Christmas Ghost Story Series

Every Christmas we look forward to the spooky and fascinating tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and his encounters with the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. However, Dicken’s spooky tale wasn’t the first ghost story to be read around a Christmas fire. fictional character to see ghosts around Christmas time. In fact, the tradition of holiday ghost stories dates back much further than the Victorians. During the darkest times of the year, people believed the distance between the living and the dead closed. Our modern Christmas emerged in the Victorian Western world. With the newfound trappings of a commercialized Christmas that involved the sending of cards, gifts, and merrymaking, the holiday ghost story emerged in the press with gusto. Ghost stories populated periodicals and readers had an insatiable appetite for the holiday season spooky tales. It is estimated that between 50 and 70 percent of these stories were published by women. This holiday season, the McCarl Coverlet Gallery continues the Christmas ghost story tradition by releasing four thrilling narrated tales via podcast this holiday season. Every Friday leading up to Christmas, we will post a new story on our website and social media. We hope you enjoy carrying on this spooky tradition with your own families this year.

Charles Dickens’ Classic, “A Christmas Carol” A Virtual Solo Performance, by Jonathan Kruk, Master Storyteller

The New York Times describes Jonathan Kruk as having “a way with the spoken word, the telling gesture, the sprinkling of humor, and the appropriate costume for a smorgasbord of stories.”

Celebrating thirty years of experience, as a Master Storyteller, he is renowned for his performances of ” A Christmas Carol.”Using a treasure trove of voices and gestures he creates over thirty characters, to inhabit Dickens’ classic. The result is a singular show, intimate, and imaginative. Performing in Dickensian garb, the storyteller creates gripping vignettes with dynamic dialogue. Kruk employs his legendary eloquence, and wit, quickly transforming into Scrooge, Cratchit, Marley, Tiny Tim, and all the spirits.Jim Keyes opens the show with a rollicking sing-along. His original score blends traditional Christmas carols noted in the story with ambient motifs. Further, he delivers an amazing range of sound effects gleaned from a pipe organ, violin, harp, bells, and a rattling chain.The stately 19th century Boscobel Historic House provides an elegant setting. Unlike many Facebook live events, the audience is brought on a virtual tour as this timeless tale unfolds.

History Dinner Theater 2020-2021 Series

Stay tuned for information on our fifth season of History Dinner Theater. Visitors will dine on a gourmet three-course meal of their choosing while they are regaled by the historic tales, music, poetry, and personal accounts of some of the most fascinating historic figures in the History.

All proceeds benefit the educational programming, collections care, and exhibitions at the Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery.

Virtual Events and Workshops

School Programs

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The Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery would like to invite you to attend Woven into History, a history-based program for visiting classes of school children in grades K-6. Saint Vincent College is located in Westmoreland County, PA in the Laurel Highlands and is located an hour outside of Pittsburgh.

This program is funded by Museums for America, the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ largest grant program for museums, supporting projects and ongoing activities that build museums’ capacity to serve their communities. The cost to attend is $3.00 per child.

Woven into History uses the Gallery’s Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Collection as a source of original artifacts for young students to learn from. As part of the program, students will have the opportunity to participate in hands-on creative processes to explore mid-19th century American life. Through these activities, they will discover the history of the coverlets and other American textiles and how they relate to their lives. It is our hope that students will begin to appreciate the many examples of folk art incorporated into the coverlet designs.

The 386 jacquard-loomed collection is one of the world’s largest of American “figured and fancy” hand woven coverlets. It represents the historic 19th century transition from commercial handloom weaving to mechanized factory production in America.

In school options are available as well as museum visits.To reserve a field trip or request more information, please contact us at your earliest convenience.
We look forward to hearing from you!

Scout Programs


Stitch it Together*
Scouts will participate in sewing activities such as an animal sewing card, embroidery, making quilt patches and discussing what it
was like to be a young colonial girl in America.

Listening to the Past
As the scouts tour the gallery, they will hear stories and play games from long ago.


Yarn and Fabric Arts*
The Girl Scouts will learn about the history of coverlets and experiment with weaving, stitching and dyeing techniques.

Folk Arts
In this program, scouts will have the opportunity to participate in multiple activities including drawing portraits and writing a short story from an old photograph, acting out a fairy tale, myth or legend. The scouts can also learn to make a quill pen and practice penmanship, participate in a stenciled
note card activity and learn about the history of the McCarl Coverlet Gallery.

Making Hobbies
Scouts will use materials such as nature, recycled materials, paint and paper to do various arts and crafts such as gift wrap and prints.

One adult is free for every four scouts.

Programs are $6.00 per scout, except for patches that require additional material. These programs are noted by an asterisks and cost $8.00 per scout.

Programs are subject to an eight scout minimum charge.

A deposit is required at the time of registration.