Page 28 - May Slippery Rock Gazette
P. 28

28|May 2020
Revisiting Hope, New Jersey:
An Early American Moravian Settlement
Slippery rock Gazette
Peter J. Marcucci
Special Contributor
Left and Below: Designed by Chris- tian Christianson (the designer of the Bethlehem Pennsylvania wa- terworks) and constructed in 1770 by master mason Philip Maixel and carpenter Joseph Grotz, the grist mill was the first of many structures to be made from locally quarried rough-cut limestone. This renovated structure (below, adding a new slate roof) was made into a bed and breakfast in 1986 and is currently The Inn at Millrace Pond. Records show that the mill provided flour to General George Washington’s Continental army, while based at nearby Jockey Hol- low, New Jersey.
Bottom: Water entered in the back to power the 10 RPM paddle wheel, and drive the mechanism and grinding stones. The massive gear passes through the wall in the second floor bar and dining room.
 These days, we could all use a little hope – it’s what gives us peace at night and vital- ity in the morning. Hope inspires our dreams, and dreams drive our motivation, our commitment, and our success. With hope we are strong; without it we are weak.
After years of religious persecu- tion in Europe, the Moravians (a Protestant denomination) began arriving in North America in the early 18th century with a handful of essentials under each arm – and unwavering hope within their hearts. Strong and resourceful from years of living by their wits, their missions within America were to be the personification of that hope through building self-sufficient communities, perpetuating their values, and sharing their beliefs.
Not fleeing persecution, but rather at a missionary stage at this point, the German speak- ing Moravians set sail to the Caribbean, Africa, and Far East as well as South America and North America, eventually landing in the fledging American Colony of Georgia in 1735 to work with the Creek Indians. Within five years, our very own William Penn pe- titioned the Moravian mission in London and eventually convinced them to send a mission north into Pennsylvania. The Moravians then immigrated to Bethlehem, (so named by Count von Zinzendorf on his visit on Christmas Eve 1741) Pennsylvania, to work with the Iroquois Indians and build. And
build they did, with native stone.
Hope: A New Beginning
In the early 1760s, North America was embroiled in the French and Indian War while concurrently, tensions between the American Colonies and Britain continued to ratchet-up by the day. The frontier towns connected by rough roads and trails had surprises around most every corner.
For many years throughout this tumult, the Moravians had been successfully sending missionar- ies from Bethlehem to New York and New England along these roads, regularly passing through Greenland, New Jersey, a large area owned by Samuel Green,
a Royal Surveyor for the Royal Governor of New Jersey. It was during these years that eventually the Moravians were befriended by Green and his wife, Abigail, and by 1768, the Greens had become so smitten with the Moravians that they offered them an approximate 1,000 acres—free. Wanting the opportunity, but not wanting a free ride, the Moravians did accept the land, but only after paying the sum of 1,000 British Pounds, as well as agreeing to supply food, hay, and firewood to the Greens for the rest of their lives. On March 7, 1769, a deal was finalized and Greenland was purchased, and now more reso- lute than ever, the Moravians threw caution to the wind and began de- signing the town that was soon to be renamed Hope.
The Growth Years
Due to the many years of isola- tion in Europe, the Moravians had learned all too well how to be re- sourceful and self-sufficient, and the missionaries sent to Hope con- sisted of artisans, teachers and doc- tors, and practical tradesmen like masons, carpenters and tanners, and metal smiths, manufacturers, and entrepreneurs, as well as farm- ers. These tradesmen, educators, and healers were driven, motivated, and expert at working collectively, but above all—they were fiercely loyal to their faith, their families, and their neighbors. They pursued music, art and poetry, and schooled
both young men and women with absolute equality. They were also keenly aware of the fact that you could have the best trades- men in the land, but with no outside money coming into the com- munity, the town wasn’t sustainable. So, the first building to be constructed was one that could provide both food and money.
The Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Water- works, a grist mill designed by Christian Christianson was con- structed from lime- stone quarried about
a mile away. Using traditional European techniques, the lime- stone blocks were un- earthed and delivered
to the construction site
by draft horses and wagon, and then hand-
split and placed by master mason Philip Maixel using mortar made from the combi- nation of locally dug
clay and leftover lime- stone scraps from the quarry.
By 1770, a miraculous one year later, the mill was up and running, powered by the rush of water from a local stream through a race that
   Below: Now the First Hope Bank, the original Gemeinhaus,
(a combination meeting house and Church) was built in 1781. Sermons were conducted in both German and English, the two principle languages that were spoken in Hope, NJ.
  had been cut while the mill was under construction.
Please turn to page 29

   26   27   28   29   30