The East Berlin Historic Preservation Society maintains five historic buildings and offers an educational hands-on program to give the younger generation a taste of history.
The society owns and maintains Red Men's Hall, Swigart's Mill and the Log House. It also maintains two additional properties: Liberty No. 1 Engine House, which is owned by the borough; and the Church Schoolhouse, which is owned by the Union Cemetery Association.
Red Men's Hall had a list of uses over the years.
"It was home to Cashman's Hardware Store, a craft store, a pool hall, a schoolhouse, a meat market and bake shop," society President Bev Jadus said.
Built in 1849 by the Stambaughs for their carriage works, it was later bought by the Order of Red Men to house their Oniska Tribe No. 40. Bought by the society in 1990, it houses a museum and library and serves as the society's headquarters.
Swigart's Mill, built in 1794, is the only original mill on Beaver Creek that's still standing. The society bought it in 1976 and much of the restoration work was done by volunteers, Jadus said.
The mill was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 and is the site of the society's annual Christmas party.
The Log House was built in 1832 in Berwick Township, Adams County, for a family of 11 people.
Everyone pitched in to do the work, and much of the chinking between the logs was done by the female members of the group.
"We did not have horsehair for the chinking so we used human hair and when we had the first rain storm it all fell out and had to be redone," Jadus said.
The house is 21 feet by 23 feet, has V-notched logs, hand-cut nails and spikes, and joists and cross beams fastened with wooden pegs. It has a stone-and-brick fireplace with the addition of a stove made by the East Berlin Foundry.
Liberty No. 1 Engine House was built in 1892.
The jail once there was removed, but the tiny barred windows remain. Under a 99-year lease with the borough, the society agreed to
restore the building. That included exterior work, repair of the bell tower and restoration of the bell. Volunteers are now restoring the interior.
The Church Schoolhouse, built in 1769, was home to several German church schools and a meeting place for the Berlin Improvement Society and the Berlin Beneficial Society.
A potbellied stove still provides heat, windows and hanging oil lamps are the only sources of light and a stool with a dunce hat sits in the corner.
The school closed in 1930. The East Berlin Lions Club began work to preserve the school in the early 1960s and the society has been responsible for its restoration and care since 1983.
THE EAST BERLIN HISTORIC PRESERVATION SOCIETY holds several events to raise funds for its ongoing projects.
· The antique show held in May to coincide with the York Antique Show features dealers with 18th- and 19th-century textiles, paintings, tinware, toys, dolls, ceramics and ironware.
· Colonial Day, held on the second Saturday in September, includes more than 100 traditional craft vendors; demonstrations; food; and a raffle of a handmade quilt, tinware, pottery and similar items.
· A Christmas craft show is held on the last Saturday in November or the first Saturday in December at the Log House, and the Christmas house tour is held in the even years.
· The society meets bimonthly beginning in January and publishes a newsletter, The Informer. More information is available at ebhpspa.org.
THIRD- AND FOURTH-GRADE STUDENTS can learn about life in the East Berlin area in the late 18th and early 19th centuries through the East Berlin Historical Preservation Society's educational hands-on program.
Different activities are held at three of the society's buildings with a focus on life in the East Berlin area during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
"Karen Sheaffer heads up our school program.
At Redmen's Hall we have a textile program where students card, spin and dye wool and weave it into cloth," society president Bev Jadus said.
At the log house they learn about hearth cooking, then it's on to the schoolhouse, where they learn about early education and try out some playground games.
The program is staffed with volunteers and all fees are used to ensure education of future groups.
The committee is always looking for volunteers to help with the program.
For details, call 717-259-0822 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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