Both My Sons Bus Tour

Posted by Daniel Mast on

Bus Tour of Sites mentioned in Both My Sons by Ken Yoder Reed. Join the author for a tour of many sites that are written about in this captivating historical fiction book.

Hans Herr House, Harris Landing, Paxtang Presbyterian Church, Light's Fort, Lancaster Courthouse. Tour is on October 8, 2016 from 8 am to 4 pm. Tour begins at the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society. Reserve your seat on their website today!

Primary Tour Guide/Ken Yoder Reed, Author of Greenywalt’s Boys: Ken Reed likes scrapple (Pannhaas) with his eggs. However, it’s not available in Silicon Valley meat markets around his home in San Jose, California. Reed grew up near Swatara Gap in Lebanon County, PA and attended Mennonite schools. He calls himself a pilgrim, since he and his wife Patricia have joined the Presbyterians (ECO) and he serves as an elder in Christ Community Church (ECO Presbyterian) in Milpitas, CA. His daytime job is recruiting engineers for Silicon Valley high-tech companies. Reed’s previous historical novels, Mennonite Soldier and He Flew Too High are available through Masthof Press.

Reed is very excited about the Greenywalt’s Boys bus tour. We will start our trail of Klaus Greenywalt in the Pequea Settlement—where he built his mill and fathered his two sons. From there we go through Lancaster’s Penn Square, where the Paxton Boys militia dumped the scalped body of Bod Cameron—Greenywalt’s oldest son--to Harris’ Landing, the same route Greenywalt and his younger son took with Bod’s body in July 1755. We’ll visit Paxton Presbyterian Church, spiritual home of the Scots-Irish community and home of ‘Fighting Parson’ John Elder. Finally we visit Light’s Fort in Lebanon, following the route many terrified settlers, including Janey Cameron, took as they fled from the Susquehanna settlements in 1755.

What will you see on our trip that is totally unique? You’ll see how two religious refugee peoples, the Covenanter Scots-Irish (Presbyterian) and the Mennonite Swiss-Germans settled, strategically positioning their settlements, the tension between the two communities and how this influenced the future of Pennsylvania and the American Revolution.


Author’s Disclaimer:

This book is a novel and the central character, Greenywalt, is an invention of the author, a composite of several Pennsylvania pioneers. The scenes and conversations of his life are imaginary. However, the main events and people in Greenywalt’s world are real. Benjamin Franklin did threaten the Mennonite farmers. William Penn’s secretary James Logan sold Pennsylvania land, including 6000 acres known today as the Pequea Settlement, to Mennonite settlers and ordered the burning of Scots-Irish squatter cabins. ‘Fighting Parson’ John Elder organized the Paxtang Boys militia to defend the Susquehanna River settlers and John Harris sheltered the traumatized settlers in his stockaded house in 1755. Benedict Brechbühl, Hans and Christian Herr, the Wiedertäufer and the dungeons of Trachselwald Castle are historical figures and places. The Great Freeze of 1709 and religious harassment triggered the mass migration of perhaps 40-50,000 Swiss-German refugees to the New World between 1710 and 1745 while the Church of England’s persecution drove tens of thousands of Scots-Irish Covenanters/Presbyterians to the New World in the 1720 – 1745 time period.


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