About Redlands

200th Anniversary: 1811-2011

The Historic Redlands Quaker Meeting House

Newberrytown, PA

When William Penn came to America in1681 to launch his “Holy Experiment”, the intent was  to create a Quaker settlement that would be free of  the religious persecution that he and many of his fellow sojourners had suffered abroad.

Initially, Penn and the pioneering Quakers settled along the eastern portion of what is now called Pennsylvania. But by the early 1700s, families had migrated to the south central part of the state in the area now occupied by Adams and York Counties.

Because these Quakers needed a place of worship, Meeting Houses were constructed throughout the region.

In 1745, for example, Quakers settling in the area around Newberry(town) built a log meeting house for purposes of worship. In 1792, the primitive structure in Newberrytown was replaced by a simple stone building, which sat beside a small burial ground.

It was, according to Quaker historian Margaret B. Walmer,  used until 1811 when they built a new stone building two miles to the west of town. The older meeting house was sold.

Unfortunately, the ongoing western migration of settlers had a serious impact on Redlands and other early Quaker Meetings.

By 1862, the reality of a shrinking population forced the Redlands Meeting, in Quaker terms, to be “laid down”. The remaining Quakers transferred membership to other Meetings in nearby communities.

Though its survival as a place of worship was relatively brief, Redlands nevertheless played an important role in early Pennsylvania history.  Its members, in typical Quaker fashion, were social activists as were other Meetings in the region.  Some members were involved in the Anti-Slavery Society.  A few, like the William and Phebe (Wierman) Wright family of Huntington Monthly Meeting, which is located about twenty miles west of Redlands–  helped move over 1,000 freed slaves through the Underground Railroad.

“The Quakers occupy a special place in Pennsylvania history,” said  the Pennsylvania Historical Association.

Since 1862, the Redlands Meeting House and two cemeteries, all in York County, have been maintained by Menallen Monthly Meeting of Biglerville, PA.

Miraculously, the Redlands Meeting House and its original furnishings have survived.

Today, the Meeting House and grounds at Redlands offers a rare snapshot of Pennsylvania Quaker history. We think you will agree.

  1. Tom Kirk
    October 15, 2010 at 1:17 AM

    My Quaker ancestor Timothy Kirk died in 1786. He lived near the Newberry Meeting House. Where would he have been buried, if the “small burial ground”was not constructed until 1792?
    Thank you,

  2. Tom Kirk
    October 15, 2010 at 1:20 AM

    My Quaker ancestor Timothy Kirk died in 1786. He lived near the Newberry Meeting House. Where would he have been buried, if the “small burial ground”was not constructed until 1792?
    Thank you,
    Would appreciate follow-up comments via email

    • JSPyle
      February 13, 2011 at 6:30 PM

      I couldn’t find anything about Tim’s burial, but did find his son, Timothy, another son, Thomas, daughter Rachel. Reply to the email address above and I’ll copy it to you.

  3. JSPyle
    February 13, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    These notes are from 100 Years at Warrigton compiled by Margaret B. Walmer , Heritage Books, 2007

    #186 18th of10th mo 1786
    Wheras Thomas Kirk son of Timothy Kirk late of Newbury in the County of york and State of Pennaylvania Deceased and Sarah his wife and Elizabeth Jonston Widdow daughter of William Garretson and Lydia his wife … this eighteenth day of the 10th month in the year one Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty Six at Newberry aforesaid …
    Thomas Kirk
    Elizabrth Kirk
    Other Kirk’s who signed the wedding paper are Esaac, Ezekiel, Hannah, Sarah, Timothy, Mary.

    In 1773, Thomas Kirk, son of Timothy Kirk of Newberry, married Hannah Cadwalader, daughter of David Cadwalader, late of Louden in the colony of Virginia Deceased … wedding guests included Timothy Kirk, Sarah Kirk and many others.

    In 1772, Timothy and Sarah’s daughter Rachel married Joshua Hutton

    In 1771 their son Timothy married Mary Cadwalader, daughter of David Cadwalader; (brothers married sisters.)

    In 1804 Timothy and Mary removed to Gunpowder MM with their minor children Mahlon and Mary. (two months earlier, Rachel Kirk remove to Gunpowder as well.)

  4. February 13, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    Dear Tom,
    First of all let me apologize for not seeing your note earlier. Apparently the link that notifies our web site manager that we have mail is not working .

    The Redlands Meetinghouse and Cemetery and the Newberrytown Cemetery have been under the care of Menallen Monthly Meeting (Quakers)since 1861. We do not have burial records. we think they are in storage in Baltimore.
    If your ancestor died in 1792 he is in the Newberrytown Cemetery as the meetinghouse was not moved until 1811. We plan a reunion this summer, hence this website and we are so happy to have found a descendant. Where did he live?
    You are welcome to go to the cemetery at Newberrytown which is two miles east of the Redlands Meetinghouse. Here are the directions: from the Redlands Meetinghouse which is at 2900 Lewisberry Rd. PA Route 382 at corner of Old Quaker Road York Haven PA 17370
    Continue to follow PA-382 E. You will pass under Interstate 83 at the Y bear right and look for a Napa Auto Parts Store on the on Old Trail Road. The cemetery is located next to the store surrounded by a chain link fence.
    The cemetery is in disrepair and one of the goals of the reunion is to find ways to care for it and restore it. We are a very small meeting at Menallen, only about 20 people, so all we can afford to do is to mow.
    Thank you for your note. Good luck in your quest. Let me know if we can be of any further assistance. Bye for now Mary Gemmill, clerk

    • Tom Kirk
      March 23, 2011 at 4:35 PM

      Thank you for your reply of Feb.13. My ancestor Timothy had a farm east-south east of Lewisberry following E. Front St.adjacent to Bennett’s Run toward Plesant Road. My wife and I intend to visit the area from June 2 – 5 hoping to visit & photograph the farmsite, meeting house, and burial ground. Timoth’s sons later moved closer to Warrington Meeting, then later to Clearfield Co. Am looking forward to our visit.
      Again, thanks for your reply.

      • March 31, 2011 at 3:55 PM

        Please contact us when you come in June
        717 677 4554

  5. Tom Kirk
    April 4, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    Thank you, shall do.

    • April 6, 2011 at 10:11 PM

      Dear Tom,
      We just received notice of your very generous donation. Thank you so much.
      It is a labor of love to take care of those old cemeteries, with sometimes, more labor than love. But we often joke that we can not charge the ‘residents’. We just hope that there is somebody around to take care of our sacred places when we are ‘residents’.
      Are you coming from Clearfield County?
      We look forward to hearing from you when you visit. I can send somebody over to open up the meetinghouse for you. It is like stepping back in time. Everything inside is frozen in time….1862
      Thanks again. Bye for now. Mary

  6. May 3, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    I have a number of Quaker ancestors who were part of this meeting. These families accompanied my ancestor Robert Mackay Sr. when he came to settle the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia along with Jost Hite. Names like Wright, Garwood, Haines, Antrim to name a few. We won’t be able to make the reunion because of a prior engagement in Ohio that same weekend.

    I would like to invite anyone visiting here to check out our family website. Many of the family records of those names are under construction so the records haven’t been added yet but many of them came to Virginia and established meetings there and went from there to establish meetings in Ohio, South Carolina and Indiana and points westward.

  7. May 4, 2011 at 10:47 AM


    I’m descended from several families that used to belong to this meeting. Two of whom are Haines and Wright. Many of these accompanied my ancestor Robert Mackay Sr. when he settled the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia along with Jost Hite. I’m the webmaster of The Robert Mackay Clan website and I invite anyone here to visit it by clicking on the URL above.

    We won’t be able to make it to the reunion due to a prior commitment in Ohio the same weekend. I am going to put a link to your website on ours in the section I have for Friends Meetings.

  8. May 4, 2011 at 10:27 PM

    Dear Michael,
    We were delighted to hear from you.
    There are some family trees of Menallen members on ancestry.com
    And I know of the Griest family tree but I have only seen it in a hard copy form
    Please come for a visit sometime.
    Mary Gemmill, clerk

  9. Thomas Baker
    May 19, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    Hello, my father and I mowed the Redlands grass for years. The man who lived here before us did, too. His name was George Bressler. He lived here since 1958. We lived here since 1978. In fact, a small piece of land was sold to him by the Redland Quakers that existed across 382 and was adjacent to his property. Although, we are not Quaker, I feel some connection because Redlands have been our neighbors all these years. Perhaps I will stop by on reunion day say hello.

    • JSPyle
      May 22, 2011 at 8:38 PM

      Dear Thomas,
      Thank you for your nice note. We would love to meet you at the Reunion! Please come and let us know your connection to the meeting.
      Judy Pyle
      Redlands Reunion Committee

    • May 24, 2011 at 8:51 AM

      Dear Thomas
      Thank you for your note. We look forward to seeing you on August 14th
      My name is Mary Gemmill and I am the clerk I am tasked with finding the records about Redlands especially the cemeteries
      Do you have any paperwork that relates to Redlands or Newberrytown cemeteries?

  10. March 6, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    Has anyone documented the Underground Railroad in the Lewisberry, PA area? Several sources tell of Dr. Robert Lewis sending escaped slaves through York to his father, Dr. Webster Lewis, in Lewisberry. Legend has it that my Reiff ancestors, whose farmhouse still stands at 1003 Silver Lake Rd., and other farmers around Lewisberry harbored slaves. Of course, this kind of activity was secretive. I would like to learn more about it.

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