The history of the Walnut Street
Cabin begins more than a dozen years before its construction with the origin of
Colmar Troop 1. Troop 1 was organized in 1935 with 12 scouts and Mr. Robert
Lane, Jr. as the Scoutmaster and with the sponsorship of the Citizens
In 1946 Mr. and Mrs. George
Alexander donates ground on Walnut Street to the Montgomery Baptist Church for
the Benefit of the scouts. These grounds covered a three-acre area to serve the
outdoor activities for the boys.
In August of 1949 construction
begins on the cabin using materials and money donated by local business and
friends of scouting. The cabin walls were constructed of railroad ties donated
by a nearby railroad company. The scouts’
fathers provided the labor to construct the cabin and Mr. Melvin Saylor
presided as chairman of the building committee overseeing their work.
Formal dedication of the Cabin was
in May 1950. Mr. Wilbur Fretz was the Scoutmaster at this time. Mr. Fretz and
one of his assistants Mr. Hayes Herschler were both recipients of the District
Order of Merit Award. Montgomery Baptist Church held the deed to the cabin and
the surrounding land and was the sponsor of Troop 1. A Scout Mothers Auxiliary
was organized in 1949 and was still going in the early 1960’s with Mrs. Gloria
Jones as president.
Sometime in the early 1950’s Mr.
Hayes Herschler assumed the duties of Scoutmaster. In May 1956 the “Penn Valley
Times” recorded three Scouts achieving their Eagle Rank. The Eagle Scouts were
Dorrance Herschler, Phillip Herschler, and Robert Johnson. The advancement Chairman
was Stewart Scheetz. During Hayes Herschler eight year tenure as Scoutmaster 12
boys reached the rank of Eagle Scout and twice the troop traveled to Canada for
adventure trips in the summer. In the early 1960’s the Scoutmaster was Mr. Samuel
Dalrymple, Jr. At this point we lose the
trail of Colmar Troop 1.
Next we pick up the history of
the cabin in 1973. This year Montgomery Baptist Church sold the property to the
Colmar Volunteer Fire Company for the sum of one dollar.
Troop 229 was organized in July
of 1985 with Mr. Barry Pegg as the first Scoutmaster and the Elks Lodge
sponsoring the Troop. Several years
later the Troop moves into the walnut Street Cabin with Mr. Tom Humber, who was
an assistant to Mr. Pegg, as the Scoutmaster and Colmar Volunteer Fire Company
The following spring construction
begins on a bridge over the creek in front of the cabin. Materials of
construction and the use of heavy equipment are donated by local businesses and
friends of scouting including several long telephone poles forming the main
structure of the bridge. Once again the
scouts’ fathers provided the labor and Mr. Garnett presided as chairman of the
bridge building committee overseeing their work. Each Scout in the Troop installed at least one
plank of the walkway demonstrating their involvement with the construction.
In December 1994 Troop 229 hold
its first Eagle Scout Court of Honor followed by a second three days later. Eric
A. Backlund achieved the Eagle Rank on December 11 and James R. Fisher achieved
the Eagle Rank on December 14 of that year. Two months later their good friend
and fellow Scout Geoff Dietrich joined them as an Eagle Scout becoming the
third member of the Troop to achieve Scouting’s highest rank. Mr. Robert Miller
was the Scoutmaster.
In the spring of 1998, Don “Mr.
D.” Dagutis revived interest in the Troop after several years of inactivity. During
this first year, Mr. D. worked with only a few Scouts but he set the stage for
the Troop to grow. Mr. D. camped with the scouts at the cabin and enjoyed
summer camp at Ockanickon Scout Reservation for several years with Troop 229. In
the spring of 2000, Mr. D.’s camping activity with the scouts became limited
due to health concerns. That summer he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and
missed a first summer camp with the scours. In august of 2000 Mr. Don Dagutis
lost his battle with cancer and passed away. Mr. Joseph Bell, one of Mr. D.’s assistants, assumed
the duties of Scoutmaster of Troop 229.
In the December 2000 Hatfield
Township purchased the property and the cabin from Colmar volunteer Fire
Company. Since the purchase, Hatfield Township has embarked on a program of
improving and upgrading the building and grounds.