Rest in Peace, Lightning Bolt and Linsey

In the last six weeks, we’ve lost two sheep from the Thompson-Neely Farmstead flock: Lightning Bolt and Linsey. Both enjoyed lives longer than the average life expectancy for sheep and were beloved by the rest of the flock and their caretakers. The park’s Farmstead Manager, Ross Heutmaker, wrote these touching words about Linsey and Lightning Bolt. Lightning Bolt Lightning Bolt was a wonderful, happy sheep. She was one of the grandmas of our flock, always watching over the group with a calm but vigilant demeanor. Even in her old age, she was spry and quick when she had to be. Read More

Enjoy an Educational “Staycation”

In late June, Bowman’s Hill Tower reopened and guided tours of the Historic Village and Thompson-Neely House and Grist Mill resumed. Guided tours will look a little different for the foreseeable future as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. While safety comes first, it won’t come at the cost of an enriching experience. We spoke with Katherine Becnel, the park’s volunteer coordinator, about why August is the perfect time to take an educational and safe tour at Washington Crossing Historic Park. What makes August an ideal time to visit the park? One of the big advantages of being a state park Read More

Friends Welcome New Park Manager

Please join us in welcoming Marisa Sprowles as the new Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) manager for Washington Crossing Historic Park (PA). In this position, Marisa will oversee park operations and staff. “I’m looking forward to taking a deep dive into the history of the crossing,” Marisa says. Marisa’s love of the outdoors began in childhood. Her father was a National Park Service ranger and a city and state parks ranger in Ohio. “I spent a lot time in parks as a kid and have a lot of reverence for the flat hat,” she says. This enthusiasm became the catalyst Read More

We Cannot Tell a Lie: The Danger of Misquoting George Washington

Can you guess what these three quotes from great leaders have in common? “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi “The harder the conflict, the greater the triumph.” – George Washington All three are succinct, inspirational, and look great on a bumper sticker. And all three were never said or written by the person to whom they are attributed. Spurious quotations are nothing new, especially in the age of the Internet. They’re often motivational or profound, and the words often reinforce our idea of Read More

These Locally-Grown Plants Were Once Used to Treat Battlefield Ailments

The avid gardeners among us may know that peppermint, sage, and lavender featured prominently in the most common medicines during the American Revolution. But there are a host of lesser-known plants that proved to be just as valuable to the doctors on the battlefields, says Anna Davis-Agostini, the park’s historical horticulturist. We’re featuring four of them here. Please Note: Although you can find these plants among the park’s gardens—which Davis-Agostini designed and maintains, with help—the park’s gardens are not pick-your-own. If you spot these plants, please leave them be. In addition, the information provided below is informational only. All of these plants Read More

Park Welcomes New Environmental Educator

Matt Truesdale always wanted to be outside as a kid. Today, it’s his job. As the new Environmental Educator at Washington Crossing Historic Park, Matt has many plans for when the park fully reopens. He’s itching to get going. “I’ve seen how beneficial being outside is for people…this pandemic has really driven that home,” Matt says. “My job is to help the public discover the outdoors and learn about all its wonders. Every program I run is meant to get people to connect with nature. I bring my passion for the outdoors to my job, and I hope people notice Read More

What Was Life Like for Colonial-Era Medical Practitioners?

Reproductions of Colonial-Era Medical Tools   Imagine all of the uncertainty and anxiety surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and then compound it several times over. That will begin to give you a sense of what life was like for the doctors and nurses who tended to the Continental Army. Their ignorance was perhaps both a blessing and a curse. After, all, you can’t fear what you don’t know exists. Still, death was always looming. “More people died from disease or infection during the war than from battle wounds, which is counter-intuitive,” says Katherine Becnel, a colonial historian and the volunteer coordinator Read More

Astro Photographer Captures a Different View of the Park

Washington Crossing Historic Park is a great place to learn about history, take a hike, have a picnic, or practice soccer. But as Temujin Nana (aka Temu) found, the park is also an ideal location for deep-space astro photography. “My fiancée and I were in the area last fall scouting locations for our wedding when I noticed the open green at the park,” explains Temu. “I immediately thought it would be a good place to photograph the night sky.” Temu’s suspicions were confirmed when he checked a light pollution map and found the area to be the darkest sky location Read More

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