A Journey to Hertzog Valley

Kate and I are doing Easter dinner tonight in Harrisburg and will be spending a good chunk of our time tomorrow heading out to Lancaster County. If you’re a regular reader, you may know that my genealogy research lead me to finding the original settlement location for my Swiss Hertzog ancestors. It is in an area of Lancaster County that I found to be called “Hertzog Valley” colloquially for a good portion of the 18th and 19th centuries. So, off to Hertzog Valley Road it will be for us tomorrow. I’ve found some indication online that there is an old unnamed graveyard tucked away that I’m hoping to contain some interesting tombstones with either a Johann Nicholas or Peter Hertzog etched upon.

A history of Cocalico Township, the area where Hertzog Valley Road is in Lancaster, is posted online. Some details about the history of the area are stated:

“Jacob Weist bought a tract of about 200 acres in 1763 from Christian Bauchman, situated in the northern part of the township. Dr. Samuel Weist, son of Jacob, became the first physician in West Cocalico. John Cones settled in West Cocalico in the [seventeen-]‘fifties or earlier. He built the Black Horse Hotel in 1759 or 1760; was one of the first in West Cocalico, and for a century or more very well known. The Hertzog Valley, settled by the Hertzog family in provincial times, is still represented by some of the descendants of Nicholas Hertzog.”

A portion of the history fills in some further details of the Hertzog family:

“A century ago distilling was an enterprise conducted by many farmers, especially in times when crops were difficult to sell. There were probably many more stills than those of which there is record. Anthony Dornbach and Peter Wieland were comparatively large distillers in 1780. Later there were five distilleries in East Cocalico. One was erected by Andrew Bushong, three miles southeast from Reamstown; one by John Mishier, half a mile northwest from Reamstown; and Jacob Mishler had a plant three miles northwest from Reamstown. Philip Bushong had a distillery at Reamstown in 1835; he added a steam mill to it three years later, and did an extensive business until 1850. The still was abandoned in that year, but the stock of spirits, which could not be sold until the Civil War period, then brought considerable wealth to the family. In 1832 Nicholas Hertzog, in West Cocalico, distilled apple whiskey in a primitive still dug into the ground, and covered with boards to protect it from storms. There were also at that time two other similar distilleries near Cocalico post-office. In about 1820, Haverstich had a still at Reinholdsville, his plant being later bought by William Eicbach, who used part of the building for store purposes and part as a tavern. Less than a mile north of Reinholdsville, in 1830, Peter Bruner distilled peach whiskey. One mile east of Schoeneek was Mishler’s, one of the largest distilleries in the Cocalicos. There were other distilleries, some important ones in Adamstown which will be referred to later in this chapter.”

I can’t wait to see what we find. Pics will follow during the week.

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