October 4 - 8, 2010
With tour leaders Lorne Smith and Wilmer Martin
The Pennsylvania German Folklore Society of Ontario is planning a bus trip to Pennsylvania as part of the lead up to its 60th Anniversary in 2011. The tour will include places where our ancestors migrated from in the 1780’s on their way to Upper Canada, many of whom were from the Mennonite faith. This re-tracing of the journey is another way to survey the past and preserve it. We will try to visit some of the communities that are highlighted in our new Volume 19. The tour is limited to 50 people on a first-come, first-served basis.
Monday, October 4
The group will gather early Monday morning at the St. Agatha Mennonite Church, 1967 Erb's Road, St. Agatha (down the hill on left after going through town) with a pick-up at Prudhommes in the Vineland area. A rest stop will be made before crossing the Peace Bridge at Fort Erie. Then it’s on to the Big Valley area of Pennsylvania for a guided tour to learn about the settlement in this area. Our lodging this evening will be at the Hampton Inn at Chambersburg, Wilmer Martin’s home area. Dinner will be at the Bob Evans Restaurant.
Tuesday, October 5
This morning we will visit some Mennonite cemeteries and observe names of persons from this area. We will make a stop at Paul and Mary Baker’s farm at Waynesboro. Paul and Mary were members of the York Chapter and lived in Vaughan Township where they produced maple syrup. They moved back to Waynesboro in 1995 and his son has a modern dairy farm and Paul has planted a maple bush for his grandson. After our visit, we will drive to Lancaster County by way of Gettysburg (famous for its Civil War battlefields). We will see the Risser Church at Elizabethtown and have dinner at Good ‘N Plenty Restaurant at Smoketown. Our lodging the next three nights will be at the Courtyard by Marriott in Lancaster.
Wednesday, October 6
At the Market
On Wednesday morning Joanne Siegrist, a local Mennonite historian, will take us on a three-hour guided tour to places of interest which will include homesteads from where persons emigrated from to Ontario. Afternoon visit to the Hans Herr House and Museum before going to see “Joseph” at Sight & Sound’s Millennium Theatre. Dinner will be at the Hershey Farm Restaurant following the play.
Thursday, October 7
We will need to depart this morning at 7:30 a.m. for eastern Pennsylvania to meet John L. Ruth, local historian and TourMagination’s premier European storyteller, at the Mennonite Heritage Center at Harleysville. In Germantown, see the monument to William Rittenhouse and go to the Methacton Mennonite Church, the oldest meetinghouse and the town of Skippack. After lunch at the Franconia Heritage Restaurant, John will continue leading us on a countryside tour of churches and cemeteries. We will return to Lancaster for the night.
Friday, October 8
It is time to make our return trek following the Conestoga trail northward as much as possible as the early settlers would have travelled. Lorne Smith will do the interpretation of the story. Our farewell dinner will be at Niagara Falls. We hope to arrive back at the St. Agatha Church by 8:00 p.m.