Hershey Family Donates Fraktur

Donor Mary Jane Lederach Hershey (center) points out special features of the recent collection she and her husband, Hiram R. Hershey, whose roots are in East Petersburg and Millersville, Pennsylvania, gave to the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society. Her granddaughter, Sarah Hershey, and museum curator Carolyn C. Wenger look on.

Donor Mary Jane Lederach Hershey (center) points out special features of the recent collection she and her husband, Hiram R. Hershey, whose roots are in East Petersburg and Millersville, Pennsylvania, gave to the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society. Her granddaughter, Sarah Hershey, and museum curator Carolyn C. Wenger look on.

Recently Hiram R. and Mary Jane Lederach Hershey, Mennonite collectors of Harleysville, Pennsylvania, donated to the Historical Society a rare eighteen-volume 1789-98 pictorial encyclopedia and twelve pieces of fraktur, mostly related to Mennonite and Amish families or artists in the Lancaster County area. Several items came from Hiram’s East Petersburg Hershey family line, and some were purchased at auctions over the years.

Two bookplates by Lancaster County Amish folk artist Barbara Ebersol, a dwarf, include a double cross-stitch-flowers design (1863) and a colorful tulip (1874), respectively. A book by an unknown artist contains a bookplate for Catharine Hershey in 1845. In 1873 Reuben Byer, probably a schoolboy, made a specimen painting of a pear on a branch.

Five stylistically similar paintings of names and/or words on blue-lined notebook paper indicate connections to the Landis or Risser families.

An exquisite Vorschrift (writing sample) by an unknown teacher and three small rewards of merit, one dated 1792 and the others undated but obviously by the same hand and time period, exhibit fine artistic ability and careful penmanship. Another beautiful Vorschrift, made by or for Jacob Hostetter in 1803, may have been owned by the later Manheim area Mennonite Bishop Jacob Hostetter (1774-1865), a distant relative of donor Hiram Hershey. Included is a 1946 Pennypacker auction brochure of the estate of antiques collector Mrs. Albert (Ida) Hostetter, where Hiram’s mother, Adele Hostetter Hershey, purchased it.

Two other fraktur items in this gift include a probably European baptismal certificate (1726) for a Hans Schmiet and a bookplate by Charles E. Muench for Anna Maria Krum of Sheafferstown, then Dauphin County, but now Lebanon County.

According to museum curator Carolyn C. Wenger, “we are thrilled to receive these mostly local items, which augment our holdings of Mennonite and Amish folk art to share with researchers and the public. The Hersheys have been wonderful caretakers of this family collection and generous donors to us in the past as well in returning similar types of artifacts to their home area.”

Support the Society During Our Spring Appeal

One of Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society’s ambitions is to help you make a connection between your own personal history and the history of diverse communities around you, near and far. Keep helping LMHS make connections!  Make your contribution today! Your tax-deductible donations help LMHS continue to make many new connections for you and for many others

What Young Historians Are Thinking

younghistorianslogo

Hear presentations from three beginning scholars present research on the historic peace churches on Saturday, June 4, at Cross Roads Brethren in Christ Church beginning at 7 p.m. Find out more here.

Puerto Rico—Island of Enchantment

This five-day trip to Puerto Rico,  October 20 to 24, will feature an introduction to seventy years of Mennonite history in Puerto Rico. It will also feature sight-seeing to some of the most significant landmarks on the Island of Enchantment. Find out more here.

A Sense of Place: A Conversation with Three Artists

Listen to a round table conversation/panel discussion among three local Mennonite-related artists – Freiman Stoltzfus, Letitia Weaver, Amy LeFever. The event will include displays of their art. The panel will be led by moderator, Chad Martin. Join the conversation on Friday, June 17, at James Street Mennonite Church. Find out more here.

Past Perfect Online

Our online collections database (Past Perfect Online) is finally up and running! What does this mean? For the first time, researchers can browse or search our collection of nearly 10,000 photographs and artifacts that we have cataloged over many years. Anyone, anywhere with an internet connection will be able to see what we have at http://lmhs.pastperfectonline.com/. You will also find the link from the Archives page and the Online Resources page on our website. In those cases where photographs have been scanned and attached to the catalog record, those images will appear online as well. At the present, the percentage of catalog records with attached images is a small portion of our entire collection. This is something that we will be working on over the coming years.

Support our Sponsors!

Lancaster Roots programming is made possible with the help of our generous sponsors. Please support them.

Gspot-webHerr's-WebLandisH-webRHR-web