Lower Macungie Township Historical Society

Lower Macungie Township Historical Society Our Vision: to collect, preserve, and celebrate the history of Lower Macungie Township of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.
A HISTORY OF LOWER MACUNGIE TOWNSHIP Second Edition - 1996 Over twenty years ago, during the nation’s Bicentennial celebration, volunteers decided to record as much as possible of the disappearing past of Lower Macungie Township. Thanks to the many longtime residents who shared family histories and allowed their old photos to be copied, a large, well-illustrated book was published. ‘A History of Lower Macungie Township’ contains over 370 pages, more than 500 photographs, and 12 maps. It has recently been reprinted with some additions, including a comprehensive index that greatly facilitates genealogical research. The book has chapters on early settlement, farmsteads (mostly photographs), agriculture and family life, mills, iron mining and the iron industry, railroads and trolley lines, education, churches, communities, and civil history. Histories of Macungie and Alburtis are included in the chapter on communities. Early records in the chapter on Civil History include the tax list from 1762 and the names on the county assessor’s list of 1781. A History of Lower Macungie Township may be purchased at the Lower Macungie Township Municipal Building, 3400 Brookside Road, during regular business hours, or directly from the Lower Macungie Township Historical Society. Copies are also available from the Macungie Historical Society at the Macungie Institute, 510 East Main Street, Macungie. The cost is $24.95 (plus 6% sales tax for Pennsylvania residents) for soft cover or soft cover with spiral binding editions, or $39.95 (plus 6% sales tax for Pennsylvania residents) for the hard cover edition. Members of the historical society are entitled to a discount of $5 off the regular price of any book purchased. Mail orders should include $5 for shipping and handling. Please make checks payable to LMTHS and send along with your name and address to LMTHS, Post Office Box 3722, Wescosville, Pennsylvania 18106. Copies of the book are also available at all meetings of the Macungie and Lower Macungie Township historical societies.
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About the LMT historical society The history of Lower Macungie Township, in western Lehigh County, is being preserved today by a group of dedicated local residents who have seen much of the traditional township landscape disappear in recent years. We can still see many barns and old stone homes, often beautifully restored to suit our modern way of life. But the farmsteads themselves are in most cases no longer active, and housing developments have taken over much of the farmland. The Lower Macungie Township Historical Society was formed in 1989, initially to save a log house built in about 1790 from demolition. The log house, in the village of Wescosville along busy Route 222, a former King's Highway, was moved a hundred yards west into a township park, where it is being maintained by the society. Plans are to restore the interior as funds become available. The society is developing an Historic Structures Inventory and conducts a public lecture series on local history in conjunction with the Macungie Historical Society and Kalmbach Memorial Park. All photographic images on this site are provided by Focus On This Photography & Kevin Shoemaker. Protected by copyright.

After 4 years, plans for the historic King George Inn get final OK from South Whitehall
05/22/2020
After 4 years, plans for the historic King George Inn get final OK from South Whitehall

After 4 years, plans for the historic King George Inn get final OK from South Whitehall

Four years after South Whitehall Township granted preliminary approval for a developer's plans for the historic King George Inn, commissioners have stamped final approval on the "Hotel Hamilton" plan, which will repurpose the 263-year-old inn and build a bank, pharmacy and hotel.

Even though our annual Spring Planting event was cancelled due to COVID-19, several LMTHS members did some gardening at ...
05/17/2020

Even though our annual Spring Planting event was cancelled due to COVID-19, several LMTHS members did some gardening at our log house today. After Lee Lichtenwalner had rototilled the area in front of the log house, where out-of-control rosebushes had been removed, Craig Bartholomew supervised plantings by Robbie and Tom Flynn and me, while Ann Bartholomew and Ferne Druckenmiller replenished and weeded the 4-square kitchen garden. What a great group of dedicated people!

Stop the spread: 4 ways to make homemade masks 😷
05/15/2020
Stop the spread: 4 ways to make homemade masks 😷

Stop the spread: 4 ways to make homemade masks 😷

The CDC is now recommending the use of homemade face cloth coverings when people are out and about in areas such as grocery stores and pharmacies, where it may be difficult to avoid others. These new recommendations stem from the knowledge that the novel coronavirus is capable of infecting people wh...

How the Deadly 1918 Flu Pandemic Brought Dixie Cups to Easton – National Canal Museum
05/10/2020
How the Deadly 1918 Flu Pandemic Brought Dixie Cups to Easton – National Canal Museum

How the Deadly 1918 Flu Pandemic Brought Dixie Cups to Easton – National Canal Museum

Blog Post by: Martha Capwell Fox, Museum & Archives Coordinator Carefully preserved in the archives of the D&L and the National Canal museum are two icons of a revolution: a 1908 container for disposable cups to carry along while traveling by car (if you were rich enough to have one) and from 1918,....

Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor
05/10/2020

Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor

50 years ago, on May 4th, the National Canal Museum opened its doors for the first time. Today, we acknowledge 50 years of open doors and remember the life of Lance E. Metz, who we can attribute much of the success and growth of those 50 years to.
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With great sorrow, we report that Metz passed away this weekend due to complications with COVID-19 and remember this historian, dear friend and great supporter.
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You can read more about Metz' great impact on the National Canal Museum history blog: https://canals.org/2020/05/04/remembering-lance-e-metz-on-our-50th-anniversary/

Looking for an opportunity to get some outdoor exercise while learning about Lower Macungie Township History? Follow the...
05/10/2020

Looking for an opportunity to get some outdoor exercise while learning about Lower Macungie Township History? Follow the historical signboard trail at Hamilton Crossings (Krocks Rd. & Hamilton Blvd.). There are eleven signboards located throughout the complex.

Navy Capt. Charles Peters fighting COVID-19
05/07/2020
Navy Capt. Charles Peters fighting COVID-19

Navy Capt. Charles Peters fighting COVID-19

Navy Capt. Charles Peters, with Expeditionary Medical Facility Bethesda, is deployed to the Javits New York Medical Station, N.Y., in support of the Department of Defense COVID-19 response, April 25, 2020. U.S. Northern Command, through U.S. Army North, is providing military support to the Federal E...

Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor
05/05/2020

Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor

50 years ago, on May 4th, the National Canal Museum opened its doors for the first time. Today, we acknowledge 50 years of open doors and remember the life of Lance E. Metz, who we can attribute much of the success and growth of those 50 years to.
_
With great sorrow, we report that Metz passed away this weekend due to complications with COVID-19 and remember this historian, dear friend and great supporter.
_
You can read more about Metz' great impact on the National Canal Museum history blog: https://canals.org/2020/05/04/remembering-lance-e-metz-on-our-50th-anniversary/

LMT Commissioner Ron Beitler explored and rang the bells of East Texas Sunday School!
05/04/2020

LMT Commissioner Ron Beitler explored and rang the bells of East Texas Sunday School!

Navy Capt. Charles Peters fighting COVID-19
05/04/2020
Navy Capt. Charles Peters fighting COVID-19

Navy Capt. Charles Peters fighting COVID-19

Navy Capt. Charles Peters, with Expeditionary Medical Facility Bethesda, is deployed to the Javits New York Medical Station, N.Y., in support of the Department of Defense COVID-19 response, April 25, 2020. U.S. Northern Command, through U.S. Army North, is providing military support to the Federal E...

Commissioner Ron Beitler
05/03/2020

Commissioner Ron Beitler

For those interested in the history of the little white "East Texas Playground Church", see below. I will ring the 132-year old brass steeple bell for 3 minutes on Sunday at 7pm as Lower Macungie participates in "Bells across Pennsylvania".

The building was originally built as the Immanuel Church of the United Brethren in Christ around 1870. The steeple was added in 1888 and houses a brass bell inscribed with "McShane Bell Foundry-Baltimore, Md. Trade Mark 1887" and "United Brethren Church-East Texas 1887". Services were held in English and Pennsylvania Dutch.

In 1932 the trustees sold the property to the East Texas Union Sunday School for $800. The proceeds from the sale were placed in trust and the income derived from the investments used for the upkeep and maintenance of the cemetery. The last burial service held in the church was for Annie Shoemaker in 1948 and the last person to be buried in the cemetery was Thomas H. Beidler in 1951.

The building then served for almost a century as the East Texas Union Sunday School until 1969. The Sunday School was active for many years, not only conducting classes on Sundays but also with special events. These included Good Friday services, Sunrise services on Easter Sunday, Memorial Day Festivals, Thanksgiving services, Christmas carolling and Festivals, annual picnics in the summer for members, fund raising events and Home Coming days. The addition to the building, completed in 1942, gave the Sunday School two extra rooms and a basement where meals could be prepared. Occasionally events were so well attended by people coming by trolley from Allentown that some had to climb in the back window of the church before the addition was built in 1941.

In 1969 the building was turned over to the East Texas playground association, the first community playground association in Lower Macungie Township. The bell steeple which was at the time leaning 12 inches off center was repaired in 1975 by the association.

This information comes from the "A History of Lower Macungie Township" by Ann and Craig Bartholomew. I took some of the highlights to condense for a facebook post but the book has greater detail. It's available for purchase from the historical society or to check out at the Lower Macungie Library. Lower Macungie Township Historical Society Lower Macungie Township Macungie Historical Society Alburtis - Lockridge Historical Society

In addition to the little white park church in East Texas Grace Lutheran Church Macungie PA, St. Pauls UCC Trexlertown and Solomons UCC Macungie will ring their steeple bells. The Macungie Institutes clock chimes will also ring.

05/01/2020
Springtime Folk Traditions 5 -1-20

Springtime Folk Traditions 5 -1-20

Patrick Donmoyer gives an enlightening presentation on the PA German folk traditions of spring.

05/01/2020

Interested in local history? While they are closed, the National Museum of Industrial History in Bethlehem has been broadcasting Zoom slide presentations about various aspects of local industrial history. The next one is Virtual Museum: Iron vs. Steel, today (Friday) at 2 on their page.

The Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center
04/26/2020

The Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center

Spring thunderstorms, laden with cool air, are apt to bring the occasional early season hailstorm. With the destructive power to decimate crops and gardens at their early stages, hailstorms were thought to be manifestations of divine anger, foreshadowing the "act of God" language still used to this day on insurance policies for homes and vehicles.
Among the Pennsylvania Dutch, the first hailstones of the year were thought to be particularly useful in treating illness. The Reverend Thomas R. Brendle recorded in the early 20th century in Lehigh County that “the first three hail-stones of the year,” were gathered and saved as “a protection not only against fevers but against all sickness throughout the year.”
Similarly folklorist and linguist Edwin Miller Fogel recorded that "die aerscht Schloss ass mer sehnt, nochdem ass en Kind uff die Welt kummt, soll mer en Kind feidre, noh grickt's ken Gichtre" (the first hailstone that one sees after a child is born into the world should be fed to the child so that it will not suffer convulsions).

Another significant folk-cultural aspect of hail among the Pennsylvania Dutch is preserved in the use of long chains of obscenities, many of which reference the weather. This comes from the ancient notion that thunder, lightning, and hail were expressions of heavenly and cosmological judgement, and were among those words not to be invoked for fear of challenging fate and kindling divine wrath. While "Dunnerwedder" (thunderstorm) is certainly one of the most commonly known phrases in Berks and Lehigh, as this simple word is used as an equivalent to "gosh darn it" or "confound it!" More colorful expressions include hail, as well as a whole slew of meteorological references:

“Himmel Blitz Haagel Schtaern Dunnerwetter!”
(Heavenly lightning hail-star thunderstorm!)
“Heilich Kreitz Haagel Schtaern Dunnerwetter nochemol!”
(Holy cross hail-star thunderstorm once again!)

What other local Pennsylvania Dutch swear-words do you know? (Keep it clean folks!)

The Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center
04/25/2020

The Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center

Spring thunderstorms, laden with cool air, are apt to bring the occasional early season hailstorm. With the destructive power to decimate crops and gardens at their early stages, hailstorms were thought to be manifestations of divine anger, foreshadowing the "act of God" language still used to this day on insurance policies for homes and vehicles.
Among the Pennsylvania Dutch, the first hailstones of the year were thought to be particularly useful in treating illness. The Reverend Thomas R. Brendle recorded in the early 20th century in Lehigh County that “the first three hail-stones of the year,” were gathered and saved as “a protection not only against fevers but against all sickness throughout the year.”
Similarly folklorist and linguist Edwin Miller Fogel recorded that "die aerscht Schloss ass mer sehnt, nochdem ass en Kind uff die Welt kummt, soll mer en Kind feidre, noh grickt's ken Gichtre" (the first hailstone that one sees after a child is born into the world should be fed to the child so that it will not suffer convulsions).

Another significant folk-cultural aspect of hail among the Pennsylvania Dutch is preserved in the use of long chains of obscenities, many of which reference the weather. This comes from the ancient notion that thunder, lightning, and hail were expressions of heavenly and cosmological judgement, and were among those words not to be invoked for fear of challenging fate and kindling divine wrath. While "Dunnerwedder" (thunderstorm) is certainly one of the most commonly known phrases in Berks and Lehigh, as this simple word is used as an equivalent to "gosh darn it" or "confound it!" More colorful expressions include hail, as well as a whole slew of meteorological references:

“Himmel Blitz Haagel Schtaern Dunnerwetter!”
(Heavenly lightning hail-star thunderstorm!)
“Heilich Kreitz Haagel Schtaern Dunnerwetter nochemol!”
(Holy cross hail-star thunderstorm once again!)

What other local Pennsylvania Dutch swear-words do you know? (Keep it clean folks!)

Enjoy the 50th anniversary of Earth Day!
04/22/2020

Enjoy the 50th anniversary of Earth Day!

The Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center
04/21/2020

The Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center

Have you ever lost something that you know you had on hand just moments ago? Or noticed a light on that you had already turned off? Or perhaps a tried-and-true baking recipe flopped for no apparent reason? The Pennsylvania Dutch have a name for this domestic phenomenon: 's bucklich Mennli.

Throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, previous generations on the farm would have invoked the name of 's bucklich Mennli (roughly translating to "the Little Hunchbacked Man") anytime one's daily routine was interrupted by an unaccounted for disturbance. As a personification of entropy, 's bucklich Mennli was thought to be a household spirit or imp, who delighted in tipping the scales of the delicate balance of daily life, creating small, frustrating obstacles to a well-ordered homestead. Although the scale of his influence was minor, his mischief could be cumulative, and it was customary to appease him with a bowl of milk set out overnight to mitigate the risk of further damage.

In Pennsylvania, as well as in Alsace, Austria, Switzerland, and throughout Germany, ‘s bucklich Mennli was the subject of children’s rhymes and folk songs, which described the little spirit of the house and garden as a bringer of mischief. A popular song named after the little scamp recounts the interrupted farm chores of a child, who finds freshly planted onion sets uprooted, impurities in the milk freshly run though the sieve, and dust on a cleanly swept floor.

Wann ich in mei Schtibbche kumm,
Fer mei Schtibbche kehre,
Schteht des bucklich Mennli datt
Un fangt er aa zu wehre.
(When I enter my little room,
To sweep my little room out,
The little hunchbacked man is there
and attempts to hinder me.)

On a positive note, 's bucklich Mennli was believed to be of a similar class of helpful spirits that encouraged the garden to grow, if properly appeased. A farmer near Kutztown once described that he traditionally left perennial wildflowers grow at the corners of his truck-patch garden "wu die Eck-Leitli wuhne" (where the little corner-people live).

Celebrated dialect speaker and writer John Brendle (1889 -1966) of Reinholds, Lancaster County recalled that his grandmother would blame 's bucklich Mennli if a fly were in the pie crust, or if a cake would nicely rise and later fall in the pan. However, if a pie was baked to perfection, “dann hot sie, uffkors, aa gsaat—‘ya well, des muss mer em Bucklich Mennli gewwe, er hot mer mitgholfe fer den Kuche backe,’” (then, of course, she also said, “Yes, well, I must give a little to 's bucklich Mennli, as he helped me bake this pie).

Got unexplained mischief at home? Just remember to put that bowl of milk out for your little helper, and tell us what shenanigans 's bucklich Mennli has been up to at your house!

The Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center
04/12/2020

The Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center

The traditions of decorating, eating, and giving of Easter eggs is ubiquitous in communities throughout the United States. As an expression of new life and the coming of spring, the decorating of eggs is practiced in many cultures throughout the world, and Pennsylvania was the New World point of origin of Easter egg traditions in North America.

The German-speaking immigrants arriving in Pennsylvania prior to the American Revolution introduced these the concept of decorated eggs to the Eastern United States, but later waves of German-American and Eastern European immigrants reinforced and diversified the tradition throughout the continent.

The most common means of decorating Easter eggs among the Pennsylvania Dutch was by hard boiling them with natural materials, such as onion skins to produce red, red cabbage to produce green (if allowed to oxidize), walnut hulls for deep brown, hickory bark for yellow, and reconstituted berry juices or beets for pink and magenta. A little vinegar in the dye is what allowed the dye to attach to the surface of the egg. If natural materials were wrapped around the eggs or kept in close contact, it would produce a mottled appearance.

Eggs that cracked while dyeing were reserved for eating, while those with rich solid colors were traditionally scratched with a pen knife or needle to produce patterns by revealing the bright white of the shell under the dye. Scratched eggs often featured inscriptions of names, dates, initials, and a wide variety of imagery including birds, flowers, animals, stars, and geometric patterns.

Some of the earliest surviving examples of this Pennsylvania Dutch cultural expression are from the late 18th century, while 19th-century examples are fairly common in local museums and cultural collections.

The Heritage Center at Kutztown University is honored to preserve a collection of decorated eggs by the prolific Pennsylvania Dutch artist, poet, and musician Peter V. Fritsch (1945-2015) of Longswamp Township, Berks County. Peter created these eggs each year as gifts for friends and family, and his work features a combination of scratched, painted, and inscribed eggs highlighting the diversity of techniques in this living Pennsylvania tradition.

Do you have any favorite techniques for dyeing and decorating eggs, or treasured family heirloom eggs at home? Tell us about your Easter traditions!

Address

3120 S. Cedar Crest Boulevard
Emmaus, PA
18049

General information

Join us! If you are not already a member of the Lower Macungie Township Historical Society, please consider joining at one of the membership categories listed below. You may also use this form to renew your membership for the current calendar year. Your annual contribution will help to preserve the history of Lower Macungie Township and support entertaining and educational programs for adults and children. As a member, you will receive notices of meetings, seasonal newsletters with information about volunteer opportunities, and announcements of upcoming programs. Membership also entitles you to purchase an unlimited number of copies of A History of Lower Macungie Township at $5.00 off the regular price. Annual dues are: $ 10.00 · Individual; $ 15.00 · Family $ 25.00 · Sustaining $ 50.00 · Patron $ 250.00 · Life $ 50.00 · Business.

Opening Hours

Sunday 13:00 - 16:00

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Hello from Norway. My name is Arve Robert Pisani. Hope I can use your FB in my struggle to get in touch with relatives of Earl H. Butz (17 October 1919 - 11 June 1944). In 2012 I published a small booklet called The Carentan Causeway. This book was dedicated to among others Earl H. Butz. (See under) Not much I knew about him other than what another veteran, Joel Mehall, told me in a letter. Iwould very much appreciate to learn more about Earl if possible for a later up date of my book. I can be contacted via email: arvepisani.no DEDICATION This book is dedicated to the memory of Joseph A. Mehallic, mostly known to me as Joel Mehall from Fayette, Pennsylvania and his two comrades in arms Albert J. Kushmerick and Earl H. Butz. They all served with the HQ Company 3rd battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. Further this book is dedicated to Arthur Parker of the 377th Airborne Artillery Battalion and all others taking part in the struggle for the Carentan Causeway.
Hello from Norway. My name is Arve Robert Pisani. Hope I can use your FB in my effort to get in touch with relatives of Earl H. Butz (17 October 1919 - 11 June 1944). In 2012 I published a small booklet called "The Carentan Causeway." This book was dedicated to among others Earl H. Butz. (See under) Not much I knew about him other than what another veteran, Joel Mehall, told me in a letter. Iwould very much appreciate to learn more about Earl if possible for a later up date of my book. DEDICATION (from my booklet) This book is dedicated to the memory of Joseph A. Mehallic, mostly known to me as Joel Mehall from Fayette, Pennsylvania and his two comrades in arms Albert J. Kushmerick and Earl H. Butz. They all served with the HQ Company 3rd battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. Further this book is dedicated to Arthur Parker of the 377th Airborne Artillery Battalion and all others taking part in the struggle for the Carentan Causeway.
Christmas at the Log House. It was warm and there tonight 🎄
Christmas at the log house
What might you have on the Trexler, Fogel, Grim and Breinig families from the mid-1700's to date? Warm Regards, John Marshall, descendant of these families listed above and others from the area.
I just wanted to take a brief moment to congratulate you all once again on the grand opening of The Bartholomew Center for Preservation of Lower Macungie Township History. The museum looked absolutely amazing! I have been in professional museums that didn't look nearly as good! The way things were laid out, the information they provided were just amazing. If you want the true test I will tell you I feel like my son really got a feeling for what life was like for our ancestors which is the most you could ask of any historical society and museum. He asked me questions the entire way home about the family and how they lived in Lower Macungie back in the 1700s and 1800s which was wonderful. He talked all through dinner about what he saw and was so eager to tell his siblings about it. I'm sorry I did not get to speak to each of you personally today but from the bottom of my heart thank you once again for all of the tireless work you and your volunteers have done to preserve the area that essentially breathed life to my family in America and congratulations on this amazing accomplishment!