History of Mahanatawny/ Pottstown Area
The name Manatawny (or its older form, Mahanatawny) has always been associated with the region in and about Pottstown.
The eastern part of the town and adjacent districts were a section of the Manatawny Tract, which Francis Daniel Pastorius and others, residing at Frankfort-on-the Main, Germany, had purchased from Penn, but which was afterwards claimed by John Henry Sprogel of Holland. Mr. Sprogel came over and settled upon it with his family, along with his brother, Ludwig Christian Sprogel, about 1709. These hardy Dutchman were probably the first permanent settlers in this locality. The matter must have been settled amicably, because in 1718 records show Ludwig Christian Sprogel’s deed for the conveyance of the land to Henry Wanger, a Swiss Mennonite pioneer in what is now the borough of Pottstown. In 1719, John Henry Sprogel opened the first copper mine in the country on this same site.
At Pottstown, we find the confluence of the Manatawny Creek and the Schuylkill River. It was here that the industry began that spread westward in the state and made Pennsylvania the greatest iron-manufacturing commonwealth. Thomas Rutter, Samuel Nutt, and Samuel Savage were the pioneers in this enterprise. Thomas Rutter “removed from Germany forty miles up the Schuylkill” in 1717 “to the outermost verge of civilization” and settled at Mahanatawny (now Pottstown) where he erected a “forge” on the Schuylkill River near the Hanover Street bridge.
On the west side of the Manatawny Creek stood Mill Park, the sturdy home of Thomas Potts. This household was large with connections that associated its members with almost all the forges and furnaces of the countryside. Nearly all of these Colonial industries were making “cannons” and balls. One made iron clock weights to replace the leaden ones confiscated for bullets. Dr. Jonathan Potts, the Director of Hospitals in the Revolution, was a member of this large family.
This great house sheltered the Father of Our Country on different occasions. Here he came in his hour of need- after Brandywine- to friends of the spirit; and here, many feel, were laid the plans for the encampment at Valley Forge.
The building that became George Washington’s Headquarters at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-1778 was owned by Isaac Potts (brother of Thomas). Isaac willingly relinquished it to accommodate the General and his officers.
Again in 1794, when on his way to quell the Whiskey Insurrection in western Pennsylvania, President Washington traveled the waters of the Manatawny to visit with his tried and true friends at Mill Park. *
The members of the DAR fly the American Flag to honor our ancestors and those who are currently serving this nation. To us, the flag is a symbol of what our ancestors gave their lives and fortunes to create.
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Description of the Flag **
The Flag of the United States of America has 13 horizontal stripes, 7 red and 6 white (for the 13 original colonies). The red and white stripes alternate, starting with a red at the top. The union (blue panel) consists of one five pointed star for each state in the union. The union is placed in the upper quarter next to the pole and extends from the first red stripe at the top to the lower edge of the fourth red strip.
The union of the flag now contains 50 white stars, each with one of its points facing upward.
August 21, 1959, was the last time a star was added to the flag, with the admission of Hawaii to the union. The flag does not become official after a star is added until the following Fourth of July. In this case the flag became official on July 4, 1960, and is the one we still fly today.
Tips on flying the American Flag**
If displaying the flag any way other than on a pole inside or outdoors, it should lay flat so its folds fly free, not touching the floor or ground.
If displaying over a street, the flag should be suspended free with the union facing north in an east/west street or east on a street that runs north and south.
When flying the flag at half-staff it should be hoisted to the peak of the pole for an instant and then lowered to half the distance between the top and bottom of the pole. When the flag is lowered for the day it is once again raised to the peak of the pole for an instant and taken the rest of the way down.
Days to fly the Flag 2010
The flag should be displayed on all days, but especially the following:
New Year’s Day- January 1st Memorial Day- June 30th (half staff until noon)
Martin Luther King’s Birthday- January 15th Fourth of July- July 4th
Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday- February 12th Labor Day- September 1st
Presidents’ Day- February 18th Constitution Day- September 18th
George Washington’s Birthday- February 22nd Columbus Day- October 12th
Easter Sunday- March 30th Election Day- November 4th
Armed Forces Day- 3rd Saturday in May Veterans Day- November 11th
Mother’s Day- May 11th Thanksgiving Day- November 27th
Flag Day- June 14th Christmas Day- December 25th
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Last Update: 6/3/2010
*Information for this article was researched from the booklet History of the Mahanatawny Chapter 1939- 1989.
**Information included in the article was researched from the pamphlet The Flag Code, reprinted May 1969 and distributed by the NSDAR.