Goschenhoppen Historians

Monthly Programs


~ ~  2018 ~ ~

September 20:  Translations from the 1790's Business Diary of Johannes Markley, Blacksmith: 

                            A primary source document about life in late 18th century Frederick Township. 

                            Presented by Bob Wood.  (See synopsis below)

October 18:       Wetzel's Mill Restoration and Museum Project: 

                            Illustrated presentation of the past, present, and future of the Wetzel Mill on Unami Creek.

                            Presented by Don Orcutt.

November 15:   Annie's Friendship Calendar: 

                            In 1908 the Mennonite community sent a 1909 Page-A-Day Clendar to Annie Funk, serving 

                            as a missionary in India.  Each of the days was inscribed with a message of some sort from

                            family and friends in the Hereford/Bally area of Goschenhoppen.

                            Presented by Bob Gerhart.

December 20:    - to be announced - 

                            To be presented by Joshua Fink.

~ ~  2019 ~ ~


January 17:        Bring Your Treasures to Share: 

                            This year we will focus on hand-made items in line with the 2018 Festival Theme -

                            Gemacht von Hand.

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Synopsis of Bob Wood's presentation, on September 20, 2018



Late 18th Century In the Goschenhoppen Region Seen Through Recently Translated Blacksmith and Mercantile business Records


At the September meeting of the Goschenhoppen Historians, Bob Wood, local author and historian will high-light some translations from the business diaries of Johannes Markley, blacksmith in New Hanover Township. In addition to all manner of local trade, by 1794, Markley had established a thriving business partnership with his brother Abraham in Charleston South Carolina, shipping south tons of ironwork and getting back such things as indigo, rice, hides, and money. His manufacturing and retail trade made him one of the richest and most influential people in the township. In 1802 he erected a magnificent Federal style house which stands today as the club house of the Bella Visa Golf Course. An immense barn, built later in the 19th century, also remains on the site, converted to a modern banquet facility..

The Markley Iron works was located on the previous site of Henry Antes’ father Philip Frederick Antes’ tavern and plantation. The 1884 Markley Freundschaft notes, “May 31, 1777, Abraham Markley purchased of William Antes a tract of 116 acres in New Hanover Township (Antes was married to Abraham’s daughter Chistina [b.1736]) . May 14, 1782, he sold this to his son, Benjamin Markley…who in 1794…sold 100acres of the tract in connection with other land to his brother John Markley.”

The diary books themselves contain 700 pages of personal notes and financial records penned by Markley in vernacular German. The pages give an unquestionable record of who’s who in the Fagleysville area in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, as well as details of their lives and the goods they purchased. One of John Markley’ seven children, Maria, married Enos Benner, of Sumneytown, well known publisher of the Bauern Freund newspaper as well as numerous books and pamphlets.

Mr. Wood’s program kicks off the Goschenhoppen Historians 2018-19 program year with a fascinating view of late 18th century life as seen through various business records of the period.

The program will begin at 7:30 PM on Thursday, September 20, 2018 at Red Men’s Hall, the Goschenhoppen Historians’ headquarters, located at 116 Gravel Pike (Route 29), Green Lane, PA. There is no fee and the public is welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served during an informal get-together at the conclusion of Mr. Wood’s talk. More information can be obtained at 215-234-4119 or on the Historians’ website: www.goschenhoppen.org.

All programs held at 7:30 pm in the 2nd floor Meeting Room of Red Men's Hall,

Rts. 29 & 63, Green Lane, unless otherwise noted.


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© 2018 Goschenhoppen Historians, Inc.
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