Preserving History in Lower Mac

We reported last week about a Lower Macungie meeting involving the Friends of the Butz-Leister Farm, a group dedicated to preserving one of the townships earliest farmsteads.  The farmland was bought by Peter Butz in 1760 and passed on to the Leister family in 1960; Lower Mac took over the property five years ago with the plan to turn it into a recreational area. That plan has now been scrapped, and the future of the farmhouse lies in the hands of the township commissioners.

Unfortunately, significant repairs must be made to the house — and elected officials are wondering whether it is fair to use taxpayers’ money on the project. For this reason, several concerned Lehigh Valley residents formed the Friends of the Butz-Leister Farm, a non-profit organization. Their proposal: the township will maintain ownership and the organization will take care of restoration and maintenance.

Members of the community recognize the value of the property. The Morning Call reported on the memories of a Leister family member:

Vivien Leister Steele recalled raiding the corn crib to feed the chicken and wading through the chilly waters of Toad and Little Lehigh creeks. As those fun-filled days of her childhood wound down, she remembered watching ”millions of fireflies” rise up out of the grass as she sat on the back porch of the farmhouse that had been in her family for generations.

The organization is asking Lehigh Valley residents to get involved in this project to preserve a piece of the region’s history. If you’re interested in helping out (either with a monetary donation or with volunteering), send an e-mail to or call (484) 764-4748.

About Beata Bujalska

Beata Bujalska is the former Campaign Coordinator for Renew Lehigh Valley. She currently lives in Panama, a place that fascinates her due to (among other reasons) its recent development boom.

Posted on March 18, 2010, in Neighborhoods, Regions and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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