Pennsylvania was founded in 1682 by William Penn, a Quaker, as a haven of religious freedom and tolerance. Quakers, Huguenots, Puritans, Catholics, and Calvinists all settled in southeastern Pennsylvania. The area was also a landing point for groups of Amish and Mennonites from Germany. The large German population was probably an attraction for the Schwenkfelders, a small Protestant sect that followed the religious doctrine of Caspar Schwenckfeld von Ossig. From 1731 to 1737 most of the Schwenkfelders, 209 in all, sailed to America to escape persecution in their native Germany. They’re still a very small group today with fewer than 2,500 members.
The small museum has good exhibits with artifacts and historical information about Schwenkfelders. Watch the short video for a quick history of the sect. Changing exhibits feature textiles and other items from the museums collections. Don’t miss the family tree carved by Amos Borneman in 1878.
The museum is accessible.