Maple Festival



March 25 & 26  and  March 29 to April 2, 2017

Historic Meyers Homestead


One of several simple log structures built near the confluence of the Casselman River and Flaugherty Creek, Borntrager's Mill consisted of 189.5 acres of land and various structures belonging to Andrew Borntrager. The property was transferred to Jonathan and Dolly Harry. In June 1792 it was purchased from the Harry family by Michael Beeghley.


Three years later the property was once again transferred to John and Susanna Beeghley who sold it to Jacob Meyers, Sr. in May 1805. His son, Jacob Jr. and his wife, Barbara, moved into the home and developed a tannery, grist mill, woolen mill, distillery, foundry and cattle barns. They also built the first major addition to the house - a rear room with a second floor over the kitchen. Today these rooms are the downstairs man's study and three upstairs bedrooms.


In 1828 Jacob's son Peter took possession of the grounds known then as Meyers' Mill. Peter and his wife added a northern wing to the home in 1839. That addition is now the downstairs Victorian living room and upstairs master bedroom and sitting room. The main entrance to the house was changed from the southern side to the west side, and the present wooden clapboard siding was installed.


For nearly a half century, Peter Meyers was recognized as one of the leading citizens in the area. He and his brother, William, established a mercantile business. On April 13, 1869 he deeded to the Pittsburgh and Connellsville Railroad Company, for $1, a strip of land for the laying of railroad tracks through the community. Peter Meyers died one year later in a typhoid epidemic.


In 1874 the town and railroad depot became known as Meyersdale in Peter Meyer's honor. His son, Dr. William Meyers, assumed responsibility of the house and when he died in 1910, his son, Charles and wife, Annie, took over the family estate. Upon the deaths of the Meyers the house was sold to Louis Weld in the late 1930's. In 1968 it was acquired by the Pennsylvania Maple Festival and named "Maple Manor."


Over the years Meyers Manor has played host to some famous people. The most famous probably was former President and General Ulysses S. Grant who stayed overnight in the house while traveling through the area.


The house now known as the Historic Meyers Manor Homestead is recognized as an historical landmark. Visitors to the homestead can see part of the original structure including its first kitchen with the large stone fireplace and log walls. Thousands of people tour the homestead each year during the Pennsylvania Maple Festival and other occasions throughout the year.



Living History



Reenactors and interpreters are stationed throughout much of the maple festival and are available to help you understand the history in this area. Please feel free to ask any of our festival volunteers questions. They will be glad to answer your questions.


Throughout your maple experience you will learn how to tap a tree, make maple syrup, twirl spotza, tour Meyers Manor, see a genuine country store, learn how shoes were made, and make an appointment to see a country doctor.


One great way to learn about the people who lived in this region is to watch a performance of the Legend of the Magic Water. It's full of information, history, song, and dance. It's fun for the whole family.



Country Store



The growth process of the store was slow because items needed to give it authenticity were extremely hard to come by. All of this changed in 1982 with the closing of a small neighborhood store just south of Meyersdale.


The W. W. Nicholson Store was a local general merchandising emporium along Route 219 established by William W. Nicholson in 1902. This general store served the many families who worked the local mines and coke ovens. The Nicholson family continued to operate this same establishment until August 1982 when, with the passing of Mr. Nicholson's youngest daughter, its doors were closed for the last time.


The Nicholson heirs were very generous in their support and donations to the Maple Festival's Country Store. The glass display cases and the large-lettered wooden outdoor sign were gifts of the Nicholson heirs to link indelibly the Nicholson name with Meyersdale. At a public auction in October 1982 the Maple Festival purchased scores of other items to further enhance the Country Store.


Since 1983 we have given visitors a look back to the early part of the century. Browse in the Store and take in the atmosphere of an age that has passed into history. Munch on a dill pickle or an apple from the barrel or try some of the penny candy, country sausage, maple products, homemade bread, apple butter, dried fruits and vegetables which are still the specialties of the establishment. In addition, we also display and sell souvenirs.



Spotza - Yum!



The early settlers learned about spotza from the Indians, who would pour boiled maple syrup on the snow. The name spotza comes from the Pennsylvania Dutch word for "spot on the snow".


You can see spotza being made and taste its sweet flavor at Maple Festival Park.



Doctor's Office



"It is amazing that all the old instruments in the attic were still there. We guess we were always too busy to discard them," the Glasses said at the time.


The Doctor's Office was opened in 1973 and is now located in the same building as the Cobbler Shop in Festival Park. In addition to the dozens of items donated by the Glasses, medical instruments belonging to Dr. Clay McKinley (1840-1932) were also donated. All items on display are authentic antiques. There are no reproductions.


It would be impossible to list everything in the doctor's office. There are several items of particular interest; among them are a 150-year old set of surgical instruments with celluloid handles, a 100-year old cast iron table, local field light with candles, microscope, wooden supply table, office ledgers, leather medical bags and medicine bottles.


In the 70-year old category are an oak cupboard, a complete Edison Dictaphone, a case of surgical instruments and a metal hearing aid.


Also of note are a laboratory table with equipment, X-ray films and an early X-ray viewing box.


On display are the saber, gold arm insignias, uniform buttons and jewelry that President Abraham Lincoln presented to Dr. McKinley, who served during the Civil War in the Medical Corps and became a close friend of the Lincolns.



Maple Fair - General Rules



The Maple Festival Board cannot deviate from the Rules and Regulations. The Rules and Regulations are based upon the State Premium Guideline Book published by the Agriculture Fair Program, Department of Agriculture, and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. A copy is available for review in the Maple Festival Office. Entries in the Premium List are only ones that can be judged. Entries not complying will be rejected, regardless of merit. However, items for exhibition only will be accepted. In cases where there is no competition, judges may give an award such as they deem the exhibit worthy to receive. All judging is final and closed to the public.


All exhibits must be made or grown by the exhibitor during the time period since the last Maple Festival and must be entered in the name of the person making or producing the exhibit.


Reasonable care will be taken to protect all exhibits on display from all injury and damage. But the Maple Festival is not, in any way, responsible for accidents, loss or damage by water, fire, theft, or otherwise, what ever may be the cause or extent of the damage or loss. All articles on exhibition must be respected as private property and any persons detected destroying them or injuring them will be dealt with according to law.



Cobbler's Shop



There are pieces of leather used in shoe construction, numerous adjustable metal patterns of later vintage, a host of tools including nippers, a punch, knives, button hole cutters, heel shaves, awls, hammers, breaks, planes, clamps, metal repairing lasts, blocks and jacks.


The equipment also includes boxes of tiny wooden pegs of hard maple used in nailing soles and heels. They were all hand-pointed. Foot measures, two wooden boot jacks, bottles of oil, cans of wax for thread, boot stretchers and a counter case are all on display.


The large wooden boot that was displayed outside the original cobbler shop is now attached to the outside of our shop to invite visitors to the antique cobbler display. On cold days the old pot belly stove that once warmed Mr. Dively as he worked more than a century ago warms visitors and the cobbler shop guide.


Records found with the equipment revealed that much of the shoe making and repair business was done on a credit basis. Food, wood, coal, plowing and other services were exchanged for the cobbler's work.


A pair of good handmade shoes or boots for the man of the household cost from $4.00 to $7.00 while mother's shoes generally were about $3.00. Children's footwear cost from 50 cents to $2.75. Repairs were made for 10 cents to $1.25



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Mar. 25, 2017