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Collection A. H. Cassel, collection
Title A. H. Cassel, collection
Accession number BCA05-02
Caption Ephrata Cloister Lancaster County Pennsylvania
Catalog Number BCA05-02
Credit line Brethren Church Archives; 524 College Ave; Ashland, OH.
Imagefile 001\BCA0502.JPG
Notes Container list

Folder 1-Amwell Church of the Brethren, New Jersey-typed manuscript related to the founding of the Amwell church.
Folder 2-Antitum meeting house-Hand written note detailing history of the Antitum meeting house.
Folder 3-Articles of faith German 7th Day Baptist-photocopied title page only. No other information given.
Folder 4-Brethren Church history-Snow Hill Penna. Nunnery-Loose page from the Brethren Evangelist, December 1, 1951. Article written by Freeman Ankrum.
Folder 5-Brethren Evangelist clipped article-no date- Article by Obed Snowberger-items of church history-the Tunker Brethren.
Folder 6-Brethren Evangelist-clipped articles-2/6/1884, 3/5/1884, 7/20/1892-Clipped articles by Obed Snowberger. Old German hymn books, founding of cloiste
Object Name Manuscript
Scope & Content The items found in this collection were gathered by Abraham, H. Cassel and Obed Snowberger during the mid-19th century. The focus of this collection is centered around the Snow Hill Nunnery and the Ephrata Community in Germantown, Pennsylvania.

The Ephrata community is a national historic landmark located in Central Pennsylvania's Lancaster County. The community or cloisters was one of the earliest religious centers which was founded in 1732 by Conrad Bisel, a German settler. The community was based on medieval Euroepean concept of celibate brothers and sisters and a married congregation of families.

They became known for thier music, calligraphy and printing. following the death of the last celibate member in 1813, the married congregation formed the German Seventh-Day Baptist Church. Members continued to live and worship at the Cloister until 1934. In 1941, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania acquired the historic site and began a program of restoration and interpretation.

Abraham Harley Cassel (1820-1908), bibliophile and Brethren historian from Harleysville, PA. Mr. Cassel was the foremost historian on the subject of Geman and American issues. His library of 50,000 volumes can be summed up by the following 1867 letter by Cassel. "My greatest delight from early infancy was in books and matters of former times. Consequently the pursuits of my whole life were bent in that channel. I have therefore amassed an amount of matter that is almost incredible. Among which may be found letters, genealogies, and other manuscripts from many of the most ancient Brethren. I have travelled thousands of miles and ransacked many old bee-boxes and flour barrels in the garrets and lofts of their dispersed descendants to collect them." Sometime prior to 1908, Mr. Cassel donated 300 volumes to the library at Ashland College, Ashland, Ohio.

Since May 2004, this collection has been housed at the Brethren Church Archives, Ashland, Ohio. Prior to this time the collection was received at Ashland Seminay, Ashland, Ohio. The possible donor of these materials was Rev. D. C. White of Berlin, Pennsylvania.


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