Donations Gratefully Received

Over the past several months the Society has received a number of wonderful donations, both to add to our archived collection and the donations of technological apparatus and physical labor. Of these last two, Blake Timochenko certainly stands out for his generosity. Knowing our plans to place information kiosks in the mill, he took it upon himself to supply us with the necessary hardware and technological assistance to make this a reality. In addition, seeing the need to shore up the loose stones in the wall near the waterwheel to avoid potential injury, Blake worked with a local contractor who, as Blake did, volunteered time to handle the problem. Blake also has donated antique tools now placed in our collection. We are truly appreciative of his work and generosity.

Display kiosk for Durham history overview,
donated and assembled by Blake Timochenko

Les Williams is a local collector of tools and equipment used in the milling industry. He has very generously gifted several valuable items to our collection. Two of these implements were used to level out the millstones while their cleaning and sharpening process was being performed. Most recently he donated equipment used to lift the millstones together with three of the sharpening hammers used in refurbishing the stones. He also built a display stand to show the equipment to its best advantage. The Society is truly grateful to Mr. Williams for his interest and generosity. 

Jim and Jack Little as young boys spent a lot of time exploring Cooks Creek where it flowed through their farm about a quarter mile from the Delaware River. They found cannon balls that had been made at the original Durham Furnace. Jim and his wife Diane, upon the passing of Jack, donated these as well as other items of interest (including stone axes, arrowheads, and a baking mold) to the Society. In addition to the historical items, Jim and Diane also donated 15 prints depicting the French and Indian War period. These prints were donated with the stipulation that they could be sold or used in any other fashion to raise money for the Society. The generosity of people like the Little’s is to be commended and we are grateful for the interest they have shown in the Society.

Passport to History

As part of the Lehigh Valley Passport to History month, we are scheduling the Durham Mill to be open for tours on Saturday, the 15th of July, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tours will be given on the hour and members of the Society will make themselves available to answer questions. For those who have never visited the mill, this will give you an opportunity to see a piece of history that you never realized was part of our community. For those who haven’t visited for some time, this will enable you to see some of the improvements that have been made to the mill. New windows, a new viewing area for the water wheel, new museum quality lighting, plus more. We are also partnering with the Williams Township Historical Society who has scheduled a driving tour of the historic cemeteries in their township. You may also want to “Google” Passport to History to see what other events are occurring during the month of July. Hope we will see you at the mill!

The Good Deed

Please join the Durham Historical Society as it welcomes Dave Bretz providing a hands on workshop entitled The Good Deed. The workshop will be presented on June 24th at the Durham Mill from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. A suggested donation of $10.00 would be appreciated.

Deeds are a valuable source of history. Whether we are performing genealogy or researching a particular building or property, deeds provide valuable information by telling us who lived where and when. Please join David Bretz, a licensed surveyor, as he provides valuable insight into deeds and how to use them in historical research. While we may have a general understanding of a deed many questions still abound. Dave will seek to answer these questions by examining how to understand, research and plot deeds. By understanding deeds, we can better interpret them in layman’s terms. By researching deeds, we can connect people with land at a specific time. Research further allows us to join subsequent deeds in chronological order. Known as “chain of title”, this collection of deeds provides a full history on a tract of land which can be traced back to its origins from William Penn. Dave will discuss how to locate deeds in County records as well how to research historic land documents at the State Archives. By plotting deeds, we can determine the shape of a parcel of land which helps us to find its geographic location upon the ground.

This will be a unique hands-on presentation\workshop for attendees and will provide step by step instruction on how to plot deeds. Dave will provide attendees all the tools needed along with personal instruction on how to plot deeds. Your participation is greatly encouraged. A rich history can be developed by connecting the dots of people with land and the good deed allows us to do this. Please consider joining us for this unique opportunity to understand and plot deeds.