5 Reasons to Visit the Morgan Log House Before the End of the Year

Maybe we’re a little biased, but we think that the Morgan Log House is a local historic gem just waiting to be discovered! Need convincing on making a visit? Here are just a couple of reasons why: 1.) A Hidden Gem with Unheard Stories We all know the big stories of American history: of founding fathers in powdered wigs fighting for freedom—but what about everyone else? What happened in your own backyard? The Morgan Log House shows the Revolutionary era in ways you might not have heard: the experiences of local Mennonites, of immigrants, and of the Welsh who settled here. 2.) History is Exciting! Think history is just a boring subject you slept through in school? Think again! History is connected to our world in more ways than we realize—why is that road called that? Why do we do the things we do? People cooked on what? Went to the bathroom where? We live in the legacy of history—explore it! 3.) History is Fun for All Ages Exploring a local historic site like the Morgan Log House can be fun for each member of your family. Mom interested in architecture? The Log House is a fascinating and unique eighteenth century home. Dad learning how to cook? Learning about hearth cooking might be a great inspiration to get our and grill.  Kids hate their chores? Learning how eighteenth century kids did their chores might make that all better—and give everyone some laughs! It’s a great learning experience to take part in as a family. 4.) The Morgan Log House Has Fun Holiday Programming The Morgan Log House has all...

History in Your Closet: Military Might and Personal Collections

By: Tim Betz, Executive Director, Morgan Log House, May 2017 This May 27th, the Morgan Log House will be holding its annual Military Might day. The event is meant to educate and provide a way to remember the sacrifices that Americans, throughout our nation’s history, made for their county through the nation’s various wars, from the American Revolution to the present day. It features reenactors, demonstrations, and artifact displays. Many of the artifact displays are from personal collections. I thought, as the new Executive Director here, I would use this Log Blog to talk about a family collection of my own, my thoughts as I went through it, and what people reading this can do with their important, personal and family collections. My grandfather served on a destroyer escort, the U.S.S. Gosselin, during the Second World War in the Pacific. The ship was launched in 1944 and was named after Ensign Edward W. Gosselin, who died on the U.S.S. Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor.  It was part of a convoy throughout the Pacific, where it shot down Japanese planes off Okinawa and saved survivors from the wreckage of kamikaze destroyed ships (which my grandfather always talked about with a sense of dread that only comes from horrific lived experience). The Gosselin was one of the first ships into Tokyo Bay before the surrender, having carried press and Naval photographers into Tokyo on August 27, 1945. On September 2, the Gosselin carried press representatives to the U.S.S. Missouri for the surrender ceremonies that ended the War. Later, the Gosselin and its crew liberated and evacuated prisoners of war...

From the New Executive Director

I thought I would use my first Log Blog post as a way to introduce myself to you, the Morgan Log House community. I’ve only spent a short time here so far, as I started working with the new year. Already, though, I can tell that this is a very special place and am excited to be a part of it. The history of the log house itself is fascinating and is connected to the fabric of our nation. The local story is the story of huddled colonists, scrappy revolutionaries, and those seeking opportunity on the shores of the New World that helped make our country what it is today. I’m excited for a chance to delve deeper into that history and to share it with the community. I’ve also been impressed with the people I’ve encountered here: volunteers who dedicate so much of themselves to making sure that the Log House continues to be a place where history comes alive. I can already tell that the Morgan Log House could not exist without them. Nor could it exist without the community that it serves, which have given generously throughout the organization’s history. I’m looking forward to working with the Log House’s volunteers and the community, and getting to know everyone. The Log House is really a family: and I’m glad and proud to now be a part of it. I’m coming to the Log House from the Red Mill Museum Village where I served as Curator of Public Programs before becoming Assistant Director. Additionally, I come with a newly minted Masters Degree in History from Lehigh University, where...

In Search of History

From time to time, even the closest knit families can have arguments and falling outs. Have you ever wondered if such a thing was possible in the 18th century? What if a Father and Son had different views on moral obligations and duty to one’s country? How do you continue to live amicably under the same roof with these differences? Well, that is just what Yellis Cassel was faced with. In 1778 Yellis Cassel, owner of the present Morgan Log House, was the Minister for Lower Skippack Mennonite Church and signed the non-combatant list for the 1778 Towamencin muster rolls. Like Quakers, Mennonites were pacifists by nature of their faith and Yellis joined many of his local Mennonites against the war between the Colonies and Great Britain. During this time, the common family practice was what the patriarch said, went. And yet, this respected Minister had what could possibly be described as a big family issue. His middle son, Christian, did not follow his father in signing the noncombatant list. Instead, we find Christian Cassel joining Captain John Springer’s Company of Militia for Towamencin Township. This makes us wonder about the Yellis and Christian relationship. What was the conversation like around the dinner table? Was Yellis able to respect his son’s different view? What motivated Christian to go against his Father’s ministry? As we delve deeper into the Cassel families history we hope to uncover this answers. Check back regularly as we learn...