As summer comes to a close, the next lecture in the 2015 South Mountain Speakers Series will focus on the Craighead family, whose children were inspired by their summers spent along the Yellow Breeches and went on to become famous naturalists and authors.
It all started at the Craighead house in South Middletown Township, near Boiling Springs.
"Summer in South Mountain: The Craighead Family Legacy," is being presented in collaboration with the Cumberland County Historical Society at 7 p.m. on October 8 at the headquarters of the Cumberland County Historical Society, 21 North Pitt St., Carlisle. It is free and open to everyone.
"From Frank Craighead and his siblings, who grew up in a house along the Yellow Breeches, descended a battalion of people who made the study of various aspects of nature their life's work," said Katie Hess, director of the South Mountain Partnership. "We hope that hearing about the Craighead family's study of nature and connection to this landscape will inspire participants to be curious about our region's natural world and work to protect it."
The presenter will be Tom Benjey, who has written about the Craigheads and is active with the Friends of the Craighead House.
The house at Craighead Station in South Middleton Township was a summer home where the children played, swam and fished; pioneered falconry as a sport in the U.S.; studied nature and the classics; and began writing careers.
As teenagers, twins Frank Jr. and John became known for their work with hawks and owls. Soon, they were writing and photographing articles for National Geographic. Jean wrote more than 100 books about animals and children, including Newbery Honor winner My Side of the Mountain.
This event is supported by the historical society, the Friends of the Craighead House and the South Mountain Partnership.
Nov. 12 Program
The final lecture of the 2015 season will be "Living on the Wind: Tracking Northern Saw-whet Owls Migrating Along South Mountain" with award-winning author and respected natural historian Scott Weidensaul on November 12 at Shippensburg University.
The annual South Mountain Speakers Series is a revival of the Michaux conservation talks given by Joseph Rothrock in the late 19th century as part of his historic work to preserve and restore Pennsylvania's forests and natural landscapes.
The South Mountain Partnership is a coalition of citizens, businesses, non-profit organizations and government representatives in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties, working together to protect and enhance the South Mountain Landscape.
It is a public-private partnership between DCNR and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
South Mountain is at the northern end of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Communities in the 400,000-acre region have thrived off fertile limestone agricultural lands, the timber that fed iron furnaces, plentiful game and wildlife, and abundant pure spring water that is captured by the mountains' permeable soils and released into the valleys.For more information about the South Mountain Partnership and the speakers series, call the Appalachian Trail Conservancy at 717-258-5771.