A business ledger may not sound like a page-turner, but a ledger that’s 200 years old and lists the goings-on of a secluded society? That’s exciting reading!
Historic Ephrata Cloister recently purchased a business ledger that chronicles the business dealings of the Beissel Ephrata community, from 1770 to 1845. Such records of the Brothers’ and Sisters’ commerce with the outside world are extremely rare; this one is even more notable because it’s bound using cardboard made from the Ephrata printing of the Anabaptist book, Martyrs’ Mirror. The ledger was kept by generations of the Senseman family and includes entries (translated from German) that record grain milling done for the community’s Brothers and Sisters.
The Historic Ephrata Cloister acquired the ledger using private funds from the Back to the Cloister initiative, which returns unique artifacts from the history of the Beissel Ephrata community back to the Cloister.
717-733-6600 or ephratacloister.org.