A little about us...
Friends of Old Annville, Inc. was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1981. Our mission is to promote historic preservation and to develop an awareness and appreciation of the rich history of the town of Annville, Pennsylvania (read a recent History of Annville and two older histories, Croll in 1895 and Bierman in 1899). You can also view a short video on Annville history that was produced by Lebanon Valley College students in 2013: Annville History Video .
One focal point of our efforts is Historic Old Annville Day, an annual day-long celebration of historic Annville held annually on a Saturday in June. Friends of Old Annville also sponsors the Quittie Creek Nature Park project, maintains the Historic Annville Train Station, and publishes the bimonthly Landmark newsletter, archived copies of which can be read online at this site. In support of historic preservation, our organization offers Facade Restoration Grants to assist home owners in the historic district in maintenance and restoration.
Please tour this website to explore the activities and projects of Friends of Old Annville. You can even join Friends of Old Annville through this site. Finally, you can view a video of a key historic renovation in the Annville town center: Rebuilding From Ashes. View the video and then read about this renovation, which won an Historic Building Award from Friends of Old Annville, in the story below entitled Hoovers Win 2011 Historic Building Award.
FOOA Annual Dinner Meeting, Saturday, November 9, 6 PM
The Annual Dinner Meeting for Friends of Old Annville will be held on Saturday, November 9 from 6-9 PM at the Annville American Legion Post at 35 South Manheim Street in Annville. We will begin the evening with a wine and cheese mixer at 6 PM, during which we will project recent pictures of historic Annville that have recently been donated to our Electron Archives.
The mixer will be followed by a buffet dinner, and our annual business meeting at which we will award our Historic Building Award and present two Facade Restoration Grants. We will also do our pictorial review of FOOA activities for the year.
Our featured speaker for the evening will be Patrick Donmoyer (pictured at right), who is manager of the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University and an expert on Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs. Mr. Donmoyer will speak on the topic: "Hex Signs: Myth and Meaning in Pennsylvania Dutch Barn Stars."
The cost of the dinner is $25 per person and includes all costs. You can register for the dinner meeting by downloading the meeting flyer, clipping out and filling out the return form, and mailing the form in with your check to Friends of Old Annville, PO Box 99, Annville, PA 17003.
FOOA Fall 2013 Program - History and Tour of Pennsy Supply Quarries - Saturday, October 12, 9 AM
The town of Annville sits atop a unique geologic formation known as the Annville Limestone, a resource that has provided the building
materials that grace many of our town’s most beautiful historic buildings. Since their opening in 1880, the limestone quarries to the west of Annville have played an intergral role in Annville's economic history. And now, in partnership with Pennsy Supply, FOOA has arranged a presentation on the history of limestone mining in Annville (complete with a newly-published pocket history), and an accompanying bus tour of Pennsy’s huge Millard Quarry. Spanning over six square miles of quarries, retention ponds, and processing facilities, and one of the biggest quarrying operations in Pennsylvania, the productive enterprise generates annually over 2 million pounds of dolomite and limestone for cement and agriculture, along with other materials vital to the local and regional economy.
The bus tours and history program will be held at 9:00 AM on Saturday, October 12. Parking will be available at the old Millard mansion at the corner of Route 422 West and Clear Spring Road. We will begin with the historical overview as outlined in the pocket history booklet, and then tour the quarry areas in buses and with tour guides provided by Pennsy Supply. We will get a good glimpse of the extent of current operations, as well as insight into their future development plans. We will finish the tour sometime before noon on Saturday.This is an exciting opportunity, and we hope to see you there.
TO REGISTER: Call Owen Moe at 717-867-4326 or email Owen at email@example.com. Keepsake pocket history books are available at $5 per booklet, and you can reserve one or more booklets over the phone or by email, and then pay when you pick the booklets up on Saturday morning the 12th.
2013 Facade Grant Assistance Program - Deadline for Applications 8/30/2013
Friends of Old Annville announces its 2013 Facade Grant Assistance Program for property owners within the Annville Historic District and National
Register of Historical Places designated areas of Annville Township who want to preserve the historic exterior appearance of their
building. The program is sponsored by the Friends of Old Annville in an effort
to encourage property owners to maintain, preserve and rehabilitate their
historic properties. The program supports construction projects on the façade of the property,
which means the exterior structure that is visible to the street and the public
view. For 2013 Friends of Old Annville will distribute up to $3000 though this competitive grant program. Information on the facade grants and an application form are provided in a downloadable grant packet by using the following link: Facade Grant Packet . Questions can be addressed to Dennis Flake by email: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org .
25th Annual Historic Old Annville Day Held on Saturday, June 8, 2013
Historic Old Annville Day in 2013 constituted our 25th consecutive annual celebration of historic Annville. Thousands of people, townsfolk and visitors, crowded into Annville to help us celebrate. We drew 105 vendors, many more than ever before, including many new ones dealing in arts and crafts. The weather cooperated as we enjoyed a sunny but cooler day in June.
The food selection, as usual, was varied and wonderful, as was the music - bands and groups played at Ketterings corner and at the Batdorf. There were plenty of activities for the whole family to do, including activities for young kids. All in all, it was a most successful day in Annville.
FOOA Spring Program Held on Sunday, April 14, 2013 at Lebanon County Historical Society
The 55 people that attended the Spring 2013 program of Friends of Old Annville at the Lebanon County Historical Society were taken on a delightful tour through Annville history by Paul Fullmer, Vice-President of Friends of Old Annville (see picture below). Fullmer had prepared printed booklets for all attendees that described 18th century documents related to land sales by Abraham Miller and Abraham Raiguel, two of Annville's founders. These very early documents, as well as other memorabilia, were on display as Paul Fullmer highlighted them in the booklet. He wove together a story that took the audience from 1763 all the way to Fink's Bakery in the 20th century.
Early in the nineteenth century, approximately 1,800 pianos were manufactured in Annville by John Shertzer, who also opened the first general store in town. One of the pianos, a four-and-a-half-octave spinet made by Shertzer in Annville in 1828, has been preserved by the Lebanon County Historical Society (picture on right). This remarkable treasure was on prominent display for the event.
Other Annville items on display included a colorful coverlet that was made by weaver Joseph Smith in 1842, a loaf of bread from Fink's Bakery, signage from Gollam's ice cream, and a bag of flour from the Annville Roller Mills. Participants also toured a bicentennial exhibit on the main floor of Stoy Museum as well as several simulations on the second floor of the museum, including a one-room school house, a general store, a pharmacy, and a formal parlor. We thank the dedicated staff and volunteers at the Lebanon County Historical Society who pulled together some very interesting Annville pieces, served us coffee and other treats, and opened their displays for our tour.
FOOA Annual Dinner Meeting held on November 10, 2012
Friends of Old Annville, Inc. held its annual dinner meeting at 6 PM on Saturday, November 10, 2012 at the Annville American Legion, 35 South Manheim Street in Annville. The dinner included a wine and cheese mixer, followed by a buffet dinner, desert, and coffee. The featured speaker for the evening was Joerg Meindl (photo at right), professor of German at Lebanon Valley college, who spoke on the topic "Understanding Pennsylvania Dutch." We all learned to speak a little Pennsylvania Dutch! You can read a short biography of Dr. Meindl in our current Landmark.
Also featured was a a report by Dick Charles on the downtown restoration project, a report on the recent expansion of the Quittie Creek Nature Park, a presentation of the 2012 Facade Restoration Grants, and the showing some video footage of the 1976 bicentennial celebration in Annville, courtesy of Phil Feather. Owen Moe ran annual business meeting that included a pictorial review of FOOA activities for the year and election of officers and board members.
Nevin and Eileen Hoover were awarded Friends of Old Annville’s 2011 Historic Building Award for their restoration of their fire-damaged historic home at 125 West Main Street. (Pictures show two views of the rennovated home and FOOA President Owen Moe awarding the plaque to the Hoovers at the November 2011 annual dinner meeting of FOOA.) The original Marshall home, a log structure built in the early 1800's, is an Annville landmark. The Historic Building Award, consisting of an engraved bronze plaque, is given annually for a major restoration/rehabilitation of a historic building in Annville.
The Hoover home was extensively damaged in a fire in April, 2010 and we feared our town might lose this key historic building. Undaunted, the Hoovers moved forward, and the renovation work was carried out by Reynolds Restoration Services of Harrisburg.
The first owner, John G. Marshall was born in Annville in 1793 to Dr. David and Elizabeth Marshall in a large wood-frame house which once stood at 21 W. Main Street. His grandfather, Didier Marshall, was one of the first settlers to come to Annville, arriving around 1740. Shortly after his marriage to Elizabeth Behm in 1823, John signed a deed dated April 3, 1824, to purchase two lots at 125-127 West Main Street. It is unclear, however, whether he built the present house or moved in to the home of Steven Rigler listed on the property in the 1820 Census. Like his father before him, John served as a physician in Annville, conducting his practice from the home, which also housed 11 people in 1840. The home also served as the offices of another Annville physician, Dr. Warren Brubaker, in the mid 1900’s.
A quote from the 1899 history of Annville by Elijah Bierman describes this home and owner in 1839: "A few doors farther west on the northeast corner of Main street and Letitia alley we find Dr. John G. Marshall's comfortable home and office, and as we enter we are courteously received by the genial doctor and tendered a seat. Dr. Marshall born February 10, 1793, died December 13, 1846, is forty-six years of age, a graduate of the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania, class of 1819, the senior in years and practice of his medical associates of the town, and by instinct and training an eminently successful member of the healing art. To set a broken limb or to amputate a malignant or crushed member of the body is his forte and delight. His practice is extensive in town and country. He is a son of David Marshall, born January 21, 1749, died September 4, 1832, who was a successful doctor here for many years."
In June, 2011, Arcadia Publishing released a pictorial history entitled Annville Township as part of its Images of America series. The Friends of Old Annville partnered with Paul Fullmer to create this block-by-block pictorial history that incorporates information from walking tours spanning several decades. More than 225 historic pictures taken at locations along Main, Queen, Maple and other streets as well as at Lebanon Valley College fill 128 pages. Street addresses provided in the captions allow the reader to engage the dynamics of history by comparing the past with the present. Images from the archives of the Friends of Old Annville as well as from local residents and community groups serve as powerful testimonies to entire communities of ages past and the contributions they have made to the present. Most of the pictures have never been published before.
order a copy, send your name and contact information to 444 E. Main Street,
Annville, 17003 along with a check for $25 made payable to “Paul Fullmer.” Local residents can arrange to pick-up a copy
in the lobby of Miller Chapel at Lebanon Valley College. Copies are also available online at Amazon
, and several other online booksellers.
At its 2010 Annual Dinner Meeting on November 12, Friends of Old Annville presented its 2010 Historic Building Award to Lebanon Valley College for the college's $2.3 million restoration of its Humanities Center.
The restoration, led by John Milner Architects of Chadds Ford, PA, involved repointing of all of the mortar joints of the building, restoration or replacement of the decorative terra cotta elements, recladding the copper dome of the large cupola, and restoration of the impressive parapet at the main entrance of the building. Milner Architects specialize in historic rennovations.
The restoration took nine months to complete. The current building was built in 1905 in the Tudor Gothic style following a fire in 1904 that destroyed the original college administration building. The building now stands as the architectural centerpiece of the college and a key historic landmark in Annville. See Sept-Oct 2009 Landmark for story on the rennovation of this building.
David and Sarah Porche of 243 East Main Street own one of Annville's historic gems. Their home, built in the late 1890's by David Saylor in the Queen Anne Revival Victorian style, is one of the grand late 19th century homes on East Main Street in Annville built by and for Annville industrialists. Owned for many years by the Light sisters, and then operated as the Maison Main Bed and Breakfast, the home has three stories, six porches and, when built, used a system of rain spouts which led through the walls of the home into a large cistern once positioned on the third floor. Rainwater from the cistern was used in a plumbing system built into the home: it constituted the first indoor bathroom in Annville.
This beautiful home has recently been in need of repair and painting of its exterior. The Porches decided to do all of the work themselves, working throughout the summer of 2010 (and then some) to complete the job. The highly detailed nature of the painting is shown in the photo at the right. The Porches applied to the Facade Improvement Grant Program of Friends of Old Annville for assistance with this hugh project. Their grant proposal was accepted by FOOA and our organization awarded David and Sarah a check for $2457 at the Annual Dinner Meeting on November 12. We thank the Porche family for their months of hard work in caring for this beautiful historic Annville home.
Visit our recently updated Tour of East Annville
for a website dedicated to the history of Old West Annville.
See Artful Images of Annville by Laura Charelian
Annville Senior Community Center