MHS Archives

Maytowns 250th Celebration

Welcomes You    

Maytown Garden Tour
Saturday June 20, 2015

The Maytown Historical Society has had that Spring-like vision in view, as plans have been made to host another garden tour in our fabled and beautiful village on Saturday, June 20, 2015, from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM.

On that day, rain or shine, ten or more varied town gardens---many with ponds and other special features-will be open to the public; talks and presentations will be given at various sites on diverse gardening subjects; and, of course, delicious foods will be available for breakfast, lunch, and snacking.

MHS stalwarts and noted "green thumbs", Carol Eddins and Susan Corridon, will host an expanded plant sale at their 9 South River Street Victorian home and large garden, with as many as 300 potted and varied perennials for sale at a reasonable price of $4.00 each.

Early risers may dine in the lush backyard of the town's museum, beneath canvas pavilions, on our famous breakfast sandwiches that combine eggs with ham, cheese or bacon, from 8:00 AM until 10:00 AM; and, from 11:00 AM onwards, a larger menu will be offered, consisting of hot dogs, burgers, bratwurst, sliced barbecue chicken, potato salad, baked beans, sauerkraut, and a variety of beverages and desserts---including among the latter, fresh strawberries paired with ice cream or pound cake!

The museum, of course, will be open to view our continued display of many of the most-prized artifacts in our collection, and a table will be set up in the yard to sell some donated items and excess gift shop inventory.

Tickets for the garden tour cost $8.00 in advance and $10.00 on the day of the event. Call Gordy Nell at 426-2786 to procure the tickets in advance.

Profits generated by the event benefit the work of the Maytown Historical Society in this, our 30th year. We thank you for your support in helping us to keep our special town's history and cultural life alive and well for these many years, and invite you to not only be a patron of our special events but also a member of our Society. Join us on most second Thursdays of the month, at 7:00 PM, at St. John's Lutheran Church, 11 North Queen Street, in Maytown. Sponsors of this year's Garden Tour include: Longwood Manor, Donegal Insurance Group, Union Community Bank and several anonymous sponsors..."Thank you"

We hope to see you on a bright and sunny, June day, with the flowers all a-bloom!

Breakfast & Bake Sale
Saturday March 21, 2015
  • Breakfast Menu - Sausage, Eggs, Pancakes, Juice and Coffee
  • Where - St. John's Lutheran Church, N. Queen Street Maytown
  • Time - 7:00am - 10:00am

Breakfast tickets are $6.00 and can be purchased prior to March 21st by calling Gordy Nell at 717-426-2786, tickets will also be available at the door on day of breakfast.

October 18, 2014 -- from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM

Last year, the Maytown Historical Society hosted a “Winterfest” in December which, while a nice idea, was not as successful as the previous year's effort, due to very cold weather and an afternoon snow storm. Vendors complained about the cold or failed to show up at all, due to the forecast, and local people didn't turn out as well as expected. For those reasons, the MHS is offering the community a major event in a different time of year that is less subject to poor weather and full of autumnal beauty.

On Saturday, October 18, 2014, from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM, the town will host an event that celebrates the heritage of Maytown's most predominant ethnic group---the Germans! The MHS will sell a variety of German foods at a stand on the northeast tangent of the square, including, of course, pork and sauerkraut, bratwurst sausage, German potato salad, and baked goods such as Black Forest Cherry Cake, apple strudel, rich, chocolate “Sachertorte” cake (a layer cake named after the Hotel Sacher in Vienna), “shoo-fly“ pie, Lebkuchen (gingerbread), and many more offerings donated by the populace---washed down by a variety of beverages including root beer and perhaps even a bottle or two of “near-beer”---to name but a few.

Diners may sit at tables in the middle of the decorated square (Maytown's version of a “Biergarten” without the alcohol) while they are entertained by the German ensemble of the Bainbridge Band and a troupe of folk dancers from the Lancaster Liederkranz. They can also view a collection of souvenirs from Germany and Austria that town citizens have accumulated from their travels---and we hope to have students from Donegal High's German Club take part in the festivities. Keith Smith, St. John Lutheran Church's organist of 40 years will play the music of Bach and other German composers on the church's organ from 2:30 PM until 3:00 PM.

We are, as well, seeking out commercial vendors who would be willing to sell German-related foods such as soft pretzels and funnel cakes etc., as well as crafts often found in Germany's famous pre-Christmas markets called “Christkindl” fairs.

Vendor Application page 1    |    Vendor Application page 2

At the same time that all this is going on, the museum , at 4 West High Street, will be open for the public to view treasures from the MHS collection of artifacts as well as patronize the gift shop for Maytown souvenirs, German redware dishes, and “Byer's Choice” figurines.

And if that weren't enough, the Society is also sponsoring, that same day and time, a “Fall Haus Tour” that costs $8.00 in advance of the day or $10.00 on the day itself. One may visit 9 different town homes---plus three of our historic churches---the Lutheran, Reformed, and Church of God buildings.

Houses on the tour include Jack Frank's magnificent federal style dwelling; Victorian houses owned by Vernetta Wallander, Susan Corridon and Carol Eddins, and new Maytowners, Bob and Eileen Swartz; the historic Lutheran parsonage with its ties to Simon Cameron and the iconic “Haines” House on the Square; and the “new” house owned by Jack and Donnis Young, the newly re-purposed house/tobacco warehouse owned by the Stiver family, and the newly-rebuilt house of Ginny Emswiler, which arose, like the phoenix, from the ashes of a 2013 fire.

So circle your calendars and be prepared to come out on October 18th, from 10 AM till 5 PM to celebrate Maytown's past and present and have a good time doing a good thing---helping to create and renew our community's spirit and resist the danger of just being a “bedroom community”---which is no community at all!

Questions may be addressed to Bob Lescallette at 717-426-1643 or via the MHS website,

House tour tickets can be obtained ahead of time by calling Pat Vogel at 717-426-2360 or leaving a message on the museum phone, 717-426-1526. You can help by patronizing the event, publicizing it among your family and friends, donating food to sell, loaning German souvenirs to display, or working at the food stand or in set-up/take-down activities.

Breakfast & Bake Sale
Saturday March 22, 2014
  • Breakfast Menu - Sausage, Eggs, Pancakes, Juice and Coffee
  • Where - St. John's Lutheran Church, N. Queen Street Maytown
  • Time - 7:00am - 10:00am

Breakfast tickets are $5.00 and can be purchased prior to March 22nd by calling Sue Nell at 717-426-2786, tickets will also be available at the door on day of breakfast.

Maytown Winter Festival 2013

Maytown Historical Society presents an Open House Tour featuring Six Homes in addition to our Winter Festival on Saturday December 14, 2013. Tour hours are 11:00AM - 5:00PM Tickets for this event are $8.00 in advance or $10.00 day of tour. Advanced tickets can be purchased by calling 717-426-2786. On the day of the tour, tickets may be purchased at the Maytown/East Donegal Museum located at 4 West High Street. A special addition to the Open House Tour this year will be Dolores Hackenberger, lovingly referred to as the “Grandma Moses of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country” She will be demonstrating her painting in one of the homes featured on the house tour.

Sponsors of this year's Festival and House Tour include: Engle Printing and Publishing, Longwood Manor, Donegal Insurance Group, Union Community Bank and several sponsors who wish to remain anonymous. "THANK YOU"

sm_snowman (3K)
Maytown Winter Festival 2013
Third Annual

The Maytown Historical Society is planning a third “Maytown Winter Festival” to be held on Saturday, December 14, 2013, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The event seeks to promote community holiday spirit, and it affords people the opportunity to purchase unique Christmas and other gifts as well as sample a wonderful variety of foods---while being entertained by an array of performers and costumed characters. It also raises funds for the support of the MHS, which is an all-volunteer group of people who operate a small museum, amass town artifacts, and further the appreciation of Maytown's history and cultural life.

On the 14th, the village square and High Street will be lined with vendors selling a variety of wares. A costumed town crier and a “Belsnickel” (a folkloric figure associated with Christmas among the early German settlers) will “flavor” the scene, as will wandering carolers and other musical ensembles.

At the c. 1800 Haines House, currently occupied by MHS stalwarts, Dan and Rene Plummer, one will enter into a colonial atmosphere “Royal George Inn” and be served fine desserts and beverages at linen-covered, candlelit tables, by costumed waiters and “wenches”.

Or, one may choose to walk a short distance down South River Street and patronize “The Sister's Ye Olde Bake Shoppe”, where you may purchase delicious apple dumplings, cookies, and other pastries in a Victorian setting presided over by MHS pillars, sisters, Carol Eddins and Susan Corridon.

If you haven't yet been fully fed by material food---how about stopping by the Maytown - East Donegal Museum at 4 West High Street, and feast on our town's history? This year's display remembers the incredible life of our most famous native son, Hon. Simon Cameron, who was born in a Maytown log cabin that once stood but a few paces to the west of the museum, in 1799, and who rose to be one of the most powerful and influential men in nineteenth century America! You can read a time-line of Cameron's life, view lots of photos, be startled by a life-like, dressed mannequin of “The General“ himself, read some of his wittiest statements and those written about him, and even view several items that actually belonged to the great man---some of which are on special loan to the MHS from sister societies in Lancaster and Harrisburg.

The museum also boasts a fine gift shop where you can purchase gifts ranging from pottery, textiles, and smaller souvenirs of town to a huge variety of “Byer's Choice” figurines---many of which wear Christmastide-Dickensian attire!

Maytown's beautiful and historic churches will be open for tours, displays, and special holiday programming and this year's festival may feature additional venues which are still in the planning stage and may be announced via future publicity.

So travel back in time to a magical place called “Maytown, USA” to get caught up in the Yule-tide spirit---and support efforts to preserve and expand the quality of our life together!

250th Anniversary Commerative DVD

A commerative DVD of Maytown's 250th anniversary celebration has been produced by the Maytown Historical Society. Using several hundred still photos and video recordings from local residents, every aspect of the 4 day celebration has been recorded and transformed into this commerative DVD.

If you were here in Maytown and enjoyed the celebration, this is a great way to preserve those wonderful memories, and a part of Maytown history. With a price of $21.20 each (which includes PA sales tax), they make a great souvnier for yourself or pick several up for gifts. The DVD's are available for sale at the Maytown-East Donegal Museum.

In 1985, a group of citizens banded together to form the Maytown Historical Society. The immediate motivation for establishing the society was the celebration of the 225th anniversary of the town's founding.

With that accomplished in fine style, the society began a more routine, but ultimately more important life of collecting local artifacts, amassing, sharing, and recording historical data.

The society hosts a wide variety of events and fund raisers including the annual "Mayfest" celebrations, as well as monthly programs to raise the historical consciousness of our local population.

In 2002 the Society took a bold and significant step: we saw the realization of a 17-year dream, by purchasing a site for our museum. This log structure may be the oldest structure in the village, likely dating from 1760.

Maytown Museum
Maytown/East Donegal Museum


The purpose of the Maytown Historical Society is to develop and maintain a continuing, written history of Maytown and East Donegal Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

To seek, acquire/loan and preserve all documents, artifacts and other mementos which exemplify lifestyles and or events of historical significance.

To research, classify and document pertinent information on buildings and to promote the preservation, restoration and registry of such buildings.

To determine the role of Maytown and East Donegal Township in world, national, regional and adjoining area history.

To present programs and events which will be informational, educational and interesting to the members and general public.

To advocate for government policies, ordinances and laws that preserve our historic buildings, farmland and community character.


Since the Maytown Historical Society is a non-profit organization, donations of artifacts may be deducted from income taxes at their appraised value---just as cash donations to the Society may be deducted. If you have questions about this, or are contemplating making a donation to us, please feel free to contact me, the MHS Archivist (Jack H. Frank) at 717-426-3308

Old family photos, histories, diaries, deeds, maps and other documents will be accepted, along with artifacts and materials from citizens, businesses, schools, churches, political parties and other organizations---insofar as the items relate to the Maytown/East Donegal Township Community.

General meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month

PO Box 293
Maytown, PA
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Maytown Wood Block House Collection
Maytown Wood Block House Collection