Susquehanna Stories

Shank’s Mare’s Dining & Learning programs feature guest speakers offering a range of subjects mostly geared to the Susquehanna River’s  ecological features, historic places, cultural features, and the interesting people who have made their homes here for centuries.  The programs begin with a delicious dinner in The Rookery, followed by the presentation during dessert and coffee.  Reserve a table for friends or family, or come on your own.  There’s always something interesting to hear during our Dining and Learning series as we unfold the wealth of Susquehanna Stories. All programs require Pre-Registration and Pre-Payment.  Please call 717-252-1616 to make reservations.

 Our Theme for 2017 – “Women & Family Life on the Susquehanna River”

Shank’s Mare is pleased to present our Dining & Learning Series for the 2017 fall and winter season.  Our guest speakers will present interesting and varied stories about our “rogues” and the footprints each story has left on our region over a hundred years later.  The Dining & Learning Series takes place in Shank’s Mare’s banquet room, The Rookery, and includes a delicious dinner with the program presented over dessert and coffee. BYOB is welcome. Reservations are required by calling 717-252-1616. Enjoy a 10% discount when you register for two or more of the programs in this series.

Women during the Underground Railroad and Civil War

Guest Speaker – Scott Mingus Sr.

Fri., November 18, 2016, 6:00pm

The Underground Railroad was very active on the Susquehanna River corridor during the Civil War.  Our author and guest speaker, Scott Mingus Sr., will present a program on how women of the Susquehanna impacted this road to freedom for hundreds of slaves during the Civil War period.  Enjoy excerpts from Scott’s latest book “The Ground Swallowed Them Up”.  Enjoy dinner in The Rookery followed by Scott’s presentation over coffee and dessert.  Please call 717-252-1616 for reservations.

Program fee – includes presentation and dinner – Members $38/Person; Non-Members $42/Person.  (BYOB permissible to enjoy with meal). 

Family Life at the Henry Clay Furnace

Guest Speaker – Prof. June Evans

Fri., December 2, 2016, 6:00pm

The Henry Clay furnace, one of the first of the anthracite furnaces along the Susquehanna between Columbia and Marietta, was built in 1845 by Peter Haldeman, a prominent Columbia merchant. Haldeman purchased the land, consisting of nine acres with a “two story tavern house and a stable and other improvements”. June Evans, retired professor of archaeology at Millersville University, will present a program on what family life would have been like at the Furnace. Archaeological investigations were conducted at the tenement house and office/furnace manager’s house/tavern sites during five seasons of Millersville University field schools. These have revealed nineteenth century artifacts, buried deeply under fill and flood deposits which, along with historical documents,  give interesting insights into the life at an anthracite iron furnace community. Dinner followed by a fascinating program!

Program fee – includes presentation and dinner – Members $38/Person; Non-Members $42/Person.  (BYOB permissible to enjoy with meal).

Women and the Advent of Leisure Time and Recreation on the Susquehanna

Guest Speaker – Hollis Bedell

Fri., December 16, 2016, 6:00pm

As industrial and social changes swept through the country in the late 19th century, many of the changes resulted in freeing women from household chores which then allowed them to pursue other activities.  We will look at how some of these changes affected women and their pursuit of leisure activities such as bicycling, boating, tennis, birding, botanizing, and other outdoor activities they may have enjoyed living along the Susquehanna. Explore this topic with guest speaker Hollis Bedell following a delicious dinner in The Rookery.

Program fee – includes presentation and dinner – Members $38/Person, Non-Members $42/Person.  (BYOB permissible to enjoy with meal).

Shaping the Susquehanna – The Poet & the Pioneer

Guest Speaker – Michael Maloney

Fri., January 6, 2017, 6:00pm

What role did women play in daily life on the banks of the Susquehanna River during the 1700-1800’s?  Join us for this presentation led by author Michael Maloney.  Michael explored many facets of this topic in his book “Across the River – Murder at Accomac”. His research led him to discoveries of interesting people and events set on the various parts of the Susquehanna.  We are happy to have Michael join us once again for a new and interesting presentation the life of two very different women and their families; Susanna Wright and Hannah Cresap – the Poet and the Pioneer. Enjoy dinner and this fascinating program over dessert & coffee.

Program fee – includes presentation and dinner – Members $38/Person, Non-Members $42/Person.  (BYOB permissible to enjoy with meal).

Changing Lifeways: Susquehannock Family Life, 1550 AD – 1760 AD

Guest Speaker – Steve Warfel

Fri., January 13, 2017, 6:00pm

The Susquehannocks were the principal Native American inhabitants of the Lower Susquehanna Valley during the late 16th and 17th centuries.  We are pleased to welcome Steve Warfel, former Senior Curator of Archaeology with the State Museum of Pennsylvania, to present this program centering on the Susquehanna Indians. Relying on ethnographic and archaeological evidence, this presentation will examine changes in family life due to contact with European traders, warfare with rival native tribes, and, finally, Euro-American colonists during the first half of the 18th century.  Don’t miss this fascinating presentation plus dinner in The Rookery.

Program fee – includes presentation and dinner – Members $38/Person, Non-Members $42/Person.  (BYOB permissible to enjoy with meal).

Women and Family Life on the Susquehanna Canal

Guest Speaker – Stephen Runkle

Fri., January 20, 2017, 6:00pm

We once again welcome Stephen Runkle back for a presentation on the Susquehanna Canal.  Steve’s talk will center on what family life was like on the canal as it ran huge commodities of lumber and coal from the Rivertowns to the Chesapeake Bay.  Steve’s presentations are accompanied by lots of pictures and anecdotes. Dinner in The Rookery followed by the program makes a great evening!

Program fee – includes presentation and dinner – Members $38/Person, Non-Members $42/Person.  (BYOB permissible to enjoy with meal).

Pre-register for all Dining & Learning programs by calling Shank’s Mare at 717-252-1616.