Wed, 22 Apr 2009
Junkin Tent Historical Marker
(Harrisburg) -- Twenty-one new historical markers will soon be added across the commonwealth, including three in the midstate. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has approved the signs, which are meant to tell stories about significant people and events. One marker will be placed in New Kingstown, Cumberland County, to commemorate Junkin Tent, the site of the first Reformed Presbyterian communion in the New World. In Franklin County, a marker in Mercersburg will honor members of the 54th Mass Regiment, the most famous African American unit of the Civil War. In Berks County, a marker will tell the story of Boyertown Burial Casket Company, which was once the second-largest company of its kind in the world and one of the first to be publicly traded on major stock exchanges. The detailed stories behind many of the 2,200 historical markers across the commonwealth can be found at www.ExplorePAHistory.com.
The Junkin Tent Marker Announcement
What historic event occurred in 1752 in the area that today is known as New Kingstown, Cumberland County, PA?
ANSWER: Members of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, who fled Ireland because of religious persecution, conducted their first recorded Communion in America on this site.
This week long event attended by 250 people, occurred on August 23, 1752 in a field on the centrally located farm of Joseph Junkin Sr., a Reformed Presbyterian member. The Reverend John Cuthbertson, a recent immigrant and their first ordained minister conducted the ceremony in a grove of trees. They formed a canopy for benches and the Bible stand: thus the nomenclature 'Junkin Tent'. Metal tokens denoting good standing were issued to those people whom the minister deemed worthy of receiving communion. Religious services were held regularly on this spot until 1817 when it was moved to another location.
Although the Junkin home remains standing, the 500 acre farm was divided and developed into the area now known as New Kingstown - aka New Kingston, PA. The threatened demolition of the Junkin stone house on North Locust Point Road recently motivated a group of concerned citizens, aware of the historic significance to the community and posterity, to initiate efforts to preserve and protect this small, unique oasis of Cumberland County, PA.
The first official accomplishment of this body is the designation by the state of Pennsylvania of the site of the 18th Century 'Junkin Tent' Communion. A Pennsylvania State Marker will be dedicated here on August 21, 2010 with invited dignitaries, descendants, and members of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America joining the public for a ceremony and related events.
We urge all to support this historic preservation project and request those who wish to attend the dedication to view The Junkin Tent Project website. You will find a schedule for August 21st. the family history on the Junkins, and the Covenanters plus an order form for the purchase of Commemorate Coins. You can also order the coin by contacting our Treasurer Judy Norrie at 137 State Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050. 717-697-1441.
The Junkin Project Committee