Tours of the Bortz Log House and kitchen garden, Hamilton Boulevard, Wescosville, included a special treat of free strawberries and ice cream June 11.
Built around 1790 on Route 222 in Wescosville, the Lower Macungie Township Historical Society saved the house from demolition in 1989 when a developer wanted to raze the historical building. And that is when the Lower Macungie Township Historical Society was officially founded, Ann Bartholomew, one of the founding members, said.
Lower Macungie Township had the house moved to Wescosville Park and members of the historical society restored it the best they could. It is not perfect, claimed Bartholomew who wrote a comprehensive history of the society since 1976, which sparked an interest for history in her. Bartholmew has been a member of the historical society ever since.
Entering the house, a visitor taking a tour sees two windows that let plenty of light into the room and the light reflects off the white interior walls. The log house originally had only two rooms – one room downstairs where residents cooked and one bedroom upstairs. A later addition doubled the size of the home to create two rooms downstairs and two bedrooms upstairs. The open fireplace downstairs was used for cooking and heating the entire house. It was equipped with spoons hanging from the mantle and pots and a frying pan used for cooking. A spinning wheel and butter churn, a table and highchair are period furnishings. The spinning wheel was used only for spinning flax, Sarajane Williams, president of the Lower Macungie Township Historical Society, said.
A visitor touring the house will see the original bedroom upstairs features several handmade rugs and two wooden beds, both with handmade quilts and linens. A painted chest stands between the beds. Robbie Flynn takes care of all the linens.
During the open house tours, the added master bedroom is used for displaying antique tools and other items. The tools might be moved to a museum some time in the future, Tom Flynn said.
Outside the house is a kitchen garden cared for by Fern Druckenmiller who was planting herbs among other plants in the fenced in garden during the June 11 event.
In the park walkway and around the perimeter of Hamilton Crossings are signs donated by Hamilton Crossings with historical information. Because Hamilton Crossings encroached on the society’s property to build the shopping complex, developers agreed to donate the signs.