Union County Historical Society
Spring Garden Mill
Spring Garden Mill

Cemetery Tour
At 1:00, local researchers Jack Fisher and Paul Metzger will lead a walk through the church cemetery to identify some early settler's graves. Attendees are welcome to bring lunch to the picnic area in the church yard, prior to the cemetery tour and program. The White Deer Valley Baptist Church was organized in 1808 by Thomas Smiley, who left Towanda Creek during the Connecticutt-Pennsylvania land disputes. Settling in White Deer Valley, he started a church with ten members and built a log church in 1810. In 1837, the present white frame building was built.

History of Union County Gristmills
At 2:00, Tom Rich and David Del Testa, authors of the new book Water-powered Gristmills of Union County, Pennsylvania will discuss their research into the history of the mills and their owners.  Thomas P. Rich is professor emeritus of mechanical engineering, and David W. Del Testa is associate professor of history, both from Bucknell University.

In 260 pages of text, drawings, and many historical photographs, the history of the county is told through the stories of forty gristmills and the people that operated them in every corner of the county. The authors made a concerted effort to place the gristmills within both an international and statewide historical context. Along with numerous period descriptions of the lives and times of these mills, the book explains the historical development of gristmill technologies and the impact on the growth and physical landscape of the county.

Read this book and learn the answers to many interesting questions about Union County. For example: What were the first gristmills built in the area and where were they located? What was the gristmill built in a familiar building right on Market Street in Lewisburg? Who was the colonial woman who built and operated one of the largest mill complexes
in the county? What is the longest, continuously operating, water-powered gristmill in the county, and perhaps in North America? (It is still in commercial operation.) These and many more such questions are answered in the book.

A major section in the book contains a detailed profile of each of the county’s mills. The authors established and documented the ownership of the mills through extensive deed searches and readings of available secondary historical references. This will be a great resource for families seeking genealogical information on mills that played a part in their own families’ histories.

Water-powered Gristmills of Union County is Heritage Volume XXIV. This important work is free for pick up at the society office or the Dale/Engle/Walker House, with 2014 membership or with Life membership in the society. It will be on sale also  for $26.50 for non-members at this fall program or at the above mentioned locations.

"Ghost Town" Tour
After the talk, at about 3:30, a van hosted by the Montgomery Area Historical Society, will take a tour through the abandoned town of Alvira, an area taken for WWII munitions production.

Directions: From Route 15, take Rt. 44 in Allenwood approximately 2 miles, go straight (not on the S-curve that veers left) to the church and cemetery at 572 White Deer Baptist Church Road
Brothers of the Brush
Entrants in the 1963 Brothers of the Brush contest.
Brothers of the Brush Get Ready for 2013 Bicentennial Beard Contest!!

On the afternoon of Sunday, November 17th contestants will vie for the honors in a competition that harkens back to a “Brothers of the Brush’ contest held during Union County’s Sesquicentennial in 1963 . 

Starting at 1:30 PM at the porch of the Dale/Engle/Walker House, 1471 Strawbridge Road, Lewisburg, the following categories of beards will be judged: longest, bushiest, most complicated, tidiest, most multi-colored (not necessarily natural), as well as best goatee, side burns, and mustache.  These eight categories of best facial hair will be judged by a panel of three Union County beauticians: Wendy Beaver of New Columbia; Elissa Snook of University Hair Design in Lewisburg; and Sheila Snyder of Laurelton.

Men: It is time to plan for your entry into the Union County Bicentennial’s “Bothers of the Brush” Part 2 event.  November 17, 2013 will be here before we know it.

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