horses and mules in the Civil War.

Other members of the detachment will talk about the important role of the Engineer (construction and topographical) in the logistics of the war as well as in the aftermath of Battle of Gettysburg. Topics will even include the  building of corduroy roads and pontoon bridges.  Also on-site is a Corps Field Hospital and period ambulance staffed by a period Surgeon from the unit on this special event day.

Access to the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital for Family Day is available via shuttle from the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center. Free shuttle tickets required and can be reserved at: https://cart.gettysburgfoundation.org/16790/16791.

Face coverings are required on shuttle buses consistent with TSA guidelines.


2021 Programs Update

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Sorry to report – but the July 3-4 “Barkpeelers Festival” at the PA Lumber Museum is officially cancelled (for the second straight year) due to PA Covid restrictions.

Fortunately the following events in MD and WV are still on…

Sat. July 10 – Conestoga Wagoner, John Jacob Keplinger will make his first appearance near the National Road at the Victorian Chautaqua at Mountain Lake Park (Oakland, MD area) with programs in the Martin Tent at 9:30am and 2:30pm. For further information on this event, see – https://www.victorianchautauqua.com/


Sat. July 17 Wood Hick Jack Hains will be appearing at the Cass Mountain Railroad State Park (Cass, WV). He will be interpreting the logging industry through the music of that era to complement and bring the new 2021 exhibit –Timber/Timbre: Falling Trees and Rising Voices – Music and Logging in West Virginia, 1880-1930 to life!

For more info on the exhibit, see – https://wvstateparks.com/event/timber-timbre-falling-trees-and-rising-voices-music-and-logging-in-west-virginia-1880-1930/


Check back for schedule updates…

December 2019 Belsnickel Program

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December 12,  2019   6:00-7:30pm
Beware the Belsnickel
Historic Yellow Springs, 1685 Art School Road, Chester Springs, PA 19425
Sponsor: Chester County Historic Preservation Network

Rich will bring his talents as an educator, living history reenactor and presenter to the final Town Tour Supper Lecture. In the mindset of late 19th century Pennsylvanians of Palatinate German ancestry – without experiencing the Belsnickel, you could not fully appreciate the “grace” of Christmas. Children of the time often dreaded his arrival. You knew the Belsnickel had arrived when you heard the rattling of switches on the window, a loud thumping of his booted feet and the sound of bells ringing in the night. Discover how he evolved from the Germanic customs of the homeland into today’s Santa Claus.

A buffet supper and drinks will be provided.  Cost – $20.

For tickets information –

August 2019 Appearances

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August 3-4,  2019  (Camp open to the public at 9:00am August 3)
26th Annual Bucktail Reunion – Civil War Encampment
450 South College Street, Myerstown, PA

Rich will join members of the Pennsylvania Bucktails Regiment reenactment units at this special weekend event

He will focus his living history stage presentation at 10:30am on the persona of a Pennsylvania German canal boatman who worked on the nearby Union & Schuylkill canals – a published occupation of some of the members of the 149th and 150th. His presentation will be complete with stories and songs of life on the canal intertwined with the history of the Bucktails.

Other presentations during the weekend include live music by the 2nd South Carolina String Band with concerts at  2pm and 8pm Saturday. Sunday activities include a 8:15am morning service (in camp) and honor visits to the gravesites of Civil War Bucktails in Mt. Hope and Union Cemetery. The encampment closes at 12 noon Sunday.

The Bucktail Reunion event is free to the public and all are welcome to visit Bucktail Camp at the Myerstown Community Park. Rich (Cappy Hummel) can also be found in the pavilion near the encampment during the day on Saturday if you want more information about the history of the Union Canal.

For further info, see the Annual Bucktail Reunion Facebook page.  Map and Schedule below:













August 24, 2019  1:30pm, 3:45pm and 6:15pm
River & Rails Festival (Canal Place, 13 Canal Place, Cumberland, MD)

Rich will be presenting three programs of at this family festival at Canal Place in Cumberland (MD) –  focusing on the historic C&O Canal and its connection to coal mining and rails. All programs will include music and well as historically accurate information on each topic.

1:30pm (Stage #2) – Coal Mining Stories & Songs
3:45pm (Canal Boat) – Canal Stories & Songs
6:15pm  (Stage #2) – Railroad Stories & Songs

For more information about the festival, see the complete schedule of events below:









Barkpeeler’s Festival July 6-7, 2019 at the PA Lumber Museum

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Jack “Griz” Hains, former “Wood Hick” now Lumber Camp “Lobby Hog” is coming back again to this year’s Barkpeeler’s Festival at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum in northcentral PA. Don’t miss this great family event! Yes, Rich will still be emceeing the Frog Jumping Contest and Greased Pole events as in previous years as well. For the complete schedule (in addition to the Jack “Griz” Hains program times below), see http://lumbermuseum.org/ – enjoy the fun!

April – May 2019 Programs

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Monday April 22, 2018  9am – 6pm with special living history presentation at 3:05pm
Lincoln Funeral Train Reenactment Event
Star Barn Village / Stone Gables Estate
1 Hollinger Lane, Elizabethtown, PA  17022

Meet “Muley” Tubbs, Supply Wagon Boss for the Union Troops, in the Carriage House of the Star Barn Complex throughout the day where he will be interpreting an exhibit that focuses on the importance of  horses and mules in the Civil War. This topic has a direct connection to the builder/owner of Star Barn, John Motter who supplied horses to the Union Cavalry during the war.
3:05 – 3:40pm Special First-Person Presentation (also in the Carriage House).

For additional information and tickets for this events – https://thestarbarn.com/event-calendar/

Wednesday May 29, 2019  7pm
“Woodhicks” of the PA Wilds

The Dean Center for the Performing Arts
History Comes Alive! Series / Coolidge Theater
104 Main St., Wellsboro, PA  16901

Join the spirit of 19th century “Wood Hick” Jack Hains as he tells of the pioneer, water transportation and logging railroad eras of the lumber industry. Learn about log slides, splash dams, Barnharts, Shays, “cookees”, knot bumpers, peaveys, cant hooks and the “natural law of succession” of the forest.

For additional information and tickets for this event – https://www.deanecenter.com/live-events

September 2018 Appearances

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September 21, 2018  6:00 pm
Bradford County Historical Society (109 Pine St. Towanda, PA)
Lumber Heritage in Northeastern

Join Rich as  Jack “Griz” Hains as he talks about the life and times of a northern Pennsylvania “wood hick” at this special Friday evening program. For further informationhttp://www.bradfordhistory.com/index.asp?pageID=9&EventId=154

September 23, 2018  6:00 pm
Troy Sales Barn (53-99 Ballard St, Troy, PA)
Connecting the Farm to the Forest

This special free interpretive presentation examines the symbiotic relationship between logging and agricultural production during the lumber boom days in Pennsylvania (1880-1910).

Rich will dress the part of a wood hick from that time period and will use old photographs to visually guide us through the past into the present. The Troy Sale Barn will be an example of how historic preservation is a form of life eternal for the value of the community and its citizens. The memories of those who gathered at the Troy Sale Barn throughout the years are part of the legacy of our local community and the citizens it represents.

If you have questions, please email troysalebarn@gmail.com or contact Bill Bower, Troy Sale Barn Operating Corporation President at 570/297-2943. It is the mission of the Troy Sale Barn Operating Corporation to showcase our agricultural heritage.

Expired: April – July 2018 Appearances

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 Saturday & Sunday June 9 -10
Cook Forest French & Indian War Encampment (Cooksburg, PA)

Conrad Weiser will be returning to this amazing event  – with a special program in the Sawmill Theater on Saturday from 1-2pm as well as a Saturday evening 7-8pm program in the Log Cabin Inn Environmental Learning Classroom.

At the 1pm presentation, In the Steps of a Peacekeeper – learn about the life of this  unsung Pennsylvania hero who epitomizes life on the American frontier from 1710 until his death in 1760. During that time – he was a statesman, diplomat, traveler, judge, linquist, Lieutenant Colonel, farmer and official Pennsylvania peacekeeper.

For the 7pm program, Conrad will be joined by his compatriot, Stoeffel Stump (portrayed by retired history teacher Bob Fleck) as they reminisce about their 1737 winter “walk” from Heidelberg (present day Womelsdorf west of Reading, PA) to Onondaga (near present day Syracuse, NY) to preserve the peace between the Iroquois and Catawba nations.

You can also meet the “characters within these two characters” both days near the entrance of the Sawmill Theater.
For further information on this weekend event – http://events.dcnr.pa.gov/event/cook_forest_french_indian_war_encampment_5573#.WwyMt4oh3IU

Sunday June 24, 2018
Schuylkill Canal Festival (Mont Clare, PA)
Canal Captain John A. Hummel hauled goods and produce on a number of canals in Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but his favorite of them all was the Schuylkill Canal which ran from Port Carbon to Philadelphia. Hear the “sneckehorn” blow, and be entertained with the songs and stories from the past as “Cappy” takes you back to the “good old days.”

For further information about this event –

Saturday & Sunday July 7-8, 2018
Barkpeeler’s Festival at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum (Galeton, PA)
See separate post to the left for information about this great event!