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July 19, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU's Old Stone House schedules 'summer history' lecture, event

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -Slippery Rock University's Old Stone House has joined with Pennsylvania Humanities Council Commonwealth Speaker Steven Anderson to present "Homegrown Heroes: Pennsylvania Communities in the Civil War" July 27. The museum will offer "Conflict on the Venango," highlighting the French and Indian War, Aug. 10-11.

The 90-minute "Homegrown Heroes" program begins at 11 a.m.

Anderson, a storyteller and tour guide at the Gettysburg battlefield for the past 10 years, will discuss the role of Pennsylvania communities during the Civil War. An experienced stage actor, Anderson has narrated more than 25 audiobooks and has written and produced hundreds of online videos.

He has given original presentations on subjects as diverse as the Civil War, Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens. In each venue, he adjusts his presentations to include as much about local history as possible, so that each presentation is unique.

The Pennsylvania Humanities Council supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities is underwriting the presentation.

The presentation is free, but reservations are required and may be made by calling Aaron Cowan, assistant professor of history at SRU and museum curator at 724.738.2409 or at

The PHC is a nonprofit organization that inspires individuals to enjoy and share a life of learning.

The "Conflict on the Venango" program will run 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Aug. 10, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 11, giving visitors the chance to see what life was like for a soldier in the French and Indian War.

The museum will become a temporary encampment for French, British and Native American soldiers at a time when western Pennsylvania was central to the events of the French and Indian War.

Troops from all sides walked portions of the Venango Trail, which runs through Butler County. The program pays tribute to western Pennsylvania's role in this crucial precursor to America's national struggle.

Visitors will have the chance to talk with re-enactors about the hardships of camp and combat for 18th-century soldiers. There will be multiple drills and firearm demonstrations along with opportunities to purchase authentic handmade period crafts. The weekend's events will include a simulated conflict between French and Native American troops and British soldiers in the woods behind the Old Stone House. Guided tours of the museum will be offered both days.

The program is free, but with a suggested donation of $3 per person or $5 per family.

The Old Stone House, a museum designed to teach Butler County history and cultivate civic-mindedness, is located in northern Butler County at the intersection of Routes 8, 528, and 173. The historic site is owned and operated by Slippery Rock University.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.