A Look Back in History: Historic Hottenstein Reunion 2015

Submitted photo A 2015 Group photo of the Historic Hottenstein reunion taken at the mansion's backyard includes Dr. Reynolds off to the far right corner standing.

On a recent Sunday the Hottenstein reunion was held. Hottenstein descendants from all over the United States arrived in quaint Kutztown to attend their annual Hottenstein reunion at the architecturally exquisite Georgian farm mansion along 222, east of Kutztown.

Pioneered by David Hottenstein in 1783, a Pennsylvania German, he was a remarkable frontiersmen living in Kutztown, Berks County. His mansion is considered one of the finest Georgian architectural mansions named after King George III of England. It features keystones over its windows and a beautiful early American interior with several Georgian fireplaces in the ballroom, which been removed and installed by the DuPonts in their Americana museum known as Winterthur at Wilmington, Delaware.

This fine architectural treasure was a gift to all Americans by Dr. Fulmer Hottenstein when he donated it to the Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County for all American citizens to examine our Colonial Americana heritage by the Hottenstein family and their PA German neighbors.

Since my wife, Eleanor, was on the Board of the Preservation Trust, we were elated with Dr. Hottenstein’s generous gift of the family’s mansion so the American public could visit this architectural treasure of the early American period. Besides knowing local Hottenstein descendants like Russell Hottenstein from Fleetwood and Betty Hottenstein of Wyomissing, Dr. Hottenstein and his daughter were longtime friends of our family, and we looked forward to attending their historic family reunion with citizens from all over the United States.

The fact that the ballroom of the Hottenstein home was purchased by the DuPonts for their early American Museum at Winterhur, Delaware was in itself evidence that the Hottestein mansion was one of America’s most historic treasures, thus, the Hottestein reunion was an opportunity for descendants to visit there Americana roots in Berks County. Actually, local History Professor Robert Reynolds, Jr. of Kutztown University and his wife and daughter reside in this mansion, taking care of its up keep for the Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County.

Richard H. Shaner is director of the American Folklife Institute in Kutztown.

comments powered by Disqus