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apple butter boiling, courtship, Danville, Montour County, Tulpehocken, humor, dialect


A set of handwritten, copied notes from Danville, Montour County, Pennsylvania: A Collection of Historical and Biographical Sketches transcribed by Alfred L. Shoemaker. The notes describe the process of making apple butter and include a humorous interview with a local resident.

Corresponds to:

Packet 18-8


Danville, Montour County, Pennsylvania, D. B. H.

Brower (Harrisburg, 1881)

p. 58 “Cider, with the addition of apples, was boiled down to apple-butter, an excellent article for the table, still in use. To make this, required constant boiling for about twenty-four hours. The services of a young lady and gentleman where usually called into requisition on such occasions, and they generally found stirring apple-butter to be no uncongenial employment, for the process of butter making and courtship could, not unfrequently, go on simultaneously.”

p. 258-259

A pleasant old lady was visited next, when the following dialogue took place:

You have lived here a good while?

“O, yes, longer as that.”

When did you come to Danville?

“It vas de time we moved here from Tulpehocken.”

You don’t remember the exact period?

“O yes, I mind it goot.”

Do you remember of anything important - anything that happened about the time you came, by which we could fix the date?

“O yes, it most the time when our Johnny vas born.”

Ah, now we have it. How old is Johnny now?

“He’s no olt at all. He’s deat.”

Could you tell me when he died?

“Yes. It vas about four o’clock in de afternoon.”

I don’t mean the hour, I mean the year.

“Vy it vas in de same year as he vas born.”

I left discouraged, as the old lady with a bland smile kindly said: “Come again ven you vant some more dings to set in your book.”



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Notes From Danville, Montour County, Pennsylvania: A Collection of Historical and Biographical Sketches



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