June 19, 2021


9:00 am - 11:00 am


1719 Museum



Native Ways – A Plant for All Seasons: Cattail

Presented by Mary Ann Robins. 2nd of a four-part series.

MaryAnn Robins, of Circle Legacy Center (, presents a four-part series, Native Ways— A Plant for All Seasons: Cattail at the Lancaster Longhouse on the grounds of the 1719 Herr House & Museum.

Learn the value of the cattail plant to the Indigenous people of the Eastern woodlands.

On April 17, from 9 am to 10:30 am, the first session focuses on an introduction. How do you identify the cattail and harvest it? What are the common uses of the plant in Native culture?

The second session identifies the edible properties of the cattail and how to prepare ground cakes. The brown stock of the plant is a great firestarter. They are dipped in bear grease to make torches. This session is on June 19 from 9 am to 11 am.

The last two sessions concentrate on mat making. The students gather and split the reeds of the cattail during the third session on August 7 from 9 am to 11 am. The fourth session on October 2, from 9 am to 11 am, demonstrates how to use the dried reeds to weave mats.

The instructor asks to be made aware of any allergies. Loose-fitting clothing is suggested for the hands-on sessions.

The cost is $60. Members receive their discount. Individual classes can not be purchased separately. Pre-register by April 9 at

Goodville Mutual Casualty Company ( is a sponsor of the 1719 Herr House & Museum’s Indigenous programming.


  • 1719 Museum
  • 1849 Hans Herr Drive
    Willow Street, PA 17584 United States
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  • Phone(717) 464-4438
  • Website


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Did You Know?

The sandstone used for the Herr House was quarried on-site.

Christian Herr was a prominent leader in the 18th century Mennonite Community. Years after his death Lancaster Mennonites were still referred to as the Christian Herr Party.

Indigenous Peoples taught the Herr family and other Mennonites how to hunt game, clear heavily forested land, and how to identify native plants.