Old Economy Village prepares for season

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 | 6:00 AM


Old Economy Village in Ambridge will open for the 2019 season April 3.

But for those who can’t wait that long to head back to the 19th-century Harmony Society, there’s good news. Several programs are planned at the National Historical Landmark during March.

“When you come here, it does feel like you’re in the nineteenth century,” said Kaitlyn Karczewski, marketing and museum store associate. “You really get a feel for how the people lived.”

Old Economy Village “preserves and presents the life, thought, and material culture of the Harmony Society, a highly successful and entrepreneurial 19th century religious community,” according to its website.

It is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and supported by the nonprofit Friends of Old Economy Village.

During the season, visitors tour Old Economy Village grounds and buildings, where demonstrations are given from interpretors dressed in 19th-century garb. Visitors also are educated in the ways of life of the Harmony Society.

Prior to the season opening, people are invited to the Introduction to Basket Weaving program from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 23

The program is a hands-on experience, Karczewski said. Participants will learn basic basket weaving and even make their own.

Another class, Silk Reeling, will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. March 30.

Participants will learn how silk fiber is extracted from the silkworm cocoon and turned into thread. They’ll even learn to operate a silk-reeling machine.

To register for both of these free programs, contact museum educator David Miller at davmiller@pa.gov or 724-266-4500, ext.110. Registration is required by March 20 for the silk reeling program.

The two-day Spring Garden Seminar also will be held March 29-30 with a variety of presentations and programs held throughout the event centered around gardening.

Cost is $48 for Friends of Old Economy Village members and $60 for non-members.

To make reservations, contact Sandy Carroll at 724-266-4500, ext. 120. Pre-registration for the event is required by March 16.

Once the season starts, additional programs will be offered, Karczewski said.

One focus for the 2019 season will be the Hands-On History and Garden Mart Weekend, planned for May 4-5.

“We’re going to ramp it up,” Karczewski said.

There are food trucks and more demonstrations planned for the event.

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