Welcome to the Historical Society of the Cocalico Valley
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 28, 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 25, A Collier's Life and the Craft of Making Charcoal
Rick Brouse, historian, sometime Belsnickle, and an architectural draftsman, will explain all the phases involved in the processing of wood to charcoal. From cutting down the trees, to raking out and transporting the final product, all these steps will be illustrated in a PowerPoint presentation. Learn more about this once common but now forgotten occupation.
March 25, Foods of the Pennsylvania Dutch: 1700-1850
Dr. William Woys Weaver, author, historian, and educator, will give a PowerPoint presentation tracing the transformation of Pennsylvania-Dutch cookery from an Old-World transplant into a thoroughly American regional style of cooking. A book signing will follow for Dr. Weaver's recent book, As American as Shoofly Pie.
April 22, The Massacre of the Conestogas
Jack Brubaker, retired investigative reporter and author of “The Scribbler”, a column about Lancaster County's history and culture, will present a PowerPoint lecture about the infamous slaughter of the last group of Lancaster County Indians by the Paxton Boys in 1763. A book signing will follow the presentation.
May 27, The History of American Chairs
H. Clair Garman, cabinetmaker and historian, will present a PowerPoint-illustrated chronology of the evolution of the construction and design of American seating. Find out how old that chair in the attic really is.
June 24, Annual Picnic
This year's members-only picnic will be held on the grounds of the society's headquarters, and will be an old-fashioned picnic, with each family bringing a covered dish. Bob and Denise Harter, the proprietors of the 1777 Americana Inn, built by clockmaker Jacob Gorgas, have graciously offered to open the newly-remodeled inn for the group. The adjoining Black Forest Brewery will also be open. Details will appear in the newsletter.
July 22, Field Trip
We will visit the Edward Hand Medical Heritage Foundation with its collection of more than 10,000 books, photographs, letters, and medical and dental instruments documenting the rich history of the area's medical profession. We will meet at 7:00 p.m. at the museum, located at the Burle Business Park on New Holland Avenue, ½ mile west of Route 30.
August 26, The History of Railroad Mail Service in Northeastern Lancaster County
Sam Stoltzfus, Amish historian and woodworker, will discuss the long-abandoned practice of transporting mail via the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Reading Railroad.
September 23, 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 28, Walkin' the Line: A Journey from Past to Present along the Mason-Dixon.
William Ecenbarger, author and a former reporter and editor for The Philadelphia Inquirer, will present a history-travelogue that interweaves the story of the line's people, legends, and myths while following the progress of English surveyors Mason and Dixon from 1763 to 1768 as they draw one of the most unusual boundaries on earth.
November 25, No Meeting Happy Thanksgiving!
December 23, No Meeting Merry Christmas!