The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Valley

October 8, 2013

White Deer Baptist Church Cemetery tour, Gristmill talk, and Alvira tour

— ALLENWOOD — The Union County Bicentennial Celebration takes a sharp turn north this fall by not only embracing the annual New Columbia Apple Butter Festival (Oct. 19), but also an exploratory expedition offered in Gregg Township and the White Deer Valley on Sunday, Oct. 13.

The base of operations that Sunday afternoon will be the White Deer Baptist Church, 572 White Deer Baptist Church Road (north off Route 44 west) outside of Allenwood about 1.5 miles.

Union County Historical Society President Jeannette Lasansky likes to refer to such an outing as an opportunity “to be bitten by the White Deer Valley bug” and indeed Oct. 13 will serve to spread this infectious spirit to all that attend.

Bikers and dashboard explorers are encouraged to come as early as noon that day to the White Deer Baptist Church where maps will be available to follow a 11.5 mile prescribed route around the White Deer Valley and Gregg Township to take in vistas and natural beauty most folks wouldn’t believe existed such a short distance beyond Route 15, three prisons, and a landfill. Return in time to the church to enjoy your own packed picnic lunch at a picnic table at the church’s picnic pavilion overlooking the White Deer Valley.

At 1 p.m. at the White Deer Valley Baptist Church, the small but very early cemetery will have a walk through prepared and conducted by historians Paul Metzger and Jack L. Fisher. At 1:45 that will end so all can join those inside the church, to hear a presentation by Tom Rich and David Del Testa, authors of “Water-powered Gristmills of Union County, Pennsylvania.” Copies of this most recent Union County Historical Society’s publication will be available for purchase and signing.

Following the presentation on Gristmills, at approximately 3:30-3:45 p.m., a dashboard caravan tour will be offered to the lost town of Alvira beginning from the White Deer Baptist Church. The tour will be led by the Montgomery Area Historical Society and will entail multiple stops on the former federal ordinance and now scenic State Game Lands. Sights will include the cared-for cemeteries of Alvira, remaining foundations of a lost community, and ammunition bunkers of World War ll.

This is a Union County Bicentennial Passport opportunity. These events are sponsored and underwritten by the Union County Historical Society, the Montgomery Area Historical Society, the Union County Bicentennial Committee, the Union County Planning Commission, and the Union County Board of Commissioners. All events are open to the general public and are offered free any charge. Information and updates on this and other Union County Bicentennial events are available at www.UnionCounty200.com.

For more information contact The Union County Historical Society at (570) 524-8666.

 

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