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Monday, October 11, 2010

Lovely Weekend

The weather this weekend was gorgeous and we were out there enjoying it. Somehow it seems a lot of festivals and outdoor events are always planned for September and October. We can't do all of them so we have to pick and choose.
The first one we went to on Saturday was the 200th anniversary of a local Reformed church. They are one of the few fortunate ones to have a surviving Dieffenbach organ. The Dieffenbachs were a family of organ builders from colonial times. I wanted to hear the organ but the recital was scheduled for 2 p.m. and we had other things to do at that time. At least I got to see the organ.

From there we went to the Prince Street Cafe in Lancaster for lunch with my sisters and then we all went to hear the Ephrata Cloister Chorus sing in the balconey of the Saal (church) at the Cloister. Their colonial style of slow, soft music is beautiful. I could have listened for an hour instead of the fifteen minutes they actually sang.

On Sunday we went to the Stauffer reunion near New Holland. Uncle Norman had a doll which belonged to his grandmother (Leroy's great-grandmother) Susanna Sensenich Stauffer. She was born in 1853 so the doll is probably 150 years old. The doll was passed on to Uncle Norman's wife, Susie, because she had the same name. She passed away a two years ago and he is going to pass it on to his daughter, Mary Elaine. He brought it for us to see before she comes from New Mexico to claim it.

On the way home from the reunion we stopped to see an old house on the north end of Bowmansville. This house was built by Christian and Judith (Weber) Musselman in 1813. It is now in the middle of a development but the developer is trying to find a buyer to restore it. He is an old friend of Leroy and schoolmate of mine so he told us we should help ourselves to a self-guided tour any time we like. I took lots of pictures while I had the opportunity. The section built in 1813 is on the right with a "dawdy house" addition on the left.

This house does not have a bathroom and a sink is the only running water in the house. It has a bare minimum of electric and no furnace. The plaster is falling off the walls and some of the windows are broken. It would take a lot of work to restore it but the walls and framework are solid and the developer is not going to allow it to be demolished. I thought the crowning feature inside the house is this old fireplace with bi-fold doors in the kitchen.

The developer is adding a garage and fixing up the dawdy end of the house to make a small apartment. He hopes that will make it more attractive for someone to buy the house and live in that end while they work at restoring the 1813 section. I hope he succeeds! The house could be made very nice by someone who knows how to do it. I hope someone rises to the challenge and preserves this place.


Anonymous said...

Norman Stauffer is your (Leroy's uncle)? How interesting. I knew them from when I lived in Red Lake, ON. Come to think of it, arrived there just weeks before I did.

Mary Horst

Scribbler said...

Yes, Norman is Leroy's uncle. His wife, Susie, was a sister to Leroy's dad. She was a Stauffer married to a Stauffer. Norman is back in Lancaster County now and living with his single sisters.