Written by Joel Alderfer on May 27, 2020
Traditionally, many communities have unusual personalities, or characters, who are remembered and immortalized by stories that are passed down long after their passing. They are people whose colorful lives may not be well documented in written history, but are often remembered in the oral tradition.
I wrote these bios for the MHEP Newsletter in 1995, based on stories collected from older folks, local historians, and my own research. We’re sharing them here in two parts (this week and next), adding a
Written by Forrest Moyer on August 7, 2018
Recently a set of local home movies by Peter Macinskas (1922-1969) was donated to the MHC by his son Dean Macinskas. The movies, mostly short clips (see examples below), provide an exceptional window into Vernfield and Lower Salford Township during the 1950s, especially his wife’s Price family and the Indian Creek Church of the Brethren.
Peter was the third generation of a Catholic family that immigrated to eastern Pennsylvania from Lithuania. He was born in 1922 and served in the 20th
Written by Forrest Moyer on February 19, 2018
This series of posts highlights families descended from 18th-century Mennonite immigrants to eastern Pennsylvania, in connection with the MHC’s exhibit Opportunity & Conscience: Mennonite Immigration to Pennsylvania, on display through March 31, 2018. The stories reflect the enrichment brought to communities over centuries by the descendants of immigrants.
Immigrant brothers Jacob and Samuel
Most people with the surname Musselman in eastern Pennsylvania are descended from Jacob Musselman, an immigrant who settled in Milford Township, Bucks County circa 1730. His brother Samuel also
Written by Forrest Moyer on December 8, 2017
In November, the MHC acquired a beautiful fraktur family register that tells the story of a unique and interesting family who bridged the Mennonite-Funkite-Brethren divide of the early 19th century.
The register (2017.65.1) is for the family of John and Elizabeth Hall Horning of Skippack Township, Montgomery County. It was made about 1785 and appears to be the work of schoolmaster Henry Brachtheiser, who made other pieces in the 1780s at Skippack and Salford.
The pages were originally longer, but were
Written by Forrest Moyer on August 24, 2017
The Mennonite Heritage Center works to tell not only the Mennonite story, but the local Brethren story as well. Recently the MHC received a donation of one of the benches that was used in the Indian Creek Church of the Brethren from 1906 to 1953.
The church benches during this time had an interesting convertible design in order to accommodate love feast, the ritual “agape meal” that was representative of the Last Supper and was observed by the Brethren in combination