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humor, rhyme, clergy, barn raising, buckwheat cakes, cider, barrels


Handwritten notes copied from the Carlisle Herald by Alfred L. Shoemaker, circa 1950. The notes cover various topics such as cider making, barn raising, a recipe for buckwheat cakes and a humorous story about a near-sighted clergyman.

Corresponds to:

Packet 94-22


Carlisle, Pennsylvania


Nov 15, 1854

A young clergical gentleman relates the following anecdote of one of his Dutch brethren. The old fellow was about commencing his spiritual exercises one evening, when to his being a little near sighted was added the dim light of the country church. After clearing his throat and giving out the hymn, prefacing it with the apology –

The light ish bad, mine eyes ish dim,

I scarce can see to read dish hymn.

The clerk supposing it was the first stanza of the hymn, struck up the tune in common metre.

The old fellow taken somewhat aback by this turn of affairs, corrected his mistake by saying:

I didn’t mean to sing dish hymn,

I only meant mine eyes ish dim.

The clerk still thinking it a continuation of the couplet, finished in the preceding strain.

The old man at this, waxed wrath and exclaimed at the top of his voice:

I dink the devil’s in you all,

Dat vash no hymn to sing at all.

Jan. 17, 1855, Barn Building by Fredk. Watts

Carlisle, Nov 13, 1854.

Carlisle Herald

Sept. 19, 1855 Domestic Recipes.

”Buckwheat cakes! One buckwheat cake differeth from another in glory: Yet not one in a thousand is made right. Yet of all things it is the easiest to cook if the meal is made rightly. To every three bushels of buckwheat add one of good heavy oats; grind them together, as if there was only buckwheat; Thus will you have cakes always light and always brown.”

Oct 3, 1855 p 7: A Dutchman Puzzled Dutch-English

Oct 15, 1856: From Oley art in cider.

"Perfect cleanliness should be observed in perfecting the grinding process, while should if possible, be performed two or three days before pressing, and the pumice or ground fruit permitted to stand and mellow in the vat till it assumes a deep red color. Clean straw should be used in forming the ‘cheese’ as moldy straw would deteriorate the quality of the liquor expressed . . .

. . . . The casks, also, in which it is put, should be thoroughly cleansed before being used, and if they are moldy or possessed of any unpleasant smell, it would be judicious to introduce into them, after thorough ablutions, a few strips of canvas, dipped in melted brimstone, and set on fire before they are introduced.


English and Pennsylvania German

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Notes from the Carlisle Herald, November 1854 to October 1856



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