Lititz Historical Foundation Recipient of 2015 C. Emlen Urban Leadership Award!

The Lititz Historical Foundation has been named the 2015 winner of the C. Emlen Urban Leadership Award by the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster, PA.

Gary Klinger, President of the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster, says that the awards honor those with the commitment and foresight of preserving historic buildings and keeping history alive.

“We felt that the Lititz Historical Foundation did an exceptional job embodying the type of community education and outreach that was in keeping with the mission of the Historic Preservation Trust. We also felt that the presentation submitted exemplified true leadership in building awareness of the rich architectural heritage of the greater Lititz area. We felt that the work and the efforts of the Lititz Historical Foundation provided leadership and an example of what can be done for other local historical groups to follow.”

Lititz Historical Foundation President Cory Van Brookhoven remarked “We are very honored to receive this very special award. Our tour guides, volunteers, and board members all work very hard to promote the rich history of Lititz. From the Lititz museum, to free educational programs throughout the year, to guided tours of our beloved 1792 Johannes Mueller House, we are constantly eager to educate our visitors from all across the world. It is very humbling to be recognized by such a wonderful organization.”

The award was presented to the foundation at a special recognition banquet held at Lancaster Country Club on Tuesday, November 10th, 2015.


  Left to right: Karen Genevish, Secretary; Carrie Blevins, Volunteer and Events Coordinator; Cory Van Brookhoven, President; Teri Foster, Board Member; Marian Shatto, Treasurer. 

 Media inquiries may be sent to:

Cory Van Brookhoven


Lititz Historical Foundation

137-145 East Main Street

Lititz, PA 17543



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Learn Letterpress Printing at our March 19 Lecture!

On Saturday March 19, join the board members of the Lititz Historical Foundation for a fascinating lecture and hands-on demonstration on the history of letterpress printing! Our guest will be Ken Kulakowsky from Lancaster’s Heritage Press Museum, who will take you through the history of this fascinating craft.

Once the dominant way to print, it has found a new audience in the maker movement and with graphic designers excited by something tactile in the digital world.

Founded in 2004, our colleagues at the Heritage Center Print Shop Museum in Lancaster have attracted local and international tourists.

The .918 Club, comprised of local letterpress enthusiasts, is passionate about educating the community on the technique and history of this craft.

Attendees will have the opportunity to try their hand at this fascinating art, as a table-top press will be available for use.

The lecture will be held at the Lititz Library’s community room, and will begin at 1:30pm. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call the foundation at 717-627-4636. We hope to see you there!


Ken Kulakowsky

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History of Pensupreme to be discussed January 16th in Lititz

By popular demand, the Lititz Historical Foundation is proud to welcome back David Heckel, who will discuss the history of Pensupreme dairy in Lancaster County. The lecture will take place at the Lititz Library’s community room on Saturday, January 16th beginning at 1:30pm.

Heckel is the grandson of Eli L. Garber, who founded the original company.

Eli L. Garber was born on February 11th, 1864. In 1890, he invested his money in the Garber-Reist Company located in Stevens, PA. By 1895, they began operating a creamery and egg business which was located at the current site of Susquehanna Banks headquarters on Cedar Street in Lititz. It was at this location that the business incorporated under the name E.L. Garber and Son.

In 1929, the company’s name was changed to Penn Dairies, Inc., with the trade name now known as Pensupreme.

Pensupreme ice cream was a VERY popular treat in the area, and the company also owned several convenience stores around the county.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, please call the foundation at 717-627-4636.

Garberandson sign

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“A Colorful Folk: Pennsylvania Germans and the Art of Everyday Life” book signing & lecture slated for February 20th

On Saturday, February 20th, the board members of the Lititz Historical Foundation will welcome special guest speaker Lisa Minardi, who will host a program and book signing entitled “A Colorful Folk: Pennsylvania Germans and the Art of Everyday Life.”

The program will take place in the Lititz Library’s community room, and begins at 1:30pm.

This lecture will explore the unique world of the Pennsylvania Germans and their colorful folk art, including decorated manuscripts (fraktur), textiles, furniture, metalwork, and pottery during this very special program. Embellished with hearts, flowers, birds, and other traditional motifs, these objects reveal a love of color, design, and whimsy. Most are functional, but others were made “just for nice” and attest to the Pennsylvania Germans’ penchant for decorating virtually everything—from a tiny pincushion to the side of a barn. This illustrated presentation will be given by Lisa Minardi, assistant curator at Winterthur Museum and an expert on Pennsylvania German art and culture.

A book signing and sale will be held after the program.

Minardi serves as an assistant curator at Winterthur Museum and a Ph.D. candidate in the History of American Civilization program at the University of Delaware, where she is studying the Germans in colonial Philadelphia for her dissertation. A specialist in Pennsylvania German art and culture, she holds a B.A. in history and museum studies from Ursinus College and an M.A. from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture. Some of her publications and exhibitions include: Drawn with Spirit: Pennsylvania German Fraktur from the Joan and Victor Johnson Collection (Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2015); A Colorful Folk: Pennsylvania Germans & the Art of Everyday Life (Winterthur, 2015); Quill & Brush: Pennsylvania German Fraktur and Material Culture (Free Library of Philadelphia, 2015).

For any questions, please call the historical foundation at 717-627-4636.

Minardi head shot

Lisa Minardi.


“A Colorful Folk: Pennsylvania Germans and the Art of Everyday Life” book by Lisa Minardi.


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Author of book on Dutch Wonderland to Speak in Lititz November 14th

Join the board of directors of the Lititz Historical Foundation for a very special program and book signing on the history of Dutch Wonderland on Saturday, November 14th. The program will take place in the Lititz Library’s Community room, beginning at 1:30pm.

After a few items of business during their annual meeting, the board will welcome Pennsylvania author Austen Dennsion, who has recently written a book on the history of Dutch Wonderland.

The local park’s story began with Earl Clark, who recognized the need for an attraction in Lancaster County aimed at children. Clark officially opened the doors to Dutch Wonderland to the public on May 20, 1963. Like many theme parks, Dutch Wonderland began small, but soon became one of the largest attractions in the area. Many changes were made to the park during its first years of operation, including a monorail, botanical gardens, and a wax museum based on the history of the Lancaster area.

The 1990’s saw the addition of two coasters: the Sky Princess and the Joust. For over 50 years, Dutch Wonderland has prided itself as one of the best family parks in the country. The lecture will take those in attendance down memory lane, and will tell the story of the park through many photographs from its history.

Dennison, an amusement park buff and historian, holds a degree in art and design. He also collects amusement park memorabilia and hopes to one day soon open a museum.

Books will be available for sale after the program.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For any questions, please call the Lititz Historical Foundation at 717-627-4636.$_57

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The Christmas Season is in full swing, and the Lititz Historical Foundation wants to help continue to get you in the holiday spirit with two FREE upcoming holiday events!

First off is our very popular Community Christmas Carol Sing in conjunction with the Moravian Archives committee slated for 7 pm on Thursday December 10th at Church Square. The Moravian Trombone Choir will be on hand and free song sheets will be handed out as you, your friends, neighbors, and family sing holiday classics. Afterwards, all are welcome to warm up inside Fellowship Hall where light refreshments will be served. The Putz will also be available for various showings throughout the evening in the church’s social hall.

Then, the next evening, Friday December 11th, you will further get into the Christmas spirit by attending our Christmas Candlelight tour of the historic 1792 Johannes Mueller House from 5pm-9pm, during Lititz’s very popular Second Friday Christmas event. The house retains its original architectural character and has been carefully restored with hundreds of traditional items from the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. Period costumed docents will lead you through this historic home as you discover what life was like in the closed Moravian town of Lititz. After your tour, take a stroll through our free Lititz Museum next door where additional historical artifacts, antiques and so much more await your curiosity.

Don’t forget to visit our gift shop that evening for a wonderful selection of Moravian stars, ornaments, local books, and other various locally made gifts. Please call the Foundation at 717-627-4636 for any questions. We hope to see you there!


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Our 53rd Annual Antiques Show Takes Place June 26 & 27, 2015

Warwick Middle School, 104 Maple Street (behind Warwick High School), will be the new location for the Lititz Historical Foundation’s annual Antiques Show, now in its 53rd year.

Show dates are June 26 and 27 (Friday and Saturday). Hours are Friday 10-5pm and Saturday 9-2pm. All are invited to attend. A small admission fee will be collected at the door.

The beloved show, a special fundraiser for the 1792 Johannes Mueller House, remains among the oldest, continually running shows in Pennsylvania and the United States. Pro-moted as an “old time country show,” the celebration draws more than 40 dealers specializing primarily in country primitives, textiles, and folk art. Shoppers can expect to find country wares, holiday and kitchen items, stoneware, Pennsylvania German art, and much more. According to show organizer Ken Martin, “The middle school is a first rate venue for the show. It’s larger than the former, with excellent lighting, more than ample parking, and a beautiful atrium area next to the gymnasium with plenty of natural light from two stories of floor to ceiling windows. You need to see it to appreciate it.”

For the first time ever, show attendees will be able to purchase food from a food service truck set up outdoors, adjacent to the show entrance. Hungry shoppers can enjoy a diverse menu and eat comfortably in an air conditioned cafeteria.

We look forward to seeing you in June!

AntiqueShow2015 AntiquesSHow

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Lititz Historical Foundation’s Annual Plant Exchange

The Lititz Historical Foundation will hold its Annual Plant Exchange on Sunday, May 3rd 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, 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 Plant Exchange categories.

An announcement will be made at approximately 1:30 PM to select plants in exchange for your tickets.

The Lititz Garden Club members will 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 free will donation can be made to help maintain the Gardens.PlantExchange2010 Photo

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PA German Powwowing to be discussed March 28

Join the board of directors of the Lititz Historical Foundation as they present their next free lecture in their 2015 winter series. The foundation will welcome Yvonne J. Milspaw, who will discuss PA German Pow-Wow on Saturday March 28, 2015, at the Lititz Public Library at 1:30pm.

Powwowing, or Braucheri, is a venerable Central European system of healing illnesses caused by Hexerei, witchcraft.  It was a central belief in the legend of Pennsylvania German communities until very recently. The stories will be presented as propositions about the truth as well as intertwined narratives of explanations, evidence and speculation for the reality of the events. According to legend and lore, illnesses and bad luck were “caused” by fellow community members who “had the power for that sort of thing” and who were motivated by malice or vindictiveness against their neighbors. Witchcraft narratives and stories of the healers formed an alternative (and conflicting)  system of authority that vouched for the realness of tradition; and permitted the undereducated, dialect speaking, rural poor a strong voice counter to the dominant, educated English speaking power elite.

Milspaw received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Indiana University in the field of Folklore with minors in anthropology and English.  She conducted fieldwork for her dissertation with the Ute people in eastern Utah, but quickly refocused her research on Pennsylvania German belief, and material culture.  She has taught at West Virginia University and Harrisburg Area Community College, where she is a Senior Professor of English and Humanities. She has been published in the areas of Women’s folk arts, folk architecture and legend.

Plenty of free, onsite parking is available, and the library is wheelchair-accessible. For questions, call the Lititz Library at 717-626-2255.

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Lititz Historical Foundation to host lecture on Moravian Fraktur January 17th

Join the board members of the Lititz Historical Foundation on Saturday, January 17th as they welcome fraktur expert Del-Louise Moyer as part of the foundation’s first winter lecture of 2015.

“Fraktur”, which is primarily found in early Pennsylvania German culture, is defined as stylized and/or highly decorative watercolors or ink paintings or drawings often resembling birds, tulips, hearts, unicorns, or other mythical creatures.

As part of a groundbreaking first-time-ever study of Moravian fraktur, Moyer will use examples from the Lititz Historical Foundation’s 1792 Johannes Mueller House, Linden Hall, the Moravian Archives at Lititz and Bethlehem, and other international Moravian and non-Moravian archives and museum sources to introduce twenty-first century fraktur lovers to the world of eighteenth and nineteenth century Moravian fraktur, and will show how Moravians created documents similar to the fraktur we now associate with the Pennsylvania Dutch.

Moyer holds a Master’s degree in music with special studies in German from Syracuse University. She is a German research consultant and historian of eighteenth and nineteenth century American and German cultural history, in particular Pennsylvania German Culture and Decorative Arts. As a Curator and Cataloger for Special Collections that focuses on German folk art objects, Moyer has provided comprehensive research, transcriptions, and translations of documents written in Fraktur and German script, presentations, exhibitions, curatorial and photography services to both audiences and clients since 2008.

This very special lecture will take place in the Lititz Library’s community room on Saturday, January 17th at 1:30pm. Attendance is FREE and open to the public.


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