Wednesday, March 22, 2017
“It is not easy to walk alone in the country without musing upon something.”
~ Charles Dickens
This picturesque 19th century barn is the cornerstone of this peaceful, rural winterscape in Egypt, Pennsylvania.
I shot this on the first day of spring, though the remaining snow from a late winter blizzard belied the season.
The barn is part of the historic 1756 Troxell-Steckel Farm Museum.
The Coplay Creek runs through this 31 acre property, which was once part of a 400 acre farm. The centerpiece of the property is a stone farmhouse, built in 1756. A spring house and the barn are also on the property. The farmhouse is an authentic Pennsylvania German farmhouse and offers an example of Lehigh County agricultural history. The Troxell-Steckel house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
It is the region’s only authentically complete Pennsylvania German farm house, resembling its medieval ancestors and giving a captivating glimpse of the area’s farm history.
The Pennsylvania German farmhouse was constructed in 1756 by John Peter Troxell, an immigrant from Germany in search of a better life. When the structure was built, twenty years before the Declaration of Independence was signed, this farm sat on the edge of wilderness. George Washington was only 24 years old, and America was ruled by the King of England. At the time, the house was reported to be the largest residence on the Pennsylvania frontier. The fortress-like masonry walls of this structure are more than two feet thick.
In 1768, John Peter Troxell sold this farm to Peter Steckel, another immigrant from Germany. Pennsylvania Germans were one of the largest immigrant groups in Eastern Pennsylvania. Their traditions enriched American culture.
As someone of Irish-German heritage, I love getting a glimpse into Pennsylvania German history in the area.
This historic site is owned and operated by the Lehigh County Historical Society and is open for seasonal tours and events.
The Troxell-Steckel Farm Museum may also be accessed from the Ironton Rail Trail, which loops more than nine miles through Whitehall Township, the Borough of Coplay and North Whitehall Township.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
"Plant faith, grow hope, harvest love."
The light of sunset serenely shadow dances in October, harvesting a beautiful autumn scene at Hopewell Furnace.
Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site in southeastern Berks County near Elverson, Pennsylvania is an example of an American 19th century rural “iron plantation.” The buildings include a blast furnace, the ironmaster’s house and auxiliary structures including a blacksmith’s shop, a company store and several worker’s houses.
Today, Hopewell Furnace consists of 14 restored structures in the core historic area, 52 features on the List of Classified Structures, and a total of 848 mostly wooded acres. Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site is located in the Hopewell Big Woods and surrounded by French Creek State Park on three sides and the State Game Lands to the south which preserves the lands the furnace utilized for its natural resources.
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
"There is no season when such pleasant
and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce
so pleasant an effect on the feelings,
as now in October."
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
Shades of a looming October sunset
dance on a picturesque scene at the historic
The farm is part of Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site in southeastern Berks County near Elverson, Pennsylvania, an example of an American 19th century rural "iron plantaation."
The buildings include a blast furnace, the
ironmaster's house and auxiliary structures
including a blacksmith's shop, a company store
and several worker's houses.
Hopewell Furnace was founded in 1771 by
ironmaster Mark Bird for whom Birdsboro was named. The site's most prosperious time was
during the 1820-1840 period with a brief boom in production during the American Civil War.
In the mid-19th century changes in ron making, including a shift from charcoal to anthracite
rendered smaller furnaces like Hopewell obsolete.
The site discontinued operations in 1883.
Today, Hopewell Furnace consists of 14 restored
structures in the core historic area, 52 features on
the List of Classified Structures, and a total of 848 mostly wooded areas. Hopewell Furnace National
Historic Site is located in the Hopewell Big Woods and surrounded by French Creek State Park on three sides and the State Game Lands
to the south which preserves the lands the furnace
utilized for its natural resources.