Welcome to the Cocalico Valley Historical Society

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Meetings are held at 7:00 P.M. at the Ephrata Public Library, 550 S. Reading Road, Ephrata unless otherwise stated. Open free to the public.

(In case of inclement weather, Society programs will follow the Ephrata School District closing schedule.)


January 22,  Annual Show and Tell

Everyone looks forward to this annual program! Come and share your one-of-a-kind treasures with friends at this event, which is full of surprises.


February 26, The History of Mining in Lancaster County

Randy Newcomer, mine safety professional and mineral resource educator, will describe the mining that has taken place in the county from since before the Europeans arrived until the present. Along with pictures of mining operations from the late 1800's and the minerals found here, the presentation will examine how the many mineral resources like iron, nickel, chromite, and limestone have given the county an important, if unnoticed, mining heritage.


March 26, The History of Hats

Lisa High, a librarian and hat enthusiast, will trace the myriad of hat styles that have been crafted by the Bollman Hat Factory since the 1860's. She will display numerous examples, and will explain the historical context of their production in Adamstown, PA.


April 23, Traditional Pennsylvania Dutch Gardens

Alan Keyser, historian and author, will discuss the design, tilling, planting, and cultivation of the Pennsylvania Dutch farm garden. He will also examine the layout of the typical farmstead's buildings relative to the placement of the kitchen garden.


May 28, Flames across the Susquehanna

Glenn S. Banner, author and retired educator, will present a narrated slide show complete with background music and sound effects, about the burning of the mile-long covered bridge that spanned the Susquehanna River at Columbia. The burning of the bridge on June 28, 1863, thwarted the Confederate Army's efforts to attack Harrisburg, Lancaster, and Philadelphia.


June 25, Annual Picnic

This year's membership-only picnic will be held at the 1740's Hess Homestead in Warwick Township. The house, with its collection of Pennsylvania German antiques, will be open for tours. Details will appear in the newsletter and by mail.


July 23, Field Trip

We will visit the Conrad Weiser Homestead in Womelsdorf, Berks County. Weiser was an 18th century German immigrant, an Indian interpreter, and a key figure in Colonial Pennsylvania. This site included the 1834 John Scheetz House, which functions as the visitor center, the Weiser House featuring period furnishings and exhibits, a stone spring house, and the Weiser family cemetery. Admission fee is $4.50, payable individually upon arrival at the Visitor center at 7:00 PM.


August 27, Pennsylvania Esoterica: Folk Medicine in the Dutch Country

Historian and author Patrick Donmoyer will present an illustrated presentation explaining the historical and cultural roots of traditional customs, rituals, and folkways known among the Pennsylvania Dutch as Braucherei, or Pow-wow. Images of ritual objects, inscriptions, blessings, and procedures will demonstrate the broad-reaching scope of folk customs in Pennsylvania throughout three centuries.


September 24, No Meeting

Join us on the front lawn of the Society's headquarters to view the Ephrata Fair Parade and enjoy hot dogs at the Society's food stand.


October 22, In Their Own Words: The Cocalico Valley's Men and Women of World War II.

Clarence E. Spohn will give a power point presentation of images, letters, and poetry by some of the local men and women who served in the war, and whose writing appeared in The Ephrata Review. These stories were unearthed while researching the author's latest book What's Cookin' Among our Boys and Girls in the Armed Forces - The Cocalico Valley and World War II.

November 27, No Meeting     Happy Thanksgiving!

December 25, No Meeting     Merry Christmas!