Look What We Found!

A section of George Keller’s Will (via the Hottle-Keller Association)

On Tuesday, April 9 at 6:30 Karen Cooper from the Hottle Keller Association will present a program about some of the rare historical documents found in the Shenandoah Germanic Heritage Museum  The event is free and open to the public at the Shenandaoh County Library in Edinburg. Come help us celebrate local history and our own archival research collections in the Shenandaoh Room and Truban Archives!

“Look What We Found!”  Papers and Memorabilia in the Shenandoah Germanic  Heritage Museum”.

The Shenandoah Germanic Heritage Museum is located at the Keller Homestead west of Toms Brook and 1 and 1/2 miles south of Mt Olive just off the Back Road (#623).  The papers fall into four main categories and span two centuries.  There are materials collected by Ephraim Baker, and these range from 1822 to the beginning of the Twentieth Century.  Among these are Civil War Bonds and letters, militia appointments, a militia list, items concerning the care for poor and indigent, requests for advice in handling government policies after the Civil War, IOUs store ledgers and much more.

There are several generations of Keller materials.  Some of them complement the Baker records, while others describe for us the importance of the Toms Brook area in the rebuilding of the County and the Valley after the Civil War.  The railroad, the development of modern modes of transportation and farming are clear from the many ads and items from this 1880s – 1940s time frame.

A collection on the Shaver Family and a large amount of Rosenberger information adds to our understanding. The history of the development of the Hottel Keller Association and the Hottel Keller Memorial, Incorporated, along with many pictures and materials about the extended Hottel and Keller families and their neighbors helps to fill in the picture of life in the extended Toms Brook, Fishers Hill, Mt. Olive, Saumsville area with its many small villages and extended trade networks.

The papers also give details about schools, churches and cemeteries.  Apples to England, Chevys from Detroit, opossums for credit, school books passed down through the generations – so many facets of our local every day activities are coming to life as these papers are unwrapped, and cataloged.  Many of these materials seem to have never been unfolded or unbound.