The Gettysburg Wine and Fruit Trail is holding its premier sponsored event, Mason Dixon Day at the Mary Penn on Saturday, Aug. 29. Take a step back into reminisce during the Colonial era with this free family-friendly event that centers around attractions based around the 1750s and 1760s—a timeline that encompasses the French and Indian War as well as the Mason and Dixon survey.
The daylong festivities will take place at the Mary Penn Bed & Breakfast, located on a Gettysburg farm that spans 900 acres. The site itself is situated on the border of both Maryland and Pennsylvania. The home was built in 1743. Between Aug. 30 and Sept. 4 in 1763, surveyors Mason and Dixon passed through this area while establishing the states’ divide. The result marked the premises as being two-thirds Pennsylvania and one-third Maryland.
Featured festivities throughout the day will include British, French, and Native American living history encampments, plus two reenactments. One reenactment, the Mary Jemison Raid and Capture, will take place at 11 a.m. This event will reenact the morning of 1755 when a raiding party of six Shawnee Indians and four Frenchmen captured Mary Jemison and her family. At 2 p.m. there will be a reenactment of a raid on the Mason and Dixon survey party. Reenactment portrayers of Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon will also be present.
Plenty of onsite activities will be taking place during the course of the day in addition to the aforementioned reenactments. Hayrides will be offered every hour on the hour (the last hayride of the day will depart at 4 p.m.) to take visitors to mile-markers #76 and #77, which were placed on the farm premises by Mason and Dixon 250 years ago. There will be plenty of exhibits and demonstrations throughout the day as well. Colonial era crafts demonstrations will include such things as rifle building, woodworking, and even distilling. There will also be a blacksmithing exhibit with blacksmith George Platts performing live demonstrations at various times throughout the day. Other demonstrations by Barbara Bockrath will give visitors a look into 18th century life at the Exhibit of a 1755 Merchant. Continuous demonstrations throughout the day will include wig making, broom making, and so much more.
Many of these activities are suitable for all ages, but children also have plenty of activities in store just for them. Ongoing Colonial Children’s Games will be taking place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Also, at 10 a.m. Don Peroni the Tinsmith has a treat in store just for kids! He will be teaching children all about tinsmithing and even leading kids to create their own cookie cutters. This event is limited to 12 children, so plan to arrive early if your child wishes to participate.
There is plenty in store for the day to make for a great outing. In addition, there will be tours of the Mary Penn, distillery samples, arts and crafts vendors, and food vendors set up throughout the entire event, which runs until 10 p.m. At 7 p.m. there will be a free concert taking place featuring the Irish music group, Down by the Glenside. All are invited to this event as well as all other events onsite, free of charge. To view a complete listing of the day’s events, click here.
The Mary Penn is located at 716 Mason Dixon Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325. For other information, call 717-334-5055.