Essays on just about anything
Essays on just about anything
In the 1720's there was little established government in Pennsylvania. The British held court quite infrequently, though upon several occasions took over Postlethwaite's Tavern, which has been constructed first about 1725. Lancaster's first court was held here on Long Lane in 1729, with John Postlethwaite working to have this setting defined as the center of an emerging Lancaster County. At the time, Though time has come and gone, the neighborhood has long remained the same -- among the most graceful and prosperous country areas of the nation. Lancaster was transitioning from an area where Conestoga Indians prospered to one where nearly 100 Swiss German families were settling.
The neighborhood along Conestoga Creek was a richly mixed one with English, Scots-Irish, and later those German-Swiss families. (The Swiss families have tended to say in the area and maintain farms held by their families for centuries, though quite early on, the English and Scots-Irish residents were ready to follow migration paths west, or to Virginia when it opened up. The early Swiss families had been expelled from Switzerland for their beliefs and had lived and worked on landed estates for generations in an area called the "Pfalz" along the Rhine River. This had been an area where the nearly destitute William Penn worked hard to recruit potential settlers to his new territories.
Conestoga by 1720 was a well established place with considerable past already. It aspired to become the center of an emerging Lancaster, but was eclipsed by other town developers who were sharp at marketing their locations in those days. Conestoga seems to have dwindled in size, though it was home to many of the families that Eymans have affiliated with over the centuries: Brennemans, Bares, Shanks/Shenks, Herrs, Funks, Hersheys, Neffs/Neafs, Hendigs, Hess, Harnish, and Stookey.
This Postlethwaite's neighborhood is central in Eyman history. Involvement in the neighborhood persisted until the sale of lands near 1835 from the Estate of a Christian Eyman, most of whose children had migrated years before into Ohio. It's believed that Christian and Susan (Heis) Eyman resided on the land directly west of Postlethwaite's. They are buried in a small family cemetery plot on lands long held by the Fehl family. It's believed that Ulrich Eyman himself might have been buried there -- there are numerous unmarked stones along the lines of those often associated with Mennonite farmers of the day.
Some have suggested that the Christian Eyman of Long Lane, who was the brother-in-law of Christian Hershey Herr had also owned land adjoining the grandfather of president Lincoln along Linville Creek in Rockingham of Virginia near 1785. Eyman inherited rights to purchase the Long Lane property from the estate of Herr after 1800 though it seems that in 1798, Eyman was a tenant of his brother-in-law and renting a 13-windowed log cabin of about 1300 square feet with out-buildings of the sort that most productive farms had. Did that house mutate into the one showing in the photograph above? Or is this house, owned in the early 1900s by Warfel's get built on land that was sold to Warfels in 1835? In the early 1900s, Warfels discovered walls of a jail embedded in outhouse design, and are said to have uncovered evidence of other previous log structures on their property.
There are many things we don't know. Was this Christian Eyman the grandson of Ulrich? If so, did he arrive in the New World with his grandfather? If his father (also an Ulrich) died in Germany, why would he have had his own son come at a very early age to the new world? If this is the Christian and Susan Eyman who purchased land adjoining Shanks and Lincolns along Linville Creek in Rockingham of Virginia, did they build what became known as the Baxter house there? Did they migrate to Linville and return to Conestoga to become renters of Christian Hershey Herr? The land which had belonged to John Postlethwaite, perhaps in the 1720s at the zenith of the area, was later acquired by George Fehl. Some accounts speak of a distinction between the Postlethwaite burial grounds and those on the Fehl's farm.