Download Full Text (768 KB)
Lancaster County, Ascension Day, Anna W. Frey, Manor Township, Pow-wowing, sewing, Franklin and Marshall College
A handwritten letter from Anna W. Frey addressed to Alfred L. Shoemaker, dated December 16, 1948. Within, Frey writes about her Pennsylvania Dutch upbringing, detailing various aspects she remembers including a custom surrounding Ascension Day where you cannot work.
Anna W. Frey
Alfred L. Shoemaker
Dec. 16th, 1948
Dr. Alfred L. Shoemaker.
I get the Lanc. New Era news paper down here in Baltimore and read your writings on Folklore and legends of Lanc. County and I enjoy them so much that I want to write and tell you.
I come from a Penna. Dutch family and I can read all of your Dutch words and also know the meaning of them.
I was born and partly raised in Manor Township that is in Lanc. County and that surely was a Dutch section. I could not speak a word other then that until I went to a school and then it went very hard with me.
Yes I remember about the wheelbarrow race as my brothers used to play that, also about the wish bone. The hoop snake, the night creatures that you were supposed to hold a bag at a cold corner to catch them when the other party would go into the warm house, but I never got caught in that trick, also about people having spells put on them, I also remember how some old women would pow-wow for hurts and cures there are more I know of but I just can not think of now.
Did you ever hear about Ascension Day, that no women would sew or do any ironing on that day for fear that at sometime the lightning might strike them? In my younger days I done dress making and I always got strict orders from the women who had dresses at my place at that time that I was to be sure not to work at them on that day. It was a great day to go fishing we usually took in that sport.
When I was fifteen years old we moved to Mountville there was a place about a mile north from there called (Der Grappa Barrick) (Crow Hill) I wonder if that is the place you made mention of in one of your writings
I get up to Lanc. some times (back home) as I still call it. While up there I stay with my niece on West Lemon St. quite close to Franklin and Marshall College. My niece is employed there as a cook.
Hoping that you will keep on writing.
Mrs. Anna W. Frey
P.S. Please excuse my pencil writing as it goes better than a pen at 81 years.
This item is available courtesy of the Ursinus College Library Special Collections Department. It is not to be copied or distributed for commercial use. For permissions which fall outside of educational use, please contact the Special Collections Department.
Frey, Anna W., "Letter From Anna W. Frey to Alfred L. Shoemaker, December 16, 1948" (1948). Alfred L. Shoemaker Folk Cultural Documents. 116.
In Copyright. URI: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).