Written by Forrest Moyer on March 22, 2017
This is the first in a series of posts highlighting families descended from 18th-century Mennonite immigrants to eastern Pennsylvania, in connection with a new exhibit opening April 1, 2017 at the Mennonite Heritage Center, entitled Opportunity & Conscience: Mennonite Immigration to Pennsylvania.
The exhibit will commemorate the 300th anniversary of the arrival in 1717 of the first large group of Mennonite settlers to Pennsylvania, and will include recent immigrant stories as well. Look for photos of the exhibit installation next week
Written by Steve Diehl on March 15, 2017
On Friday evening, April 28 at 6:30 p.m. we will hold our Heritage Banquet as a limited-seating dinner at the Heritage Center. Recent immigrants will share their stories, faith, and food, alongside of “Frederick Alderfer” an 18th century immigrant who will revive and present his story in our new exhibit. Tickets are $117 and funds raised will benefit the work of the Heritage Center and the communities of our visiting friends.
To reserve up to two (2) tickets, please CLICK HERE.
Written by Forrest Moyer on March 8, 2017
In 1976, MHEP Newsletter editor Joyce Munro interviewed John C. Wenger about his memories of writing the book History of the Mennonites of the Franconia Conference in 1936. It’s fascinating to read about the process of creating this substantial book that is still in 2017 the best source for information on some aspects of Franconia Mennonite history, including ministers who have served in the conference. The book is available for purchase at the Mennonite Heritage Center.
We’re forty years too late
Written by Forrest Moyer on March 1, 2017
A recent addition to the Mennonite Heritage Center collections is a post card photo of the Mennonite Home for the Aged at Frederick, Montgomery County, circa 1905. Notice the American flag flying prominently from the cupola. In the early 20th century, before the World Wars, churches of the Eastern District Conference often displayed flags. The post card is a gift of MHC Trustee Emeritus Ray K. Hacker. The catalog record can be viewed here.
It joins other images in the Frederick
Written by Steve Diehl on February 22, 2017
We were glad to have the Souderton Charter School 7th graders visit us again today. Such a polite and inquisitive group! Here’s what our school field trips look like in the winter months:
After an introduction to the Center and finding out what students already know (this group had been well-prepared with recent study of Pennsylvania history and settlements), students are split into groups and rotate between three activity stations–Fraktur, Artifacts, and a Work and Hope scavenger hunt.
Written by Sarah Heffner on February 15, 2017
Spring (and gardening) is just around the corner! For those who enjoy gardening, perusing seed catalogs during the cold winter months brings the anticipation of another gardening season. Planning a garden and choosing which varieties to plant is always a hopeful exercise. I tend to overlook that I don’t always keep the weeds from predominating my garden by midsummer or that voles ruin my sweet potato harvest on a regular basis. One of these years, I will have a beautifully
Written by Forrest Moyer on February 8, 2017
Souderton Mennonite Meetinghouse, circa 1910
Another article from the first year of the MHEP Newsletter features entries from the diary of William S. Hemsing (1866-1940) about his experiences at Souderton Mennonite Church. The full diary, subtitled An Intimate Look at Souderton, Pennsylvania, was published by Union National Bank in 1987 and is available to purchase in the Mennonite Heritage Center library for $8.00.
William Souder Hemsing, later to be Burgess of Souderton, was a teenage teller in the Union National Bank of
Written by Forrest Moyer on February 1, 2017
This month we’re featuring a photograph collection recently donated to the MHC: photos of the former Herald/Provident Bookstore in Souderton, mid 1950s-1990s. The oldest photos date back to the original Herald Bookstore on Main Street and its move in 1957 to the new Souderton Shopping Center at Bethlehem Pike and Route 113.
The store was later renamed Provident Bookstore and eventually sold out of Mennonite hands, becoming Berean Christian Stores and finally Lifeway Stores, before closing permanently in February 2016. Long-term
Written by Joel Alderfer on January 25, 2017
Several quilts in our current “Riot of Color” exhibit have interesting family stories or anecdotes that add a human dimension to the artifacts. We’ll feature a number of these stories in this post. The exhibit includes thirty quilts, mainly from the Mennonite Heritage Center collection, selected for their color, condition and design content.
Wedding or Dowry Quilts
These are quilts that were made, according to the family stories, either as wedding gifts for a young couple or were
Written by Steve Diehl on January 18, 2017
As a history teacher, I often felt somewhat uncomfortable with the person who told me, “Well, history is important…if we don’t know it, we are likely to repeat it.” It came across as a dismissal of the many more concrete reasons why historical study is beneficial. I was suspicious that this is what was said by those who really didn’t see any value in studying history–they just wanted to let me know they didn’t think I was wasting my life