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At the 2018 Bark Peelers’ Festival, a lumberjack uses an old-fashioned way of cutting down logs while up high. He “notches” the pole and puts a piece of wood in the notch to climb up onto.

ULYSSES — The 45th annual Bark Peelers’ Festival, hosted by the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, is scheduled for this weekend, July 6-7 at the museum in Ulysses.

The weekend is designed to honor Pennsylvania’s lumbering heritage. Events include woodhick skills, log skidding and chainsaw carving demonstrations. Contests open to the public include cross-cut saw, log rolling, greased pole and birling. Live music, food vendors and kids activities will also be on-site.

Josh Roth, site administrator for the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, said they expect to see anywhere between 2,000 and 3,000 people attend Bark Peelers’, which is about 1/5 of their annual visitation in just two days.

This year the museum has a few new demonstrations and some that haven’t been available for a few years. One of the new demonstrations includes having the shingle mill running, which is used to cut smaller pieces of wood into shingles for a roof. The shingles will be branded with the museum logo, which people can take with them. A donation jar will be set out.

Now that renovations in the mess hall are done, the mess hall will be open for the first time in about six years. There will be cooking demonstrations on a traditional coal-fire cook-stone. Traditional recipes will be made from the PA Trails of History cookbook.

Because Pennsylvania was a world leader in hemlock tanned leather between 1890 and 1930, Dan Rhodes of the Bradford County Conservation District will do vegetable leather tanning demonstrations, using deer hides and tan liquore solution made with lye and hemlock bark.

For the first time in a few years, the museum will have someone to operate a saw mill off of a Ford Model T. Model T’s were known to be easily modified for many different things, including to run small, portable saw mills. Pieces of the car are stripped away and just the wheels, chassis and engine are left. Instead of a cab, there’s a saw and a rig to run boards through the saw.

Admission for one day is $10/adult, $3/ages 3-11 (under 3 are free); a two-day pass is available for $18/adult. Museum members are free.

The Pennsylvania Lumber Museum is located at 5660 US Route 6 West, Ulysses. For more information, call (814) 435-2652 or visit

Full Schedule

Saturday, July 6

Open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

9 a.m. until 5 p.m.- John Eastlake CCC presentation in the program room

10 a.m. until 4 p.m. — Leather Tanning demonstration with Daniel Rhodes in the Tannery Exhibit

11 a.m. until 3 p.m. — Kids Corner in the Pavilion

11 a.m. until 1 p.m. — Music by: Fair to Fiddlin’ in the stable

Noon — History Alive! Richard Pawling (in the Mess Hall)

Noon — Apple Pie Baking Entry Deadline (Main Building)

12:30 p.m. — Woodhick Skills by Bill Simcox and Family (Arena)

1 p.m. — Apple Pie Winners Announced (Main Building), Guided Trail walks with DCNR, Log Skidding Demonstration in the Arena

2-4 p.m. — Music by: Fair to Fiddlin’

2 p.m. — Greased Pole Competition in the Arena, Kid’s Sawdust Scramble near the pavilion

3:30 p.m. — Log Rolling Contest (Arena), door prize awarded (Arena)

Sunday, July 7

Open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

10 a.m. until 2 p.m. — Music by: Fair-To-Fiddlin’

10 a.m. — History Alive! Rich Pawling (Main Building)

11 a.m. until 3 p.m. — Kids Corner in the Pavilion

11 a.m. — Frog Jumping Contest near the pavilion

Noon — Have a slice of the log cake (Main Building)

12:30 pm. — Log Skidding (Arena)

1 p.m. — Cross Cut Saw Competition (Arena)

2 p.m. — Kid’s Sawdust Scramble near the Pavilion

2:30 p.m. — Birling Contest (Sawmill Log Holding Pond), Door Prize Awarded

4:00 p.m. — Award Ceremony for the Grand Champion Woodhick for 2019

The following demonstrations will occur all weekend-long at Bark Peelers’ Festival:

  • Bessie the Cow
  • Birch Still
  • Blacksmith
  • Chainsaw carver
  • Cooking in the Lumber Camp
  • Free tractor-pulled hay rides from parking at Denton Hill State Park to the Museum.
  • Lumber Heritage Region Information Station
  • Crafts, educational booths, books, food and drink vendors
  • PA DCNR Information Station
  • Pennsylvania Hardwoods’ Woodmobile
  • Steam Saw Mill