Ice Cream Done Right: Longacre’s Modern Dairy

By Jennifer Hetrick
hetrick@boyertown.biz

What is today, Longacre’s Modern Dairy, along PA Route 100 in Barto, joined the Berks County scenery back in the 1920s when John S. Longacre began delivering milk to people around the area from his horse and wagon.  As a schoolteacher, John knew that his income, alone, wouldn’t be enough to support his family.  So he originally bought the farmland, upon a corner ofFront view of Longacre's Modern Dairy which the dairy stands today, with the idea in mind to help his children with their futures.
The farm’s 30 to 40 cows were milked manually, back then, given that the technology to milk with an automated system hadn’t been invented yet.
Longacre’s sold raw milk until 1942 when pasteurization rolled into the picture.  Homogenized milk came along a few years later.
Daniel E. Longacre, son to John, eventually took over the business.  In 1948, ice cream swept into the operation.  Daniel and his wife, Kathryn, found a small ice cream-making machine in Allentown and soon put it to good use.  The first flavors available were chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and raspberry.
“They made ice cream in the evening,” said Daniel T. Longacre, who, at 74 years old, is the president of the dairy and maker of the ice cream.  At the dairy, he is known as Sonny.  “The people remember you for your ice cream,” Sonny reflected, with a laugh.  “They don’t remember you for your milk.
Today, the dairy has around 40 flavors available, with 14 percent butterfat content in each sampling.  In Pennsylvania, by law, ice cream must have at least 10 percent butterfat content in order to legally take on the name “ice cream.”  Sonny said most ice cream in grocery stores has around 10 to 12 percent butterfat, but it often melts in the mouth, whereas Longacre’s ice cream carries a more involved mouth-feel to it and is a healthy challenge to maneuver per bite.
This old-fashioned ice cream, with one family producing it, is a rarity today and locally, making the dairy a place of true historical prominence and regional heritage.
But the swoon-worthy taste of the ice cream, because of the care put into it during recipe labors and mixing efforts, leads it to carry a very strong contemporary appeal to those driving up and down Route 100, too.
Sonny can make up to 75 gallons per hour in the ice cream production portion of the building.  Longacre’s also prepares the specific flavor mixes for The Franklin Fountain on Market Street in Philadelphia.
About 5,000 gallons of milk of are processed per day at Longacre’s, six days a week.  The dairy hasn’t housed cows since the 1970s; it, instead, bottles milk from 20 farms, mostly based in Lancaster County.  Labeled under different brands for different companies, milk handled at Longacre’s travels to shelves as far as New York and Florida.  The majority of it is organic.
Saving a good amount of the milk for ice cream is, of course, an important part of keeping the dessert-ready luxury available at the dairy bar.
In his early days at the dairy, Sonny began to experiment with designing new labels and testing out different styles of cups.  He noticed that, every time he gave attention to these creative and thoughtful marketing efforts, ice cream sales continually bumped upward.  Vanilla, vanilla fudge, and moose tracks are some of Sonny’s personal favorites.  Moose tracks incorporates vanilla mingled with a dark, hard shell of chocolate and miniature peanut butter cups by Gertrude Hawk.
Sonny’s son, Danny, works with him every day in making ice cream at the dairy.  Sonny’s brother Newton, 70, is the dairy’s Vice President and enjoys butter brickle, walnut, and vanilla as his own favorites.  Their brother Tim, 64, handles bookkeeping and the finances, while their sister Kathryn, 62, is the secretary.  Their sister, Diane, 53, works in real estate in the Reading area.
A few years ago, Sonny introduced teaberry ice cream to the lineup.  An old flavor, more popular many decades ago, it didn’t sell well at first but eventually picked up in popularity and is now enthusiastically eaten by many of those who visit the dairy bar.
Egg nog, peppermint stick, pistachio, and pumpkin are seasonal flavors.  Although, thankfully, for those who like pumpkin besides just in autumn months, it is now offered year-round, even though it’s considered seasonal by when pumpkins are harvested around the area.
The batch-made, slowly churned ice cream speaks for itself—its rich, poignant flavor quickly appreciated when ordered at the counter.
With grandchildren happily skipping around the dairy, Sonny and Newton said they’re hopeful that some of the young ones will want to help the dairy to remain a part of the community in future decades.

Boyertown Oktoberfest

By Jeffrey C. Karver, Esq.

Two hundred years ago, the people of Bavaria, in what is now Germany, began to gather together each September to celebrate the harvest, and they called the celebration Oktoberfest.  For the past four years, Building a Better Boyertown has hosted its own Oktoberfest celebration, here, in our small community.  Over the past four years, this event has raised more than $52,000 for Building a Better Boyertown (BBB).  Those funds have helped fund BBB projects such as the recently completed “Street Scape” project in the center of town.
Boyertown’s Oktoberfest remains true to the original German Oktoberfest celebration by trying to provide a market for local farmers and local craftsman to sell their goods as part of our celebration.  This year, on Saturday, September 15TH (rain date:  September 22ND) about a dozen local farmers, who participate each week in the Boyertown Farmers’ Market and about 20 other local artisans & craftsmen, will gather on the Inner-Core Parking Lot starting at about 10:00 AM to display their goods and produce for sale.  They’ll offer a tremendous variety of produce, crafts, and merchandise at great prices direct from the farm or craft bench.
And just as the Mayor of Munich opens the official Oktoberfest celebration, Boyertown’s Mayor and Council President will be brought onto the lot in a horse-drawn carriage to officially open our event at noontime on Saturday, September 15TH.  Throughout the day, local, young-at-heart talent will provide live entertainment.  The Boyertown Alumni Band will again provide musical entertainment at noontime.  The entertainment will conclude in the late afternoon with the Schuplattler Dancers whose authentic German folk dancing has been a highlight of past celebrations.
And if you’re hungry, the organizers promise that Oktoberfest in Boyertown will offer the best assortment of bratwurst & sauerkraut, filled noodles, barbeque, French fries, and other dishes this side of the Ironstone Creek.  It’s all prepared, fresh, by local food vendors throughout the day, and, this year, there will be plenty of sweets and dessert items available all day long.  And, there will be plenty of your favorite beverages to accompany the food.  If you’ve been collecting the authentic German souvenir beer mugs for the first four years, you’ll want to get in line early to purchase Fifth Anniversary mugs, featuring a new design, which have just arrived and can be purchased at the BBB office for $22.00 before the event, or for $25.00 on the day of the event.  All in all, it’s a unique celebration of our area’s Pennsylvania German heritage, and a great way to catch up with friends and enjoy the pleasant late summer weather.

Keeping Footfalls Fancy and Flowing

By Jennifer Hetrick
hetrick@boyertown.biz

Stapleton's students performing at a recital

Stapleton’s students performing at a recital

Having introduced Let’s Get Dancing! to the Boyertown area in 1992, owner Debbie Stapleton, her instructors, and their students celebrated their 20TH recital this year.
While she offers ballet, contemporary, lyrical, pointe, jazz, tap, hip-hop and acrobat classes, tap is the one form she is most fascinated with in action.  “I think it’s the syncopation of the rhythms,” Stapleton said about what reels her into enjoying tap so much.  “Realistically, you don’t have to watch a tap dance to know whether it was good or not.  You could sit there with your eyes closed and listen to it, to know whether it was a well-executed number or not.”
She pointed out that, with ballet and jazz, a soft-soled shoe on the foot takes a lot of the human sound out of the equation, since watching the movements is sight-based, too.  “It’s the eye appealing, it’s the sound appealing, and it draws more at your senses,” Stapleton said in describing tap’s differences away from other styles of dance.
“One time, I had the opportunity to visit New Orleans, pre-Hurricane Katrina,” she said.  “Something I saw down there was a lot of kids who had tap shoes on, out in the street.  These kids would just break out into tap dance right in the street, near the tourists.”  This vacation moment struck a strong chord with Stapleton.  “I feel like tap can be such a dying art, and it really made me feel good to see these kids who obviously were self-taught,” Stapleton said.  “You could tell they didn’t have money to go pay for dance lessons, and they were really good.”
The versatility possible in tap is another factor Stapleton likes about the style.  “You can have classic, slow soft-shoe tap, or you can go really crazy like Savion Glover and do the hoofing style,” Stapleton said.  Savion Glover is a contemporary American tap dancer, born in New Jersey.  “It’s really the hard pounding of the shoe.  It’s more pounding to produce your tap sounds,” Stapleton explained in regard to hoofing.  “They will go on the sides of their feet to get the tap sounds out, and they utilize many more dimensions of their foot.”
At her studio, Stapleton sees parents bringing their children from not just around Boyertown & its outskirts but also Oley, Douglassville, Pottstown, Phoenixville, and Spring City.
She does offer a zumba class for adults on Tuesday nights at 8:15 PM, and those who venture out to it seem very enthusiastic for the opportunity.
Altogether, Stapleton has eight dance instructors, along with one employee who manages the main desk when she is working on building positive relationships with the parents and knowing the name of each and every student.
Her hip-hop classes are something she sees are very popular with students, in recent years.  One of her students moved on to New York City, a male dancer now performing in Off-Broadway shows.
Stapleton has found it interesting to see ties between students who take dance and what their other extracurricular activities are, she said.  “If I look at the sports page in the newspaper, I see that it’s mostly kids who take dance,” she said in observing the curious correlation.
She’s also noticed that doctors and health professionals seem caught off guard that her students are so well versed in the anatomical terminology of the body, especially in relation to the names of muscle groups, if they ever have to be checked out for injuries.
Helping be a part of teaching young people to love and appreciate the opportunity to move, and in artistic form with so much learning involved, brings a lot of joy to Stapleton.
When Stapleton isn’t at her dance studio, she is often avidly sewing, dabbling in crafts and reading books in quick sweeps of time.  Her other greatest love is history.  Visiting historical sites in Pennsylvania and out of state, soaking up whatever old knowledge she can, is a big part of what attracts Stapleton outside of dance.
“And I’m extremely grateful to the surrounding community and my staff for making the studio a part of their lives,” Stapleton concluded.

Having introduced Let’s Get Dancing! to the Boyertown area in 1992, owner Debbie Stapleton, her instructors, and their students celebrated their 20TH recital this year.

While she offers ballet, contemporary, lyrical, pointe, jazz, tap, hip-hop and acrobat classes, tap is the one form she is most fascinated with in action. “I think it’s the syncopation of the rhythms,” Stapleton said about what reels her into enjoying tap so much. “Realistically, you don’t have to watch a tap dance to know whether it was good or not. You could sit there with your eyes closed and listen to it, to know whether it was a well-executed number or not.”

She pointed out that, with ballet and jazz, a soft-soled shoe on the foot takes a lot of the human sound out of the equation, since watching the movements is sight-based, too. “It’s the eye appealing, it’s the sound appealing, and it draws more at your senses,” Stapleton said in describing tap’s differences away from other styles of dance.

“One time, I had the opportunity to visit New Orleans, pre-Hurricane Katrina,” she said. “Something I saw down there was a lot of kids who had tap shoes on, out in the street. These kids would just break out into tap dance right in the street, near the tourists.” This vacation moment struck a strong chord with Stapleton. “I feel like tap can be such a dying art, and it really made me feel good to see these kids who obviously were self-taught,” Stapleton said. “You could tell they didn’t have money to go pay for dance lessons, and they were really good.”

The versatility possible in tap is another factor Stapleton likes about the style. “You can have classic, slow soft-shoe tap, or you can go really crazy like Savion Glover and do the hoofing style,” Stapleton said. Savion Glover is a contemporary American tap dancer, born in New Jersey. “It’s really the hard pounding of the shoe. It’s more pounding to produce your tap sounds,” Stapleton explained in regard to hoofing. “They will go on the sides of their feet to get the tap sounds out, and they utilize many more dimensions of their foot.”

At her studio, Stapleton sees parents bringing their children from not just around Boyertown & its outskirts but also Oley, Douglassville, Pottstown, Phoenixville, and Spring City.

She does offer a zumba class for adults on Tuesday nights at 8:15 PM, and those who venture out to it seem very enthusiastic for the opportunity.

Altogether, Stapleton has eight dance instructors, along with one employee who manages the main desk when she is working on building positive relationships with the parents and knowing the name of each and every student.

Her hip-hop classes are something she sees are very popular with students, in recent years. One of her students moved on to New York City, a male dancer now performing in Off-Broadway shows.

Stapleton has found it interesting to see ties between students who take dance and what their other extracurricular activities are, she said. “If I look at the sports page in the newspaper, I see that it’s mostly kids who take dance,” she said in observing the curious correlation.

She’s also noticed that doctors and health professionals seem caught off guard that her students are so well versed in the anatomical terminology of the body, especially in relation to the names of muscle groups, if they ever have to be checked out for injuries.

Helping be a part of teaching young people to love and appreciate the opportunity to move, and in artistic form with so much learning involved, brings a lot of joy to Stapleton.

When Stapleton isn’t at her dance studio, she is often avidly sewing, dabbling in crafts and reading books in quick sweeps of time. Her other greatest love is history. Visiting historical sites in Pennsylvania and out of state, soaking up whatever old knowledge she can, is a big part of what attracts Stapleton outside of dance.

“And I’m extremely grateful to the surrounding community and my staff for making the studio a part of their lives,” Stapleton concluded.

Fall into Berks History Historic Property Tour to be Held on September 29

By Leslie Rebmann
The Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County

The Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County will once again sponsor its Fall into Berks History open house on Saturday, September 29.  This is an opportunity to visit all eight of the Trust’s properties, where guided tours will be given from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM.  “Works in progress” and recently completed restorations in Kutztown and in Amity, Pike, & Oley Townships will be open to explore.

Image of the Keim Homestead

The 1753 Keim Homestead, in the Oley Valley, will be open for tours on September 29.

At Morlatton Village, in Douglassville, visitors will tour the Mouns Jones House (1716), the oldest remaining structure in Berks County; the White Horse Inn (1762), the site of Revolutionary War musters and a center of early local social and business life; the George Douglass Mansion (1763), built by a prominent 18th century resident of Amity Township; and the Michael Fulp House (1783), built by a yeoman farmer and Revolutionary War veteran.  In the Oley Valley, visitors can tour the Johan Deturk Cabin (1767), which was recently restored and then honored by Preservation PA, a state-wide preservation group.  Also in the Oley Valley are two buildings at the Keim Homestead, including the main house, which has not been “modernized” since it was built in 1753.  The Hottenstein Mansion (1783), in Kutztown, is a fine example of Georgian architecture as interpreted by Germanic builders.
The event will be held rain or shine.  Admission is $10 per person; children 12 and under will be admitted free.  Tickets will be available at each site the day of the event or in advance at Boyer’s Market, 1104 Old Swede Rd., Douglassville.  Visitors may begin the tour at any of the sites.  For directions or for more information, visit www.historicpreservationtrust.org or call 610-385-4762.

The Boyertown Holiday Open House Tour Needs Homes

By Gretchen Lea
Boyertown Holiday Open House Tour

The Boyertown Holiday Open House Tour committee is in need of homes to show during the 10TH Annual Boyertown Holiday Open House Tour.  The event will be on Friday, December 7TH this year.
Your home might be a candidate if you love to decorate for the holidays, or if your home is unique, historic, a good example of an era, or has interesting architectural features and is located within or near the borough of Boyertown.
Homeowners in the previous years, who have had their homes on the tour, were always so glad that they made the special effort to be a part of the annual holiday event.
After preparing their homes for the early December event, they were ready for the month of holidays!
Every homeowner has commented that they learned, from the visitors who entered their homes during the tour, more about the history of their homes than they already knew.  They were told that someone’s dad built it, grandmother owned it, cousin lived in it, or some other little known tid- bit of interest.
Each homeowner met new people with a common interest, and saw people that they have not seen in ages.
All the homeowners were glad that their special effort made it possible for the Boyertown Holiday Open House Tour committee to raise money which is then donated to many worthy, Boyertown area causes.
If you think you might like to join in this year, please call Gretchen Lea at 610-367-6773.

Multi-Service to Hold Basket Raffle

By Nancy Kremm
Boyertown Area Multi-Service

Boyertown Area Multi-Service is gearing up for another fundraiser, and area residents play an important role in this event.  Multi-Service will be hosting its 2ND Annual Themed Basket Raffle on September 7th, 2012, at The Center at Spring Street, 200 West Spring Street, in Boyertown.  The evening will be filled with fun, food, and winners!
Admission to this premiere event is $20.  Admission tickets can be purchased in advance, at Boyertown Area Multi-Service, Fabulous Finds, Kulp Car Rentals, Chestnut Knoll, and Dancing Tree Creations.  Each admission ticket purchased will be redeemable for basket raffle tickets, chocolate, and door prizes, as well as food and beverages.  Tickets can also be purchased at the door.
The festivities will kick off at 6:00 PM with members of the community previewing all featured baskets.  You can place your tickets at your favorite baskets.  An array of hors d’oeuvres, cheeses, beverages, and more will be provided to enjoy as you catch up with friends and neighbors.  Special raffle tickets will also be available for large specialty items and a 50/50 cash drawing.
Ticket sales will be suspended at 7:20 PM, in anticipation of the drawing of all winning tickets set to begin at 7:30 PM.  You must be present to win!
To make this enjoyable evening and fundraiser a huge success, we are in need of basket builders.  Take charge & build one yourself or get together with friends & co-workers; involve your family or organization.  Choose either a movie theme (i.e. Benji – dog items) or a general theme (i.e. baby shower gifts).  Baskets should range from $25 in value and up.  The deadline to have your basket at Multi-Service is Tuesday, September 4th, 2012.  A list of basket contents should accompany each basket.
If you are interested in donating a basket, please visit www.boyertownareamulti-service.org for complete details or contact Multi-Service directly at 610-367-6957.  Learn how your basket could win a special award, too!  What could be better than having fun while supporting a great organization?

Wie saagt mir des in Deitsch?

How do you say that in Dutch (Pennsylvania German)?
By Daniel Schwalm
President, Pennsylvania German Society

As summer comes to an end folks in the Pennsylvania Dutch country continue to enjoy locally grown sweet corn.  Occasionally churches or community groups have corn roasts.  In the dialect, corn is Welschkann.  Sweet corn becomes Siesswelschkann.  When it is roasted, we have gerooscht Welschkann.    To the early German immigrants, anything that was foreign or strange to them was welsch.  Both Beam and Stine in their Pennsylvania German dictionaries, define welsch as indistinct, strange, odd or unfamiliar.   Therefore we have strange grain, Welschkann.  Other native American forms of life include the turkey; hence we have Welschhahne, (strange rooster) for a gobbler and Welschhinkel (strange chicken) for a turkey hen.  Welschhinkel also applies to turkey in general without distinction of male or female.   In Lancaster County, there is even a Welsch mountain, der Welschbarig.
August is sometimes called der Welschkannmunet (corn month) because corn likes it hot.  In addition, Welschkannboi (corn pie) is a local dish found in Berks and Montgomery Counties.  Boyertown Cookery published in 1978 by the Boyertown Area Historical Society includes the following Welschkannreseet (corn recipe) for corn pie on page 8.
Pastry for a 2-crust pie
2 cups corn freshly cut from cob
1 hardboiled egg, diced
Milk, as needed
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Place corn in pastry-lined 9” pie pan.  Add egg, milk, butter, salt and pepper.  Cover with pastry lid.  Pierce top crust.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Serve hot with warm milk if pie seems dry.
Enjoy the rest of the summer with some gerooscht Welshkann.  As the seasons change keep your eyes open for Welschkannschack (corn shocks).

Coming This Year at Oley Valley Community Fair

By Ashley Parish

Are you looking for some good ol’ Dutch fun?  Well, head on down to the 66TH annual Oley Valley Community Fair!  The fair is located in Oley at 26 Jefferson Street.  Thursday, September 20th, through Saturday, September 22nd are the dates when the fair is happening this year.  On Thursday and Friday, hours are from 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM.  On Saturday, the hours are from 9:00 AM – 8:30 PM.Tractor pull at the Oley Fair
This may be a three-day event, but it takes so much more time to plan, set-up, run, and take down this fantastic event.  Oley Valley Community Fair is run by members of the community and volunteers from many local churches and other organizations.  There is something for everyone to do, like entering contests such as livestock judging, sheep judging, youth bale throwing contest, big wheel contest, donut eating contest, and much more.  There are many different prizes that can be won.  There are also rides for all ages and personalities.  The Cramer Brothers Band will be playing on Saturday night, from 7:00 – 9:00 PM.  Free shuttle bus service from Reading Motorcycle Club, at 208 Jefferson Street is also provided.
There are tons of Dutch cooking and home style foods.  Popular foods, like French fries, hamburgers, funnel cakes, and more, are sold at the fair.  Michael Hoppes, Patrol Officer for Boyertown Borough, goes to the fair every year and says, “There is always a great line at the apple cider, French fries, and funnel cake.  There is nothing better than food cooked with love.”  Also, the French fry building has been rebuilt, so go and check that out!
The admission is free but there is a $5.00 parking donation.  This is an event that you don’t want to miss because it brings back the times from when our grandparents were young and things that were different back in the day!

Yip and Dip Doggie Swim

By Stephanie Graber
graber@boyertown.biz

This month summer is coming to an end, but there is still so much to see and do around our community!  If you have a chance to make it out to the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles before Labor Day, they are offering free admission for Active duty military personnel and their families! Children and adults will have a great time walking through the museum and seeing more than 80 cars, trucks, carriages, motorcycles, sleighs, and other types of vehicles that were locally manufactured.  I can personally say that the displays are very interesting and educational.  The children tend to look at the displays in awe, because they are not something that you have the opportunity to see anymore.  If you do not qualify for free admission, the cost is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $4 for children.  The museum is located at 85 S. Walnut St.
Does your family have a friendly dog that enjoys water?  Maybe you just have children who love to look at and watch someone else’s animal.  Then the “Yip and Dip Doggie Swim” would be a great opportunity to get out and do so.  This year, it will be held on Sunday, September 9TH from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM (rain date is set for September 16TH) at the Boyertown Community Pool.  The entire pool will be open to dogs and their owners to get in and splash around.  They are asking for a minimum of $10 donation per dog or $25 for a household.  If you do not have a dog or do not wish to participate, you are still welcome to watch.  For more information or forms please visit www.boyertownymca.org.
I sure hope that you will have the chance to bring the children out for some of these fun-filled events taking place this month.  Fall will be starting on September 22ND, so this month will be our last chance to take advantage of the summer fun.  No need to worry, though.  There will be lots of great things to do in the upcoming months and eventually we will be led into some wonderful winter fun!