Dale Engle Walker House

Dale/Engle/Walker House Closed for the Season

DairyMonth2016The Union County Historical Society's Dale/Engle/Walker House is closed for the Season. Please check back with us for programs that will be offered throughout the year.

 Touring season opens again with our ice cream social on June 4, 2017.

 For more information, contact the  Union County Historical Society at 570-524-8666 or info@unioncountyhistoricalsociety.org

Plants, Fruit Trees and Wildflowers at the 1793 House at Dale’s Ridge

       The 18th-century farm at 1471 Strawbridge Road near Lewisburg, now owned by the Union County Historical Society, was previously owned by the Dales, then the Engles and last the Walkers hence its present name: the Dale/Engle/Walker property. During the Engle family’s ownership from 1929-1957, plants played a large role at the farm. With the help of scout troops, Bucknell students, and local nurseries, the Society tries to present some of that beauty to the public.

Plantscape       In the 1930s-1960s, hollyhocks, of all colors, abounded as well as many rose bushes. Spirea was on the east side of house; a gooseberry on the NE corner and a quince tree was on the front SE corner of yard. Just recently a quince was replanted there. The deep garden steps had hydrangeas on its south side and rambler roses on the north. Blue morning glories (with strings for them to climb up the porch) greeted each day.
       In the Engle time period, wildflowers beside Buffalo Creek and up on the ridge included May apples, dogwood, Indian paint brush, trailing arbutus, lady slippers, daisies, Queen Anne’s lace, thistle, chicory, knotweed, dog tooth violets, moccasin flowers, yarrow, buttercups, golden rod, milkweed, bittersweet, cardinal flowers, horsemint, jewelweed, and pokeberries to name a few. Many are still on the property and can be seen when they are in season.
       A large stone platform and steps were at the front door. About ten feet away was a steep drop with a stone retaining wall. There were lilacs at the edge, and below in the garden were small vegetables like onions, carrots, lettuce, and herbs such as parsley, sage, thyme, bay leaf, ginger root, dill weed, chives; also a hops plant and flowers that could be cut to make bouquets. There were early red peonies that they put on family burials on Memorial Day and there were several rows of peonies: red, white, and pink. Other flowers in rows included: all colors of gladiolas, zinnias, fox gloves, Sweet William, asters, cosmos, snap dragons, larkspurs, marigolds, delphiniums, geraniums, and cox comb, Maude Engle’s brother Fred Troxell had a nursery in Gowan City so she may have gotten plants from him. It is pleasant to think of the bounty of Maude Engle’s plants.
The Dale/Engle/Walker House is open for tours on Sundays from 2-4 PM through October.

Milk House interpretive panels inform visitors about dairy farming at the site.

The Heritage book Cows on the Landscape and a Milkman at Your Door describes this important industry in Union County.  The book is available at the Society office and at the Dale/Engle/Walker House.

 New ImageInterpretive panels and audio stations installed at the Dale/Engle/Walker farm’s milk house, wagon shed and house, aid house hosts and guides to bring the property alive for visitors.  

The milk house dates from the 1930s when the Engles bottled milk that was delivered to area families near the Dale’s Ridge as well as into Lewisburg where the family had a store for a brief time. The audio station features Jake Engle who relates how the equipment in this milk house was used to clean and sterilize milk bottles, cans and buckets, and process raw milk.  A bituminous coal-fired boiler produced steam to rotate a brush to clean the milk bottles. The bottles were then placed in milk cases and sterilized in an enclosed steam machine.  To cool the milk it flowed over the outside of a cold water cooled radiator and siphoned into a tank mounted on a manually-operated bottler and capper machine.  The milk was bottled and stored in ice coolers ready for delivery.
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The Dale/Engle/Walker property including its milk house, is owned and operated by the Union County Historical Society and is open on Sunday afternoons from 2-4 PM from now through the last Sunday of October.  The property is visited annually by Union County 4th graders, by special group reservation, and hosts weddings and family reunions from time to time.  
For more information on the site, call 570 524 8666 or email info@unioncountyhistoricalsociety.org.

Copyright © 2015 Union County Historical Society, All rights reserved.

Learn about Dinah, Mrs. Dale's slave, and slavery and the Underground Railroad in Union County on your visit to the Dale/Engle/Walker House.

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The c. 1793 Dale/Engle/Walker House at 1471 Strawbridge Road, Lewisburg, owned and maintained by the Union County Historical Society, is open for tours on Sundays from 2 to 4 PM.  Visitors can learn about a part of the area’s history that is not so well known –  slavery in central Pennsylvania.
The house was home to the Ulster-Scot Dale family and at least one African-American slave from 1793 through 1840. An audio station in the house relates the story of Dinah, the slave of Mrs. Anne Futhey Dale.  The house tour includes the original hearth, furnished with period cooking implements, where Dinah would have prepared family meals. The Dales were one of a few local families, others being the Simontons and McClures, who retained slaves almost until the time of total abolition in 1847.  The Dale/Engle/Walker House was not a stop on the route to freedom called the Underground Railroad, however other sites in central Pennsylvania are documented stops.
Historical Society publications on these subjects, Samuel Dale, 1741-1804: A Life and Estate, and  African Americans in Union County: Slave and Free, are available for purchase at the house.

Directions to the house: from Route 15 in Lewisburg, take Route 192 west for 1.5 miles, then turn north on Strawbridge Road and continue 1.5 miles to the site.
Copyright © 2015 Union County Historical Society, All rights reserved.