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Ida Hunsicker Bond
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Birth: Jan. 5, 1888
Schuylkill County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Jul. 6, 1967
Berks County
Pennsylvania, USA

Ida Bond, a widowed Taverness in the hinterland northwest of Kempton had a large farm where her patrons loved hunting deer.

PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH TAVERN KEEPERS
Richard Shaner
A Look Back In History


Secluded in the mountains, only local farmers knew it was Ida's Hotel. But because the farm consisted of some 200 acres of land, and Ida controlled about 800 acres more at times, it became a deer hunters paradise since she did not post her land with "No Hunting" signs. Ida's husband, George Bond (1885-1928) died right before the stock market crash of 1929.

The two of them had purchased the original 1799 Greenawald farm from George Bond's grandfather, Daniel Fenstermacher. Located at the base of Sharp Mountain, their huge Swiss bank barn with four twelve-pointed Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs along route 143 served as a billboard for wandering travelers searching for this wayside tavern.

Since Albany Township was settled by almost all German or Rhineland Valley immigrants in Colonial times, it was not a surprise to realize the Pennsylvania Dutch language was still the mode of speech among Ida's farm customers. In fact, hunters who were "uslanders", (outsiders) were not able to understand the daily conversations at the bar and had to count on Ida's good will to find out where the best hunting action was in the area.

Ida's maiden name was Hunsicker and she originally came from the Lewistown Valley of Schuylkill County. Her nephew George tended the bar at the Hotel, but was so thin I thought at times I should take his pulse for he rarely spoke until spoken to. Perhaps he feared Ida's wrath if he spoke out of turn, but as an impressionable teenager, I remember him vividly filling the glass mugs of beer with snow white foam heads and sliding them down the bar rail to waiting customers.

There was a large cast iron pot belly stove in the middle of the Hotel barroom, and behind it, a small wooden board partition for a men's room. In this way, serious male drinkers would not have to go outside to the privy. The widow Bond (always in control of any situation) was bawdy and risque keeping your attention as she spoke in the Dutch language. However, if it meant a customer might spend more money at the bar, she would shift into English to make an outsider feel more at home, never missing a bar sale. But her nephew, George just stood quietly waiting for someone to buy a round for the bar.

On the way home from Bond's Hotel with my parents, I remarked that we should buy some "green glass" mugs like George slid down the bar with a head of foam. My mother remarked that the mugs were not green, George had left them soak too long in spring water, and the bottoms of the mugs appeared green from moss. That was why my parents and the Ritters drank directly from bottled beer at country taverns in those days.

In the post World War II modern period of new prosperity, the old fashion Bond tavern remained the same. Most of the tavern furniture was antique but functional. The only new items were the modern beer and tobacco advertisements on the walls. Patrons were likely to order Schmidts or old Reading Beer from an ancient Old Reading lithograph of Dutchmen drinking at a farm table on the wall. Budweiser was much too much a modern beer for this part of America.

The romance of Ida Bond's tavern, including her, is the essence of the Pennsylvania Dutch people who escaped the horrors of 18th Century Europe to live in the freedom of a New World. A compassion that swells deep within themselves, which their ancestors first noticed when they realized America, was indeed the land of milk and honey, and they were free to celebrate their Rhineland ethnicity forever. This homogeneous Rhenish fraternalism (Pennsylvania Dutch) among them was often the only solace they shared until they conquered the Northern frontier, and were able to successfully harvest modern bountiful crops.
 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  George Bond (1885 - 1928)
 
Burial:
New Bethel Union Cemetery
Kempton
Berks County
Pennsylvania, USA
Plot: Section II Row 15
 
Created by: Jeff Braucher
Record added: Jan 31, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 104466467
Ida <i>Hunsicker</i> Bond
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Berks-Dauphin Roots
 
 
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