Community News


Mast Brother Updates

The Story of Slavery and Emancipation in the Mast Family Will Be Featured at the Nicholas Stoltzfus Homestead Fundraiser on May 1, 2018. 

Dorothy Mast Moss will share updates on the Masts at the Windmill Restaurant in Morgantown at noon on May 1.

Contact: Paul S. Kurtz, 717-808-7785 for the noon event, or Leonard Groff for banquet reservations  (717) 355-0454

Descendants of Mast and Stoltzfus pioneers will be featured speakers at the Nicholas Stoltzfus House Fundraiser at the Bareville Fire Hall at 6:00PM, May 1, 2018.

In 1750, Amish Mast orphaned children were accompanied by their Uncle Johannes Mast on the long journey from Europe to Pennsylvania. One of the children, Jacob, became an Amish Bishop and another, John, traveled to North Carolina, where some of his descendants became slave owners.

The story of Charley Mast, a slave in the North Carolina branch of the Mast family, will be shared at the banquet. Sharon Cranford, Charley’s descendant and co-author with Dwight Roth of the book Kinship Concealed, will be the featured speaker. Ms. Cranford will tell how her ancestors were freed in Texas before Emancipation. Mr. Roth will provide information about Bishop Jacob Mast. The two authors will share how they discovered their unique relationship.

Another descendant, Dorothy Mast Moss, will provide answers to puzzling questions about the Mast pioneers, including the first location of their land in Pennsylvania and the fascinating story of the Uwharrie Dutch community where John and other Palatinates settled in North Carolina. Ms. Moss will share updates on the Masts at the Windmill Restaurant in Morgantown at noon on May 1, and a short summary at the Nicholas Stoltzfus Homestead Fundraiser.

Autographed copies of Kinship Concealed will be available for purchase at both events on May 1.

Welcome the Arrival of Spring at Pottsgrove Manor’s Annual Colonial Mayfair

Saturday, May 5, 2018, from 11:00am to 5:00pm


Pottstown, PA (April 11, 2018) – Laugh and dance around the Maypole on Saturday, May 5th, to kick off the Annual Colonial Mayfair at Pottsgrove Manor! Crafters, vendors, living historians, and more will entertain visitors of all ages at this lively event from 11:00 am to 5:00pm.

Connect with history at the fair! Favorite activities such as joining in the Maypole dance meet exciting new additions to the day. Be sure to arrive early to be transported back in time with the colorful clothing and grace of the Germantown Country Dances while learning some historical dances yourself. Vendors and crafters, both familiar and new, will be showing off their historic skills and letting the whole family try their hand at a few. Discover dozens of different trades and crafts from blacksmithing, spinning wool, making shoes, weaving tape, and much more! Swing by the Ratcatcher to uncover the history of this forgotten trade. See and smell the many dishes being prepared by historic foodways interpreter, Deb Peterson, in our reproduction 18th century kitchen. Performances from the talented Tuckers Tales Puppet Theater and the hilarious Levram the Great will be happening throughout the day, causing both young and old to crack a smile. Kids are encouraged to make their own Mayfair crafts which they can take home. Stay the whole day and enjoy the irresistible southern cuisine of Backwoods Brothers BBQ. Everyone can wet their whistle at the new Testing Tent. Guests over 21 will be able to sample beers and drinks from local brewery, Pottstown United Brewing Company. Folks under 21 can also try some delicious craft sodas. The Town Crier will ensure that no game or show will pass you by at this a not-to-be-missed event!

The first floor of the Potts family 1752 manor house will be open for visitors to tour. Learn about the nighttime routines of the Potts family and compare a quiet evening at home to a dinner party scenario. Touch and smell the differences between bayberry, beeswax, and tallow candles. Discover in the Hands-On Room how bright candlelight truly was. The museum shop will also be open, full of books, historic reproductions, and unique gifts.

Visitors are instructed to follow the signs to park at Pottstown Memorial Park. A shuttle will take visitors to and from Pottsgrove Manor throughout the day. This event welcomes all ages and is rain or shine! There is a suggested $2.00 donation for the event.

Pottsgrove Manor is located at 100 West King Street near the intersection of King Street and Route 100, just off Route 422 near the Carousel at Pottsgrove and Manatawny Green Miniature Golf Course, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Pottsgrove Manor is operated by the Montgomery County Division of Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites.

For more information, please call 610-326-4014, or visit the website at Like Pottsgrove Manor on Facebook at

Juniata Mennonite Historical Society 41st Annual Meeting

July 14, 2018 at 9 a.m.

At the Rail Center, 224 Young Road, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania 17837

Moderator – Luke Weaver, Song leader – Isaac Reiff, Devotional – Phares Zimmerman

Looking at the Past to Guide the Present – Luke Weaver, Lewisburg, PA

Early Amish History in Buffalo Valley – Elam K. Fisher – Loganton, PA

Memories of the Groffdale Conference Mennonites in the Buffalo Valley – To be supplied.

Audience Participation and Open Discussion encouraged

Society Report and Offering

Lunch – 11:30 a.m.

1 p.m. – Canals and Canal Life in Susquehanna River Basin Region (power point presentation) –

Steve Runkle, Mechanicsburg, PA

2:45 – Tour – Susquehanna West Branch Canal

Casselman River Area Amish and Mennonite Historians  Annual Meeting 2018

The annual historical meeting of the Casselman Historians is scheduled for Friday evening and Saturday, September 14, 15, 2018, at the Maple Glen church, Grantsville, Maryland.

Topical focus: The Oppression of the Early Swiss Anabaptists and the Dutch Response of Aid

Schedule: Friday 7:00 P.M.; Saturday 9:00 A.M.; Lunch served at noon.

Friday evening: The Swiss oppression of Anabaptism will be discussed in regard to two time periods: (1) 1525 to 1575, in the time of Zwingli and Bullinger in Zurich and (2) 1575 to 1660 when the Anabaptists were nearly eliminated from Zurich, but severely persecuted in Canton Bern. Ulrich Zwingli was pastor of the Grossmünster, a large church in Zurich, and the leader of the reformation movement in Switzerland. Heinrich Bullinger was Zwingli’s successor.

Saturday forenoon: Attention turns to Holland and the early persecution there of the Anabaptists, their subsequent freedom, and the Dutch response to the plight of the Swiss Anabaptists.

Guest Speakers

James W. Lowry, Maugansville, Maryland, has served as teacher, writer, and librarian. He is the compiler, translator, and commentator of the Amsterdam series, i.e. the original documents that form the basis of this meeting as described below.

John L. Ruth, Harleysville, Pennsylvania, is the author of historical works, including various books, numerous articles, and several documentary films, and editor in the Amsterdam series. .

The topics of this meeting are based on original documents in archives in Europe. The project of compiling these documents had its beginning in 1997 when persons from various Amish and Mennonite groups in Pennsylvania and Ohio, including the Amish Library in Berlin, Ohio, formed the Amsterdam Archives Committee. The Committee, along with the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, commissioned James W. Lowry of Maugansville, Maryland, to locate, copy, transcribe, and translate documents held in archives in Amsterdam. The ongoing project expanded to additional archives in Holland, Switzerland, and Germany. This resulted in 327 documents appearing in three volumes,1 the first in 2003 and the last in 2015. Each document is printed in its original language (German, Dutch, French or Latin) with its English translation on the facing page. These documents include actions of governments, writings of the persecutors and the persecuted, and letters between the Swiss and the Dutch Anabaptists.  

The meeting is public. All are welcome.