Additional records of Bishop Warren Bean donated

Written by Joel Alderfer on January 12, 2024

By Joel D. Alderfer

Several months ago, additional records of Mennonite farmer and Bishop Warren G. Bean, of the Upper Skippack congregation, were donated by a great-grandson Brian Moyer. These records, including several early volumes of his diary and ministerial travel records, were added to the papers of Warren G. & Anna Bean already in the MHC collection, donated by several family members over the last 45 years.  In this article, I’ll highlight and transcribe examples of records selected from the

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Conversations with the Lenape: Community Group

Written by Regina Wenger on June 30, 2023

Emerging from a dialogue that started thirty years ago, local Mennonites and friends spent time recently engaging with our indigenous neighbors. The Mennonite Heritage Center hosted several events to facilitate these conversations:

March 2, 2023: Introduction to Conversations with the Lenape

March 11, 2023: The History of the Lenape in Pennsylvania

April 12, 2023: Hearing

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From Sandy Ridge and Pine Run to Main Street and Cross Keys: The Photography of William Histand of Doylestown

Written by Joel Alderfer on January 20, 2023

For decades, we’ve known about some of the unusual photography of the late William L. Histand (1911-1994) of Doylestown, PA. In fact, over the years we’ve used several of his classic images of local Mennonite life from the 1930s and 1940s in various exhibits. I became acquainted with Bill in his later years when he visited at the Mennonite Heritage Center in the early 1990s and donated just a sampling of his photos to us. In the years since Bill

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Indian Creek Brethren in the mid-twentieth century: Photography of Peter P. Macinskas, Jr.

Written by Joel Alderfer on August 10, 2022

By Joel D. Alderfer

About five years ago, a collection of 35mm color slides, 2.5×2.5 inch color transparencies, and 8mm home movies taken by the late Peter Macinskas (1922-1969) of Vernfield, Pennsylvania, was donated to the Mennonite Heritage Center.  For the last several years, we did not have a scanner that could process slides, transparencies, or negatives.  That changed a couple months ago when we were able to purchase, thanks to a grant from Blooming Glen Mennonite Church, an Epson V850

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Disarmed: The Radical Life and Legacy of Michael “MJ” Sharp.

Written by admin on June 7, 2022

Disarmed: The Radical Life and Legacy of Michael “MJ” Sharp. By Marshall V. King. Harrisonburg, Virginia: Herald Press. 2022. $17.99.

            The first words we read in Chapter One of Marshall King’s tribute to MJ Sharp are disarming: “There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture and can never be safe” (16). We are introduced to MJ’s peace-making story with the disarming words of World War II

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Review – How to Change The World One Penny At a Time

Written by Joel Horst Nofziger on March 1, 2022

Nelson, Dawn Ruth and Beverly Benner Miller, How to Change the World One Penny at a Time: The story of Claude Good and the Worm Project, Morgantown, Pa.: Masthof Press, 2021. 203 pp. Grayscale photos. $14.

Reflecting on an experience of divine leading, Claude Good remembered, “It now dawned on me that the word ‘speak’ is not confined to just ‘words.’ We can also ‘speak’ through our action” (135). How to Change The World One Penny at a Time is a

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Recent Acquisition – Bergey-Johnson-Kulp family fraktur

Written by Joel Alderfer on January 19, 2022

In early 2020, Nan Weber Burch of Skippack, PA donated a significant group of related fraktur that had descended from her maternal grandmother’s ancestry in the Lower Salford-Skippack area.  These include pieces from the Bergey, Tyson, Johnson, and Kulp families.

The oldest piece is a notenbuchlein, or manuscript hymn booklet, with fraktur-style bookplate, dated May 2, 1798, and made by Schoolmaster Andreas Kolb for student Elizabeth Bergey of Lower Salford Township. She was the daughter of Christian & Mary Bergey and

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William A. Derstine: Mennonite entrepreneur and leader

Written by Joel Alderfer on August 17, 2021

Over the last two years, grandchildren of William A. Derstine (1888-1961), of near Sellersville, PA, and a member of the Rockhill Mennonite congregation, have donated a small but interesting collection of his correspondence and photographs.

Derstine was an entrepreneur who owned several automotive garages, as well as a farm; became a lay leader in the Rockhill congregation, the Franconia Mennonite Conference, and in wider Mennonite Church concerns; and was active in civic organizations in the Sellersville-Telford area. Perhaps his most important

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Brunk Revivals: a watershed moment for local Mennonites

Written by Forrest Moyer on July 27, 2021

This essay by Paul Lederach was published in the MHEP Quarterly in 2001. He recalls an event that had far-reaching effects on the practice of local Mennonites in regard to evangelism, salvation, confession/forgiveness, and corporate/individual faith.

When I travel west from Souderton to Harleysville on Pennsylvania Route 113 and stop at the traffic light at Godshall Road – a CVS on the northwest corner and many houses on the northeast corner – I can scarcely remember when the northeast corner was

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New acquisition: Markley-Tyson deed, Skippack, 1803

Written by Forrest Moyer on June 24, 2021

Recently Mary Jane and Hiram Hershey donated several old deeds, including one for the farm where her grandfather Abraham Mensch grew up, in Skippack Township. The address today is 4030 Mensch Rd, Schwenksville, just outside Skippack village.

The deed is from 1803, many years before the Mensch family owned the property. Abraham Markley (1723-1800) purchased this farm of 100 acres in 1751. After he died with no will in 1800, his heirs sold the farm to brother-in-law Mathias Tyson. Each sibling

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