This historic resource study has been prepared to satisfy the research needs as stated in the task directive approved by Mid-Atlantic Regional Director James W. Coleman Jr. on September 16, 1983, concerning Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area under Package No. III. Data contained in this report will be used in interpretation, preservation/restoration and management needs at the site.
The study focuses on the history of a piece of property located south of Blue Mountain below the Delaware Water Gap. Slateford Farm began as a 391-1/4-acre tract, sold by the sons of William Penn after it was taken from the local Delaware Indians, and evolved into a 169.38-acre tract sold to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers more than 200 years later. This study includes information concerning the farm's various owners, a history of Northampton County and Upper Mount Bethel Township as it pertains to the farm, and a discussion of German farming techniques and building characteristics as exemplified by Northampton County German settlers. Also included is the scant data available on quarrying near Slateford, Pennsylvania, and a brief section of slate quarrying techniques in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Most of the research was conducted during field trips to Pennsylvania in August and September 1984. Additional material was gathered during a trip to the National Archives in February 1985 and to New York City and Philadelphia in April and May 1985.
Several people have assisted in preparing this report. My thanks go to Warren Bielenberg, chief of visitor services and resource management, and Ray Fauber, interpretive specialist, both at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Special thanks goes to Dr. James S. Yolton, associate professor of Geology at Upsala College in East Orange, New Jersey, for generously sharing his knowledge about quarries located near Slateford Farm. The librarians and staff at the Northampton County Government Center and the Henry F. Marx Local History and Genealogy Collection at the Easton Public Library, both in Easton, Pennsylvania, and at Spruance Library. The Bucks County Historical Society in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, were all helpful and generous with their time. Jane S. Moyer of the Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society in Easton and Linda Stanley of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia provided extra help in obtaining genealogical and biographical information on eighteenth century Slateford Farm owners.
David F. Fritz, historian on the Midwest/Rocky Mountain Team, Denver Service Center, did some of the preliminary work on this document. He scoped the project, wrote the task directive, and provided leads to sources that this author followed. David Fritz also traced deeds at the courthouse in Easton and his efforts at this task are much appreciated. Portions of Fritz's writings on the Pipher family were utilized in this report.
A descendant of Samuel and Christina Pipher, Mildred Bartow McMillen, and her husband E. Lee graciously shared their memories of her family. Louis and Lottie Cyr's daughter, Charlotte Cyr Jewell, not only shared memories but photographs as well. Final thanks goes to Nancy Arwood for typing the manuscript, Helen Starr for drawing the maps, and to Dr. Ronald W. Johnson for his guidance in the research and writing.
Sharon A. Brown
Acknowledgements: A few words of thanks and acknowledgement are in order. First of all, the staff at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area were most helpful and generous with their time in assisting me to pursue research materials. These people included A. Amos Hawkins, the superintendent; Warren Bielenberg, his chief of visitor services; and Ray Fauber, his interpreter of historic resources. Ray Fauber not only showed me around Slateford Farm on a rainy day, but he also put me in contact with a number of people including John H. Lee, the general manager of the Structural Slate Company of Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania, who in turn was most gracious in devoting half a day of his time to giving the writer a guided tour of both the company facilities as well as several slate quarries. Ray Fauber also made me aware of other leads on the subject of slate quarrying, such as the Slate Belt Museum at Mount Bethel and other sources of information, including the park files.
I also wish to thank Ron Robbins, the archivist at Skillman Library, Lafayette College in Easton, for his zealous search for a considerable file of nineteenth century company slate quarrying records for Northampton County. The quest, even though unsuccessful, was vigorously prosecuted. These records had been listed in Hamer's Guide to Archives in 1961. Other members of the library staff at Skillman were equally helpful to the writer in gathering secondary source material. Similarly, Jane S. Moyer, librarian for the Easton Public Library, and other members of her staff, were most generous in the rendering of assistance in providing materials both from their special collections in the History Room, as in the main library generally. Bruce Drinkhouse, president of the Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society, was also very kind in the donation of his expertise in finding materials for me and giving added leads on people and places to consult.
David F. Fritz
Last Updated: 31-Dec-2009