Pennsylvania Dutch Open House At Historic 1756 Troxell-Steckel Farm Museum

Aug 6th, 2015Press Release from Lehigh County Historical Society

troxellsmWhitehall, Pennsylvania – Experience old-time farm life at the historic 1756 Troxell-Steckel Farm, 4229 Reliance Street in Whitehall Township, during the Lehigh County Historical Society’s Pennsylvania Dutch Open House.  Visitors can tour a farmhouse built twenty years before the Declaration of Independence and see vintage wagons, farm tools, and much more.  Scheduled for Saturday, August 22nd, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, the event will feature special displays and activities related to Pennsylvania Dutch gardening and garden produce. The announcement was made today by Joseph Garrera, Executive Director of the Museum.

“This is a chance to step back to an era when ‘Farm to Table’ cooking and eating ‘Seasonally Fresh Foods’ was a way of life,” said Garrera.  “Long before kohlrabi, beets, and other vegetables were touted as ‘Superfoods,’ they were Pennsylvania Dutch favorites.”  Visitors can learn how these and many other foods were grown and prepared.  Discover how a devastating imported crop pest led to the Pennsylvania German love of potatoes.

While touring the house, visitors will meet Peter and Catherine Steckel, who owned the house in 1842, as they discuss harvest time in the fields and garden.  Visitors may be surprised to learn that while the garden was tended entirely by women, men were heavily involved in preparing such Pennsylvania Dutch food favorites as apple butter and sauerkraut.  View a giant cabbage slicer Peter might have used for cutting barrels of sauerkraut and see a huge “stenner,” or kettle, used for making apple butter.  In the kitchen, Peter’s wife Catherine will discuss how she prepared and preserved the garden produce, including such tasty Pennsylvania Dutch treats as apple schnitz (dried apples) and pickled beets.  Discover how herbs from her garden were used to treat common ailments such as summer colds.

The event will also feature unique exhibits of farm vehicles and vintage equipment.  “Visitors will travel in time as they see wagons, carriages, sleighs, and other history relics, some dating back almost 200 years,” said Garrera.  Visitors can discover the world of antique horse-powered farm tools, including a one horse-power treadmill.  A horse walked on this treadmill, providing power to operate farm equipment.

This is an event for the whole family.  Children can explore farm life as they experience old-fashioned chores such as carrying milk, churning butter, grinding herbs, and threshing wheat.  Old-fashioned games will engage their active bodies and minds.

The Open House at the historic Troxell-Steckel Farm will convene Saturday August 22nd from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Self-guided tours of the Barn and hands-on family activities will be ongoing throughout the day.  House Tours will depart about every 15 minutes.  Tickets are FREE for Lehigh County Historical Society members; non-members pay only $8 for adults, $3 for non-member children.  The historic Troxell-Steckel Farm is located at 4229 Reliance Street in the Egypt section of Whitehall Township, and parking is available at the site.

The 1756 Troxell-Steckel Farm Museum is owned by the Lehigh County Historical Society, a teaching institution that attracts a diverse audience.  Its collections of historical Americana, located primarily at its headquarters, the 30,000 square foot Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum, 432 W. Walnut Street in Allentown, include over 35,000 three-dimensional objects, 3 million documents and more than 80,000 vintage photographs.  For more information, contact Joseph Garrera, Executive Director, at 610-435-1074. Visit or visit us on Facebook.  Members of the Press can also reach Mr. Garrera any time of day or night at 484-553-2592 (cell).

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CONTACT: Joseph Garrera, Executive Director

Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum

cell: 484-553-2592 (for Press Use ONLY)

(610) 435-1074

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