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The Historical Society of the Cocalico Valley is pleased to announce the opening of its new 2019-2020 exhibit—“Fresh Findings From the Past”— every Saturday, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., in its museum located at 249 West Main St. The exhibit, which occupies two of the museum’s first floor display rooms, will run through Dec. 31, 2020. Featured in the exhibit are an eclectic sampling of artifacts, manuscripts, photographs, etc. which have been acquired by the Society, either by donation or purchase, during the past ten years and which have never previously been exhibited to the public. The exhibit includes approximately 160 artifacts dating from the 18th through the 20th centuries representing all of the municipalities located within the Cocalico Valley. Items range from rare one-of-a-kind manuscripts to more common utilitarian items such as plastic advertising items dating from the 1950’s.

  • A sampling of items from each community include from Akron Borough a 1906-1910 guest register from the Akron Hotel and a 1929 $10 Akron National Bank note. From Adamstown Borough is a scarce original 1898 printed bird’s eye view of the town and plastic advertising items from Phares G. Harting’s general  merchandise store. Denver Borough is represented by a traveling barber kit used by local barber Harry H. Kline (1894-1966), street banners from the 50th anniversary of the borough and the Denver Fire Company, and a colonial costume worn by Stephen Malinick for Denver’s 75th anniversary celebration in 1975. From Ephrata Borough is one of the original Ephrata Railroad Station signs; the original circa 1805 brass seal of the Downintown, Ephrata and Harrisburg Turnpike Co., present Route #322 or Main St.; and wooden signs from the Ephrata Shoe Co. and the Stunzi Silk Co. Also from Ephrata is the Ephrata High School football jersey worn by Larry Loose in 1956 and an large cotton banner from the Ephrata High School Class of 1910. In addition there is a rare 1838 needlework sampler by Amanda Heitler of Ephrata, a circa 1815 Adam & Eve broadside printed by Samuel Bauman of Ephrata, and a wonderful late 19th century painted cast iron toy train owned by brothers Harry and Edwin Mohler of Ephrata when young boys.
  • From Clay Township is found the 1867-1894 cabinetmaker’s ledger of William Romig of Weidmansville; a circa 1910 cotton applique crib quilt made by Amanda B. (Snyder) Landis; and an 1857 hair sample book of Mary (Eberly) Shirk, which contains braided hair samples from her friends and relatives.
  • Ephrata Township is represented by a circa 1925 “White Owl” baseball uniform worn by James N. Rhoads, the team was based in Murrell. In additional there is a 1826-1838 shoemaker’s ledger of Simpson Keller who lived in the area of Mohler’s Church; an unusual dated 1866 dried gourd made by Mary Nolt (Musselman) Stoner for her son Abraham M. Stoner; and a pieced privy bag made by Fannie Widders in the early twentieth century. For those unfamiliar with privy bags, it was made to hold the “necessary” paper in the outhouse or privy.
  • An array of items from East Cocalico Township are also displayed. Included in the exhibit is the original 1734 Penn land patent issued to Eberhard Ream for the land that now includes the town of Reamstown. In addition there is a circa 1845 man’s beaver top hat made by David Blensinger of Reamstown; a 1923 original oil painting on canvas by artist John Wesley Von Nieda, a native of Swartzville; and the unusual combination sign and clock used by Dr. William N. Lober in the window of his Main St. doctor’s office in Reamstown.
  • West Cocalico Township is represented by the telegraph keys and sounder used at Reinholds Station; a printed taufschien (baptismal certificate) of Maria Palm who was born in 1850 in the township; and a printed corn meal bag from the Reinholds’ mill of Oscar B. Swartz.
  • And from West Earl Township are a 1860-1867 ledger of Brownstown blacksmith Emanuel Duck, the 1882-1959 diary kept by his son and granddaughter Emanuel K. and Mary Duck, and a hammer and spatula made by his blacksmith son Hiram K. Duck. Also exhibited from Brownstown is a 1929 $20 Brownstown National bank note.
  • A unique quilt included in the exhibit, while only thirty-six years old, has a most interesting story connected with it. The quilt was made in 1983 by the two fourth grade classes at the Lincoln Elementary School, taught by Mrs. Young and Mrs. Conte. The patches were cut and sewn by the students and the quilt was quilted by several of the students’ mothers and grandmothers who brought a quilting frame into the school and quilted the bed covering right in the classroom. At the end of the school year, during “Lincoln School Days,” the quilt was auctioned off , it was purchased by the late Dr. Michael Szutowicz, the father of one of the students.  Mrs. Betsy Young, one of the teachers, reported that the money received from the sale of the quilt was donated to the restoration fund for the Statue of Liberty which was refurbished during 1984-1986. The quilt was discovered at a sale at an auction at Horst Auction Center, Ephrata, by Robert Dickershied who purchased it and donated it to the Society. Among the patches is a silhouette of the Statue of Liberty along with two patches containing the names of all the students who worked on the quilt written in cursive in red ink.
  • We invite everyone to visit the museum, come and enjoy “Fresh Findings From the Past,” admission is free to all. The museum’s hours are Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., or by appointment. For an appointment or additional information please call 717-733-1616.
  • PHOTO BELOW – “Rare printed fraktur taufschein (baptismal certificate) printed by the Ephrata Cloister Brotherhood and decorated by the “Early Ephrata Artist” for Maria Barbara Christ baptized in 1765. The taufschein was a gift to the Society by Mrs. Charlotte Putt.”


Welcome to The Historical Society of the Cocalico Valley

The Historical Society of the Cocalico Valley (HSCV) invites you to explore the following pages and, better still to visit us in person, to discover the fascinating heritage associated with this area of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

The HSCV was formed in 1957 as a project of the Ephrata Recreation Center. In 1961 the Society purchased the beautiful Victorian Italianate Connell Mansion built in 1869. That structure now houses the three-story, thirteen-room Theodore Sprecher Museum. In 1989, the Society purchased the adjacent English Tudor-style home and converted it into the William and Jemima Brossman Library and Research Center.

Museum Hours

Museum Hours

Saturday, 10:00 A. M. to 4:00 P.M.

Other times by appointment with a 24 hour notice.

Schools & organizations welcome!

Free to the public.

Research Library

Research Library

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday

9:30 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.


8:30 A.M. - 5:00

Our Mission

We are dedicated to discovering, gathering and preserving materials and data relative to the community known as the Cocalico Valley. All items in the museum collection were either made in the Cocalico Valley or were used by and/or owned by people living in the area. The Cocalico Valley encompasses ten municipalities in Northern Lancaster County — the Boroughs of Adamstown, Akron, Denver, and Ephrata and the Townships of East and West Cocalico, Clay, Ephrata, West Earl, and a portion of Earl.

Programs & Events

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