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apple butter, butter bread, customs, Dauphin County, Millersburg, Pumpkin Hill


A handwritten set of notes from an unknown source dating from 1905 entitled, "Rejecting Suitors", transcribed by Alfred L. Shoemaker. The notes document the practice of giving butter bread (or apple butter bread) to an unwanted lover. The practice is noted as being particular to the western portion of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania in the 1860s.

Corresponds to:

Packet 54-3


Rejecting Suitors April 28, 1905

A rather unique little custom which displaces the use of terms of dishonor and figures of speech by a simple final act is that of giving “butter bread”. This custom was in vogue in the western end of Dauphin County, Pa., during the ‘60s.

Strange to say the custom is not found at the opposite end of this county or other counties in eastern Pa.

About three miles east of the Susquehanna river, near Millersburg, is a well defined locality prop. known as Pumpkin Hill. In the vicinity of this unique hill with its rare history is found this equally unique custom of giving bread to get rid of an undesirable lover. To give the custom the best of local coloring the lady made it “apple butter bread”. She cut a thick slice half way across the loaf, buttered it well and then, as if to give the nut brown of ripeness and that rich flavor gained by a mature boiling, she touched it well with apple butter.

Christian R. Johns of Reinholds Station father of Dr. J. R. 64 born near New Holland married to Susanna Bitzer

Clayton of Rothsville

Mrs. Jonas Noer of near Murrell

Mrs. Jacob Heffly of Stevens


Dr. Johns located at 2543 N 17th St. Phl

illness prevent - teacher prior to 1885

June 23, 1905: essigbaum sprouting at Fiant’s Mill on the Conestoga creek in Lancaster Co. an old landmark once a rude cane, or footman's cudgel



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Rejecting Suitors, April 28, 1905



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