Expert Talk on Historical Preservation

Please join the Durham Historical Society as they present the next lecture in their series on local history. Our area is blessed with many fine examples of historic structures, both of significance and of general interest. The fact that this area was and still is a farming area means that there are a lot of interesting farming structures that have stood the test of time. Studying these and documenting farm houses, barns and outbuildings is a worthwhile effort and we are fortunate to have as a presenter someone who has spent a great deal of her time in doing just that.

Carla Cielo will bring a wealth of experience to Durham on Sunday, October 30th at 2:00 p.m., when she presents a program covering the dating of barns in the area.  Ms. Cielo has a Masters degree in Historic Preservation from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree from Drexel University. She has over 25 years of experience in historic preservation consulting and was the leading expert on Holland Township’s barn survey, where she documented over 125 barns, 75 houses and 75 outbuildings. She is currently conducting research for a book on farm outbuildings. Her presentation will center on what her team was able to learn from dating a collection of barns using a variety of methods including dendrochronology (tree ring dating).


At Durham Mill, September 25, 2pm

Please join David Bretz and Jim Hill as they give a presentation on early surveying in Pennsylvania. David Bretz, a professional land surveyor, will give his presentation, “Colonial Corners” that will discuss William Penn’s land distribution system and its effects on early European settlement here in the Upper Bucks County region as Penn partitioned the land and sold it into private ownership. Bretz will “follow in the footsteps of the original surveyor” as he retraces the first property lines of Provincial Pennsylvania to recover original property corners that were set some 250 years ago. Original land documents will also be reviewed to gain insight on how and why the land was first settled. Jim Hill, an avid collector of antique measuring devices shared parts of his collection in the exhibit “Magnificent Measures”that was on display last summer at the Mercer Museum. Jim will be bringing along some rare and truly unique pieces of survey equipment that date to the 18th and early 19th century. This is a great opportunity to not only learn about the original settlement of the Durham area but to also see up close some truly unique and historic survey equipment, some of which has never been displayed before.

Light refreshments will be served. The presentation is free although contributions would be welcomed.

Historical Presentation: Traditional Powder Horn Craft

Please mark your calendars for Sunday, June 26th at 2:00 p.m. and plan to attend the Durham Historical Society’s next offering in our lecture series.

Join Frank Willis of the Honourable Company of Horners as he presents a lively and interesting program of how the colonialists and their descendants  (up to the time of the invention of plastic) used animal horns to make powder horns, storage vessels, buttons and spoons. Mr. Willis is an expert in the construction of Pennsylvania style powder horns, as well as many other items, and will bring many of his creations with him.

The presentation will be held on the Durham Village Green (weather permitting). Bring a chair or blanket if you desire. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held in the Durham Mill. There is no charge for the program although contributions to the mill’s restoration fund will be appreciated. Light refreshments will be served following the program.

News Article Correction

We received the following correction notice from Bucks County Herald reporter Kathryn Finegan Clark, regarding a column she wrote with information about Durham Historical Society:


The By the Way column appearing in the Bucks County Herald on May 18
contained an error. A fish-shaped mold was donated to the Durham Historical
Society by the William Little family. Les Williams donated a grain level.

The correction I meant to include in my June 2 column did not happen.
Mea culpa.

Kathy Clark