Virginia Lopresti

Apr 15, 2013 in News

Virginia Lopresti and her late husband Joe, have been mainstays of our archeological work at Jacobsburg.  Working together, they laid much of the groundwork that helped in the battles to preserve the historical and critical environmentally important areas within the proposed park and impoundment area of the dam to be built across the Bushkill Creek.

An Archeology Report that was published in the Sept/Oct 1980 JHS newsletter, list the following summary:

  • 1972 – Jacobsburg Historical Society organized to preserve the history of Bushkill Valley
  • 1973 – Excavations started in Colonial Village in March by volunteers and students of Moravian College under the direction of Prof. C. Walter Tremer
  • 1974 – Excavated portions of tannery with five Manpower boys under the direction of Virginia and Joseph Lopresti
  • 1975 – Excavated part of tannery and area above it (the site of the bridge to blast furnace) with the aid of 11 students from the Philadelphia School for the Deaf
  • 1977 – Excavated Spoonheimer Home, Mathew S. Henry office, part of Mathew S. Henry home with help of Lehigh Valley Manpower boys
  • 1978 – Excavated Mathew S. Henry home, Forge area with LV Manpower and J & V Lopresti
  • 1979 – Excavated part of the mill where William Henry 3rd made guns 1792 to 1812.  Work done by Joe &Virginia Lopresti and one boy and one girl from LV Manpower.
  • 1980 – In March the Loprestis started excavating outside Jacobsburg Inn built in 1780.  In May, they started work on the site of the Jacob Hubler grist mill that was turned by William Henry 3rdinto a forge.
  • On June 23, with only one boy helping at a time, Joe & Virginia Lopresti started seven weeks of excavating the mill site.
  • End results – 1 roomful of artifacts; 6 carousels of slides; 1 box of notebooks, maps, research material, etc.

Man hours volunteered by Joe and Virginia Lopresti – 18,500 ++.

They continued their volunteer efforts for many years, helping to interpret and talk about their findings in schools, at community events and meetings, throughout the Lehigh Valley and beyond.  Look for more information about their many discoveries that will be chronicled on the JHS web site.

NOTE:  Virginia Lopresti now resides at Gracedale and celebrated her 98th birthday on Friday March 29.  A card and a note would really make her happy.

(mail to: Gracedale, Nazareth, PA  18064)