Sunday, July 20, 2014

Meetinghouse tour

A huge thank you to everyone involved in organizing this past weekend's tour of Quaker meetinghouses in the Western Quarter. For a history-minded person like me with an interest in Quakerism, it was fascinating.
On Saturday we visited "New" West Grove, Pennsgrove, and Homeville meetings and then crossed the Mason-Dixon Line to visit Colora meeting. On Sunday we went to London Britain meeting. Each meetinghouse had its own Friendly charm. At West Grove, upside-down glass telephone-pole insulators held candles and the beams in the cellar still had bark on them. I thought Pennsgrove had an especially calm, gathered air about it. The hosts at Homeville had on display old newspaper articles about the meeting; I loved reading about the heated disputes over the spelling of "Octoraro." London Britain had pillows on the benches.

We got a little lost getting to Colora, and driving through the two gateposts was like arriving at an enchanting cottage in a forest clearing. The surprisingly comfortable wooden benches were made from rafts on the Susquehanna, the hostess told us (I noticed that the worshippers who sat on facing benches got footrests, a surprising touch). The small Colora burial ground is on a steep slope leading down to a creek and is the final resting place for a daughter of Betsy Ross and a great many members of the Balderston family (we passed Balderston Orchards en route to the meetinghouse).

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