Celebrating the history of Emmaus
Residents and history buffs gathered July 27 at Emmaus Moravian Church for a Founders Day event.
The Emmaus Moravian Church has celebrated the 1747 founding of the original Moravian congregation for 272 years and included the borough of Emmaus in its celebration.
At 5:55 p.m., all in attendance could hear the church bells ringing in the bell tower at the Emmaus Moravian Church.
Master of Ceremonies Terry Sorg-McManamon, Emmaus Borough Council member and chair of the community relations planning and development committee, welcomed all attendees in joining together for the first Emmaus Founders Day event. Also included in this historical celebration was the Knauss Homestead and the 1803 House.
The celebration included the Moravian Church Brass Choir and a delicious meal prepared by Licensed 2 Grill of Emmaus. The meal was prepared as it was back in the 1700s including chicken, beans, potatoes and stewed apple a la mode or peaches and cream cobbler for dessert.
Emmaus Moravian Church Pastor Rev. Brian Dixon offered the blessing for the meal.
John Schmoyer, with Knauss Homestead, provided reflections on Sebastian Knauss.
Richard Farmer, president of the 1803 House, provided information about Jacob Ehrenhardt Sr. and also commented on the church bells heard earlier in the evening.
Dixon, main speaker for the evening, reflected on the meaning of Founders Day in Emmaus and Moravian heritage.
Emmaus Mayor Lee Ann Gilbert provided a proclamation in honor of the event.
The Founders Day committee included Gene Clock, John Schmoyer and Dick Farmer. Clock, who chaired the committee, said future plans are for Founders Day to become an annual event with more activities, possibly including a parade.
In 1739, the Germans arrived starving and seeking refuge from a non-peaceful lifestyle. The journey lasted 12 weeks as they traveled the Rhine River to the North Sea to England. The trip took them to Philadelphia where William Penn greeted them with talk of peaceful living. The area was similar to their native home with farm land being abundant. The newly arrived Germans would live by English rules.
In 1747, 44 people went through the process to begin a Moravian Church in Emmaus. People were segregated according to age, gender and marital status.
In 1859, Emmaus was officially established. Land was donated by Knauss and Ehrenhardt. Both men made peace with the Indians.
The early Emmaus was bordered by Fourth Street which included the Triangle, North Street to the north, Kline’s Lane to the east and south of Railroad Street. The cemetery at Third and Adrian streets was where the Founding Fathers were buried.
Sorg-McManamon offered a special thanks to Steve and Renee Gould and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate for being the title sponsor for the event.