Stroudsburg

Protected: Garret Brodhead’s “Wheat Plains” farmhouse—an August clean-up project. Come join the fun!

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Protected: Brodhead Creek postcard, pre-1952

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Protected: Brodhead Creek postcard, 1909

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The Brodhead-Linderman Cemetery: Descendants work on clean up and restoration

This post is devoted to Part II of the cemetery restoration efforts undertaken by James & Barbara Brodhead over recent summers; although they live in Washington State–far from their ancestral roots in Pennsylvania–they have made it their mission to see to it that broken and downed stones of Brodhead family ancestors receive the care and respectful restoration they deserve. As you may recall, the first post was devoted to the repair of Cornelia Dingman Brodhead’s gravestone in the Mauch Chunk Cemetery in Jim Thorpe, PA.

This post focuses on their work in the Brodhead & Linderman Cemetery, part of the Brodhead-Courtright Farm Burial Ground, which is very much off the beaten path, within the territory of what once was Wheat Plains farm. The farm was established by Garret and Jane Brodhead after the Revolutionary War, and here in the Brodhead & Linderman Cemetery lie Richard Brodhead (Garret & Jane’s 3rd son) and his wife Hannah Drake. They and their family members resided in the Wheat Plains house for many years. So, once again, without further ado, here is a description of Barbara and James’ efforts in James’ own words (apart from a few spots where I have left clarifying notes in [brackets]; also, please click on images to see enlarged versions–the tile mosaics can be viewed as slideshows):

"Wheat Plains"

“Wheat Plains,” the old Brodhead Homestead, Pike Co., Pennsylvania

Lt Garret Brodhead served in the Continental Army and as part of his “bounty” for service he was given a land grant along the Delaware River near present-day Dingman’s Ferry. The farm he established in the 1770s was named Wheat Plains. The farm remained in the Brodhead family until 1865 and then it was purchased back by Robert Packer Brodhead in 1894. Robert’s family held the land until the Federal Government took (some say stole) the land under eminent domain in preparation to build the Tocks Island Dam in the 1970s. The dam was supposed to control the occasional floods [One terrible flood occurred in 1955 with the tail end of Hurricane Diane, killing 75 in the Brodhead Valley, alone], but for several reasons the dam was not built. The lands were not returned to the owners. Many of the homes, farms, and hotels were demolished because of squatters (hippies) living in the then empty buildings. When the project was cancelled the land was turned over to the National Park Service.

The sad state of the Wheat Plains house

The sad state of the Wheat Plains house, 2013

The house at Wheat Plains is one of the few remaining homes in the area. Unfortunately the National Park Service is not maintaining the home and it is destined to be destroyed when it is deemed unsafe. Parts of the original log home are integral to the structure. Garret’s son Richard owned and lived in the home for many years.

Wheat Plains house exterior, 2013

Wheat Plains house exterior, 2013

Across the road and on a rise between the fields and the river lies the Brodhead & Linderman Cemetery. The family plot contains the headstones of Richard (d. 1843) and Hannah (d. 1831). Their son Richard (1st of 2 sons named Richard, d. 1809 @ 2½ yrs. old) and his sister Eliza (d. 1814 @ 10 months old) are also buried there. There is a wrought iron fence with a gate surrounding the plot. “Brodhead & Linderman” is cast into the gate. It is unknown who put up the fence and Hannah’s current headstone, but the inscription on the back states “This sacred memorial erected March 2nd 1869”. Richard and Hannah’s daughter Rachael married Dr. John Linderman. It is logical that the Lindermans were the benefactors. [John purchased the Van Gordon property, adjacent to Wheat Farms, after he got his medical license, and built a house on it in 1817 — see past post].

A foot stone, as found

A foot stone, as found

There are several other stones other than the foot stones, but no marking can be discerned. The plot is too small for many more internments so there was probably no plan for the Linderman family to bury others there.  Next to the family plot on the road side of the hill are buried Van Gordens and others. Moses Van Gorden married Charlotte Newman Easton following the death of her husband Calvin Easton. It is not known how this Moses is related to those interned there. The Moses here may be the father of Charlotte’s husband, Moses. Calvin and Charlotte Easton are the parents of Ophelia Easton who married Richard and Hannah’s grandson Andrew Jackson Brodhead.

We have made two trips to the area. The first was in 2011 and then again in 2013.

Summer 2011

In 2011, we met Leroy and Bobby Cron, longtime residents of Dingman’s Ferry and members of the Dingman’s Ferry and Delaware Township Historical Society. We had sent a letter to the Society and asked for family information. Leroy took us down an access road next to a corn field. He pointed into the woods and stated that the cemetery was in there. He was correct, but nothing was visible from that vantage point.

The cemetery in 2011, as found

The cemetery in 2011, as found

The next day we met with a park ranger who helped us find the cemetery, and using his skills as a former surveyor, he looked at the Park Service map and then said “I am going up there.” And he walked off the road and into the brush. A few minutes later he called out “I found it!” The only thing visible through the brush was part of the cast iron fence.   We had to climb over downed trees and push our way through the brush to get there. The ranger stated that even though the National Parks owns the land, the cemetery is still owned by the family.

James dealing with a fallen tree

James dealing with a fallen tree

There was a tree that had been growing inside the plot that died and fell over damaging the fence. Hannah’s headstone was knocked over by the tree and was broken in half. Richard Jr and Eliza’s head stones had been tilted. According to Leroy a local Boy Scout troop, as a service project, cleaned up the cemetery in the late 1990’s, but the bushes rapidly regrew. The fence showed signs of having been painted.

We had about two hours left in our schedule to do what we could do. The ranger station loaned some tools to us. We started calling the sticker bushes “Grab-me-gotchas” because they were long and ‘viney’ and after cutting them, when we tried to throw them outside the fence the Grab-me-gotchas would somehow wrap around our legs and poke us through our pants. We also cut up the tree.

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Summer 2013

In 2013 we returned with the supplies we needed to do some of the repairs. We ordered a headstone repair kit (medium kit 3-6 stones) from Polymer Concrete Inc. (http://www.tombstonerestoration.com) and had it shipped to Myer Country Motel where we stayed. We had to again find the plot because of the rapid re-growth of the brush.

After cutting our way in, we began cleaning up Hannah’s headstone. When the headstone was originally set, the gap between the stone and the base (tongue and groove) should have been filled with molten lead, but it was not done. The first task was then to clean out the dirt and abrade the surfaces to be joined with a wire brush. Masking tape was put around the joint to protect the other surfaces from excess epoxy. The epoxy was mixed and put on the surfaces with a paint brush and extra epoxy used to fill the gap described. The surfaces of the break in the stone were then abraded. Wood stakes were clamped vertically to the lower half of the stone using ratcheting squeeze clamps. The stakes provided a means to align and secure the two halves. The epoxy was applied and the parts fitted together. The upper half of the stone was then clamped to the stakes. Extra epoxy was pushed into the gaps where the stone had chipped when it broke. A couple of days later we returned to remove the clamps and clean up.

We will be returning this year and will give all the stones a good scrubbing, paint more of the fence, and try to slow the growth of the brush. We may also give some attention to the Van Gorden family stones outside the fence, if our time allows. Below is a description of how to find the cemetery.

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If You Go

Along the trail in 2013

Along the trail in 2013

The access road is located north of the Wheat Plains farm on the east side of Hwy 209. Coming south from Milford or Dingman’s Ferry, just past the Briscoe Mountain Rd, is the McDade Trail Access Road. The road sign is hard to read at highway speeds, so look for the Pocono Environmental Education Center sign.

Turn left on the access road and follow it to the end (locked post). From there walk about ½ mile.

McDade Trail marker; red arrow points to the twisted tree.

McDade Trail marker; red arrow points to the twisted tree.

At mile marker 15.5 (left hand side) stop and look to the right and look for the twisted tree. Enter the bushes between the twisted tree and the tree to the left. You are facing the direction of the cemetery. White paint dots were sprayed on the trees on right and left side of the “trail”.   The cemetery is about 100 yards from the road as the crow flies. Be sure to dress in clothes that cover you, and protect yourself from ticks and other insects. Rubber bands or duct tape and a good bug spray around the bottom of your pant legs acts as a good barrier. We did not find any ticks in the five trips to the cemetery.

We are looking forward to our next trip to Dingman’s Ferry to visit the Brodhead/Linderman Cemetery and Wheat Plains Farm. We feel a special connection to our family there.

How to get there

How to get there

Categories: Brodhead, Brodhead-Linderman Cemetery, Cemeteries, Linderman, Monroe Co., Stroudsburg | 5 Comments

Protected: The Hon. Richard Brodhead (1771-1843): “… a man of splendid physique, over six feet tall, and of a stern and serious character”

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Was Maria Lesher Daniel Brodhead Jr.’s First Wife?

View of Bethlehem. Aquatint by Karl Bodmer from the book "Maximilian, Prince of Wied’s Travels in the Interior of North America, during the years 1832–1834" by Prince Maximilian of Wied (Publisher: Ackermann & Co., 1839) Source URL: http://www.gallery.oldbookart

View of Bethlehem. Aquatint by Karl Bodmer from the book Maximilian, Prince of Wied’s Travels in the Interior of North America, during the years 1832–1834 by Prince Maximilian of Wied (Publisher: Ackermann & Co., 1839) Source URL: http://www.gallery.oldbookart

I was recently contacted by Jean Brewer who is hoping to establish that Daniel Brodhead Jr., son of Brigadier General Daniel Brodhead and Elizabeth DuPuy, is her ancestor. With her permission, I am publishing the letter she sent me. If you can shed light on this topic to help Jean, please leave a comment at the end of this post and/or email Jean at ancestortracker2 at gmail dot com. Thank you!

Dear Author of Chips Off The Old Block,

I have looked for years for the correct Daniel BRODHEAD in my family. Yesterday I came across your 11 June 2013 article entitled “Daniel BRODHEAD, Jr.: A Timeline of Life Events.”

After reading your research on this Daniel I feel more strongly that ever this is the right Daniel for my connection. Back in December 1985 Charles SANDWICK also thought this was mostly likely the Daniel I needed. Here are the facts as I presently know them:

Old Moravian Chapel (est. 1751) & dead house (in the foreground). Wikimedia Commons: Image from NYPL collections is in public domain). Image date unknown-between 1865-1875 (?)

Old Moravian Chapel (est. 1751) & dead house (in the foreground). Wikimedia Commons: Image from NYPL collections is in public domain). Image date unknown-between 1865-1875 (?)

1) Abstract of Baptisms from Bethlehem Moravian Congregation, Bethlehem, Northampton CO., PA
Johann and Mar Cath LISCHER
had daughter Maria LISCHER b. 7 April 1761 at Bethlehem, bapt. same day at Bethlehem Moravian Church
{my note: Parents John LISCHER/LESHER and his wife Maria Catherine’s maiden name LOESCH – JMB}

2) 18th Century Vital Records from the Early Registers of the Moravian Church of Schoeneck, Northampton Co., PA, compiled by Charles SANDWICK, Jr.
Dan and Maria (LISCHER) BRADHOT (sic) {Daniel and Maria (LISCHER) BRODHEAD – JMB}
had daughter Anna Maria BRADHOT bapt. 23 Dec. 1781 at Schoeneck Moravian Church {my note: The mother Maria (LISCHER) BROADHEAD would have been about 20 years old. If Daniel BRODHEAD Jr., b. ca. 1756 is the father, he would have been about 25 years old. – JMB)

3) Will of Mary Catherine LISHER, Dated 3 May 1803, Proved 10 May 1803, File #2085, Northampton County Court house, Easton, PA
“I give and bequeath unto my granddaughter Mary BROADHEAD the only child of my daughter Mary, now the wife of Samuel RUSSELL, by her first husband Daniel BROADHEAD, deceased, the sum of ten pounds,…” {my note: Mary Catherine referred to Daniel as deceased – was he deceased or had he abandoned his family and gone to KY, VA, Philadelphia?

4) Will Book E-3, p. 407 Northampton Co., Courthouse, Easton, Northampton Co., PA
“I Mary BROADHEAD, alias Mary YOHE of Lower Saucon, in the county of Northampton, PA one of the granddaughters and legates named in the will of Mary Catherine LISHET late of Nazareth in the county of Northampton, PA the aforesaid the widow and relict of John LISCHER late of the same place, yeoman, deceased, do hereby acknowledge receipt of ten pounds from John LISCHER (uncle of Mary-JMB) and Nathaniel MICHLER, administrators of said will of Mary Catherine LISCHER, 20 Nov. 1803 {my note: In 1803 Mary (BROADHEAD) YOHE, b. ca. 1781 would have been 22 years old. – JMB}

5) In a letter dated 15 August 1985 from Charles SANDWICK – by going over possible Daniel’s he concluded – “I am of the opinion Daniel BRODHEAD, son of Daniel and Elizabeth (DEPUE) BRODHEAD, of whom so little has been recorded, did indeed die soon after his release as a prison of war, but only after a brief marriage with Anna Maria LISCHER.

Based on your research:
1776-78 – Daniel prisoner of war from Nov. 16, 1776 until 26 Aug. 1778
1779 – Daniel retired from Military
1781 – Daniel became a clerk in the office of Robert MORRIS, US Superintendent of Finance
1782 – Daniel fired by MORRIS on 29 May 1782
1782 – Daniel possible with his father in Reading, PA
1783 – Daniel first merchant to arrive in the new frontier town of Louisville, KY
1800-1802 you wrote – “The son appears to have taken a stab at married life,…” “I must say that I feel slightly suspicious that “Christian” may have been second wife since Daniel Jr. would have been between the ages of 47-58 when his six known children were born.”

I have a strong feeling Daniel married my Maria LESHER/LISCHER b. 1761 , fathered daughter Maria/Mary ca. 1781 and then left the family for “bigger and better things.”

Any input you have or ideas for further research are most welcome. Thank you for your time to read through this. My grandmother was the LESHER. I’ve worked on the family some 40 years or more.

Jean (CHRISTIAN) BREWER

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Categories: Bethlehem Northamp Co, Brodhead, Lischer or Lesher, Moravian Church, Pennsylvania, Stroudsburg | 2 Comments

Protected: 1749 Brodhead document donated to Monroe County Historical Society – PA

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Protected: Brodhead — 1755: Enter Benjamin Franklin

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Protected: Brodhead: Trials of Life in the Minisink Valley

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Protected: Daniel & Hester Brodhead —You Have to Wonder

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