Dear Dr. Scribblerbeer:
I came across a Saturday Evening Post issue from March 30, 1940, with a long article by G. Paul Musselman, “Hook-and-Eye and Shoo-Fly Pie.” The illustrated article describes local Amish and their customs.
Mr. Musselman describes how the Amish elders were concerned about their youth frequenting an inn on Route 772, drinking, etc., and so bought the inn and closed it. Are you familiar with this article? Do you know anything about the author?
Thank you for sharing one of your thousands of old magazines with this column, Brett. This is news to the Scribbler.
But not to the Amish. An Amish historian has verified the story. The Amish did, indeed, buy and close an old inn in Intercourse. Here's what Musselman wrote about that:
“A certain inn on the old Lancaster Road — the only licensed tavern in the vicinity — became popular among the unmarried Amish.... Single and, therefore, beardless youths drank beer merrily with young girls in orthodox attire ... and a good time was had by all — except the Amish parents.''
Musselman reported that a committee of bearded elders went to the office of the Lancaster brewery that owned the inn, asked the price of the property, provided the sum in cash, acquired title and closed the place.
The Amish historian adds to this story. Not only young Amish, who had not yet joined the church, but older Amish drank at that inn. “It was considered sociable” and “nobody would bat an eye,” he says. But the Amish elders batted their eyes.
The inn they closed was called Traveler’s Rest. A history of Intercourse published in 2004 says the inn was constructed in 1827 by Lemuel Sappington at the northwest intersection of what are now Routes 340 (the Old Philadelphia Pike) and 772.
The former inn became an apartment house, then a business location. Today it is called the Carpet Cafe. Mehmet Canleblebici and family sell carpets, lamps, ceramics and other materials made in Turkey. A family spokesman says the family came here as tourists five years ago. They liked the location and stayed.
The Carpet Cafe and another 11 “Stagecoach Shops” in five buildings of a small shopping center will be sold at public auction Oct. 7 at 6 p.m.
As for the author of the Saturday Evening Post story, the Scribbler has found a prime candidate. George Paul Musselman was born in New Holland. He became an Episcopal minister, serving churches in Downingtown, Detroit, New York and other cities.
He lectured on plain customs in his early years and co-authored “The Twelve Step Recovery Program of Alcoholics Anonymous” and other books while ministering in New York City later in life.
It seems probable that a man who grew up in Lancaster County and lectured and wrote books would be the same man who told Saturday Evening Post readers that the Lancaster Amish in the ‘30s had found an indirect way to purify their culture.
Dear Dr. Scribblerads:
Your July 10 column answering a question about when Lancaster Newspapers’ help-wanted ads stopped discriminating by sex implied that it was only the content of the employers’ ads that was discriminatory. But it was the newspapers themselves that divided ads into the categories of “Help Wanted-Male” and Help Wanted-Female.'”
When did this practice end?
Dear Roger: Although the state Human Relations Act outlawed job discrimination based on sex in 1969, newspapers were slow to change. Lancaster Newspapers categorized jobs as “Help Wanted-Male” and “Female” through the end of 1973, according to a check of old issues by LNP librarian Kim Gomoll.
Jack Brubaker, retired from the LNP staff, writes "The Scribbler'' column every Wednesday. He welcomes comments and contributions at email@example.com.