... a quaint, historic village located in the northwest corner of Lancaster County...
Maytown is a small picturesque community located in East Donegal Township. The town and township are situated in the northwestern part of Lancaster County, PA. The town's close proximity to the Susquehanna River, and Old Peter's Great Road, had a very important role in the founding and early history of Maytown.
Today, Maytown offers visitors a unique opportunity to see a town that harkens back to another time. Its architecture ranges from early log structures (25 plus log homes still exist) to 19th century buildings that were built with brick produced here in Maytown.
GERMAN HERITAGE FEST & FALL HAUS TOUR
October 18, 2014 -- from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM
Last year, the Maytown Historical Society hosted a Winterfest in December which, while a nice idea, was not as successful as the previous year's effort, due to very cold weather and an afternoon snow storm. Vendors complained about the cold or failed to show up at all, due to the forecast, and local people didn't turn out as well as expected. For those reasons, the MHS is offering the community a major event in a different time of year that is less subject to poor weather and full of autumnal beauty.
On Saturday, October 18, 2014, from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM, the town will host an event that celebrates the heritage of Maytown's most predominant ethnic group---the Germans! The MHS will sell a variety of German foods at a stand on the northeast tangent of the square, including, of course, pork and sauerkraut, bratwurst sausage, German potato salad, and baked goods such as Black Forest Cherry Cake, apple strudel, rich, chocolate Sachertorte cake (a layer cake named after the Hotel Sacher in Vienna), shoo-fly pie, Lebkuchen (gingerbread), and many more offerings donated by the populace---washed down by a variety of beverages including root beer and perhaps even a bottle or two of near-beer---to name but a few.
Diners may sit at tables in the middle of the decorated square (Maytown's version of a Biergarten without the alcohol) while they are entertained by the German ensemble of the Bainbridge Band and a troupe of folk dancers from the Lancaster Liederkranz. They can also view a collection of souvenirs from Germany and Austria that town citizens have accumulated from their travels---and we hope to have students from Donegal High's German Club take part in the festivities. Keith Smith, St. John Lutheran Church's organist of 40 years will play the music of Bach and other German composers on the church's organ from 2:30 PM until 3:00 PM.
We are, as well, seeking out commercial vendors who would be willing to sell German-related foods such as soft pretzels and funnel cakes etc., as well as crafts often found in Germany's famous pre-Christmas markets called Christkindl fairs.
At the same time that all this is going on, the museum , at 4 West High Street, will be open for the public to view treasures from the MHS collection of artifacts as well as patronize the gift shop for Maytown souvenirs, German redware dishes, and Byer's Choice figurines.
And if that weren't enough, the Society is also sponsoring, that same day and time, a Fall Haus Tour that costs $8.00 in advance of the day or $10.00 on the day itself. One may visit 9 different town homes---plus three of our historic churches---the Lutheran, Reformed, and Church of God buildings.
Houses on the tour include Jack Frank's magnificent federal style dwelling; Victorian houses owned by Vernetta Wallander, Susan Corridon and Carol Eddins, and new Maytowners, Bob and Eileen Swartz; the historic Lutheran parsonage with its ties to Simon Cameron and the iconic Haines House on the Square; and the new house owned by Jack and Donnis Young, the newly re-purposed house/tobacco warehouse owned by the Stiver family, and the newly-rebuilt house of Ginny Emswiler, which arose, like the phoenix, from the ashes of a 2013 fire.
So circle your calendars and be prepared to come out on October 18th, from 10 AM till 5 PM to celebrate Maytown's past and present and have a good time doing a good thing---helping to create and renew our community's spirit and resist the danger of just being a bedroom community---which is no community at all!
Questions may be addressed to Bob Lescallette at 717-426-1643 or via the MHS website, www.maytownhistory.org.
House tour tickets can be obtained ahead of time by calling Pat Vogel at 717-426-2360 or leaving a message on the museum phone, 717-426-1526. You can help by patronizing the event, publicizing it among your family and friends, donating food to sell, loaning German souvenirs to display, or working at the food stand or in set-up/take-down activities.
Breakfast & Bake Sale
Saturday March 22, 2014
Breakfast tickets are $5.00 and can be purchased prior to March 22nd by calling Sue Nell at 717-426-2786, tickets will also be available at the door on day of breakfast.
Maytown Winter Festival 2013
WINTER FESTIVAL OPEN HOUSE
Maytown Historical Society presents an Open House Tour featuring Six Homes in addition to our Winter Festival on Saturday December 14, 2013. Tour hours are 11:00AM - 5:00PM
Tickets for this event are $8.00 in advance or $10.00 day of tour. Advanced tickets can be purchased by calling 717-426-2786. On the day of the tour, tickets may be purchased at the Maytown/East Donegal Museum located at 4 West High Street. A special addition to the Open House Tour this year will be Dolores Hackenberger, lovingly referred to as the Grandma Moses of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country She will be demonstrating her painting in one of the homes featured on the house tour.
Sponsors of this year's Festival and House Tour include: Engle Printing and Publishing, Longwood Manor, Donegal Insurance Group, Union Community Bank and several sponsors who wish to remain anonymous. "THANK YOU"
Maytown Winter Festival 2013
The Maytown Historical Society is planning a third Maytown Winter Festival to be held on Saturday, December 14, 2013, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The event seeks to promote community holiday spirit, and it affords people the opportunity to purchase unique Christmas and other gifts as well as sample a wonderful variety of foods---while being entertained by an array of performers and costumed characters. It also raises funds for the support of the MHS, which is an all-volunteer group of people who operate a small museum, amass town artifacts, and further the appreciation of Maytown's history and cultural life.
On the 14th, the village square and High Street will be lined with vendors selling a variety of wares. A costumed town crier and a Belsnickel (a folkloric figure associated with Christmas among the early German settlers) will flavor the scene, as will wandering carolers and other musical ensembles.
At the c. 1800 Haines House, currently occupied by MHS stalwarts, Dan and Rene Plummer, one will enter into a colonial atmosphere Royal George Inn and be served fine desserts and beverages at linen-covered, candlelit tables, by costumed waiters and wenches.
Or, one may choose to walk a short distance down South River Street and patronize The Sister's Ye Olde Bake Shoppe, where you may purchase delicious apple dumplings, cookies, and other pastries in a Victorian setting presided over by MHS pillars, sisters, Carol Eddins and Susan Corridon.
If you haven't yet been fully fed by material food---how about stopping by the Maytown - East Donegal Museum at 4 West High Street, and feast on our town's history? This year's display remembers the incredible life of our most famous native son, Hon. Simon Cameron, who was born in a Maytown log cabin that once stood but a few paces to the west of the museum, in 1799, and who rose to be one of the most powerful and influential men in nineteenth century America! You can read a time-line of Cameron's life, view lots of photos, be startled by a life-like, dressed mannequin of The General himself, read some of his wittiest statements and those written about him, and even view several items that actually belonged to the great man---some of which are on special loan to the MHS from sister societies in Lancaster and Harrisburg.
The museum also boasts a fine gift shop where you can purchase gifts ranging from pottery, textiles, and smaller souvenirs of town to a huge variety of Byer's Choice figurines---many of which wear Christmastide-Dickensian attire!
Maytown's beautiful and historic churches will be open for tours, displays, and special holiday programming and this year's festival may feature additional venues which are still in the planning stage and may be announced via future publicity.
So travel back in time to a magical place called Maytown, USA to get caught up in the Yule-tide spirit---and support efforts to preserve and expand the quality of our life together!
Maytown Winter Festival 2013
Food, Craft, Antique
For our Third Annual Maytown Winter Festival 2013 an outdoor event to be held Saturday December 14, 2013. Our Vendor Application Form can be downloaded below or for more info please call Rene at 717-604-1801.
SIMON CAMERON EXHIBIT
Simon Cameron, Maytown's most famous native son, by far, will be honored with this year's Maytown - East Donegal Museum's exhibit. Cameron (1799-1889) was born in Maytown and died just outside of town at his mansion at Donegal Springs (today's Cameron Inn Estate), and in-between, he became a nationally-known newspaper man, banker, canal builder, railroad builder and tycoon, iron ore developer, US Senator, Secretary of War, Ambassador to Russia, citizen advisor to President Lincoln, political boss of Pennsylvania, agronomist, philanthropist, and father of 10 - one of whom succeeded him in the US Senate. He loved Maytown and spent lots of time in our town during the summers of his retirement years; he also gifted the Lutheran and Reformed churches with parsonages, beautified the town square with a fence, pump, and tulip poplar, and helped out many a poor Maytonian in need of winter coal.
Cameron's 200th birthday was celebrated by the MHS at the Mayfest in 1999, before we had our museum, and he has been featured in a general exhibit on town celebrities, but this is the first exhibit that features him alone.
Curator Bob Lescallette, aided by archivist ,Jack Frank, have put together a collection of photographs, books, and other Cameron things owned by the society and others. The MHS, for example, owns Simon's copy of the US Constitution, while the Lutheran Church has loaned us their paintings of Sen. and Mrs. Cameron, and Bob Lescallette has loaned the exhibit two volumes that once were in Cameron's extensive personal library, both of which are signed by the voracious reader. We have also secured loaned objects from the Dauphin County Historical Society, which meets in Cameron's Harrisburg mansion, and from the Lancaster County Historical Society (LancasterHistory.org). On display will be Cameron's magnificent inlaid writing desk, some beautiful family china cups, a bank note from the Cameron bank in Middletown, and engraving plate to produce business cards which Ambassador Cameron used on his mission to Czarist Russia, some fine pressed glass goblets, and perhaps some other treasures, never seen locally before!
The exhibit will be open to the public on most Sunday afternoons, from 2:00 PM until 4:00 PM , starting on May 5th and ending after the Winter Festival in early December of 2013. Questions may be addressed to Curator Lescallette at 426-1643 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WRAP-UP OF WINTER FESTIVAL 2012
The Maytown Historical Society's 2nd annual Winter Festival is now history, and, by all accounts, it was another grand success! Thanks to all the vendors and volunteers who helped make it so….as well as our many patrons! A threatening day, weather-wise, turned out to be fine, after-all, and the warmer than usual mid-December temperatures didn't hurt!
The Sister's Bake Shoppe once again did a land-office business and, despite more than doubling their inventory of goodies, sold out prior to their scheduled closing at 2PM. Similarly, the Royal George Inn welcomed over 100 patrons for a fine sit-down luncheon in a colonial atmosphered tavern.
Three of the town's churches were decorated for the season, and all had prepared interesting programs of varied natures, which were well-patronized by the public. The Church of God's nursery school provided wonderful children's presentations, while the Reformed Church sponsored a lively sing-a-long, and the Lutheran Church conducted tours of the sanctuary, showed off a delightful holiday train platform, and sold fascinating third-world items provided through Lutheran World Relief.
Meanwhile, an old-time trolley ferried passengers on 4 trips around the town, as they were regaled with tons of town history by a colonial-costumed guide. Along the way, Santa Claus was spotted, moving toward the old Whiskey Distillery where the jolly old elf set up shop hearing children's wish lists, and his side-kick, the German Belsnickel was also on the scene---with a somewhat less jolly demeanor!
Crowds mulled around West High Street, the square, and South River Street, sampling a vast array of foods from vendors, purchasing gifts, and visiting the town museum for its gift shop and historical display.
The Maytown Historical Society would again like to thank all who helped make this year's fund-raiser a success, and we look forward to more such events in the future.
Please come back in 2013 and help us continue this wonderful venture!
'Round the Square:
A 250 Anniversary History of Maytown, Pennsylvania
1760 - 2010
The price of our anniversary book is $53.00, which includes PA sales tax. If you want a book but have not yet placed your order, do not delay because the book is selling very well and supplies are limited. NO ORDERS WILL BE RECIEVED WITHOUT PAYMENT ACCOMPANYING THEM. Please send a check or money order made out to Maytown Historical Society to
250th Anniversary Commerative DVD
A commerative DVD of Maytown's 250th anniversary celebration has been produced by the Maytown Historical Society. Using several hundred still photos and video recordings from local residents, every aspect of the 4 day celebration has been recorded and transformed into this commerative DVD.
Whether you were here in Maytown and enjoyed the celebration or not, this is a great way to preserve those wonderful memories, and a part of Maytown history. The DVD's are available for sale at the Maytown-East Donegal Museum.
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