Open house, presentation held at St. Paul’s Schoolhouse
The sign cut in stone over the doorway of the St. Paul’s Schoolhouse belongs to St. Paul’s Church. It names the building and the year it was built — 1865.
Lehigh Township Historical Society was given permission to restore the schoolhouse at 780 Almond Road, Walnutport, and invite people in for tours. It was a requirement from the church that the society use the one-room schoolhouse for educational purposes.
Dave Miller and Barry Green were talking about the various items in the school while visitors arrived to the Aug. 11 open house. Some people were already aware of what was original and what things came from other sources.
Ruth Hall Kent introduced the featured speaker, Tammy Shane, in the church fellowship hall. Shane talked about a progressive movement beginning in the 1900s that sought to change the world for the better.
Hall Kent said the society’s themes for the year will be the veterans of World War I and the 100th anniversary of the flu pandemic. The group has collected more than 100 veterans’ names and would like help getting more. The names will be researched and displayed at the society’s museum until a memorial is erected.
The majority of local military men were in the U.S. Army.
Camp Crane at the Allentown Fairgrounds was used to train ambulance personnel. Grandstand seating was torn out, and cots were placed there. The camp closed in 1919.
Shane said she is not a doctor and cannot answer medical questions about the pandemic. An international conference was held in Africa, and research was conducted at many sites.
“Flu happens all the time, and there may be another pandemic sometime,” she said.
One in three people got the flu, and of those, one in five died. Since it is a virus, it was difficult to develop a vaccine, and they are still not too effective because the virus mutates rapidly.
It was not until electron microscopes were developed in 1943 that the virus could be seen. Early medical training began at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Because of World War I, many men were grouped in camps, which allowed the flu to spread rapidly.
Many businesses were shut down, and few phone calls could be made because the operators were out sick.
One of the presentation attendees asked Shane whether the flu could be stopped with today’s medicine. They pointed out many of the deaths were due to pneumonia. Shane said many of the deaths could have been prevented.