Archives Facility

Kenneth Yoder with antique shovel. Left to right: Laban Peachey, Ruth Yoder (Kenneth's wife), and Dirk Yoder in background.

Archives groundbreaking: June 12, 2006. Kenneth Yoder with antique shovel. Left to right: Laban Peachey, Ruth Yoder (Kenneth's wife), and Dirk Yoder, contractor, in background.

 

The Archives of the Casselman Historians

The archives of the Casselman River Area Amish and Mennonite Historians (a.k.a. Casselman Historians) is a depository for long term items of historical significance, available to individuals, organizations, and administrators of estates. The archives is located in Grantsville, Maryland, at 29 Dorsey Hotel Rd. This site is on the tract of land surveyed as Cornucopia in 17____. This part of Cornucopia was deeded to the Amish patriarch Joel B. Miller in 1868. The lot where the archives now stands was donated by one of his descendants to the Casselman Historians as a site for an archives building.

Purpose

The purpose of this archives is three-fold: (1) collection, (2) preservation, (3) and accessibility of items of local Mennonite and Amish historical significance. Collections are formed as documents and artifacts are received, usually as donations. The materials are accessible then to researchers and other interested persons through a system of classification and indexing.

Vulnerability of documents and artifacts

In many situations, historical papers and artifacts are vulnerable to damage and destruction by water

Achive groundbreaking with horses 2006compressed

The hand shovel was followed by the moldboard plow pulled by a team of horses, followed by a more modern machine, the backhoe.

(flood, roof leakage, humidity), wind (destruction of a building), rodents and insects, and human action (the wastebasket or bon fire).

While no provision on earth guarantees preservation of materials, a properly constructed and maintained archives building seems to be the most prudent provision of preservation.

The Building

The archives building of the Casselman Historians was completed in 200__, designed and built to house collections of historical materials. The floor is concrete slab, the walls are poured reinforced concrete, the siding is brick, the doors are fire-resistant, and the roof structure is reinforced poured concrete covered with asphalt shingles. A geo-thermal system controls temperature and humidity. Located on a raised level of ground, the building’s drainage system operates by gravity and so is not vulnerable to flooding in the event of a power outage. These physical features, combined with controlled of access to the materials, provide for long-term preservation of historical items.

Laban Peachey at the dedication ceremony for the   archives building on September 15, 2007.

Laban Peachy at the dedication ceremony for the archives building on September 15, 2007.

Scope

In keeping with the stated purpose of the Casselman Historians, the archives receives items that are significant to the Amish and Mennonite history of the Casselman River area.

Kinds of materials

Both personal and organizational materials are receivable by the archives. The list includes, but is not limited to, personal items such as letters, diaries, and pictures; business items such as financial records, legal papers, and correspondence; church and institutional records; back issues of publications; genealogical records, books; art. small artifacts related to home, farm, or business. Items considered too sensitive for current public access can be placed under seal for restricted access for a specified period of time.

Ownership

Ribbon cutting at the archives building dedication. Left to right: Glen Wadel of Mennonite Mutual Aid, Kenneth Yoder, David I. Miller, chair of the executive committee, Alice Orendorf, archivist, and Cheryl Guinter, Keystone administrative assistant.

Ribbon cutting at the archives building dedication. Left to right: Glen Wadel of Mennonite Mutual Aid; Kenneth Yoder; Executive Committee vice-chair; David I. Miller, chair; Alice Orendorf, archivist; Cheryl Guinter, Keystone administrative assistant.

All items placed into the archives become the property of the Casselman Historians unless placed for “storage” by a written agreement. Information on the Casselman Historian’s policy on storage is available upon inquiry.

Organization of Materials

A system of classification and indexing provides for systematic placement of materials and reference for finding and accessing materials. The principle of provenance is generally followed, meaning that the source of the materials, rather than content, is considered in forming a collection. For example, a letter descriptive of the Maple Glen church, received among the Harvey S. Yoder papers, remains in the Harvey S. Yoder Collection; it is not moved to the Maple Glen Collection. Box designations and indexes assist the researcher or other interested person when searching for items of interest and relevance.

Contact   

To inquire about placing items into the archives of the Casselman Historians, contact the archivist, Alice Orendorf at casselmanhistorians@gmail.com or phone 301-245-4326 or send to P.O. Box 591, Grantsville, MD 21536.

Cora Anna and Marvin Yoder touring the inside of the building.

Cora Anna and Marvin Yoder touring the inside of the building.

Below is the floor plan for the archives as designed by Daystar Builders in 2006. The building was completed in 2007.

archives

Joel B. Miller spinning wheel from the mid nineteenth century, donated by Darlene, widow of Philip Miller.

Joel B. Miller spinning wheel from the mid nineteenth century, donated by Darlene, widow of Philip Miller.

Evan Maust (with cane) talking with Laban Peachy at the archives dedication.

Evan Maust (with cane) talking with Laban Peachey at the archives dedication. Bernard Orendorf, a committee member and treasurer, stands nearby.

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