Contact: Tom Markwardt, 724-329-2013
Contact: Brian Reedy, 724-329-5470
Contact: Toni L'Hommedieu (Friendship Hill Association), 724-569-4403
Expanded Event Provides Big Bang
POINT MARION, Pa. After 25 years as a Sunday only festival, FestiFall at Friendship Hill National Historic Site is expanding to two days. The Friendship Hill Association, the sponsor of FestiFall 2007, is expanding the event to take place both Saturday, September 29 and Sunday, September 30. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
FestiFall is the annual celebration of the life and times of Albert Gallatin. “It has become very popular over the years,” said MaryEllen Snyder, the chief of visitor services at Friendship Hill National Historic Site, where the event is held. “It’s become too much to limit to one afternoon.”
The smells of soup cooked over an open fire, period music, and historic artisans and crafters will all help transport back to the time when Gallatin and his family made their home the edge of the wilderness in western Pennsylvania. Gallatin is best known for his years of service as Secretary of the United States Treasury under Presidents Jefferson and Madison. A statue of ‘this most astonishing man’ stands in front of the US Treasury Department in Washington, DC. He is an important link to our nations’ early political development.
Toni L'Hommedieu, President of the Friendship Hill Association says, “It is a must, this year, to take a walk through the Gallatin House.” Eight rooms on the first and second floors are furnished with artifacts and furniture from the Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. The furniture is on loan and will be returned when renovations to the Arlington House are completed. “Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity!” L’Hommedieu continued. “While in the House, be sure to see the five minute video presentation of Albert Gallatin’s impact on our nation. This is a great way for visitors to set the tone and get in an historic frame of mind.”
The historic foods are always a main draw at FestiFall. You will find ham and bean soup with home style bread and johnny cake, pulled beef sandwiches, and popcorn over an open fire. The bakery tent will have sweets for your eating pleasure.
The market fair this year features more historic craft demonstrators. Quilters, coopers, pewter casters, soap makers, leather workers, seamstress, furniture maker, rug braiders and many more will showcase their talents. Amusements, including period music and flower head garlands will also be a part of the celebration.
“If you include the stew, we have the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker all represented,” said Snyder. “I suppose we could send them down the Monongahela River in a tub made by the cooper.”
A military encampment will feature historic weapons and demonstration from the Revolutionary War and the Mexican War. Gallatin arrived in Boston at the end of the Revolutionary War (1775-1783). Later in life, he was an outspoken opponent of the Mexican War (1846-1848).
Even with the expanded program, admission to the event remains free. Shuttle service from the parking area to the knoll is provided for those needing assistance. The mansion is handicap accessible with restrooms. Animals must be on leashes.
The Friendship Hill Association is a non-profit group whose mission is to support the National Park Service at Friendship Hill National Historic Site. They are sponsoring the event in cooperation with The National Park Service. If you are interested in being a part of FestiFall or joining the Friendship Hill Association, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities. Toni L’Hommedieu will welcome your call! She can give you information of the type of help needed. Please call Toni at 724-569-4403 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friendship Hill National Historic Site is located on Rt. 166 between Point Marion, PA and New Geneva, PA. For further information contact the National Park Service at (724) 725-9190.
Did You Know?
Albert Gallatin took a job teaching French at Harvard. Later, while surveying for a partner who had been one of his students, he bought the land he called Friendship Hill.