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Susquehanna Life

Native Americans, Early Settlers, and the Leroy Massacre

Sep 28, 2015 12:55PM ● By Kevin

Photo courtesy of user geothe67.

The Union County Historical Society - Lewisburg, PA and the New Berlin Heritage Association will present the program "Native Americans, Early Settlers, and the Leroy Massacre" on Friday, October 16, 7 PM at the Community Center, Vine Street, New Berlin, PA.

This program marks the 260th anniversary of the "Leroy Massacre" which took place October 16th, 1755. The story of the captured girl Regina will be told along with singing of the German song “Alone Yet Not Alone.” The story is an example of the conflict between early settlers and the native inhabitants of central Pennsylvania.

Kim Mattern, a Native American historian, will discuss the life style of Indians living in this area and what motivated them to abduct the children. Mattern became interested in Native American history and artifacts as an eight year old, following his father’s love of and search for objects. He continued this interest through studying Native American material at the State Museum in Harrisburg and the North Museum at Franklin & Marshall College. Mattern worked at archaeological digs in the Lancaster and York areas, and more recently in the Perry, Snyder, and Union counties, and assisted Penn DOT with archeological studies of the proposed throughway between Selinsgrove and Winfield. Since 1993 he has studied the Native Americans of the Susquehanna River Basin, and is a resource for the Union County Historical Society and Susquehanna University, and for libraries, schools, civic organizations, and scout groups, as a speaker and an evaluator for local Native American acquisitions.

Eli Reiff, a Mennonite historian, will talk about the daily life, faith and devotion of the early settlers and their response to the abduction. He will sing the German song “Alone Yet Not Alone,” then tell of the reunion of Regina with her mother. Reiff is a member of the Groffdale Mennonites, who moved to Union County from Lancaster. He operates a family poultry business outside of Mifflinburg. Reiff has served on the UCHS board of directors and has presented other programs for the society (including one several years ago on the subject of the Leroy incident). He has participated in Rural Heritage Day and is a guide on the society's historic sites tours for county students.

Light refreshments will be served. The program is co-sponsored by the New Berlin Heritage Association, and is free and open to the public. Reservations can be made at the Union County Historical Society office: call 
570-524-8666 or email

Information provided by the Union County Historical Society.

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