It took a little searching but we found it, and we're glad we did. This was a religious community of German Anabaptists in the mid-eighteenth century, under the leadership of Conrad Beissel. An inner core of "Solitaries" - about 100 men and women - lived in constant expectation of Christ's return, were celibate, lived very austerely on one meal a day (vegetarian), only 6 hours sleep (on unpadded boards), prayed 6 hours daily and worked over 10 hours each day. Men and women lived and worshipped separately.
|Women's Hall (left) and Meeting House (right)|
A larger group of "Householders" lived around the cloister on farms, in families, worked and ate normally, but worshipped with the Solitaries on the "Sabbath" (Saturday), and supported the Solitaries. The community managed to survive for almost 200 years, though it really thrived for only about 50 years - during the lifetime of Beissel. Eight of about 40 original buildings still exist and have been refurbished. Others have been reconstructed or recreated, which gives a good sense of the original community.
One of the remarkable features of this community was its development of a German art form called fraktur.
|The Letter W in fraktur|
We learned at check-in that next summer is the 150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Battle and that rooms at this Super 8 where we are right now are already sold out at $350 a room!