Local history buffs Jan Taylor and Diane Wenger teamed up to author a pictorial history of southeastern Lebanon County in "Images of America: Schaefferstown and Heidelberg Township, Lebanon County." On the book's February 10 release, both authors appeared on abc27's "Good Day PA" to showcase their work and the region's past.
"This area has just such a rich history going back to when William Penn was first here. But a lot of it is still there," said Taylor. "That's the really interesting thing is that a lot of the houses and things that we have found photos of, they're still there."
According to Wenger, "It was first settled by Germans so they brought all their culture with them. As we looked through these pictures, you can kind of see how they lived, how they worked, the things that went on with their lives."
The women explained that Arcadia Publishing contacted Heidelberg Township to inquire about citizens who might be interested in compiling a book about the area. Wenger became part of the project as she is a local historian. Taylor volunteers with the local historical society. The book features more than 200 images, many of which are courtesy of Historic Schaefferstown, Inc. and local residents.
Wenger explained that it was interesting to learn that Schaefferstown once had a trolley system that ran through town, but that it was only used for 15-20 years because it was pushed aside by the automobile. Taylor discovered strong women's roles in local history, like riding on tractors and playing on basketball teams.
According to Arcadia Publishing, there are many images to explain how founder Alexander Schaeffer laid out a village with a central square and built a water system using underground wooden pipes. The book also shows how the region evolved but retained its "small-town look."
For more information, visit: www.arcadiapublishing.com.