Scout Sam progress interviewing residents

We have had the pleasure to help Sam VanderGast work on his Eagle Scout badge by interviewing lifelong residents.  Sam’s family isn’t from the area, so we’ve tried to pick people who can give insight to all areas of the township.  We ask all interviewees to tell a little about their family and their recollections about schools, churches, environment, businesses, etc.  This has effectively put some confirmation behind some township events.  Plus we’ve all learned tid-bits!
   Sam’s Mom, Shari, knows Neil, so he was the guinea pig for interviews.  Being the first, he gave Sam a wide range of knowledge about the township, his recollections about schools, churches, environment, businesses, and of course, a few stories.
  We then chatted with Carl Lehr, former Kintnersville postmaster.  Carl enlightened us about Kintnersville, folks he knew (that would have been everyone!!), businesses in town and stories he heard from his father (also postmaster!)  Carl and his father together were postmasters for 51 yrs!  That’s a lot of knowledge of Kintnersville!
  Blanche Bartman Wehrung graced us with her recollections of Ferndale. Lots of history:  Grandfather Wm Shick ran a shoe factory; Mother, Verna was a school teacher at Revere one room; Father, Paul ran the Riegelsville garage; and of course, husband, Woody started Wehrung’s!   Who knew Blanche was a Navy vet?
  Bob DeGroot was our next participant.  DeGroot’s are not multiple generation, but lived in the hub-bub of Revere since 1945, where his folks operated the general store and post office. Bob took over operation of the store in 1969, where he’s still serving coffee to the morning crowd.  We thank Bob for all his years of service on the Palisades School Board.
  This Sunday, we talked to Howard Roth, heir to the infamous Trauger farm on Nockamixon Road.  Howard has been farming this iconic farm since he was 16 and gave us insights to farming in the area.  We thank Howard for his decades of hard work to the local food chain,  putting the farm in the Conversancy, preserving it forever from development and many years on the township zoning board.
  Upcoming:  Rose McCarty
  Interview time is starting to run out for Sam, as he has much behind the scenes to do to complete his project.  We, NHC, are delighted to have shared these interviews with him and hope he has been enriched and encouraged by these upstanding residents. If you know of anyone who would like to be interviewed, the commission will continue with this project, preserving resident’s memories.  Perhaps another scout or student will pick up the torch and continue where Sam left off.


Happy trails to Jim…..

We bid farewell tonight to our friend and commissioner, Jim Logan. Since 2010, Jim has faithfully attended meetings, acted as Vice Chair, represented the commission at Board of Supervisor meetings, helped with our survey and school house projects, greeted folks at community day, etc, etc,etc. Always quick with a joke, kept us laughing and on our toes. We wish Jim and Barb much happiness in their new home in upstate PA. We will miss you Jim! Best wishes

We love to help people with their quests. Neil was approached by Scout Sam, who is working to for fill his Eagle Scout. (Go Sam!!) His project is to interview lifelong residents and upload the recorded interviews to, a public access permanent storage site. The Commission will receive a book with the transcribed interviews. It’s a win-win-win: Sam gets his Eagle, NHC gets to expand our historic collections and folks get to tell their stories!! How great is that?? We’ve interviewed 4 residents with others upcoming and have learned much about what they remember about our area: schools, churches, businesses, environment, and of course, those great personal stories! If you would like to be interviewed or know someone who might be interested, please contact us!

Welcome James Knight!


We welcome our newest member, James Knight to our commission.  James comes to us with a background in antiquing and, of course, love of history.  He’s anxious to dig in and help uncover, discover and restore our history.  James fills seat #5.  There are still 2 available commissioner positions available.  If you are a history geek, please join us! No experience necessary!!  We meet one time/month (3rd Tues) at the twp bldg. at 7pm.  For more information, contact us at

WPA Project: Lake Warren (ca 1936)

In 1933, when President Roosevelt took office, almost 50% of America’s workforce was either unemployed or underemployed. The President’s New Deal inititive employed millions of Americans to build and improve the nation’s infrastructure. With $4.9 billion to spend, (6.7% of the 1935 GDP), WPA was in almost every community in the US, building new parks, bridges or schools.
“WPA provided jobs and income to unemployed during the Depression. At it’s peak in 1938, it provided paid jobs for 3 million unemployed men and women, as well as youth in a separate division. Between 1935 and 1943, when the agency was disbanded, the WPA employed 8.5 million people. Most people who needed a job were eligible for employment in some capacity. Hourly wages were typically set to the prevailing wages in each area. Full employment, which was reached in 1942 and emerged as a long-term national goal around 1944, was not the goal of the WPA; rather, it tried to provide one paid job for all families in which the breadwinner suffered long-term unemployment.”
“The stated goal of public building programs was to end the depression or, at least, alleviate its worst effects,” sociologist Robert D. Leighninger asserted. “Millions of people needed subsistence incomes. Work relief was preferred over public assistance (the dole) because it maintained self-respect, reinforced the work ethic, and kept skills sharp.”
The WPA was a national program that operated its own projects in cooperation with state and local governments, which provided 10–30% of the costs. Usually the local sponsor provided land and often trucks and supplies, with the WPA responsible for wages (and for the salaries of supervisors, who were not on relief). WPA sometimes took over state and local relief programs that had originated in the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) or Federal Emergency Relief Administration programs (Wikipedia: WPA projects)
Nockamixon and the surrounding areas were not exempt from benefiting from WPA. The building of the dam at Lake Warren was one of these projects. It encompasses app
roximately 20 acres and is touted for fishing, but most enjoy the thriving bird population. It is at the base of Coffman/Hoffman/Boatman’s Hill (depends on which old map reviewed) and included in State Game Lands #56.

NHC is awarded Historic Preservation Award from Heritage Conservancy

p1090414On June 10, 2015, Heritage Conservancy awarded Nockamixon Historic Commission their annual Historic Preservation Award.  This award is presented to historic organizations who go above and beyond to preserve history in their township or city. Neil Jesiolowski, Commission chair, thanked Jeff Marshall, Conversancy Director, for nominating the Commission, and Heritage Conversancy for this commemorative plaque.

We were very proud to have completed this monumental project and receive acknowledgement for our uncountable hours surveying the township properties over 50 years old.  Our survey information is stored at the Conversancy, and Nockamixon township, and part of their permanent databases.

The farm featured on the plaque is none other than the bucolic Trauger Farm, the only property in the township continuously owned since ca 1780’s by the Trauger family.

NHC Seeks Two New Commissioners


The late Clarence Berger

The late Clarence Berger, a much-beloved, lifetime resident of Nockamixon, who proudly served on our commission. He is greatly missed.

Due to scheduling conflicts causing one commissioner to step down, and the sad passing of another (rest in peace, Clarence — we miss you!), the Nockamixon Historic Commission has two open seats it needs to fill. Any Nockamixon resident with an interest in history is eligible to be a candidate.

Commissioners work together to help identify, protect, preserve and steward our township’s historical resources. We do not, as some are falsely reporting, tell Nockamixon residents or businesses what they can and can’t do with their own properties. We can, however, help them to properly protect, preserve and have their properties considered for listing on the National Register of Historic Places if they request such help.

Currently, we’re working on several projects:

  • a book about the one-room schoolhouses of Nockamixon and Bridgeton Townships (Nockamixon was a part of Bridgeton at one time)
  • Collecting and recording oral histories of our township’s residents
  • Building a collection of local historical artifacts, which are being properly catalogued and archived
  • Exploring eligibility for grants to help us with specific future projects
  • Responding to local residents’ requests for help with genealogical information

We recommend getting to know us better by attending one of our regular monthly meetings at the Nockamixon Township Building, 589 Lake Warren Road, Ferndale, PA 18921. We meet at 7:00 PM on the second Monday of each month.

Those interested in becoming a candidate for consideration should send a letter of interest to:

Nockamixon Historic Commission
c/o Township Clerk
PO Box 100
Ferndale, PA 18921 

If you’re interested in helping with our projects but can’t commit to being a Commissioner, we always welcome ad hoc volunteers for specific projects or for tasks such as digital scanning of documents and data entry to keep our catalog up to date. If you’d like to volunteer, please contact Neil Jesiolowki, Chair, by email or at 610-847-2394.