Log cabin in Dreisbachville, built in the late 1700's.
Stone foundation, on the property of John Dreisbach, with date "1761" carved into a stone to the left of the doorway.
Dreisbachville was the very first town to be associated with Dreisbachs in Pennsylvania! Granted, it was a very small town, but for its time and place, it was significant. It had a grist mill and a saw mill, a black smith and a distillery. Where was it? Dreisbachville was located at what is today the intersection of Walnut Drive and Cedar Drive in Lehigh Township, Northampton County, PA.
It was begun in the late 1740's as Jost Dreisbach, and his brother Adam, their father, Simon Sr, and an unidentified John Dreisbach (who was not Simon Sr.'s youngest son, John) settled close together. By 1750, for unknown reasons, Simon Sr had moved to a tract in Moore Township. The land where he had lived was occupied by his son, Simon Jr around 1755. Then came the Indian attacks associated with the French and Indian War and Dreisbachville was nearly deserted. A fort was established at Jost Dreisbach's mill, and it is suggested that Jost remained with his mill and the soldiers posted there - leading to the family oral history that calls Jost an "Indian fighter".
Dreisbachville revived as people returned to their lands in the early 1760's. A treaty had been negotiated with the Indians and fear of renewed attacks was reduced. Simon Jr and John brought their families to live in Dreisbachville. John built a stone foundation that may have been part of his house, or may have been an outbuilding, possibly a spring house. In any case, this building has a date stone with the carving "1761" that can be seen on the left side of the doorway.
Brother George was squatting on a nearby piece of land in the Indian Tract. Anna Catharina, sister of the Dreisbach boys, had married Henry Ulrich and they and their children were living next to Jost. In total there were at least 10 families living in 'greater' Dreisbachville, of whom 6 were Dreisbachs.
The demise of Dreisbachville began when Adam sold his property and moved to Easton. Jost retired from milling and his mill was taken over by his son, Adam. By 1771 Henry Ulrich sold his land to Henry Strauss. A few years later Simon Jr moved south to Allen Township. George moved north to Chestnut Hill Township. By the early 1800's 'Jost's' mill was owned by Jacob Hower and called 'Hower's mill'. The area around the mill got a new name too. It was, and is, called Howersville.
Only two Dreisbach buildings, or better put, one building and one portion of a building, remain from the time of Dreisbachville. There is a log cabin on Cedar Drive just east of the intersection with Walnut Drive. The history, and even the age, of this structure is not known, but the type of fireplace suggests it may have been built in the late 1700's.
The other structure, a portion of a structure really, is the foundation of a house situated on the tract owned by John Dreisbach. There is a date stone that says "1761". More than this is not known but John brought his family back to Dreisbachville, from parts farther south where they had fled during the Indian attacks, in the early 1760's. It is conceivable that this structure is what remains from his first house.