Welcome to this joint blog published by the Mennonite Heritage Center, the Goschenhoppen Historians, and the Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center.

Here we will be offering articles, recipes, helpful tips and more from our Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. Be sure to subscribe, so you receive new posts by email!

We hope you’ll be inspired to bring pieces of the past to your present through Pennsylvania Dutch cooking, gardening, and crafts.

Calithumpian bands serenaded newlyweds

By Bob Wood. In the old days, a young couple was hardly thought to be properly married unless they were serenaded on their wedding night or soon thereafter by a Dutch Band. Also called bull bands or “calithumpian” bands, these racket makers were usually men and boys from the neighborhood. The “instruments” of the band…

Along the garden fence

By Bob Wood. Today’s topic is the garden fence and the narrow garden beds that lay close along the fences of the early kitchen gardens. The “PA Dutch” dialect was wholly unwritten, and what bits of information we have such as day books and journal accounts were written in German by men; while the garden,…


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