The American town: A self-portrait; Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, part 2
You ought. To leave the property is administered by the Pennsylvania store going museum Commission which also is Ministers approximately 35 other historic sites throughout the state of Pennsylvania the property of course is. Still. Covered by so it was one of the earliest American composers. He composed over a thousand in both words and music and his system of harmony was rather unique and consisted of seven parts. Temporary visitors who came here in the 18th century and heard the music. Said that it sounded very angelic. In tone. It runs along in a rather monotonous way.
The. Music has very little variation and it sounds very much like the old Gregorian chants. There are harmony parts are actually seven parts to soprano two out o two tenor and one bass and the music of course is performed it has been researched by Dr. Russell gets. Points to chorus production which will present itself as to. The end. They do true making you actually do a
number of things. Christopher your male male on male grooming MALE I'm an oilman church a commercial proposition. The paper mill was established in 1736 and was the fourth paper mill in the problems. Normally O is said to have been good to her and helped define the structure of the country. Or are. Sure I came here
16 years ago and I got married to one of the girls are born and raised here in the cloister. Her name is Katie surfers. And she was a man that was in charge of the cloister here. JR's servers. He was in charge here for about four years. Three hundred fifty acres of land. Yeah. Failing all the water. But he was in charge. Trust tracery and later on he was ordered to. He passed away about 55 years ago when I was elected and his phrase made a trustee president of the board of trustees. Just about 15 years ago. When I got married there in the farm right here and I stayed here. 60 years.
Later houses on the land that their side and. They were built in my time here now that I know the farm left all the monuments. Fairview farm to farm their Fairview forward with farm 350 acres of farmland. And 78 82 years old. Just put my bird. Jokes stories of. These parts.
Johnny Bryant could tell you stories without him. I make like folk tales. It's a hobby of mine. I don't do it for. Anything more than just a hobby as some people would go bowling or golfing. I sit down and interview people and ask them about the past. Do they know any of the old stories that our forefathers would tell. And if people would think that all of these stories are collected. This is not true because there are still plenty of them in the Dutch country I am sure that can be had for instance one of the most beautiful folk tales that I ever collected I collected about two years ago. It happened at the Pennsylvania Dutch folk festival and could stand where I had a radio program in the dialect and then walked up to me and he says I am from Kleinfeld
or Israel or Originally he says not too far from where you are. You are living now but your crisis a little town a little village or Ryan holds in northern Lancaster County are practically on the Burkes Lancaster Lebanon County line and. It had happened that I had heard that. People from Clan followers to be called cheese eat ours as a nickname. And of course the funny part about it was usually when you have some people from the town being called different things why they will react to it in anger but it so happened that these people that I have talked to that came from Klan followers of a lie asked them Did you ever hear of the cheese eaters and everybody says yes they heard about them but nobody seemed to know what the background was of it. So this particular school teacher when I ask him I said Did you ever hear of the cheesy Darst from clientele or Israel he says yes he said I have a he says my grandfather
used to speak about him and I asked him what his grandfather told him then he are one of the most beautiful folktales unfolded that I have ever collected. It seems that when a client filed ours for a bitch that it'll be a lage is named for us came over here in the seventeen hundred and forty is. So they took up some land got a grant from Richard Pan and proceeded in setting up mud huts temporary quarters you might save for. That one when they cleared land and made preparations to build a log house for them to live in. And. They planned it there are seed and the first year's crops were terrific but they had plenty of wheat and plenty of corn for their few goats and a
few cattle that they had. But the second year our There was a terrific drought set in and they just had barely enough grain to feed their cattle. Now the Pennsylvania Dutch tradition of your farm folk is this that you take care of the cattle first. Anything else is secondary. Because after all that's where your economy comes in. You will have to depend on your cattle for it to make a living there for your horses and your sheep and your cows and your goats they got fed before any of the rest of them. I did barely had enough grain to keep the cattle alive let alone themselves. So that in about the latter part of February or beginning of March they run out a meal. They run out a flaw are and the only thing that they had. Any subsistence that amounted to anything was the cheese and the
milk that they got from their goats and from the cattle so that George Klein Felder who was the leader of the group and as I said before I was an ardent Dutch Reformed person. Religion wise and he tried to leave his religion and until the berries come in right they could again get some stable food why they subsided on cheese and George being the leader of the clan. As soon as the first church was built up in a Klein from our civil area there our clan sat together in a church service which was common at that time that the whole family sat together and. Our first communion service before our day partook of the sacraments George Kleinfeld are caught up and he had
brought with him into the church a pretty large piece of cheese and every client that was in there had to take a little piece of cheese and needed and George Kleinfeld are offered a prayer and then they partook of the sacraments. And every year or thereafter this became more or less of a habit or a practice among the Kleinfeld or clan that they would do this in addition to that. George Klein feller as long as he was living went to each one of the Klein fellas I nade took every piece of equipment farm equipment such as plows Haros and so forth and he placed a little bit of cheese on each of them and asked the Lord's blessing on that for the year and it find a way round up that he would even play some cheese on the hames of the harness
and ask the Lord's blessing and now for the neighbors in adjacent communities across Kleinfeld bars then bar known as the cheese eaters. And of course that name stuck even to this day. The sound heard in the background of that which came from the team of Coniston forces which do our famous Conestoga wagon over the roads which we would call highways today of the century and a half ago. The story goes that the Conestoga there was a means of payment that a waggoner used in the event that he had to have an eighth service from another Wagner along the road. In other words he thought of the set of bells that in return for any help. So the expression that we use today comes from that period and we
say you will be there with bells on that means we're good. We're surely going to be there. So I got there with his complete set of bells. It was an indication that he had. The Pennsylvania Dutch are known for their quaint folk beliefs. There as been quite a few things written about it. Some are with them in a scholarly manner. Some of them have been taking this and kicking it around and using it for commercial purposes alone. And what I am thinking about now Al is the hex signs the so-called pick signs on the barns. This is a misconception. There is no such thing as a hex sign. Not in that respect. Because these barn signs are decorative motifs had a religious background. Every one of them.
For instance the one that is prevalent that is most used in black and white to depict which you we would call the pinwheel is not a pinwheel a dog but it is it is cyan that depicts the hearers that Christ shed on the cross. Sure they believed in witchcraft. What the culture didn't in those early days. The only thing is that these decorative motifs happen to be religious. They were not black magic or anything like that. If they would have been you would never have found them on tome the stones that have been dated back into the early seventeen hundreds and I dare anybody to go on any church yard and pick out a headstone and look on a date when it's.
Earlier than the eighteen hundreds you will sign and their various same decorative motifs on as you will find on the barns. You will find it I did find it in your religious edifices such as salutes and the Reformed Church is above the church door than my own opinion is that this is an injustice to our forefathers to say that they were ardent believers in witchcraft. And that these times this is not true. This is strictly commercial. There is a fork believe that in the early spring. On Ascension day you pick Ascension Day T. And you drink this for your health for the rest of the year are you take three herbs from the woods free from the field and tree from the garden and you brew this and you make a tea and every
member of your family drinks it is in she buys health for the rest of the year. This is known as Ascension Day tea. This was practiced and still is in some areas and some of the early times when German buildings particularly in the bedrooms you will find a small square window approximately. 10 by 10. This window was far to be used or was used according to tradition and some documentation. The window through which the song of the body would leave when a person died. So upon the death of a Pennsylvania German pioneer the first thing they would do would be to open the window so that his soul could fly off to heaven. That's the name it's called the Soul window. Is there anything like a Pennsylvania Dutch fairy Yes there is. He's called this book Black Men day by the hunchback man this was a harsh God. And when they had the old fireplaces. There was always one coin I
was kept clean. That is where the booklet mentalists let that is where the heart of God slept. He was two things. He was the the good fairy. He was the bad fairy. If the woman was baking bread and something happened that they used it would not work. It was the booklet mended that got the blame for doing it. If the bread turned out beautiful and she had beautiful baked goods this was the book mended that caused this he was on her side for a change. If she dropped a cup and it broke it was the fault of the men there. But you are always spot on always kept one spot clean in the fireplace for this little fella. To sleep.
Ronnie kinda Kellogg a farmer from Michaela status public mandate Darton found their gods. Booklet amended do more or less make you wish Michaela good sir. Hahaha army can be a portal No apply here. D This is. One of our set before exam that has to do with the Pokemon lair or are the house God and what I just sang was when I go into my cellar to clean. That little booklet man there are the little fairy is standing there and he is poking fun at me. Now you can just poke fun at me it doesn't matter because I'm going to clean my cellar anyway. And the same thing Bonnie kinda God again from my rubber status booklet mended dark and funky arts or yoga. When I go into my garden and want to pick my onions are obviously on Ian's little hearts God is standing there and the rest of the onions that are in the
package. He breaks the tops of them and causes them to. Get right prematurely and die off prematurely it was the long skirts of the women that were named went into the garden. That caused the tops of the onions to break. But this was the book amended disperse the Imperium. Think good. Another interesting fact about to go back to the proudest moment in 16th century Europe. Many people are only sleeze think that Martin Luther was the founder of the protest movement. But as a matter of fact a century earlier in Bohemia there was a man named John Huss who talked and practiced the same principles that looser taught. He was chased underground by the Roman Catholic as Howard is
but the movement continued underground. And it's out of that that Zinj and Dorothy in the 18th century picked up the pieces and became the founder the Moravian church and therefore I think we have to say accurately that the oldest Protestant church in the world is not the loosened church but the marine church which agitates Lucerne goes back to John Huss and they're often called Hussites by church history scholars. Well Ginger and dark came to the colonies. And one of the places he came to was like to count it and you founded this town of Lititz which was strictly a Moravian community up until the latter part of the 19th century and nobody could own any property in the town of Literates in that she was a Murray of you. In those communities developed a number of interesting things. Not only the creation of the church and all the goodness of which people may be familiar with and finding a Moravian Seminary which is a girl's school which is still operated
but also the town in Bergen Oregon a man by the name of Turnberry began building pipe organs in this community and 10 in Burra gardens were located all over its Pennsylvania German area and there are still some of them in existence and it is still being used. Music played a very important role in the Marine community on Easter morning. They have a group of trombone to climb to the belfry of the church and play the Easter hymns that had been carried on for a long time and in the family's music a very form to be kept alive. Another factor is that this is not particular even but from the point of economics they don't see is the location where pretzels were first made and you still have a number of pretzel factors into it. And any historian of the pretzel industry will have to go
back to Lewis to find it hard to do. Perhaps the most important practice of these people takes place at Christmas time in the building or what is called a Christmas puts you teach every Moravian home starts several weeks before Christmas to prepare for there is a room in the house they set apart and they build it. Bring in materials from the wreckage and build a platform and that platform will finally result in the creation of the Nativity scene. Mountains and valleys and creeks and they will have a shepherd scene for you wise men scene and the inn with the baby Jesus and so on. This is a dramatic way in which the Christmas story is built in the home by all members of the family. And then issue on to the neighbors and sometimes they have a little service that goes with it. I think this is unique I don't know where and where else would you find this except Bethlem and naturism here
and Literates next to convert the text to this is going to be great. These are Pennsylvania German singers and their Wednesday evening prayer service which I recorded in the summer in July of 1959. They knew I was. They knew I was coming. They always lose that that time workers would sing an occasional Pence me a German spear choice by the Dutch if I German spirituals since they knew I was coming they prepared themselves and had a whole series of them that they sang.
These are all older people and I keep repeating it. They're on. There aren't too many younger people I think that maybe some younger people in the group who knew them and sang along but I'd say most of that was the singers were in their 50s possibly even in their 70s. These are not Mennonite or not not reformed not Lutheran but rather members of an even Jellicoe Congregational Church. As we said in Reims town of course Reims town the dialect is called Rain Shadow. Most all our towns around here have dialect names. One of our project is to collect and study these dial like names. This is the German translation of it's the what is it in English they go to all the Godel work and it's good enough for me.
What is that this is Anyway this is a translation from from English into and into the dialect. It was good for our Savior it's good enough for me. You have the impression that sometimes the they're almost making up their their words as they go along. It's very interesting and Buffington makes a special point of pointing out in this this book was just published by the Pennsville German society that sometimes the singers weren't going or exactly sure of the words they were singing. I just wrote a review of the Buffett in's book and try to explain why and how this could happen. The whole atmosphere saw and written this is not an intellectual experience by any means. And so it was going where in a few words God go I'm here and there in the choruses they knew what they were singing. What comes English when
we shall wear eat and I'll switch back into the dialect and sing it in the dialect. The phrase the New Jerusalem recurs very frequently there they're very. Another one a starting another tune. You notice how the stronger singers then pick it up then it goes. If the if the band the singer who starts is a little weak he can't carry through that might not be picked up at all. It's very interesting. I don't know this one. Or they take their or the other try and fit a tune words to a tune that just don't fit that life that they might be doing that. And if they don't if the two don't fit together then maybe it breaks down they have to start another one. Which reminds me the other Sunday a week ago I tended to an old
order Mennonite service and almost nil and the leading singers the four singer decided they were going to sing a new tune. This is another church and over them a church and apparently was only one of the four say it is one of the things that you knew of it. It took a while and until May until they really got a hold of it tell it tell it carried was I knew what was happening because I'd been there and I could sense what was. One on the outside I might have thought that was just a bunch of farmers trying to sing each one of these blues has its own different singing tradition and even within the even within the Amish group. Between Oh of course conservative Amish liberal looks like two different
singing traditions are two different things. I learned this about three summers ago when I was up in The Big Valley in the kisser Koch Willis Valley Mifflin County in Pennsylvania. This would buy her a speedy ice Najia the spicy and the so called the brass to eat in this biker group. They have a church course the whole groups things together it's a very little thing and it's really lovely in the Nebraska group. Much more conservative. It's much more harsh and here the young men of the leaders the forcing and the louder the higher the $2 a thing really wail. Well this goes to show that there's no simple Pennsylvania German folk song or singing style.
Nor a tense major and there's Amish and Mennonites are evangelical. There's a whole series of. Subcultures that have to be studied almost individually to recognize the Battle Hymn of the republic. The Pennsylvania Dutch. A self portrait drawn entirely from interviews with the people of Lancaster County. This program one of a series titled The American town of self portrayed was produced at the University of Michigan by Robert Johnson a grant from the National Home Library Foundation has made possible the production of this program for national educational radio. Ad speaking. This is the national educational radio network.
- Producing Organization
- University of Michigan
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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- Episode Description
- This program, the second of two parts, explores Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where the rich heritage of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country dates to colonial times.
- Series Description
- Historical documentary series drawn from the recollections of senior citizens in a variety of American towns.
- Local Communities
- Media type
Host: Sears, Ralph
Producer: Johnson, Ralph
Producing Organization: University of Michigan
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-9-2 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “The American town: A self-portrait; Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, part 2,” 1967-01-24, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 29, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-9z90dj38.
- MLA: “The American town: A self-portrait; Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, part 2.” 1967-01-24. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 29, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-9z90dj38>.
- APA: The American town: A self-portrait; Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, part 2. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-9z90dj38