Steve Iman

en*thu*si*asm \in-'th(y)uze-az-em\ n [Gk enthouslamos, fr enthouslazein to be inspired, fr entheos inspired, fr en- + theos god] a 1 : belief in special revelations b : fanaticism 2 a : strong excitement of feeling : FERVOR b : something inspiring zeal or fervor syn see PASSION


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Many parts of Pennsylvania had been settled by the time the first settlers discovered and moved toward the Shenandoah valley of Virginia. Brits had favored tidelands and marshes for their plantations, while the Germans and Swiss preferred the limestone rich soils at higher elevations. Among the first areas of settlement in the Valley of Virginia was Linville Creek in todays Rockingham County. This area became a center of controversy during the Civil War when most records for the area were so badly burned that we know far less about the history of the area than we'd like.

Abraham Brenneman was a key early settler toward the head of Linville Creek, which drains into the Shenandoah. Closely linked with Eymans of Connestoga, Abraham married the daughter of Adam Shank and Magdalena Eyman. Brenneman's mill can be seen in photos here, and is being well maintained by local historical groups. Subsequently identified as the Turner Mill, and sometimes Brenneman-Turner, the mill was one of the last functioning mills in area history. The mill, unlike so many others in the area, survived the destruction of the civil war period. Brenneman had contributed land and helped to build early and later churches for the Mennonite church. Henry Eyman, a son of Ulrich, migrated from Lampeter to the valley toward 1790. It seems that in this he was preceded by Christian Eyman and Susan, who purchased land near Brenneman but adjoining that of Shank and the grandfather of Presiding Lincoln.

The Baxter House is a landmark in the area though the house is currently occupied by owners though it is designated as a national historical site. Not much is known about the origins of this house, and it's believed that the Baxters after whom the house is named, were not the original builders, but rather occupants of the building someplace durinig the mid 1800s.

Until recently this house was shrouded in a stucco-like covering of it's log on limestone foundation structure. The shrouding has clearly served as a valuable preservative. The application for historical nomination notes the incredible precision and craftsmanship of stone and logs so well shaven that the ordinary chinking was not required. Who but those old Germans or Swiss would likely have been capable of such long lived construction? The land seems to sit on or very near property lines of the land held for a number of years by the Christian Eyman and Susan of Long Lane in Conestoga. Whether they or previous owners including the possible Thomas Bryan might have seen to the construction of this magnificent place would be difficult to discern.