Unknown to many is the fact that Pennsylvania’s Americana Region was home to the first American settlement of Germans from the Palatinate region. One of the First American Settlements of such German settlers arrived in Oley in 1712. They chose the area around the Manatawny Creek. Within 10 years others followed including Conrad Weiser. Weiser came to Western Berks from New York. He settled in Womelsdorf by the Tulpehocken Creek.
The presence of these courageous pioneers securely anchored in the new world, led the first group of Amish to settle here in 1740, followed by Moravians in 1741, and later thousands of Mennonites, all of whom moved to the region to seek religious freedom and yet be near familiar culture. That Pennsylvania German culture (also known as Pennsylvania Dutch) has been developing ever since and if you listen carefully, you can still hear the language of the old country spoken in some of our historic towns.
Towns like Kutztown where the Annual Kutztown Folk Festival is held each year. This festival is centered around the PA Dutch Heritage, traditions and foods. It is a must for any visitor to the region and is held annually at the end of June and beginning of July spanning two weeks each year. Another favorite place to visit would be the Deitsch Eck Restaurant where you can sit down and enjoy a true PA Dutch meal. Come visit our rich traditions and heritage throughout the Pennsylvania Americana Region. Or you can visit the Annual Heritage Festival where these first American settlement of Germans comes alive for all to see.