Broad Valley Orchard

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Long Time, No Write

Hello All,

Whew, I have not written anything for months!  I’ve wanted to, but my vocation as a self-employed farmer has really gotten in the way!  But soon I have to get my act together for attending and presenting at Old Economy Village’s  “Harmony Society Descendant Days” August 4-6 in my old home turfs of Ambridge and Economy Boros in Beaver County, Pa.  At least I have completed my grandmother Bertha Flueckiger Dunn’s photo-chronology done on poster board.   Now I’ll start putting together another one about the hired Workers of the Harmony Society.  After this German immigrant Society decided to become celibate in 1847 (when the 2nd coming was supposed to occur),  within a couple decades they soon experienced  an aging population who no longer had the strength and energy they once had.

They solved this problem by hiring younger workers, who could marry and have children.  The Economites began to recruit in Pittsburgh and Old Allegheny City (now the Northside of Pittsburgh).  They mostly hired the Swiss and German populations there, because they could trust Germanic folk to be hard workers who spoke the same language.  These hired hands lived in the community houses, and worked the large fields and orchards, plus their profitable industries.  The Society had become wealthy, investing in oil, mining, iron mills, cloth factories (including silk).  My great-grandmother Rosina Schmatz Flueckiger, and her 3 surviving daughters Amelia, Alice, and Bertha were all skilled seamstresses and hat makers. Her husband Gottlieb and their son Gottlieb (Fred) were both farmers, on land owned by the Society.  They had  a good life, but life could be short in those days, especially living near the polluted Ohio River, but I’ll write about their high mortality rates when I next write.                  Thom Dunn marti

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