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.
Thursday, February 9, 2017
“Well, it’s one for the money
Two for the show
Three to get ready
Now go, cat go
But don’t you
Step on my blue suede shoes
You can do anything
But stay off of my blue suede shoes …”
“Blue Suede Shoes”
~ Written & recorded by Carl Perkins
~ Recorded by the great Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley’s “Blue Suede Shoes” may well be one of the hits you hear playing at Charlotte Fay’s Main Street Diner, Slatington, Pennsylvania, where retro is king at this cool and cozy eatery.
The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll is well represented at Charlotte Fay’s, joined by photos showcasing retro icons such as Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean in the 1956 film “Giant,” Marilyn Monroe, Route 66, and a young Elvis and Johnny Cash posing for a snapshot. There’s also a nod to the New Jersey Seashore and Steel Pier. The large map behind Elvis depicts President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, championed by the then-president when it was formed June 29, 1956.
And of course there’s the tasty food, wonderful to nosh on as you drink in the nostalgic atmosphere. Owner Jason Ruff named the diner after both his great-grandmothers, and uses their recipes.
The menu and atmosphere are the perfect mix to stir up a recipe for success fit for a king.