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The Friends of Valley Forge

Our mission is to advocate for Valley Forge National Historical Park, to enhance the visitor experience and to promote public appreciation of the Park’s historic, environmental and recreational resources.


Railroad Day – New Event!

Saturday, November 1 11 am – 3 pm Train Station at Washington’s Headquarters
VF Train Station

Join park staff and members of Operation Lifesaver, the leading non-profit organization behind railroad safety, and the Reading Company Technical & Historical Society to share the history of transportation along the Schuylkill River Valley, the development of railroad transportation in America and its impacts to early tourism to Valley Forge State Park, and celebrate the popularity of model trains as a tribute to the country’s industrial era.

Friends Speaker Series

Tuesday, November 4 7 pm Washington Memorial Chapel
Patrick Henry, as portrayed by Doug Thomas

Patrick Henry teaches us that one can be poor, grow up in the backwoods with a limited education, fail multiple times, and yet ultimately succeed. Henry married at a young age and owned and operated a store, which failed. His first wife suffered from depression after the birth of their sixth child. Rather than having her committed, Henry kept her in the basement of their home. After her death, Henry remarried and fathered eleven more children. Ultimately this self-taught musician became a respected lawyer and Governor of Virginia (1776–1779 and 1784–1786).

Henry led the opposition to the Stamp Act in 1765. A passionate orator, he is perhaps best known for his “Give me Liberty or give me Death!” speech. Henry promoted the fight for independence, but later opposed both a federal government and the Constitution. He ardently supported what would become the Bill of Rights.

About the Speaker

Doug Thomas

Born in Indiana, Doug Thomas made his way to Pennsylvania in 1986 when his family moved to Mansfield. He attended college at Mansfield University, graduating with a dual major in theater arts and speech communications.
 A professional actor with over two decades of performance experience, Thomas’s local credits include The Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival, Vagabond Theatre, and the Arden Theatre Company.

Doug Thomas, who regularly performs at Independence Hall, has been immersed in historical interpretation for many years. Other characters in his repertoire with American Historical Theater include Meriwether Lewis, William Penn, John Paul Jones, Francis Scott Key and a young Governor Livingston. Doug is also certified to choreograph stage fighting.


Landscapes & Structures Photography – Fall Series

Saturday, November 1 8 am – 10 am Stirlings Quarters
Saturday, November 8 8 am – 10 am Yellow Springs Parking Lot
Saturday, November 15 6:30 am – 8:30 am Sunrise at Artillery Park
Saturday, November 22 8 am – 10 am To be announced
VF landscape

The Landscapes and Structures of Valley Forge program returns for the fall season. Take a photographic look at the history and beauty of Valley Forge National Historical Park. The fall series will focus on foliage and meet at a variety of lesser known areas of the park. Join Ranger Jeff each Saturday and explore the history and the art that is Valley Forge.

Photographers of all skill levels are welcome to attend and participants are encouraged to bring their photography device of choice (camera, tablet, cell phone, etc).

Events are weather dependent, please dress appropriately and remember to properly outfit your equipment. Follow ValleyForgeNHP on Instagram and Twitter and tag your photos with #vfpark #vfnhp #valleyforge. Like the Landscapes and Structures Facebook Page for updates and to share your photos with other program participants.

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