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Memories of Robert Esch

I've been perusing your website with interest, first starting with the cemetery to get some dates on relatives of mine. Interestingly, I found in your "Brief History of Beaver Valley Cemetery", the name P. A. Esch, Secretary. I assume this was my grandfather, Perry Adam Esch, who is now a "resident" of that cemetery. 
I then turned to your Communities section, and was glad to see some of the historic homes which had been restored. It made me think of my grandfather's house, located atop Church Hill Road. I have some photographs of the house back then, which may be of interest to you. When I knew it (back in the late 40's) it looked like a mansion, with its gables, balconies and wrap-around porch. wpe1.jpg (54352 bytes)I don't know the exact date it was built, but since Perry and Pearl (Moore) wpe3.jpg (64537 bytes) (Back: Glynn & Evelyn, Front: Vivien & Byron) were married 6 August 1902, and the house was built shortly thereafter, the house must have been built around 1904. It was originally just a rectangular stucture with nothing fancy. My father, Byron Moore Esch, remembered that he and brother Glynn helped to put on the new siding and porch, transforming the house into a very beautiful one. This must have occurred around 1930 or so.
Now, after it has changed hands a couple of times, the porch is gone, and it is a somewhat diminutive form of its former self, but it still provides a comfortable home, 100 years later. The barn across the street also still stands, though at last look, it needed some foundation repairs.
The barn, of course, was built before the house, and was somewhat unique for its time, since the roof was supported by rafter timbers in such a way that there were no central supports, the weight being distributed to the exterior beams and foundation. In this way, a horse drawn hay wagon could be brought under roof to dry before the hay was put into the hay mow.  I also have a photo of the barn's rafterwpe5.jpg (39997 bytes) system, taken in 2001, after the funeral and burial of my father. My grandfather was a skilled carpenter and built his barn and house, using timber from his own woodland. He also framed the newer version of the BV United Brethren Church (now United Methodist), using his timber, as well as the original post office in Flinton, where his sister Margaret Yearick ("Maggie") was postmaster for many years, and Perry was the rural mail carrier (using horse drawn mail wagons) till he retired.
During that time my grandparents lived in the home of Adam Esch and Hannah Glass, located about a mile West of their home. Hannah was Adam's second wife, his first wife Julia Walters died at age 30. I think she was related to the early  Walters' pioneers in the area.wpe7.jpg (54167 bytes)
(The four children in front are from Adam's first marriage to Julia Walters, the six in back are from his marriage to Hannah Glass)
The house has many memories for me as a boy, and I can still smell the freshly baked bread from that Kalamazoo stove that grandma Pearl used all her life. One of the interesting features of the house was its rooftop balcony, accessible from the attic stairs. There one could look out and observe the surrounding mountain vista, and at night view the stars. We children were told that the purpose of the rooftop deck was to escape a nagging wife, but if so, it wasn't used very much, since grandma Pearl was truly a gem.
Pearl was our favorite. She always had a bedtime story for us, and we felt honored to accompany her on her chores. We saw her milk the cow, store the milk in crocks in her basement, where in the evening she would "skim" off the cream to make butter. She also let us collect the eggs from the henhouse (not our favorite chore), which she later sold. The "butter and egg money" was hers to keep, and she bought a piano (now in my daughter's home), violin (which I still play) as well as clothing and other items needed for a growing family. She also knew what was going on in the community, and took an active roll in the church. She once circulated a petition to name the new park Gates Park, and the dam as Glendale Dam. She lost out to Prince Gallitzen, but Glendale was retained.
I don't know what else might be of interest to your website, but the history is a good idea. It might also be good to open up a "column" for people in the Beaver Valley area (and friends) to contribute their memories and anecdotes, so that visitors can gain an insight into the spirit of the community. My interests were partly in the genealogy area. I was able to start with Pearl's information and then trace the Esch ancestry back to 1751 in Northampton County, where the Esches settled in Colonial America prior to moving West into Indiana and Cambria counties.
Thanks for listening,
Robert L. Esch, Northampton Co., Pa.
Robert may be contacted by clicking on the link above to send an e-mail.