Community News


The Story Ride


The Lancaster Story Ride. We’re going to bike around the county, stopping along the way to hear stories from various history-telling sages, stationed at significant spots. Participants will enjoy the challenges of the ride, supplemented with accounts of the rich story of this geographic context. We will reflect on silent witnesses of triumph and tragedy, so easily overlooked by modern life. For more information or to register visit

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

(Shirk, Sherk, Sherrick, etc.)

July 27-28, 2018 – Lewisburg PA , Best Western Plus Country Cupboard Inn

Join us for fun and learning!

  • Participate in a tour of central PA Schürch family history
  • Hear the Switzerland Anabaptist story (John Weber, Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society)
  • Learn about the Susquehanna Frontier in the early 1800’s (Bruce Teeple, President, Union County Historical Society)
  • Fellowship with U.S. and Canadian Schürch descendants – and meet Switzerland cousins Kurt and Judy Schürch, Winterthur, Switzerland
  • Participate in the fun-filled auction! Bid on a 1914 edition of Shirk Family History and Genealogy written by Henry Yocum Shirk — and a collection of hand-painted, puzzle-like Christmas ornaments crafted by Laird L. Shirk (1922-2000)

Additional details and Registration forms are available at or contact Sue Shirk, 717-381-2772

Schurch Family Association Family Reunion 2018

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.

Call for Papers

International Colloquium: Renewal Movements and Anabaptist History Reformation Commemorations – Renewal – Right Remembering
March 27-29, 2019
Bildungszentrum Bienenberg / Liestal (Switzerland)

The Educational Center Bienenberg – in conversation and colloboration with the Mennonite Historical Societies of Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria, and Switzerland (along with Mennointe World Conference) is planning for a three-day conference in which researchers from Europe and the rest of the world will present the results of their research. The colloquium will begin on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 2:00 and runs through 12:00 on Friday, March 29, 2019.

CALL FOR PAPERS_2019 -A4 – English (1)

Historical & Inspirational Outdoor Meeting at the 1855 Alleghany Mennonite Meetinghouse 39 Horning Road, Mohnton, PA

Sunday – July 15, 2018 – 6:30 PM       

Speaker:  Melvin Lehman, Guy Mills, PA

 Subject:  “The Saga of the Vistula Mennonites: Snapshots from 1570 to 1945”

Melvin will give a panoramic view of these years of the Poland Mennonites, who were also known as the Russian Mennonites.

Special Music – “Reaching Out”, a male quartet

Please bring a lawn chair and the Church & Sunday School Hymnal. This service will be held outdoors, weather permitting. 

~ Sponsored by the Alleghany Mennonite Historical Association ~ or 717-278-8459.