Tours To Highlight Local History May 24, 2018
LancasterHistory.org has posted special events on Saturday, June 2.
African-American Heritage Walking Tours will take place at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in downtown Lancaster. Tourgoers will learn about abolitionists, Underground Railroad agents, preachers, and entrepreneurs. An expert tour guide will take visitors to the important places in African-American history, including black businesses on Penn Square, the site of the Elite Hotel, the Thaddeus Stevens and Lydia Hamilton Smith historic site, Trinity Lutheran Church, Lancaster County Courthouse, the Hamilton Club, St. James Episcopal Church, the site of the old Lancaster Train Station, Shreiner-Concord Cemetery, Fulton Hall/The Old Jail, and Central Market. Tours will last 90 minutes, and tickets may be purchased on June 2 at the Lancaster City Visitor Center, 38 Penn Square, Lancaster. Tours are given the first Saturday of each month through October.
"Thank Heaven for the English Bill," a Living History at Wheatland event, will be offered at LancasterHistory.org, 230 N. President Ave., Lancaster. Tours will be at noon and at 1, 2, and 3 p.m. and will last about a half-hour. In June 1858, Indiana Congressman William English introduced a bill that allowed President James Buchanan to forestall the implosion of the country. Buchanan will answer questions about the state of the union at that point, and First Lady Harriet Lane will show her moxie as a leading fashionista.
Advance tickets are highly recommended for the Living History event and can be obtained at www.lancasterhistory.org or by calling 717-392-4633.
University Professor To Present Talk May 23, 2018
The Millersville Area Historical Society will meet on Saturday, June 9, at 9 a.m. in the Millersville Municipal Center, 100 Municipal Drive.
Dr. Robyn Lily Davis, associate professor of history at Millersville University (MU), will present on the topic "The Whiskey Boys and the Watermelon Army: Tax Protests on the Pennsylvania Frontier." Beginning in 1791, farmers in western Pennsylvania protested the new federal excise on distilled spirits. Resistance grew into a rebellion that, by 1794, instigated an armed confrontation with the national government. To suppress the uprising, President George Washington led a 13,000-man army into the field. Davis will explain that the Whiskey Rebellion was not only a battle about taxes, but it was a contest over the meaning of the American Revolution. A question-and-answer session will follow the talk.
Davis, the colonial and Revolutionary American specialist at MU, holds memberships in numerous career-related organizations, including the American and Pennsylvania Historical Associations, the History of Science Society, and the McNeil Center for Early American Studies. The Lancaster resident began teaching at MU in 2012, after serving as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma, where she received her doctorate and master's degrees in history. Fluent in French and Spanish, the native New Yorker earned her bachelor's degree in French literature at Columbia University.
The event is free and open to the public, but donations are appreciated. For more information, readers may call 717-872-8837 before 5 p.m. or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Historical Commission Plans Open Houses May 22, 2018
The Edith P. Moore one-room schoolhouse, 9 N. Village Ave., Lionville, and the Cadwalader House, 21 N. Village Ave., Lionville, will be open to the public on Sunday, June 3, from 2 to 4 p.m. Members of the Uwchlan Township Historical Commission will be present to provide information and answer questions.
The schoolhouse was established in 1859 and operated as a township school for 100 years. In the building, visitors may view the 1880 slate chalkboard, desks, books and the cast iron stove that heated the room.
The Cadwalader House, circa 1712, served as the meeting and worship site for the Welsh Quakers who were the principal settlers in the township. The house features a permanent display of models of historic buildings that were part of the Lionville Village. In June and July, the house will include a display of vintage tea cups from Patricia Meister's collection, which includes cups from England, France, Poland, Germany, Japan and occupied Japan.
Area Historical Society To Meet May 22, 2018
The Sadsbury Township Historical Society will hold a meeting on Monday, June 4, at 7 p.m. in the Sadsbury Township Municipal Building, 2920 Lincoln Highway, Sadsburyville. Doors will open at 6:45 p.m.
The guest speaker will be Dr. William Watson, a professor of history at Immaculata University. He will present "Duffy's Cut," the story of the deaths of 57 Irish immigrant railroad workers on the Main Line.
Admission is free. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call 717-442-9240 or search for Sadsbury Township Historical Society on Facebook.
Storytelling Program Announced May 22, 2018
Rock Ford, Plantation 881 Rockford Road, Lancaster, has announced the return of its summer storytelling program, Stories on the Porch. It will be offered on Tuesdays, June 19 to Aug. 7. Programs will begin at 10 a.m. and run for approximately 30 minutes.
During this program, a Rock Ford docent reads a selected story of Early America to children while gathered on the porch of the mansion. Following the story, children participate in an activity. Afterward, children and their caregivers may enjoy the grounds of the plantation.
Stories on the Porch is geared toward children from preschool through fifth grade. Children must be accompanied by a parent or other responsible adult. The event is free, but donations will be welcome.
Reservations are not required. Programs will be held rain or shine.
Historic Rock Ford is operated by the nonprofit Rock Ford Foundation and is open for tours on Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. from April to October. For more information, readers may visit www.rockfordplantation.org or call 717-392-7223.
EPHS Aims To Bring History To Life May 18, 2018
In Lancaster County, East Hempfield Township is paired with West Hempfield, and East Earl Township has its compatriot, West Earl. However, East Petersburg has no partner. Or does it? East Petersburg Historical Society (EPHS) president David Johnson enjoys telling the story of how the borough got its name.
In 1760, Peter Gottshall received a land patent for 130 acres. When he died in 1789, each of his children received approximately 50 acres. Peter's son, also named Peter, sold his land in chunks. One of those pieces was eventually purchased by Daniel Wolf, who built a general store in 1810 at what is now 1905 W. State St. and named the area Petersburg. Eight years later, a post office was opened at the store, and that is when the trouble started.
It turned out that Pennsylvania already had a Petersburg, so what were the two towns to do? After discussions with the other borough, it was decided that as the Petersburg located in western Pennsylvania had been formed earlier than Lancaster County's, that town should have the right to the name of its choosing. It chose Petersburg, so the younger borough added "East" to its name. If any hard feelings had ever occurred, they were all gone by the time EPHS members took a bus trip to visit Petersburg a few years ago.
Wolf eventually sold his store, and it was operated as a tavern until Prohibition in 1921. It became Hollinger's Butcher Shop and then was converted into a residential rental property. The EPHS, which formed in 1976, purchased the property in 1994. Over the years, the historical society has worked at restoring the house; the brick exterior was repointed this year. EPHS secretary Lynn Dull noted that the organization has extensive archives stored in the house, and the goal is to make them accessible to the public.
The EPHS also has a goal of creating more enthusiasm about history, particularly that of the borough.
"We're trying not to lose our past, (to lose) what happened here," Johnson commented.
"Personal interaction with history is the best way to learn," added EPHS founding member Betty Nauman.
This summer, the historical society will provide several opportunities to brush shoulders with history. The property is typically open from 9 a.m. to noon on the first Saturday of every month. Special events will also be held on the first Saturdays of June, July, and August.
Members of the 30th PA Company E, a re-enactment group interpreting the Civil War-era volunteer infantry from Lancaster County and the state's first reserve unit, will have a camp set up on the lawn behind the Wolf House from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 2. There will be a variety of tents, campfire cooking, and a firing demonstration of muskets. The re-enactors will have with them only the things that an enlisted soldier could carry.
Re-enactor Bruce Hoover noted that the group enjoys presenting history in a tangible manner because it prompts people to reflect. "People have a connection to the past without realizing it," he said. "(Most people) can look back to their grandparents' stories (for that connection)."
The historical society also hopes to inspire community members to support its efforts to preserve the Wolf House. "History for me is 'R and R,'" EPHS board member Rick Brouse said. "I have a respect for history and a responsibility to learn it and pass it on."
Future events will include Colonial craft demonstrations on Saturday, July 7, and a Revolutionary War encampment with the 1st PA Regiment Flying Camp of Lancaster County on Saturday, Aug. 4.
All three events will be open to the public free of charge, and free parking will be available at neighboring businesses. Concessions will be sold.
For more information, readers may call Dull at 717-664-3808 or find the historical society on Facebook.
Slave Dwelling Project To Visit Local Area May 17, 2018
On Friday and Saturday, June 1 and 2, the Columbia Historic Preservation Society (CHiPS) and the Ware Center of Millersville University will host the Slave Dwelling Project in Columbia and Lancaster, respectively.
The Slave Dwelling Project, founded and led by history consultant Joseph McGill, is dedicated to preserving surviving African-American slave dwellings and seeks to change the narrative around the history of slavery in the United States. McGill will co-host the Lancaster County events, which are open to the public. "Since 2010, the Slave Dwelling Project has spent nights in slave dwellings in 19 states and the District of Columbia. We are proud that Lancaster will be added to the portfolio in 2018," said McGill.
The two-day program will kick off at 3 p.m. on June 1 with a lecture by McGill in the CHiPS Banner Hall, 21 N. Second St., Columbia, followed by a tour of the new museum exhibit "Underground Railroad: Destination Columbia." At 4:30 p.m., Christopher Vera, director of CHiPS, will lead a walking tour of abolitionist Columbia. There is a cost per person. To make reservations, interested individuals may call 717-572-7149.
On the evening of June 1, McGill will spend the night with an invited group of historians and local college students inside the original Columbia Bank & Bridge Company building, 131 Locust St., Columbia, which once housed African-Americans seeking to escape slavery. According to Vera, the site was also a meetinghouse to abolitionists such as Stephen Smith, Thaddeus Stevens, William Wright, and William Whipper.
"These programs will foster discussion, learning, and hopefully a better understanding of this essential American story," stated Vera.
At 11 a.m. on June 2, McGill will join Lancaster City Council member Ismail Smith-Wade-El and other members of the community for a public forum in the Ware Center, 42 N. Prince St., Lancaster. The 90-minute event will address the history of slavery in Lancaster and its present-day legacy. Admission is free. For more details, readers may call 717-871-7018.
In addition, McGill will accompany members of the African American Historical Society of South Central Pennsylvania (AAHSSCPA), LancasterHistory.org, and the public on a 90-minute walking tour of African-American heritage sites in downtown Lancaster. The tour will begin at 2 p.m. on June 2 at the Lancaster City Visitor Center, 38 Penn Square, Lancaster, and cover 12 sites, including the grave of Thaddeus Stevens. Separate ticket costs have been set for adults, seniors age 62 and older, college students, and youths ages 6 to 18. More information is available by calling 717-808-2941 or 717-224-7030.
McGill's visit will provide a unique opportunity to share the history of slavery and African-American history in Lancaster County. Although Pennsylvania passed a gradual emancipation law in 1780, African-Americans were not freed under the law until 1808, and many remained in bondage for years afterward. Meanwhile, African-Americans fleeing slavery in the South were often imprisoned in the downtown Lancaster jail, and slave hunters regularly came to Lancaster in search of runaways. Columbia and Lancaster were both sites of Underground Railroad activity.
"It is our hope Mr. McGill's visit and the Lancaster County Slave Dwelling events will serve as a catalyst to ignite interest around the unique African-American history of Lancaster and the importance of preserving the structures that tell that important story," said Leroy Hopkins, president of AAHSSCPA. "We believe these events will bring to life a history too often ignored."
To learn more, readers may visit http://slavedwellingproject.org or www.columbiahistory.net.
World War II Roundtable Sets Meeting May 16, 2018
The Central Pennsylvania World War II Roundtable will meet on Thursday, June 7, at 7 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church, 433 E. Main St., Hummelstown. Bob Brocklehurst, an Alaska fighter pilot, will share his experience.
Brocklehurst was frequently recognized for his skill as a pilot and his leadership. He was promoted to first lieutenant ahead of his classmates and received his commission as a lieutenant colonel by 1945.
The Central Pennsylvania WWII Roundtable is a nonprofit organization that provides a forum for WWII veterans, authors, historians, and citizens to share their knowledge and experiences related to the war. Anyone with an interest in WWII is invited to attend the meetings. There are no membership or admission fees.
For more information, readers may contact Charlie Lloyd at email@example.com or 717-503-2862 or visit www.centralpaww2roundtable.org.
Museum Posts Exhibit May 15, 2018
The New Holland Area Historical Society Museum, 207 E. Main St., New Holland, has posted a new display. The display features the New Holland airport, farming in a specific industry, and the Philadelphia Phillies whiz kids.
The museum is open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Historical Society Plans Meeting May 11, 2018
The Mount Joy Area Historical Society will host historian Dr. Robin Davis as guest speaker at its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 21, at the society building, 120 Fairview St., Mount Joy.
Davis, a history professor at Millersville University, will discuss the Whiskey Rebellion that occurred in western Pennsylvania in July 1794. The rebellion demonstrated the new national government's ability to enforce laws passed by Congress.
The monthly historical society meetings are free and open to the public and include a brief business meeting, followed by guest speakers and refreshments. Additionally, the society building is open every Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. for research and for viewing displays of Mount Joy memorabilia. More information is available at www.mountjoyhistory.com.
Historical Society Sets Meeting May 10, 2018
The Hummelstown Historical Society will hold its next general meeting on Monday, May 21, at 7 p.m. at the parish house on North Rosanna Street in Hummelstown. Jeri Jones will present "Your Backyard Geology."
Several segments of geologic history will be shared, and mineral resources including iron ore, sandstone, and limestone will be discussed. A focus on sinkholes and the unique flow pattern of the Swatara Creek will finish the program.
Jeri Jones, a native of York, earned a degree in geoarchaeology from Catawba College in North Carolina. He owns a geological services business through which he studies the geology of southeastern Pennsylvania and acts as a consultant to several area quarries. He received the Digman Award for Geologic Excellence from the Eastern Chapter of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers. He has authored four books, written numerous articles, and narrated a geologic education video series.
Program Will Feature Re-Enactor May 10, 2018
The Historical Society of the Cocalico Valley will present a program on Wednesday, May 23, titled "Maria Margaretha Kinzer of New Holland." The program will begin at 7 p.m. at Ephrata Public Library, 550 S. Reading Road, Ephrata.
Dressed in the period clothing of German-speaking settlers, speaker Lou Ann Miller will portray Maria Margaretha Kretscher Kinzer, who stepped off the ship Saint Andrew Galley at the Port of Philadelphia with her husband and two young children in 1737. Miller will share information about life in the late 1730s, including daily aspects of Kinzer's culture and religion.
While portraying Kinzer for the annual New Holland Historical Society Cemetery Tour, Miller became fascinated by the woman's story. Miller later learned that Kinzer is her grandmother, six generations removed, and is buried a block away from Miller's current residence.
Miller, who recently retired from the University of Delaware, spent more than 40 years in education as a teacher and administrator. She is active in the New Holland Area Historical Society, which sponsors her re-enactments. She presents to historical societies, church groups, and DAR and DAC chapters.
The program is free and open to the public. For further information, readers may contact the historical society at 717-733-1616 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wall Honors Legacy Of Holocaust Survivors May 10, 2018
Laurie Cubell, executive director for the Emerald Foundation, is looking forward to sharing The Wall, which is located at the Emerald Foundation Community Campus (The E) in the former Jewish Community Center (JCC) at 2120 Oregon Pike, Lancaster, with area residents. The Wall honors the legacy of families whose senior members survived the Holocaust. The Wall was unveiled on March 28, when family members with ties to The Wall and friends visited The E for a special event.
Cubell described how The Wall pays homage to the lineage of the families, almost all of which have members living in Lancaster. "Every panel features a family, including information about their lives and legacy," explained Cubell. "Most people who survived the Holocaust look at the success of their families as a beautiful legacy." The surnames of the families honored on The Wall include Elan, Baer, Cohen, Gleiberman, Lessans, Schwartz, Smiga, Starr, Wascou, and Zuckerman.
Cubell worked with graphic artist Michele Littrell to create the panels, which feature black-and-white photos of Holocaust survivors on the left and color photos and brightly hued borders on the right to spotlight the legacies of those survivors. "We wanted it to be hopeful," explained Cubell, who credited Littrell with the idea for the panels.
After gathering information about the survivors, Cubell turned to author Sandy Asher to tell the families' stories. "We knew (visitors) wouldn't read more than a few paragraphs," said Cubell, lauding Asher's concise prose for bringing the stories to life in the designated space.
Cubell said that The Wall fits into a plan that was part of the original concept for repurposing the building. According to Cubell, Joseph Besecker, chair of the board and founder of the Emerald Foundation, and his wife, Martha, have often discussed how to pay tribute to the history of the building. Ori Elan, an employee of Besecker who lives in Florida but visits Lancaster monthly, had the idea of honoring families whose older members experienced the Holocaust, and he offered to fund the project. Elan's family is the only one featured on The Wall that does not have a member living in Lancaster.
In addition to the panels, the display features a tree of life that honors all those who were directly affected by the Holocaust. The rendering of the tree includes Hebrew words that read "From Holocaust to Rebirth," along with Hebrew words for love, peace, hope, success, happiness, life, faith, perseverance, strength, and righteousness.
According to Cubell, when the building was the JCC, one room was dedicated to the Holocaust. When Elan brought his idea to Cubell, she responded by contacting members of the three temples located in Lancaster. "I knew there were people here who had relatives who were in the Holocaust," she said. "We sent out a call (in December 2017) through the Jewish Community Alliance of Lancaster (JCAL), and we identified these folks (whose families are honored on The Wall)."
Cubell's focus now is to honor other area families with ties to the Holocaust. "We are talking about another wall," said Cubell. "If there are other people out there, (we want to) know, so we can tell their stories."
Individuals who wish to visit The Wall may do so at The E between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays each week.
The Emerald Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2010. Readers who would like to learn more about the Emerald Foundation and The E may visit www.emeralde.org or call 717-560-7572.
Preservation Society Posts Meeting May 10, 2018
The Glen Rock Historic Preservation Society will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 22, at 7:30 p.m. at the town museum, 1 Manchester St., Glen Rock. Attendees should use the rear entrance off the Peoples Bank parking lot.
This month's program will be "Remembering the Glen Rock State Bank." All former employees and customers are invited to share stories and bank memorabilia at the meeting.
The museum opens at 6:30 p.m. on meeting nights and is also open the second Sunday of every month from 2 to 4 p.m. or by special appointment.
Site Sets Open House Events May 10, 2018
The Haldeman Mansion, 230 Locust Grove Road, Bainbridge, will hold open house events on Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. Visitors will be able to tour the mansion and grounds, read about the history of each room, take a self-guided tour, and watch a program that shares the site's history. Tour guides will also be on-site.
There is an admission fee for adults, and children will be admitted for free. There is a fee for tour guides. Proceeds will benefit the Haldeman Mansion Preservation Society.
Historical Society Names New Director May 10, 2018
Jean Kilheffer Hess was named the new executive director of the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society. She was scheduled to assume her role in mid-April, replacing Herman Bontrager, who had served as interim director since December. She was previously director of strategic development for United Zion Retirement Community in Lititz.
Kilheffer Hess also runs Story Share LLC, an oral history and life story project-management firm. She previously worked as a consultant, coach, and interim executive, as well as in various positions for Mennonite Central Committee.
Kilheffer Hess graduated from Messiah College with a Bachelor of Science in accounting and received her CPA license in 1998. She spent five years working as audit staff for Dorwart Andrew and Company in Lancaster. In 2004, she graduated from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary with a Master of Arts in theological studies and an emphasis in church history.
Kilheffer Hess attends East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church and is active in the broader church as well. She currently serves on the board of Nazareth Project, a nonprofit that offers support to Nazareth Hospital and School of Nursing in Nazareth, Israel. She served on the boards of the Mennonite Historical Society, Goshen, Ind., and Mennonite Women USA.
D'Ambrosio Named To Board May 9, 2018
Steam Into History, based in New Freedom, has welcomed Renee D'Ambrosio as a member of its board of directors.
D'Ambrosio is a risk management and insurance professional with The Glatfelter Agency in York, where she is an account executive. She holds a Master of Science in leadership and business ethics from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, as well as a Bachelor of Science in communication and leadership with a minor in psychology, also from Duquesne. She has memberships with the University Risk Management and Insurance Association, Women's Business Center Organization of The Graham School of Business, and Women United of United Way of York County, as well as volunteer roles with the Cultural Alliance of York and the York County Economic Alliance.
To learn more about Steam Into History, readers may visit www.steamintohistory.com or www.facebook.com/steamintohistory/ or call 717-942-2370.
Meeting Will Feature Museum Tour May 9, 2018
The Red Lion Area Historical Society (RLAHS) will meet on Thursday, May 24, at 7 p.m., at Red Lion Train Station Museum, 73 N. Main St., Red Lion. Instead of a speaker as usual, the meeting will feature a tour of the museum. Docents will direct visitors. Since all artifacts from the Center Square Museum were consolidated, the Station Museum has undergone significant changes. Items that had never been displayed before are now on view.
Parking is available for no charge at the metered spots, as well as beside the station.The meeting is free and open to the public. For more information, readers may call the RLAHS at 717-244-1912.
Historical Society Plans Programs May 9, 2018
The Historical Society of Dauphin County, 219 S. Front St., Harrisburg, has announced two upcoming programs.
A spring bus trip to Yuengling Brewery and Mansion in Pottsville will be held on Saturday, May 19. The trip will include transportation to and from Pottsville with pickup at 8:15 a.m. and drop-off around 3:30 p.m. at the John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion, as well as tours, a boxed lunch, and more. There is a set fee, which is discounted for members. Spots can be reserved by calling 717-233-3462 or emailing email@example.com.
On Sunday, May 27, at 2:30 p.m., Dr. Michael Lee Barton will present readings from his recently published book, which offers a tongue-in-cheek tour of the Shipoke neighborhood of Harrisburg. Admission to the program is by donation. Admission will be included for attendees who take a tour of the mansion at 1 p.m. The admission price for Sunday tours is reduced. Historical Society of Dauphin County members will be admitted free. Due to Mother's Day, the Second Sunday program for May will be held on the fourth Sunday of the month.
Historic Wrightsville Plans Heritage Day May 9, 2018
Members of Historic Wrightsville Inc. will host the 43rd annual Heritage Day on Saturday, May 26, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. This annual event celebrates the heritage of the community and will be held rain or shine on the 300 and 400 blocks of Locust Street. Visitors can expect a fun-filled day for the whole family.
More than 50 food and craft vendors will be set up, and the Emigsville Band will entertain guests from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with selections that highlight familiar USO songs. From 11 a.m. to noon, dancers from Victrola Dance Hall will entertain and give instruction on swing dancing. Lancaster Barnstormers mascot Cylo will be meeting, greeting, and stirring up fun from noon to 1 p.m.
Once again, a car show will held at the intersection of Fourth and Locust streets. A variety of antique, classic, custom, and muscle cars, street rods, motorcycles, and trucks will be on display. There is no fee to register a vehicle, and the first 35 entrants will receive a complimentary dash plaque. Guests will also have the chance to vote for three People's Choice trophies that will be awarded that day.
A children's area will offer games, a bounce house, and a petting zoo. Children will also have the opportunity to learn about victory gardens while planting a plant to take home at the Wrightsville Historical Museum, 309 Locust St., Wrightsville.
After digging in the dirt, families can cool off while enjoying a root beer float or a fresh strawberry sundae at Historic Wrightsville's second annual "Garden of Sweets." Military veterans can have a complimentary float.
Museum visitors can also see the museum's new exhibit, "Remembering Wrightsville's Veterans," which showcases the men and women of Wrightsville who served the nation from the Civil War to the Gulf War. Many artifacts in the display have been borrowed from the community.
For more information, readers may visit www.historicwrightsvillepa.org or call the museum at 717-252-1169.