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From: <>
Subject: Troxell/Steckel House
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2000 18:34:34 EST


Thought this may be of interest to the list:

The History of the House
by Frank Whelan
of the Morning Call
Allentown, PA 11/12/2000

    As one of the oldest structures in Lehigh County, Troxell-Steckel House
is in itself a highly valued piece of the region's past.  Lehigh County
Historical Society museum curator Andree Mey Miller calls its style German
Georgian, a mix of the Pennsylvania German and the English style known as
Georgian because of its prominence during the  reigns of Kings George I, II,
III and IV who ruled from 1714 to 1830.  She sees the house as an example of
cross-cultural influences of a German-speaking people in an English colony.

The Troxells arrived in America from what is now western Germany in 1737.  It
was John Peter Troxell, sometimes known as Johan Peter Trachsel, who acquired
the property along Coplay Creek in 1748 and built his home in 1755 - 56. 
Over its door is a German inscription that translates as:

God protect this house
against all danger;
Guide our soul to Heaven's hall.
Johan Peter Trachsel
(his wife) Maria Magdelana

In 1768 Troxell sold his house and 410 acre property to Peter Steckel and
left the area, eventually settling in Maryland.

Members of the Steckel family were to won the property for the next 140
years.  It was to witness a lot of family happiness and at least one tragedy,
the suicide by hanging in the house's attic in 1842 of 21-year old Carl
Steckel, who according to contemporary accounts, suffered from mental illness
and epilepsy.

In 1906 Albert Steckel sold the home to someone outside the family.  It was
used as a rental property, and, for a time in the 1920's, the house echoed to
the ancient chants of the Russia Otrhodox Church taught by a member of that
faith from Catasauqua.

On Dec. 6, 1941, the historical society was given the house and 24 acres of
ground by Steckel family descendent Abraham Peters Steckel, Lehigh Univeristy
graduate and retired president of the Cold Metal Process Co., Of Youngstown,
Ohio.  He had purchased the property for the society.  The home was renovated
under the direction of local architect John Heyl and dedicated to the society
in 1943.

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