The Cornwall Iron Furnace lecture series will feature “The Kauffman Farm of Oley” in their next presentation on Aug. 13, with James A. Lewars, retired from a 42-year career working at state historic sites, sharing his expertise.
The program is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Freeman Hall on the campus of the Cornwall Manor Retirement Community.
The Oley Valley in Berks County, and Oley Township in particular, where the Kauffman Farm is located, is known for its wealth of 18th century buildings. It was there that German-born David Kauffman, in 1726 bought 200 acres, married the daughter of another settler and began his life in America.
The farm, which he started, grew to include nearly two dozen 18th and 19th century buildings and remained in the Kauffman family for seven generations. It is the best preserved and intact example of a Pennsylvania German farmstead in the Oley Valley.
James A. Lewars is a native of Berks County. He graduated from Penn State University, where he earned his B.A., majoring in journalism and history and his M.A. in American Studies.
He enjoyed 42 years of working at various historic sites administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, including the Daniel Boone Homestead, where he worked on the staff for several years and served as acting administrator from 1980-1981. In 1984 he was named administrator at Daniel Boone, after having served as site manager of the Conrad Weiser Homestead and acting administrator of the Ephrata Cloister for two years. During most of this time he also administered the Conrad Weiser Homestead. From December 2009 until his retirement in 2017 he was the director of the Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum.
Throughout his career his museums won several awards for excellence from the PA Federation of Museums/PA Museums as well as from the American Association for State and Local History.
He has served on the boards of the Historical Society of Berks County, the Berks County Visitors Bureau, as well as various museum groups in Lancaster and Berks County. He currently serves on the board of the Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County and the Historic Barn & Farm Foundation of Pennsylvania. He continues to volunteer at Landis Valley and other historical organizations.
This free presentation is open to the public in a handicap-accessible facility. A freewill offering will be taken during the evening.
For more information on scheduled lectures and programs sponsored by the Cornwall Iron Furnace, please visit the website at www.cornwallironfurnace.org or call 717-272-9711.