In this continuing series, Mr. John McDevitt, former assistant farm manager of the Allentown State Hospital Farm in Weaversville, continues his recollections from his days at the landmark farm. John recalls:
Speaking of the Northampton and Bath Railroad, the farm used to receive freight car loads of peanut hulls (shells) used for livestock bedding.
How many even remember the railroad? There was also a railroad siding to the west of the crossing.
Mr. Jack R. Santo was reared in Nazareth. His family has a long history in the cement industry. Many relatives worked at the Penn Dixie Cement Company. Jack graduated from Nazareth High School in 1973 where he played both baseball and basketball. He continues to follow the motto of Tony Reluas his basketball coach: “Never give up; if you work hard, you will benefit.”
In researching the Allentown State Hospital farm in Weaversville, I convinced Mr. John McDevitt, former assistant farm manager and well-known East Allen Township Fire Company member, to write his recollections of the farm. A fine gentleman, he consented, with this writer attempting to twist his arm.
Mr. McDevitt kindly wrote “My recollections of the Allentown State Hospital Farm,” by John McDevitt, with collaboration from Charles W. Miller:
In this third column, Mr. John McDevitt, former assistant farm manager of the Allentown State Hospital farm in Weaversville, helps us remember the farm colony. His words:
Mr. Jason Rauch moved to Lehigh Township from Slatington at age 14. He graduated from Northampton Area High School in 1991, where he was a member of the tennis and cross country teams.
“My favorite subject was history,” he recalled. “My history teacher was Mr. Bob Mentzell.”
At age 18, Jason enlisted in the U.S. Navy. After training, he was assigned to the Wasp, an aircraft carrier stationed at Norfolk, Va.
In 2014, I had a surprise visit from a Bath native, who presented photographs to the Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum from his working days at the Penn Dixie Cement Co. It was Dr. Stephen Kleinschuster, son of Mrs. Elizabeth Kleinschuster, of South Walnut Street, Bath, and the late Stephen Kleinschuster.
In 1975, the brilliant student was engaged in a National Aeronautics and Space Administration research project scheduled for launch on a Soviet bio satellite flight from the U.S.S.R. in October.
Over the years, the Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum has hosted visitors from many foreign nations, from India to the People’s Republic of China. A few weeks ago, we had our first visitors from Sweden.
In this second column, we are speaking to members of the Drauch family, who presented a piece of folk art to the Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in memory of their father and brother, dedicated cement workers at the Keystone Cement Company.
The Drauchs resided in Salisbury Township while their father and brother worked at Keystone. In those days, there was no Salisbury High School, so they attended and graduated from — do you remember? — Fountain Hill High School.
Recently, the Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum hosted some very interesting visitors. Sisters Alice, Joan, Dee and Marcia Drauch presented a piece of folk art remembering their father, William Drauch Sr., and their brother, William Drauch Jr., who were dedicated cement workers at the Whitehall and Keystone cement companies.
William Sr. was born in Cementon and resided in a Whitehall Cement Company home in Homepark. Do our loyal readers know where it is? It is between Cementon and Egypt, off Route 329. The sisters have fond memories of their village home.
In 2002, when I researched the history of the Borough of Chapman, I attended both services at the Methodist church and a borough council meeting to better understand the community.
The council meetings are held in a building dating back to 1909 when a bond for $1,000 was issued to pay for the building. The stove for the new hall cost $37. The borough had a balance of $177.44 in its ledger. The structure even had a jail to house any law breakers. In those years, the population peaked at 700. Presently, the population is estimated at 200 residents.