Nestled in the lush Pennsylvania "Dutch" farmlands are the estates of families whose forbearers owned the mines, ore pits and furnaces that produced artillery, shot and stoves for Washington's army. In 1972, storm waters of Hurricane Agnes flooded the mines, which were closed after two centuries of productivity. Some of the mansions of the founders' families are gone or were converted to other uses, and piece by piece, their orchards, pastures and croplands have yielded to suburban sprawl. But one parcel has become a unique recreation center, Quentin Riding Club.
To this farm the Coleman's imported America's first Hackney horses, the fine carriage animals that moved England's aristocracy in the mid-nineteenth century. The farm included stables with box stall doors made from 3-inch oak. Hinges were made from wrought iron and latches were formed from recessed brass. Mountain spring water was piped to each stall and to hand-hewn stone watering troughs. There were blacksmith shops, carriage sheds, isolation barns for mares in foal, tack rooms, grooms' offices and small animal shelters, all surrounding an 18-room home occupied by the manager and including a detached office building for the business staff of the Estates. Local businessmen purchased the facility for their prize steeds in 1934 and later enrolled social members to help defray the operating costs.
When Bismarck Became Quentin
This outlines the events surrounding World War I and just how devastated Teddy Roosevelt was upon learning of the death of his youngest son, Quentin, a United States Air Service pilot who was shot down by German fighters in 1918.
As the most famous casualty of The Great War, the death of Quentin Roosevelt was not only a blow to the former president, who never quite recovered from the loss, but Quentin's loss reverberated throughout the country.
Quentin, who was just four when his father assumed the presidency, was beloved across the nation. His death in war spurred leaders in the Lebanon County town of Bismarck to change its name.
Growing anti-German sentiment fueled the switch, but given the majority population of German-heritage citizens in and around Bismarck and the rest of Pennsylvania Dutch region of the Keystone state, the name really was a big statement.
The leader of the name change was a man named William J Noll, a Lebanon County Commissioner and the first president of the Quentin Volunteer Fire Company. Noll was also the secretary for the founders of the Cornwall Furnace, so he was able to rally the troops on behalf of his crusade.
When the name change from Bismarck to Quentin became official later in 1918, Teddy Roosevelt sent a letter thanking Noll.
"I am deeply touched by what the people of Quentin have done. The name by the way, is pronounced in English fashion, exactly as it is spelt. I wish through you I could thank all of the patrons of the post office and especially those who you inform me were the originators of the movement,'' wrote Teddy Roosevelt from his Sagamore Hill homestead in Oyster Bay, NY.
Quentin Riding Club was the home of Mr. and Mrs. William J Noll, Rachael his wife who passed away here at Quentin Riding Club in her bedroom on July 9, 1923.
Quentin Riding Club
2500 Quentin Road
Lebanon, PA 17042
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