Ephrata Cloister Collection, 1753-

Call Number:  MG-81

2 boxes     20 folders     .25 cubic ft.

Repository:  LancasterHistory (Organization); PV7

Shelving Location:  Archives South, Side 3

Description:  Collection of items relating to the Society of Seventh Day Baptists and Ephrata Cloister. Legal papers deal with a dispute concerning the election of trustees and mismanagement of the estate. There are brief histories of the Cloister, poems, publications, programs, tourist brochures, and a booklet describing treatments for various ailments.

Creator:  Ephrata Cloister.

Conditions for Access:  Restrictions are noted at the item level.

Conditions Governing Reproductions:  Collection may not be photocopied. Please contact Research Staff or Archives Staff with questions.

Language:  English and German

Source of Acquisition:  Source unknown unless noted at the item level.

Processing History:  Updated by HST in 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013



Folder 1     Photograph of Ephrata Cloister. No date. Photograph transferred to the Photograph Collection, 13 October 2017.


Folder 2     History of Ephrata Cloister

Brief Story of Historic Ephrata: An Important Link in the Chain of Early American Development. Printed and for sale at Review Book Store, Ephrata. No date.

Insert 1  “A Peculiar People,” by Howard Pyle. Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. (article is not complete) No date.

Insert 2  “A Study of Two Distinct Periods of Ephrata Cloister History,” by John W. W. Loose. Journal of the Lancaster County Historical Society. Vol. 55, no. 6, 1951. (photocopy)


Folder 3     Historical Account of the Ephrata Cloister and the Seventh Day Baptist Society, by A. Monroe Aurand, Jr. The Aurand Press, Harrisburg. 1940.

The Ephrata Cloister: An Introduction, by Eugene E. Doll. Drawings by Ralph D. Dunkelberger. Ephrata Cloister Associates, Inc. 1958.

The Ephrata Story, by Ira S. Franck. Illustrations by James Keller. Hocking Printing Company, Inc. 1964. (signed by the author)


Folder 4     Property and Architecture

Insert 1  Plot of Ephrata Cloisters in Ephrata Township, Lancaster County. Surveyed by F. P. Plessinger. Traced by J. A. Downes, 26 August 1935. Revised by P. M. Lollich, 4 September 1937, and A. P. Leber, 19 November 1937. N. J. Daniel, Director of Land Office, 9 May 1944. (please use photocopy) Original filed in Oversized Box 6, Folder 3, Item 5.

Insert 2  “Notes on Ephrata Cloister Architecture,” by John W. W. Loose, Secretary and Ephrata Cloister Historian. (photocopy) No date.


Folder 5     Poem or song by Sister Sarah. “Melody: Sound the Trumpets.” Original in German with a later English translation. No date.


Folder 6     Petitions

Insert 1  Petition of John Bowman and John Senseman to perpetuate testimony relative to a tract of land claimed by the Seventh Day Baptists at Ephrata. Read 29 August 1809. Subpoena issued 5 September 1809.

Insert 2  Petition of persons interested in the estate and legal execution of the trust committed to the Trustees of the Society of the Seventh Day Baptists of Ephrata. 23 January 1823, 28 January 1823, 29 January 1823.

Petition of Jacob Kimmel regarding the trust in the above petition. 23 March 1823.


Folder 7     Legal Papers

Insert 1  Election tally and list of voters for the election of seven trustees to manage the affairs of the Society of Seventh Day Baptists at Ephrata. 1 January 1827. Ordered to be filed 17 August 1827. (please use photocopy)

Insert 2  Deposition of Henry Miller. 11 January 1827.

Deposition of John Elsen. 11 January 1827.

Insert 3  Note stating the receipt of a petition and affidavits from the trustees of the Society of Seventh Day Baptists of Ephrata. 15 January 1827.

Names of persons presented as security to the Judges of the Orphans’ Court. Signatures of the trustees of the Society of Seventh Day Baptists of Ephrata. Filed 15 January 1827.

Bond between the trustees of the Society of Seventh Day Baptists at Ephrata and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 19 February 1827.

Insert 4  Petition regarding the election of new trustees and the mismanagement of the estate of the Society of Seventh Day Baptists of Ephrata. Filed 15 January 1827. (please use photocopy)

Insert 5  Rule of the Orphans’ Court to take depositions. 23 February 1827. Filed 17 August 1827.


Folder 8     Legal Papers

Insert 1  Rule of the Orphans’ Court to take depositions. 3 March 1827. Filed 17 August 1827.

Depositions. 9 March 1827.

Insert 2  Depositions. 12 March 1827.

Insert 3  Deposition. 13 March 1827.


Folder 9     Legal Papers

Insert 1  Petition of the trustees of the Society of Seventh Day Baptists at Ephrata to have the Orphans’ Court review the request for a bond. 17 August 1827.

Deposition. 13 January 1827.

Insert 2  Objection to bond. 17 August 1827.

Order for bond to be removed from court and filed by Clerk of Orphans’ Court. 20 August 1827.

Opinion of the court. Filed 20 August 1827.

Petition to file resignation of trustees and to withdraw the request for bond. 1827.

Bond made to the judges of the Orphans’ Court under the condition to sell property to satisfy the bond. Read and approved by the court. 23 August 1828.

Insert 3  Account of the trustees of Ephrata Society. Filed 19 October 1829. Read and allowed 20 November 1829. (please use photocopy)


Folder 10     Ephrata Cloister School Booklet: An Eighteenth Century Textbook for Children, by Ludwig Hocker, Schoolmaster at the Ephrata Cloister. Translated from German. Published by Ephrata Cloister Associates and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. 1988.

The Ephrata Martyrs’ Mirror: Past and Present, by Daniel R. Heatwole. Mennonite Publishing House. No date.

Insert 1  A German narrative written by S. M. in 1788 describing the visions of “the Other World” which one of the sisters had while she lay in a trance caused by a serious illness in April 1753. Envelope which held the narrative with information about the item. Donated by Miss Katherine D. Shirk, 5 September 1924.


Folder 11     Uncut pages of a hymnal. Perhaps printed at the Ephrata Cloister before 1768, but not the Cloister watermark. Pages 177-192 and 337-352 (4 copies). Donated by Miss Katherine D. Shirk.


Folder 12

Insert 1  “The Old Ephrata Printing Press.” Printed at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, 1876. On reverse: The Declaration of Independence. ” On this press the Declaration of Independence was printed in 1776.” (please use photocopy) Transferred from the Ephrata Cloister Information File, February 2003.

Insert 2  Blank pages with Ephrata Cloister watermarks: CB and CB in a heart. The pages are from the Hempfield tax assessment for 1788 and the Earl tax assessment for 1791.


Folder 13     German-language Materials

Insert 1  “Ein Busslied von einem Gesichte Welches einer Person in Lancaster County in der neunten Nacht erschienen ist: Aufgesetzt zur Warnung und Bestrafung der Gottlosen.” In Reimen verfasset. Gedruckt im Jahr Christi, 1794. (“A Penitential Song Concerning a Face which Appeared to a Person in Lancaster County on the Ninth Night: Published as Warning and Punishment of the Godless.” Composed in rhyme. Published in the year of Christ 1794.) An edifying poem about a well-known widow who, as she approached the end of her life, felt she had led a dissolute life and was much troubled by it. She was comforted by a brother who directed her to the Savior. After her death she appeared to the mourners to tell them how wonderful the heavenly masions are.

Insert 2  “Zum grossen Sabbath.” 1849. (“For the Great Sabbath.” 1849.) An Easter service program consisting of alternate verses or hymn stanzas sung by choir and congregation.

Insert 3  Ein erbauliches Gebet-Buchlein, Fur Kinder, wie auch fur alle Gottsuchende Menschen. Lancaster: Gedruckt und zu haben bey Johann Bar. 1837. (An Edifying Prayer Booklet, for children, as well as for all God-seeking People. Lancaster: Johann Baer. 1837.) The preface is signed by Georg Stubsky, “Your old friend and teacher,” who says he has lived among them 20 years already and wants to leave them this little book of prayers as he nears the end of his life in order that they might better be able to guard their lips from cursing, swearing, misusing the Lord’s name, or otherwise engaging in foolish talk.

Insert 4  Die Gemeine Gottes, oder Die wahre Kirche Christi. Verfast von Ehrw. F. F. Hagen. Lancaster, Pa.: Gedruckt fur den Verfasser von Johann Bar’s Sohnen. 1860. (The Congregation of God, or the True Church of Christ. Composed by F. F. Hagen. Lancaster, PA: Johann Baer’s Sons. 1860.) The foreword indicates that Hagen was Pastor of the Brethren Church in York, PA and that he wrote the pamphlet in response to a pamphlet written by a Pastor Raber in Jonestown, PA in the wake of an awakening (or revival) that went through West Manchester Twp., York County in 1859. Hagen believed the errors in Raber’s pamphlet were not his alone but stemmed from Dr. Nevin who had written against the “anxious bench,” part of the revivalists’ repertoire. Hagen wanted to put Raber and Nevin’s high church party on the road to true Christian faith and piety. I. What is Congregation? II. What is Church? III. What are sects?

Insert 5  Restricted Access. Patrons must make an appointment with the Director of Archival Services.

Booklet. No title page or publication information. There are tiny fragments of a couple of pages before and after what we have. Contains a series of remedies for a variety of ailments. The remedies consist of prayers, verses, or invocations-used as incantations-along with some sort of therapeutic touch. Ailments treated include:  Dislocation of a joint, p.6; When a limb becomes crooked, p.7; A newly broken limb, [p.8]; To stop blood from flowing, p.9,10; When someone is ailing and you’re not sure what it is, p.11; When a child has heartburn, p.12; To remove pain, [p.13]; For burns in men, p.14; or women, p.15; For a cowpox in the eye, [p. 16]; [p. 17 bound between p.23-24]; When someone has an unquiet or troubled sleep, p.18; For limb pains, p.19; When a child has heartburn, p.20; For colic or body pains in small children, p.21; For headache, p.22; For weak and dull eyes, p.23; To help a child rest, p.17; For a skin disease [like impetigo or psoriasis], p.24; For protection from rabid animals, snakes & wild animals, p.25; For shingles in a man, p.26; or a woman, p.27.


Folder 14     Programs

Insert 1  Program. The 225th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Saal. 6 December 1966.

Insert 2  Program. Second Annual Meeting of the Ephrata Cloister Associates. 20 September 1959.

Program. 6th Annual Meeting of the Ephrata Cloister Associates. Financial statement and membership list are inserts in program. 7 September 1963.


Folder 15     Programs for Vorspiel (A Way of Life), performed and sung by the Ephrata Cloister Chorus. 1960-1964, 1967.


Folder 16     Brochures

Insert 1  “Discover Historic Ephrata Cloister.” Pamphlet distributed by Ye Village Inne,  Ephrata. No date.

Insert 2  “Let’s Visit Ephrata Pennsylvania.” Brochure distributed by the Ephrata Chamber of Commerce. No date.

Insert 3  “Ephrata Cloister: Home of Unusual Religious Community.” Distributed by Pennsylvania Historical Commission, Department of Public Instruction. 1942; Distributed by Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. 1952.

Insert 4  “Ephrata Cloister on the Pennsylvania Trail of History.” (2 copies) No date.

“Ephrata Cloister.” No date. Both brochures distributed by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Insert 5  “Ephrata Cloister: Unique Medieval Cloister of the Pious and Ascetic Seventh-Day Baptists.” Pennsylvania Trail of History site. Distributed by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. May 1975.

“Amen.” Distributed by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. [1983].

Insert 6  Calendar of Events, Ephrata Cloister Associates. 2005, 2007.


Folder 17     Regulations for the Seventh Day Baptist Community at Ephrata. Contains a list of members, living and deceased. 1823.

Folder 18     Text of of the the Fraktur-schriften on the walls of the Saal. In German and English. Printed on the Restored Press of the Brotherhood, The Cloister, Ephrata. 1958. (2 copies)

Folder 19      Spring concert program, Ephrata Cloister Chorus. Dr. J. Daryl Hollinger, director; Juliet Mitton, accompanist. 19 and 21 May 2006.

Folder 20      “The Old Ephrata Printing Press” and The declaration of Independence. Printed on the press when it was exhibited at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, May to November 1876. (Use photocopy, do not use original.)