Bertha Brophy

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Belsnickel, Oley Valley, Christmas, Spangsville, Pennsylvania German, grandmother


A handwritten letter from Bertha Brophy addressed to Alfred L. Shoemaker, dated December 10, 1950. Within, Brophy provides Belsnickel lore from her childhood while living in the Oley Valley in Pennsylvania.


Bertha Brophy


Alfred L. Shoemaker

Corresponds to:

Packet 39-52


Reading, Pennsylvania


2915 Kutztown Road

Reading, Pa


Hello Rode Borg Schomacker

Ich watch de (clock) all Mundawg ovet fer dich.

Fer ges net der Bels nickel ich war elf yar olt no henze mir sawgt ess ware ken Bels nickel, and did I cry ½ nite Bels nickel Kumt uns house alle yar mit ma grosse Bag Hut uns nuts un Orange uf der dish gae do. Won de mutter sawgt hut mir but uns net beihaft no hut er une wipt Hot un but as uf de finger cracked. Won mir ins Bed sin no hen muir en grosse dahler plate uf der dish, in the morning we had toy candy pop korn, nuts, oranges, that was our Christmas. Always looked forward for Christmas festival so we could stand on platform along side Christmas trees and speak our lines if we were real loud I got a nickel. This all happened down the Oley beautiful Oley Valley place called Spangsville. Now I hope these lines won't bore you as my Dutch writing is not very good, but I can talk it a mile a minute, and I never tire of Christmas stories. Guess I am an old fashioned kid, rather getting to be an old lady.


Mrs Bertha Brophey

Monday nite

I didn't get the letter in the mail today. Your story was very interesting tonite. The grandmothers could tell some great experiences I remember quite a few I overheard by my grandmother and can see her making salve at the stove.


English and Pennsylvania German

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Letter From Bertha Brophy to Alfred L. Shoemaker, December 10, 1950



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