Lecture January 6th to Focus on Local Air Raid Posts During World War 2

Join us for our January lecture at the Lititz Library as we welcome special guest speaker Brett Snyder, who will give a fascinating presentation on local air raid posts during World War 2.

By the summer of 1941, war clouds were looming over America. In the eventuality of war, there would be a need for our coasts to be defended – and the available U.S. military resources would be stretched to the limit. The US Army, working with the American Legion, developed a plan for aircraft observation posts that would be staffed entirely by civilian volunteers.

Stretching along both coasts as well as the Gulf of Mexico and around the Great Lakes, the “Aircraft Warning Service” or AWS, with over 14,000 posts and up to 1.2 million civilian volunteers, would scan the skies for aircraft.

Twenty-seven of these posts were located throughout Lancaster County. Known locations once in the area included Lititz, Gap, Cains, New Holland, Churchtown, Terre Hill, Adamstown, Denver, Quarryville, Christiana, Lancaster, Manheim, Penryn, Drumore, Little Britain, Neffsville, Holtwood, Ephrata, Paradise, Strasburg, Columbia, Kinzers, Intercourse and others.

If enemy aircraft was spotted, the US Army Air Corps would “scramble” planes to intercept the intruders. Luckily, the enemy never showed up, but all military & civilian flights were observed and reported in to “Filter Centers”, with their paths plotted on large maps.

The American Legion set up and recruited “Chief Observers”, for each post – almost all of who were local Legion members, and WWI Veterans. The Chief’s duty was to find & schedule the volunteers needed for the required 24/7 coverage, with 2-person shifts. Volunteers included able-bodied civilians including women and older children.

Most of these posts were one-room wooden shacks, complete with coal stoves for heat and a telephone. Two posts were in old truck bodies, and one was in and on a railroad box car!

Two tests were run in September & October of 1941, and in the days immediately following the Pearl Harbor Attack on December 7th, 1941, the posts were put into full operation, 24 x 7, until the inland programs were mostly curtailed in October of 1943, ceasing nationally by May of 1944.

The lecture is FREE, and open to the public, and will take place at the Lititz Public Library. Please call the Lititz Library to reserve your seat! 717-626-2255.



The Christiana Post, with Della Mae Sterling Chalfont posing in the front of the structure.

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The Lititz Post in Lexington, Lancaster County

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Annual Meeting to Discuss Moravian Sister Mary Penry (1735-1804)

Join the Lititz Historical Foundation for our annual meeting lecture on Saturday November 18th beginning at 1:30pm at the Lititz Public Library. After some very brief items of business, we will welcome Scott Paul Gordon, who will present a program on Moravian sister Mary Penry.

Gordon is currently the Andrew W. Mellon Chair at Lehigh University. He teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate level in eighteenth-century transatlantic literature. He has served as the Director of the First-Year Writing Program; Director of Lehigh University Press; and as chair of the Department of English.

Gordon’s early research projects tackled seventeenth- and eighteenth-century British literature, but for the last decade his research has focused on early America, in particular the Moravian experiment in Pennsylvania. One project, which will be published in 2018 by Pennsylvania State University Press, brings into print for the first time the extensive correspondence of Mary Penry (1735-1804) who immigrated from Wales in 1744 and lived as a single sister in Moravian communities at Bethlehem and Lititz for nearly fifty years.

Penry spent most of her adult life in Lititz, arriving in 1762 as one of the first women to populate the new single sisters’ choir house. For more than forty years in Lititz, Penry kept the diary of the single sister’s choir and served as the choir house’s clerk, recording the varied business activities related to the choir’s textile industries and its girls’ school. She was responsible for guiding visitors around the community; she earned income from her embroidery; and was paid to translate documents from German into English. Penry remained single for her entire life, an extremely rare phenomenon in early America where nearly all women married (and remarried). Penry knew that this opportunity was possible only because she lived in a Moravian community.

Few early American women produced such a prodigious amount of first-person writing as Mary Penry. Penry’s sharp eye and skillful pen recorded an ox roasted on the frozen Delaware, air balloons that some had proposed for transatlantic travel, a visit to Philadelphia’s “African church,” and the suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion. She corresponded with Benjamin Rush, met the Miami chief Little Turtle, was lifelong friends with the Quaker Elizabeth Drinker, and knew everybody in the late eighteenth-century Moravian church. Penry was obsessed with global politics and devoured the partisan newspapers of the early republic. “I am a great Politician,” she confided to a friend in 1795, “but am very careful of speaking my Sentiments.”

The lecture is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will follow the lecture. Call the Lititz Public Library today to reserve your seat!

717-626-2255. Seating is free, but limited!

SPG 2016 photo

Scott Paul Gordon

Figure 5 Single Sisters Membership Catalog

Single Sister’s Membership Catalog

Figure 6 Letter to Joseph and Martha Powell

Letter to Joseph and Martha Powell

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Learn to Make Paper German Stars

We are excited to once again offer classes on how to make paper German stars!

Classes will be held at our museum, and will take place on the following dates in the afternoon:

October 15th

October 29th

November 12th

November 26th

December 10th.

Cost is $15.00 per person. Cost includes Registration Fee, Star Kit and Refreshments.

Call to Register: 717-627 – 4636

Or send a check for $15.00 and mail below to:

Lititz Historical Foundation

137 East Main street, P.O. Box 65

Lititz, PA 17543

Once payment is received, you will be contacted with additional details on the class.

Please indicate “Paper German Star Class” on the check, and tell us which day you’d like to attend.





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Free Celtic Concert Featuring Rizzetta’s Tones & Ice Cream Social

Join us for a free concert and free ice cream in our Mary Oehme Gardens in September!

On Sunday September 3rd, bring your lawn chairs and invite your friends, family, and neighbors to enjoy a relaxing evening in our gardens.

Musical entertainment will be provided by Rizzetta’s tones, a great Celtic and Folk band from Lancaster, PA.

The event is scheduled from 6:30pm – 8pm.

**We will also host an old-fashioned cake walk – more details coming soon!**

The evening is sponsored by Woodstream Corporation.

From the band’s website:

Rizzetta’s Tones is a Celtic and Folk band, comprised of ‘fraternal twin’ hammer dulcimers, silver flute, high and low whistles, and guitars. We often spice up our sound with button accordian, autoharp, Greek bouzouki, mandolin, ukulele, as well as doumbek, cajon, djembe, and other percussion instruments (yes, even frogs!) All four members take turns singing lead and background vocals on songs, both poignant and humorous. Our repertoire includes music from Ireland, Scotland, and the United States, drawing as well from the traditions of Finland, Brazil, France, Macedonia, and many other lands.


Call the historical foundation at 717-627-4636 with any questions.

See you there!


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Central PA Ghostbusters to Make Special Appearance in Lititz July 14th

Join the Lititz Historical Foundation on Friday July 14th as we welcome a very special appearance by the Central PA Ghostbusters!

From 5:00-7:00pm, members of the Central PA Ghostbusters will be on site at our museum for a special meet and greet. What’s more, they are also bringing their ECTO-1 vehicle! They will be accepting donations for the NHS Autism school in Carlisle, as well as selling t-shirts and stickers.

Come join the fun and get your photo taken with the Central PA Ghostbusters or the ECTO-1. It’s free, and all happening Friday July 14th at the Lititz Historical Foundation.

While the special guests will only be there for a short time, our museum and gift shop will be open from 5-9pm. Free refreshments will be served.

The Lititz Historical Foundation is located at 145 East Main Street in downtown Lititz. Call 717-627-4636 with any questions.






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A Special World War 2 Evening Featuring King Street Big Band

Join us for a very special World War 2 themed evening on Sunday August 13th!

The King Street Big Band of Lancaster will be playing a free concert in our Mary Oehme Gardens.

In addition, we will have several World War 2 reenactors, vehicles, “Rosie the Riveter”, free food and (non-alcoholic) drinks, games, fun, and more!

Guests are encouraged to come dressed up in their favorite 40’s fashion!

As an added bonus, onsite will also be “America Homefront” – a very special 1940’s traveling museum which allows guests to walk through several rooms set up like a typical house during wartime.

The entire evening is FREE and open to the public. It will all happen in our gardens located behind our museum. Our address is 145 East Main Street in downtown Lititz.

Plenty of free street parking is available.

Be sure to bring your lawn chairs and invite family, friends, and neighbors.

The musical entertainment is sponsored by Moravian Manor and Luthercare.


The event begins at 6:30pm.

The raindate is Sunday August 20th.

See you there!

Click HERE for the Facebook event page.


King Street Big Band


Come meet the Victory Sisters August 13th!


America Homefront (background) will also be available to tour that evening!


Come meet the WW2 Seabees August 13th!

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Our 55th Annual Antiques Show Takes Place June 23-24th 2017

Lancaster County’s oldest show of its kind and always a perennial favorite, this fundraiser will be staged in the Warwick Middle School (104 Maple Street) in Lititz June 23rd-24th.

Hours are Friday 10am-5pm; Saturday 9am-2pm Admission: $9.00 or $8.00 with card or ad.

Promoted as an “old time country show” a cast of nearly 50 dealers will present a wide range of interesting, reasonably priced country wares and dry goods. Shoppers can expect to find farm items, stoneware, kitchen goods, textiles, early lighting, transfer ware, doll items, coin silver, holiday items, Pennsylvania folk art, and more! Hungry shoppers will have an opportunity to purchase a delicious variety of freshly prepared food, smoked meats and pulled pork as well as vegetarian choices from a well-known local food truck service set up outdoors adjacent to the show entrance. This food may be eaten indoors at the cafeteria. And shoppers with a sweet tooth can indulge in fresh, homemade baked goods executed by experts from the foundation’s bakers group.

Show hours are Friday 10am-5pm; Saturday 9am-2pm Admission: $9.00 or $8.00 with card or ad. Visit www.lititzhistoricalfoundation.com or call for more info. 717.575.4006


Dealers for the 2017 include:

American Vernacular Antiques

Anderson-Breish Antiques

Antiques By the Falls

Antiques in Bloom

Ayscough Antiques

Barbara Ziegler Antiques

B.C. White Antiques

Beechwood Antiques

Bill Shaeffer Antiques

Brenda Daniels

Candy Fluman

The Cat Lady Antiques

Cheryl Mackley Antiques

Country Cupboard Antiques

Dave Tuttle Antiques

Diane Farr Antiques

Diane R. Hogg

Doug and Deb Woodboard

Ellen Katona & Bob Lutz

Francis Crespo Folk Art and Antiques

Guthrie & Larson

Ingle Nook Antiques

Jean Rice

Jeffrey Ricketts

Jeff Smith

John H. Rogers Antiques

Kevin Kruger

Kennedy Antiques

Larry E. Strickler Antiques

Lewis & Clark Antiques

Lynn Little

Margaret Schenck

Mary Beach Antiques

McClearen’s Antiques

Moseley’s Antiques

Old Farm Antiques

Oley Valley Antiques

The Passes

Patrick Murray

Paul & Nancy Hahn/Country Things

Payne & Campbell Ltd.

Polly Hagen Antiques

Richard Fuller

RSG Antiques

School House Farm Antiques

Squirrel Run Antiques

Sun High Antiques

Tex Johnson & Son Antiques

Wilhide’s Antiques

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Purchase a DVD Copy of the Lititz 1956 Bicentennial Celebration!

Orders are now being accepted for DVD copies of the 1956 Lititz Bicentennial celebration!

This celebration, which originally took place in 1956 and filmed in full color, showcases the people, events, buildings,  parade, and many scenes of downtown Lititz during the 1956 event.

Running time of the video is approximately one hour and three minutes.

Fill out the form below with payment and send it back to us to reserve your copy! All proceeds benefit the Lititz Historical Foundation.

NOTE: The film does not contain sound.

View the first 6 minutes of the video HERE.

to purchase copies, click on the order form here: BICENTENNIAL ORDER FORM

DVDs will also be available for purchase in our gift shop beginning May 12th.

Here are some screen captures from the video:

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We Open For The 2017 Season April 28th!

On April 28th our doors open for the 56th season!

Visit our free museum and stop by our gift shop where you’ll find a great selection of Moravian stars, local books, home décor, and so much more!

Our operating hours are Fridays and Saturdays 10am-4pm. Beginning Memorial Day, we are open Mondays-Saturday 10am-4pm, with tours available of our 1792 Johannes Mueller House with a docent.

Come learn about the history of Lititz and early Moravian life through room after room of various exhibits and artifacts.

Interested in booking our gardens for your next event? We’re always happy to answer your questions or assist you.


Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

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Annual Plant Exchange Takes Place May 7th

The Lititz Historical Foundation in conjunction with the Lititz Garden Club will hold its Annual Plant Exchange on Sunday, May 7th at 1:30 PM. The event will be held in the Mary Oehme Gardens, behind the museum buildings at 137-145 East Main Street in Lititz. The event is rain or shine.

The plants to exchange must be perennials and must have identification tags for each plant. Each plant must be placed in a container for transportation.

Upon arrival, a ticket will be handed out for each plant. The plants must be placed in categories including: Sun, Shade, Exotic, Bulbs, Herbs and Ground Cover. These tickets can be redeemed for another plant after all plants are placed in the categories and the attendees have some time to explore the categories.

An announcement will then be made to claim the plant you are interested in taking home.

Members of the Lititz Garden Club will also be on hand for assistance and to help answer gardening questions. You can bring 1, 2, 5, or more plants and enjoy the afternoon in the Foundation’s Gardens! The event is open to the public and there is no charge for this event, but a donation can be made to help maintain the Gardens.


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