Monday, May 13, 2013

They Were Here First

Native American Historian Darius Puff will take visitors on a journey through the history of his ancestors “The Lenape” on Sunday, May 19, at 2 p.m. at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. 

Hosted by the Friends of Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, a lively narrative, legends, animal furs, and reproductions of artifacts used by the Lenape contribute to an interesting an informative program that includes a question and answer period. Staged in the park’s Church House, the program is free and open to the public.

Darius Puff is a retired Berks County police officer. 

Darius Puff
A few years prior to his retirement, he became involved in giving talks about his Native American heritage to various civic groups. through the use of artifacts and stories, his programs teach others about the early lives of the Lenape people and the changes that affected their society in the 18th century. 

He has presented at local schools, historical societies and universities including Millersville, Rutgers, Kutztown, and Penn State. The program is made possible through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts in partnership with the Berks Arts Council.

The Lenni Lenape or Delaware Indians were a loose confederation of Algonkian bands, which at the opening of the 17th century occupied a continuous territory from the Delaware Bay to Blue Mountain ridge or the Pennsylvania Highlands including today’s Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. 

A prominent feature of the park is the Lenape Trail, a 5.5 mile trail that runs through Hopewell Furnace and neighboring French Creek State Park. See Area Features Map.

While at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site visitors are encouraged to go into the village, tour the buildings and learn about the Iron Making Industry and why Hopewell Furnace is important to our nation’s history. 

The park is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday including Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day and Veterans Day. It is closed on other federal holidays. 

On Mondays and Tuesdays while the Visitor Center and Hopewell Village are closed, the grounds and restrooms remain open. 

The park is located five miles south of Birdsboro, off of Route 345. 

For more information stop by the park's visitor center, call 610-582-8773, visit the park's web site at, or contact the park by e-mail at

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