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  • Ephrata Cloister

    Winter History Class

The Winter History Class is among our most popular programs, filled not only with great information, but wonderful fellowship which makes the cold winter months fly by quickly.  As usual, the class will be held in the Ephrata Cloister Visitor Center each Thursday morning from 9:00 a.m. until noon.  The first session will be offered on Thursday, January 30, 2020.

SNOW POLICY:  We will try to hold class whenever possible.  If winter weather forces a change, check the television or radio and listen for the actions of the Ephrata Area School District.  If the Ephrata schools are delayed two hours or closed, our class is canceled for the day.  We will attempt to make a special announcement on the WGAL Channel 8 television station, and you can always check their website at  In the event that our class is canceled, we will make every attempt to reschedule the speakers.  You can also check our website after 8:00 a.m.

Current members of the Ephrata Cloister Associates are admitted to all 9 sessions for a total of $45.00 and the general public is invited to attend the classes for $55.00 .  If you’d rather pay for only one or two days, the fee is $10.00 per day. 

January 30:

A. Introduction and Telling Time at Ephrata Cloister

     Michael Showalter, Museum Educator

B. Introduction to German Pietism & Radical German Pietism

     Nick Siegert, Tour Guide Supervisor 

February 6:

A. Folks from Away: the Gimbsheim Migration to Ephrata

     Dr. Jeff Bach

B. Modern Immigration in Lancaster County 

     Stephanie Gromek & guests, Church World Services

February 13:

A. George Washington Sat Here, Honest: Proving (and Debunking) Artifact Legends through Provenance Research

     Brad Smith

B. A Comparison of Ephrata and the Shakers

     Lydia Jones, Visitor Services Associate

February 20:

A. 14.66.152

     Kerry Mohn, Curator

B. A Sound Design . . . The Miller Organ Company of Lebanon, Pennsylvania

     Mark Herr

February 27:

Using DNA to Extend the Family Backgrounds of Ephrata’s First Families

     Darvin Martin

March 5: 

A. The Papers of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America

     Dr. Scott Gordon, Lehigh University

B. Moravians, Martyrs, and Frontier Religion

     Dr. Scott Gordon, Lehigh University

March 12:

Music of the Ephrata Cloister

     Dr. Christopher Herbert, Patterson College

March 19:

A. “The Irresistible Force Meets an Immovable Body:” Restoration at Ephrata Cloister

     Michael Showalter, Museum Educator

B. The Identification, Care, and Preservation of Historic Photographs

     Linda Ries

March 26:

A. The Making of a Hymnal—Zionitischer Weyrauchs Hugel

     Dr. Hedda Durnbaugh, Hymnologist, Juniata College

B. George Rapp and the Harmony Society

     Dr. Walter Brumm



Ephrata Cloister

Administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission:
Josh Shapiro, Governor – Hayley Haldeman, Chair – Andrea Lowery, Executive Director

Ephrata Cloister is one of 26 historic sites and museums on the Pennsylvania Trail of History. For more information or to request a free 24-page visitor guide, visit or phone toll free 1-866-PATRAIL.

The Ephrata Cloister Associates is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, supporting the mission of preservation and education at this National Historic Landmark.

Anne Brossman Sweigart Charitable Foundation
Irene Weidman Charitable Foundation
Ephrata National Bank
Black Forest Brewery/Americana 1777 Inn
A Woman’s Club of Ephrata
The Historic Ephrata Cloister April Open Hours: CLOSED Monday and Tuesday, OPEN 9am - 4pm Wednesday through Saturday, and OPEN 12pm - 4pm Sunday.