Third annual Historic Festival to be held at Dreibelbis Farm

Photo by Shea Singley From last year's Historic Dreibelbis Farm Festival.

The Dreibelbis Farm Historical Society (DFHS) is excited to host the third annual “Historic Dreibelbis Farm Festival” at the farm grounds in Virginville on Saturday, Aug. 23. Last year’s festival was a great success, with more than 350 people in attendance to enjoy the day, and this year’s festival promises to be even more exciting, with a greater number of exhibitors and demonstrators.

The Dreibelbis farm was founded in 1778 by Jacob B. Dreibelbis, son of the original Dreibelbis family immigrant, John Jacob Dreibelbis. Joel and Elizabeth Dreibelbis, who are credited with modernizing the colonial–era farm, replaced the original log cabin with the current brick house in 1868. Since then, the farm has remained largely intact and unchanged, and is recognized as a treasure of archeological and historical significance. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the second oldest continuously owned family farm in Berks County. Centuries ago, the farmlands along the Maiden Creek were also home to one of the largest Native American villages within Berks County.

The festival highlights the historical, cultural, and ecological features of the farm and its lands, and will feature live demonstrations of 18th and 19th century farm life. Exhibits will include: antique wagons, chair caning, butter making, lotion and soap making, candle making, dairying, butchering, threshing machines, a cooper (maker of barrels), distelfink painting, quill pen writing, hex signs, dowsing, Native American artifacts, sauerkraut making, and more.

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Additionally, there will be a guided workshop to build-your-own birdhouse, as well as children’s games and hayrides for kids of all ages. The barn and historic outbuildings will also be open to the public. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the self-guided nature trail, which winds its way through the farm fields, forests, wetlands, and along the Maiden Creek.

In addition to the on-going demonstrations, the following presentations will be given:

11 a.m. and 1 p.m.: The First Americans, by Dick Fry

Noon: 1799 Fries Rebellion (Armed Tax Revolt by Pennsylvania Dutch Farmers), by Dave Fox

Admission to the festival is FREE! Food will be available for purchase and house tours will be offered for cost. The farm is located at 356 Hard Hill Road, Hamburg. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Mark Dreibelbis at 610-488-7896 or DreibelbisFarm@gmail.com. To learn more about the Historic Dreibelbis Farm and the festival, visit the website at www.DreibelbisFarm.org.