History comes alive at Pioneer Day
The weather was on everyone’s mind at the Oct. 7 Pioneer Day held by the Lynn-Heidelberg Historical Society at Ontelaunee Park.
The lack of rain was even given credit for more animals being on exhibit for petting, as the weather was too bad last year to bring the animals.
At 10:30 a.m. parking spaces were rapidly filling. Descendants of the Zeisloff family came to have their picture taken at the original family home, the Zeisloff House, which was moved to the park.
They had called Ginny Woodward for information about this year’s Pioneer Day.
“We expect Zeisloffs in quantity,” Woodward said. They came from as far away as Texas.
Bob Campfield from The Mill at Germansville, which has a new owner, said there will be a new dedication in early November.
Historical society member Gary Dotterer is the chef at the Fellowship Community, Whitehall. He asked some of the residents to come to Pioneer Day to help with the apple butter project.
A metal duck found among the Tools of the Past was placed in a boiler when clothing was washed. As the water boiled it was forced up the pipe on which there was a duck head. The water came out the duck’s mouth and circulated the wash water.
Earl Muth of New Tripoli and Elaine and husband Barry Navarre Sr. talked about the old tools.
The French and Indian War was reenacted on a small scale as two French soldiers and a Delaware Indian try to take Fort Everett. The original fort was on Fort Everett Road behind the municipal building off Route 143.
Mike Maleoki said cartridges held powder in paper which was bitten off and the powder poured in the gun. The musket ball was seated with paper to tighten it because it was slightly smaller than the barrel. After the ball was added everything was pushed in with a ramrod. The bayonet was more useful against horses rather than men and the gun could be used as a club at close quarters.
The French used Fusil guns known as the Guns of Marseille because they were smuggled into Spain from there. In France they were the military weapon.
The Colonists’ militia used flintlocks from Lancaster County. Each county had its own militia. The state would provide food and ammunition only when the militia was on active duty, but they were responsible for their guns and clothing.
Mary Jo and Phillip Castrine cooked sausage stew in the Fort Everett fireplace. It was served with homemade bread.
Rockin’ thru History is a project of Damiem Drago who writes songs about history. He is a teacher who visits schools, libraries and other places kids congregate.
There were both a horse-drawn and a tractor-drawn hayride for people to get a ride around the park.
Carla and Allan Messinger spread the word about Native Americans. Both taught in the Allentown School District and Carla helped found the Native American History Museum on Fish Hatchery Road, Allentown. They now concentrate on visiting schools, clubs, senior centers, Masonic temples and libraries.
Darius Puff, a Delaware Indian, said the women make decisions and thought the French were the lesser of two evils.
The Jesuits had converted many Delaware and it was easier for them to decide to stay with the French. The Mohawks split between helping the French and siding with the English. Those who stayed in New York sided with the English.
The English wanted room for settlement but the French wanted stuff from the woods, said Puff, and were willing to have the natives bring it to them. The English offered better trade deals.
Youth were given a list of things to find for a scavenger hunt.
The original Tripoli train station blew up in 1890. In the park a replica of that station has been built as the home for the train that was originally in Ontelaunee Park.
Kevin German said a loop track has been started and the society expects to have the train up and running in another year with a Model A engine which is stronger than the original was.
There is a sign in the station from the Ontelaunee stop when the original train, not the park train, brought people to the park and then took them home again.