Reading Update

I got back from Reading a few days ago, but it was quite exhausting – enough so that I forgot I had an evening shift of reference Sunday night.   Saturday was really quite the whirlwind.

After checking out of the hotel, I headed for the Historical Society of Berks County, managing to turn up the last day before they shut down for renovations.  I cast about for a few different items, finally ending up with a newspaper story describing the location of Rosenthal, John George Hohman’s home village.  The name, “Rose Valley,” was inspired by the small wild roses that grew on the surrounding hills.  It was a nice enough day, so I decided to head across town to find it.

I had always envisioned Hohman’s farmstead as having turned into a gas station or strip mall.  As such, it was a present surprise to find that most of Rosenthal remains undeveloped, as Mineral Springs Park occupies most of it.  There’s a pagoda on the far side of the hill, but you can’t see it from the park itself.  It’s quite the lovely place, especially with the leaves still changing.  I’ll see if I can’t get some pictures off my phone.  In the meantime, you can learn more about Mineral Springs Park here.

After that, I headed south so I could finally stop at the Ephrata Cloister.  In the category of “Things I’d have liked to know two years ago,” the place on which this mystics’ colony was built was actually known as the “Place of Snakes.”  After that, I went to Saucony Book Shop in Kutztown, where I hoped to find a copy of The Hanging of Susanna Cox, which I’d run across at the Genealogical Society and wanted to get, as it directly dealt with a murder case on which Hohman had published.  No luck, I’m afraid.

I had been tempted to head across the country to the Hexenkopf, but the shadows were lengthening already.  I had a quick sandwich at the Basin Street Hotel and then headed back to see M.


Published in: on November 16, 2010 at 11:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

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