What's New at the 1803 House?

Abbreviated Published Articles:

Articles Shown Below [click to go to]New "Buck Style" Fence constructed by Jason Kleckner; Archaeology Resumes; New Trundle BedRestoration begins on the Front and Kitchen Doors; "1803 House Church Baby"; New Brick Walk constructed by Sawyer Long; Making an 1803 Gingerbread House; Cornerstone; Seven Generations Charter School Activities and Astronomy Club

New "Buck Style" Fence Constructed by Jason Kleckner [pictures on right]:

   Jason Kleckner Jr. approached The Friends of the 1803 House, Inc. in 2014 to propose a community service project to satisfy requirements for the Eagle Scout rank. Because we are concerned about the separation of dangerous railroad activity and periodic activities at the 1803 House involving children, this project was suggested. Jason volunteered his resources to accomplish this unique project, which recreates a colonial feature to the landscape and provides attractive safety fencing along the busy railroad of Emmaus.
    The west property line (along the railroad tracks) is now protected with an historic “Buck Style” fence. [left] Jason and team constructed the buck fence based on archival evidence of livestock fences delineated in a drawing dated 1847 of the 1803 House property. A copy of this drawing is in the entrance hallway on the first floor of Jacob’s home. Click here to see construction of one section of the fence.
    Jason did an outstanding job of research, planning and constructing this fence. We are grateful Jason chose the 1803 House to develop a community project. The fence is a lasting legacy and very significant additional element in the landscape of the house.

Achaeology Resumes at the 1803 House [pictures on right]:

Thanks to the generosity, ambition and expertise of Lehigh University professor David B. Small, the archaeological work east of the 1803 House kitchen/entry room has resumed. The dig was originally started by Seven Generations Charter School, in 2012, and now, once again, colonial life is being exposed under the footprints of Jacob Ehrenhardt Jr. and his ancestors. Foundations and artifacts have been uncovered and are being documented to record and report the colonial activity of 1803 and afterwards. The Archaeologist...David B. Small is the professor of anthropology, Department of Sociology & Anthropology at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA. His research interests in this field are diverse and with his student team they will be uncovering additional architectural facts, colonial life style evidence and maybe conclusions about what the Ehrenhardt family ate and how they sustained themselves. Click here for dig progress


What's New is Old...Come and see our Trundle Bed [pictures on right]:
   This year through the profits of Merrie Halloween and the generosity of our “Appeal Patrons”, we acquired a trundle bed. The trundle bed is small and would have been placed under the parent’s bed. The bed rails have wood pegs for supporting a sail cloth (canvas) sacking. The sacking supported with hemp rope would have supported a ticking filled with straw (mattress).
   We will soon have the sacking made with large grommets and tie it to the pegs. With this new acquisition, we more clearly tell the Jacob Ehrenhardt story of 1803.

New Gets Old...Restoration begins on the Front Door and Kitchen Door [pictures on right]:
  Over time the restored woodwork at our door openings is attacked by the elements of nature and the woodwork deteriorates. We have reached the point at our main entrance and the north [back] kitchen entrance that preservation is required. Wood has to be preserved or replaced and prepared for paint. We have secured acceptable proposals from Reed Harris Contractor to arrest the aging of these architectural components. Reed Harris will expertly repair deteriorated wood with epoxy compounds, replace wood trim, caulk and prime paint at these openings. The finish white trim painting will be completed by qualified 1803 House volunteer painters. Merrie Halloween and “Annual Appeal” subscribers sustain these projects and the community appreciates the support.

Introducing the "1803 House Church Baby" [pictures on right]:
   Their Story:  During the American Revolution War, toys, as well as many other household supplies, were scarce. Mothers made dolls from handkerchiefs, giving their children something to play with any time. This doll was at first called a “Church Doll,” as it was used during those very long church services and, most importantly, if they were dropped, not a sound was heard.
   Another name was a “Sugar Baby”...mothers would put sugar cubes or candy in the head portion and give the doll to the children to suck on during those long Sundays. They were also the only toy the children were allowed to play with on Sundays. Other names were “handkerchief doll,” “pew doll,“ “pew baby” and “prayer doll.”   At the turn of the century, around the time the 1803 house was built, these dolls were modified, with lace, ribbon and flowers, to look similar to our "1803 House Church Baby".
   The “1803 House Church Babies” are made by the Friends of the 1803 House Board members.  They are available for purchase at any 1803 House event or open house and the Emmaus Farmers Market for $5.00.

New Brick Walk Constructed by Boy Scout Sawyer Long [pictures on right]:
   On his path to the rank of Eagle Scout, Sawyer had to select a community project that would exhibit his planning, organizational and leadership skills. Scout Sawyer Long approached the Friends of the 1803 House in 2013 to complete a community service project to satisfy one of the requirements for the Eagle Scout rank. The 1803 House indicated constructing a permanent brick, handicapped-accessible path was needed to replace a temporary non-accessible mulched path to the kitchen/entry room of the 1803 House.     The main requirement of the project was to construct a brick path according to the plans and details prepared by the 1803 House Architectural Committee. Particular and the requirements of  the National Masonry Manufacturers Association. The final step for Sawyer was to construct the project. Sawyer had to appeal for donations of materials, equipment, personnel and volunteers from the community. With the expertise of his coaches and volunteers, Sawyer supervised the installation of a permanent curvilinear brick path according to the proposed drawings and specifications.
   The 1803 House is grateful Sawyer chose the 1803 House of Emmaus, Pennsylvania to develop a community project. The path is a lasting legacy and very significant additional element in the landscape at the 1803 House.

The Making of an 1803 Gingerbread House [pictures on right]:
   In 2013, Sadie Kennedy constructed a gingerbread house replica of the 1803 House and entered it in a contest at the Bethlehem Steel Stacks. One of the contest categories was to create an “Authentic Reproduction of a Significant Building in the Lehigh Valley”. Sadie said we should make the 1803 house, right next to her school.  She took pictures of the house that could be used to create measurements and then a cardboard model.  It took some time to get the ratios right and to figure out just how big everything should be.  When the cardboard model was done, Sadie made the dough and used the model to cut out the shapes. She then frosted the inside of the house so it would be lighter when people looked through the windows.
   The next step was to make fondant to look like stones. Several batches of bricks were made of slightly different colored stone fondant to get the perfect stone color and to make the house look more realistic. The most nerve wracking step was trying to put the walls together. Everything fell apart a few times and a few walls cracked but cans of sweet potatoes came to our rescue.  All in all, Sadie did about 1/4th to 1/3rd of the work, a significant number of hours for a 9 year old. Sadie gave this beautiful gingerbread house to the board  of the Friends of the 1803 House to display at all events held at the house.    

Cornerstone [pictures on right]:
   One of Richard Farmer's favorite things to do as a tour guide at the 1803 House is to explain to the young people how to build the 1803 House. I explain that with a plumb line they have to locate the four corners of the house. At each of the corners of the house, carefully dressed cubicle field stones are place in perfect alignment with the plumb line. A series of cornerstones are placed one on top of the other in an interlocking pattern to establish the volume of the 1803 House.
   Cornerstones are a monumental element of a structure. In ancient times, a sacrifice was placed under the cornerstone before it was placed. The cornerstone served as a marker and symbolically indicated that the spirit of the sacrifice actually supported the structure. The sacrifice was chosen by the shadow element cast on the stone corner. In our age, the sacrifice is represented by a symbolic laying of hands on the stone by a prominent public figure in the community. Sometimes sealed containers containing special memorabilia are encapsulated at the stone corner.
   The way the 1803 House is constructed provides a great deal of symbolism regarding its importance in the community. It stands with the other historic structures in our community which serve as the cornerstone of history of colonial Emmaus. We are fortunate they are being preserved. With the preservation of the 1803 House, the preservation of colonial Moravian History is in full view. Thanks to the Rodale's family and the Borough of Emmaus, we are able to tell the Emmaus Colonial Story.
   Between these cornerstones are numerous field stones of random shape harvested from the neighboring hills. These stones are symbolic of the Emmaus community at large. They are placed in a more complex pattern and tie the whole volume together. Every stone has its place.

Seven Generations Charter School Activities [pictures on right]:

   The 1803 House has provided many authentic learning experiences for the Fifth Graders at Seven Generations Charter School. The 1803 House's Janice Stavrou and Richard Farmer have worked with fifth grade teachers, Alison Saeger Panik and Brook Graves, to develop hands-on learning experiences to coordinate with their Seven Generations Ago unit. In this unit students investigate what was happening in the settlement of Emmaus "seven generations ago", especially focusing on interdependence and why and how colonial communities were founded and grew over time.
   Seven Gen students learned about the history of the 1803 House and Jacob Ehrenhardt's contribution of land and leadership for the village of Emmaus. The house served as a model of colonial era architecture and a place to investigate the materials, textiles, and tools of the times. Students learned about weaving and observed an antique loom. They participated in colonial cooking and made their own stew, biscuits, and butter over the fire in the fireplace in the 1803 House kitchen. They dipped candles in a kettle over a fire in the front yard as part of a colonial candle-making workshop. And they also started an archaeological dig and built an herb garden.  These experiences were connected with classroom learning, historical fiction reading and writing, and a colonial settlement they built and "lived in" themselves in the classroom. The fun and learning aren't over yet. Colonial herbs, soap-making, and basket-weaving are on deck for the spring. Click here for Seven Generations Charter School website.

Seven Generations Charter School Astronomy Club [pictures on right]:

   Students in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade at the Seven Generations Charter School are linking history to science,  specifically astronomy.  They have formed an astronomy club with the help of 1803 House Education Committee member Judy Parker and have researched local astronomy and astronomers from the  early 1800’s.  They studied  the science behind  telescopes and built their own telescopes from Galileo scope kits purchased with     funding  from the American  Association of Physics Teachers Bauder Endowment.  The scopes were similar to those used by Galileo in 1609 and into the early 1800’s.     The students and parents toured the 1803 House to investigate what types of materials and commonly used objects might have been available to build  a telescope in 1803.  They identified several kitchen tools and the tube of the punched tin lantern as being useful for astronomy.