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Pennsylvania German Dialect

Pennsylvania German dialect, commonly known as “Pennsylvania Dutch,” is prevalent among Old Order Amish and Mennonite communities in Pennsylvania. Historically, however, it was spoken widely by Lutheran, Reformed and other groups of German immigrants and it is currently used in Old Order communities as far west as Wisconsin.

Spring 2014
  • Beginning Dialect
    Tuesdays, March 11–May 13, 7:00–9:00 PM
  • Intermediate Dialect
    Thursdays, March 13–May 15, 7:00–9:00 PM
Fall 2014
  • Beginning Dialect
    Tuesdays, September 9–November 11, 7:00–9:00 PM
  • Intermediate Dialect
    Thursdays, September 11–November 13, 7:00–9:00 PM

March 15, 2014, 9:00 – 12:00 at LMHS

Beginning Fraktur Workshop

Fraktur is a distinctly American folk art dating back to the mid 1700s and was an important part of Pennsylvania German culture. The traditional motifs of birds, flowers and hearts are rendered in ink, accompanied by ornate calligraphy, then painted in watercolor.

This class will begin with a presentation on fraktur, its history and three distinctly different styles from southeastern Pennsylvania, with special emphasis on its role in Mennonite culture. Then Emily will demonstrate the use of the ink and watercolor that are specific to the craft. During the latter portion of the class, students will spend time creating their own small fraktur piece. The class will focus on the imagery of fraktur, rather than calligraphy.

A starter kit is included in the tuition fee. It contains the basic supplies so students can continue to explore the world of fraktur once the class is over. No previous experience is required.


April 12, 2014 – 5:00 meet at LMHS 

Folk Art Tour and Pa Dutch Dinner

Join us for a tour of Lancaster County Old Order Mennonite Folk Arts featuring extended Hoover family farms and shops. Buck wagons will ferry us to see painters, carvers and woodworkers through bucolic rural settings. The evening will conclude with a Pennsylvania Dutch dinner in the home of Mary Hoover.  $50 includes the tour and dinner. Dress casual for this event.


September 6, 9:00 – 12:00 - at LMHS

Introduction to Rug Braiding

In this class we will be working on an 8-10 inch mini round rug trivet.
You will be taught basic rug braiding skills. In learning how to prepare fabric, start a rug, form a braid, lace and end a rug, you will know the basic formation of a rug without having to make the commitment to complete a large project.
All supplies will be provided.


October 18, 9:00 – 3:00 at LMHS

Feather stitched Crazy Quilt Patch in a Grain Painted Frame with Mirror

Description: This hands- on class combines two important PA German craft forms in one. First we practice the old techniques of combing, graining and stippling on a hand-made  wood frame that will house a mirror and a feather stitched crazy patch panel to be framed after the folk painting. Supplies include base painted frame and pre-sewn velvet and satin panel. The second part of the class will include feather stitching the pre-sewn panel. No experience necessary. Conclusion of the class will result in a ready to hang folk-art home accent.   All supplies will be provided and included in price. Detail: Bring your own bagged lunch. 

November 1, 2014, 9:00 – 12:00 at LMHS

The Amish and their Quilts

When and where did quilting start? What makes the early Amish quilts so special? Can you quilt?

The answers to all of these questions will be answered in the Amish and their Quilts class. Learn where and when quilting began. Discover antique Amish quilts and their fondness of quilting. Learn about Amish family life and the strength of their community. And learn how to quilt.

Put your own stitches in a 12 x 12 miniature Amish “Diamond in the Square Quilt”. Also receive a kit of a second miniature quilt to make at home. All supplies will be provided and no previous experience is required.


To Register

  • Click the "Add to Cart" button after any class above. Add an LMHS membership to receive a discount on each class. When you're finished, click the "View Cart" button here. (Your payment will be processed by PayPal, but you don't need a PayPal membership to register.)
  • Or give us a call. We accept credit card payments over the phone, Tuesday–Saturday, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM at (717) 393-9745.

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Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society
2215 Millstream Rd
Lancaster, PA 17602-1499
United States
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Phone: (717) 393-9745
Fax: (717) 393-8751

Open Tuesday-Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Closed major holidays.
All facilities are accessible.

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