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  • Ephrata Cloister


Charter Day

Date(s): 03/08/2020
Time: 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

In March 1681, young William Penn received a grant of land in America named to honor his father. Over time Penn’s “holy experiment” would grow to capture the nation’s stories of strength and diversity. Now, 339 years later the Historic Ephrata Cloister joins other state museums to celebrate the founding of Pennsylvania with free admission on Charter Day, Sunday, March 8. Historic Ephrata Cloister preserves one of the best examples of Commonwealth’s haven for refugees seeking religious freedom.

            Continuing the historic community’s tradition of caring for its neighbors, visitors to the site on this day are encouraged to bring a donation of paper towels; laundry detergent and cleaning products; canned fruit (low sugar); high protein items like canned tuna, canned chicken, peanut butter; cereal; jelly; snack items (boxes of crackers, peanut butter crackers, etc.); canned Soup.  These items will be donated to Ephrata Area Social Services’ Hands-Up Exchange, a food pantry that serves local residents. 

            New this year will be the Activity Academy, at Ephrata’s schoolhouse, where our visitors will find fun, hands-on learning opportunities for the young and young at heart.

            Finally, the settlement became known for its art and music, and the sound of original Ephrata music will fill the original Meetinghouse with performances by the Ephrata Cloister Chorus at 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00.

               And no trip to Ephrata is complete without a stop at the Museum Store, where you can find items such as locally crafted redware, notecards, soaps, candles, books, and much more.  L. Allen Viehmyer will be on hand to sign his new book, An Index to Hymns and Hymn Tunes of the Ephrata Cloister 1730 – 1785, including all printed and manuscript hymnals and hymnal fragments, as well as representative music manuscripts. 

Ephrata Cloister

Administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission:
Josh Shapiro, Governor – Hayley Haldeman, Chair – Andrea Lowery, Executive Director

Ephrata Cloister is one of 26 historic sites and museums on the Pennsylvania Trail of History. For more information or to request a free 24-page visitor guide, visit or phone toll free 1-866-PATRAIL.

The Ephrata Cloister Associates is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, supporting the mission of preservation and education at this National Historic Landmark.

Anne Brossman Sweigart Charitable Foundation
Irene Weidman Charitable Foundation
Ephrata National Bank
Black Forest Brewery/Americana 1777 Inn
A Woman’s Club of Ephrata
The Historic Ephrata Cloister May Hours of Operation: OPEN 9am - 4pm Wednesday through Saturday & OPEN 12pm - 4pm Sunday. CLOSED Monday and Tuesday