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.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
“The road is life.”
~ Jack Kerouac
~ “On The Road,”
Standing near the Lehigh Valley Zoo at Trexler Nature Preserve, Schnecksville, Pennsylvania offers a beautiful winter vista overlooking the historic Schlicher Covered Bridge in North Whitehall Township.
Game Preserve Road becomes a winding winter way through the bridge, painting a picturesque rural landscape on a March afternoon.
Schlicher’s is an historic wooden covered bridge. It is a 108-foot-long, Burr Truss bridge that crosses the Jordan Creek and was constructed in 1882. It has vertical plank siding and a gable roof. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, and was closed for a time for needed renovations.
Monday, December 19, 2016
“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”
~ Oscar Wilde
The State Theatre sparkles like a jewel in downtown Easton, Pennsylvania on a chilly November evening on Northampton Street.
State Theatre, originally known as Neumeyers Vaudeville House and now the State Theatre Center for the Arts, is an historic theatre. The building began to take its present form in 1910, when modified from a bank building to a vaudeville house. The building was extensively modified in 1926, to include a larger auditorium, balcony and lush decorations. At that time it was renamed “The State.” The building is asymmetrical with a cut stone Beaux-Arts style façade and large overhanging marquee.
Beaux-Arts Architecture is a very rich, lavish and heavily ornamented classical style taught at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris in the 19th century. The term “Beaux Arts” is the approximate English equivalent of “Fine Arts.”
State Theatre was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.