Men, Women, and Children Put Life into the Community.
—The White Mills Community Trail —
There was more to White Mills
than glass and glassmaking. The people who lived here — im[m]igrants and their descendants — built an active, vital community. Devout worship and a love of country, entertainment, sports, education, and commerce complimented their strong work ethic. Families and neighbors shared a common experience, which sustained them through good times and bad. White Mills is a community proud of its heritage but ready for the future.
[Photo captions, from left to right, read]
The 1867 Glassworker's House (third on the left) became the catalyst for historic preservation in While Mills when Dr. Walter Barbe purchased it to preserve it in 2001. Seven sloped-roofed buildings, completed in early 1867, were the first houses built by Christian Dorflinger for the workers at his nearby glass factory. In fewer than two years, thirty-three more houses were built in White Mills for 182 employees and their families. The house was restored to its 1875 condition when siding was placed over the board-and-batten walls, and the back porch (summer kitchen) and part of the front porch were enclosed.
The bat is a virtuoso piece of cutting by Liljequist. Fred Houth did the rough-cut, and the blank was blown by Peter Jones. The round knob of the handle is cut in "Sharp Diamond," followed by the plain
handgrip. As the shape begins to increase, the pattern is "Notched Prism," followed by "Sharp Diamond" and a second band of "Notched Prism." As the shape reaches the tip, the patterns of "Hob Star,["] "Harvard," and "Hob Star" complete the work. An entry in the diary of Louis J. Dorflinger reads "Baseball bat made for Eddie Murphy cost to cut 13.60 Glass 4.50 Case 7.25 Total 25.35."
Eddie Murphy played on the White Mills baseball team, managed by John C. Dorflinger, in 1907. Murphy, a right fielder, made it to the World Series of 1913 with Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics. His former friends in White Mills fashioned him a regulation-size cut-glass bat. It was to be presented by Governor John K. Tener, but he was detained by official business, so the gift was made by John C. Dorflinger.
As in countless other American towns at the turn of the century, the general interest and activity during the summer in White Mills centered around the success of the local ball club. Nearly every boy owned a ball and glove, and many boys later graduated into the Big Leagues, including White Mill's own Eddie Murphy, second from the left in the back row. Team manager John C. Dorflinger is the man seated in the front row, center.
The first school near White Mills was located in Palmyra Township, just south of the present day village. It was built circa 1850 for the children of the employees
of Farnham's Saw Mills. Soon after Christian Dorflinger built his glassworks in White Mills in 1865, this school was too small due to the many newcomers to the area. Dorflinger solved the problem by building another school around 1870 in Texas Township, just north of his glassworks. This frame building, which was torn down in 2007, was two stories high. Both schools were replaced in 1900 by the brick structure pictured above. It was constructed in 1899 on School Street and today is a private residence.