President’s Message Reprinted from the Hearthstone 2016

Welcome to the 2016 Hearthstone.

This edition will be different from past issues. We will feature short story for children, a memory of Emmaus, and a profile of one of our most loyal members.

Our year in review includes the positive feedback we received on the 2015 Patriots’ Day Dinner in our new location: Citizens Fire Company #2. Our speaker was Krista Pegnetter who as new director was launching a 75-year celebration of the Emmaus Public Library. Our guest of honor was Representative Justin Simmons who congratulated The Shelter House Society and the good work we do to maintain our 1734 log cabin.

Throughout the year members of The Shelter House Board lent a helping hand to The Emmaus Historical Society who was preparing to move into new location at 218 Main Street.  The entire historic community celebrated on Main Street that weekend in September. Congratulations to The Emmaus Historical Society!

During the festive weekend we met a loyal Shelter House member, Mary Ann Deischer Wotring who is the daughter of Howard Deischer, one of the founding members and frequent contributor to early Hearthstones. Mary Ann agreed to write her memories of growing up in Emmaus and let us publish it in the Hearthstone.

Another of our longtime members, Don Heintzelman who was the subject of a Hearthstone Profile in 2009 has sent us a story for young people.  Heintzelman, ornithologist, writer, photographer, editor and publisher, was inspired to his story by Toby’s Tale, a story about the ancestor of current cat resident Tigger who lives in The Shelter House with Dean Bortz resident curator.

Heintzelman’s story is about Logs, a birdwatching cat who also lives at The Shelter House.  Heintzleman is in hopes that his story will encourage young people to bird watching and to history.

Dr. John Kirschman who was born and raised in Emmaus moved back in retirement after many years in a textured professional career. Kirschman has been a generous contributor of his time and talent and creative energy to all of Emmaus, particularly Historic Emmaus and specifically to the Shelter House, serving on our board for many years publishing The Hearthstone.  He researched and compiled back issues of Hearthstone and entitled them “Golden Nuggets,” and golden they are for they contain articles written by some of the founding members of Shelter House Society as well as articles by local historians.

The Shelter House Society plans to reprint “Golden Nuggets” either in the three volumes or in one book.

This summer, Kaselyn Klase completed her Girl Scout project, a sustainable herb garden located at the woods’ edge. Rich Klase gave a demonstration on Colonial split rails fences during Kasleyn’s project.

The spring house project lingers on with wood from the fallen White Oak now curing at the saw mill.  We are all hoping to see some real progress as spring comes. We know, however, that the Colonial wood worker, Rich Klase, works with Colonial tools and works alone. We are eager for historic accuracy and understand that sometimes history takes time. We are forever grateful to generous members who have supported this project and assure them that thanks to their contributions, the funding is accomplished.

Our summer membership picnic was delightful for us all. We sampled delicious offerings from members and the weather was dreamy as we viewed the beautiful Shelter House in the fore ground of a vermillion sunset.

The Old Fashioned Christmas was the biggest ever. We entertained guests from noon until after 4 pm. Among out guests was a group tour organized by The Emmaus Moravian Church. Again, the weather smiled on us as children greeted Santa and Mrs. Claus, feasted on home-baked cookies, and made a lovely ornament under the tutelage of Kristina Troxell and her daughter Morgan. Our guest musician this year was Brianna Bortz who favored us with Christmas songs on both the Viola and Violin. Brianna, daughter of curator Dean Bortz, grew up in The Shelter House. The Board has watched this girl grow into a beautiful young woman and an accomplished musician.  We are proud to claim her as a child of The Shelter House.

During this year, Students from LCCC ‘s Project Management class as a community service project and under the instruction of Julian Costa developed website pages for The Shelter House. The website itself is being built by Jack Lojko, Shelter House member and friend to Emmaus History. On its completion, the website will feature Emmaus historic sites with photos and narratives. Shelter House Society salutes LCCC students for their professionalism and attention to detail.  We have named all students on that project as “Honorary Members of Shelter House Society.”

It goes without saying, we welcome new friends and new members to share in our devotion to this most “awesome” Colonial log structure – surely a “jewel in the crown” of Historic Emmaus.

The 2016 Patriots’ Day Dinner will be held on Saturday, April 30 at 6:30 PM (check this) again at Citizens #2 Fire Company at 10th St. and Pennsylvania Avenue. The cost this time will be $15. per person. There will be a cash bar and the menu will be similar. Program features musical selections by “Pieces of Eight,” a barbershop choral group of 21 voices from Phillipsburg High School.  

Thanks again to Donald Heintzelman, Mary Ann Deischer Wotring, John Kirschman, and Julian Costa’s students – and best of all, members of The Shelter House Society, and most of all to the Board of directors who stand at the ready when asked.

At last, The shelter House Society and hearthstone would like to thank our editor Nancy Bailey and our designer Susan Eugster who donate their professional expertise to our annual Hearthstone.

Jane Maulfair