It’s an HBC tradition, our participation in the St. John (Barner’s) Lutheran Church Apple Butter Boil the second Saturday in October … 5 Barners Road, Liverpool, PA.  Que sheets with routes of 12, 28 and 50 miles are given out and there is no SAG so bicycle riders are on their own or can team up with others any time and head out.  Best to start early between 8 and 9am and sometimes the weather is crisp and there is a potential for heavy fog so dress appropriately.  Be aware the rides start at the top of a mountain so the ride back will involve a steep, long climb.  Or skip the bicycling and just come to the festival and enjoy the day at the top of the mountain with family and friends.

After the ride the fun begins because we bike to eat and for a nominal charge enjoy the home made soups, pies and of course apple butter.  Apple butter sundaes are among the treats offered and something to look forward to after many miles of bicycling.

St. Barner’s Church started the Apple Butter Boil in 1952 … 65 years ago and Owen Moore said HBC started participating with bicycle rides in the 1970’s.  Many of our club traditions started with Owen and this is just one of many.

St. Barner’s large stone church was built in 1872 and is visible for many miles.  Walk across the road and check out the large stone plaque commemorating the Founder of the church, Adam Barner I who settled on a small farm on this same site in 1767 … nine years prior to our American Revolution.

Adam Barner I was the father of two sons and five daughters.  Today, little is known of this immigrant who settled here as the original member of the Barner family in Pennsylvania because what records may have existed are long gone except for the following:

Adam Barner I was born about 1745 and emigrated to America with his family in 1750 or 1758 (depending on differing sources) when he was described as a ”young man who probably came from somewhere in what we know today as West Germany or Switzerland”.  Historical records indicate the Barner family may have been fleeing French invaders during the rule of Louis XIV.  Records also show that Adam Barner I settled in Berks Country and worked a period of indenture (seven years) in payment for his passage to America where he learned the skill of tailoring.  Records show Adam Barner paid a tax in 1767 and again in 1768 in Robeson Township for “one cow” which indicates young Adam was working and accumulating capital so perhaps this is how he was able to purchase the property for his farm.

Next we learned that Mr. Barner was “pressed” into military service, the equivalent of the modern day draft (discontinued in the United States of America in 1973).  Nothing is recorded about his period of service except he continued in the army until the close of the war.  After the war, he settled on a farm in Liverpool Township, clearing the land from the wilderness and practiced his trade as a tailor.

Death likely occurred around 1812 when the second war with Great Britain and America (War of 1812) occurred and the British burned our nation’s capital.  There are numerous Barner tombstones in the St. Barner’s Church cemetery indicative of a prolific lifetime on this high hill in Perry County.

“Come Ride With Us” October 14 and learn another of our HBC traditions!

Submitted by Jeff McPartland