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Hivel Und Dahl and the Schubert-Graber Cabin
Written by Larry Roeder, Editor
2017-08-31

            Along a quiet road in Powder Valley, Upper Milford Township, stands the remains of the Schubert-Graber log cabin.  A reminder of the early Germans who 

settled in our region more than 300 years ago.

            Built around 1735, restoration of this piece of history has become a goal the Hivel Und Dahl, (Hill and Dale) Preservation Society.

            The Society was formed in 1992 to preserve the historic landmarks, culture, and transitions of Upper and Lower Milford Townships and to also provide a forum for education and research.

            Upper Milford Township, in Lehigh County, was established in 1737 and was once a part of Bucks County.  It then became a part of Northampton County in 1752.  Lehigh County was taken from part of Northampton County in 1812.  In 1853, Lower Milford Township was separated from Upper Milford Township.

            On a recent visit to the Schubert-Graber log cabin, Hivel Und Dahl members Isabel Miller along with Carolyn and Bill Lagler shared a bit of the history of the cabin and the Society.

            The group formed in 1992 and immediately began a campaign to save the cabin.  The building was neglected over the years and the Society began their efforts to stabilize and preserve the historical structure.

            According to Hivel Und Dahl, the cabin is one of the oldest standing structures in Upper Milford Township.  It's unique because it is built on a stone foundation dug into a hillside, much like a Pennsylvania bank barn. Analysis of the mortar used indicates the four walls were not all built at the same time. They were built using varying percentages of clay, lime, straw, wood shavings and crushed anthracite coal.

            An unusual feature of the building is the lack of evidence of a stairway from the ground floor to the first floor, and either a fireplace or chimney. It is thought that the building may have been used as a Schubert business, which included barrel-making and later a wool business.

            As with most historical restoration projects, the work to save it is time consuming and expensive.  There is help in the form of grants for historical projects, but they take painstaking documentation about the structure, and the expense of the research and application process is just the tip of the costs that will be incurred.

            But, with an eighty-page preliminary report in hand the group is trying to have the log cabin listed on the National Historic Registry and is in the phase II process of review by the Pennsylvania Museum Commission.

            The report, prepared by historical consultant Doug Reed, contains information regarding the age, construction, and historical importance of the building. 

            Once State and National historical significance is recognized for the cabin, the Society will be able to apply for grants to help fund the restoration project.

            According to Isabel, "It costs a small fortune to try and get on the National Historic Registry and could take up to two years."  Bill added, "It will cost a whole lot more to restore it."

            The hope is that once restored, the log cabin, in a park-like setting, can be used for meetings, workshops, and as a learning experience for children and those studying unique architectural construction.

            The group currently has about 90 member but is always looking for more.

            The Society will be celebrating their 25th Anniversary on Saturday, September 9, from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Schubert-Graber cabin.  The rain date is Sunday, September 10.  The Cabin is located at 6561 Powder Valley Road, Zionsville PA 18092.

            There'll be free hot dogs, drinks, and cake.  And, you'll be able to get a look inside the Schubert-Graber cabin.

            To help raise funds for the group and to celebrate their 25th Anniversary, they are offering commemorative Redware plates with the image of the Schubert-Graber cabin on it.  The plates are 7-1/2 inches round, numbered, dated and signed by Macungie potter Denis Wilz, creator of the plate. The cost of the plates is $50 and they will be available for purchase at the celebration.  Plates can also be ordered by mail by sending a check made payable to the Hivel Und Dahl Preservation Society at P.O. Box 416, Old Zionsville, PA 18068.

            A raffled for the signed, dated and numbered commemorative Redware plate (number 1) will also be held.

            Parking is available just up the street at Salem United Methodist Church or on Highland Drive.

            For more information on the Hivel Und Dahl Preservation Society visit www.hivelunddahl.org. 


 

 

 

 

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