Visit Dutch Country and you'll probably see hex signs and maybe a horse-drawn buggy, eat shoofly pie or funny cake, and hear English spoken with a "Dutchy" accent. You could be in Kutztown, Lancaster, or Adamstown.
"Dutch Country" is the name of a vernacular region just as "Lehigh Valley" is. The Lehigh Valley is harder to describe because people have so many perceptions of it. Does it include the Slate Belt? parts of Berks, Bucks, Montgomery, and Carbon counties? Phillipsburg? Is it the connection to the historical steel, coal and cement industries and the many ethnicities who worked in them? the Moravian settlements? the rolling hills and farms? Even typical Lehigh Valley foods are hard to pin down as evidenced by a recent post by Kelly Huth titled Which is your favorite Lehigh Valley food?
You won't find jurisdictional boundaries or formal definitions for either Dutch Country or Lehigh Valley, yet both are very real places for the people who live there.Geographers use the term vernacular regions for these places created by landscape, history, and diverse populations.
Dr. Doug Heath, Professor of Geography, Geology, and Environmental Studies at Northampton Communty College, will share his research on local vernacular regions at 7:00 pm on Thursday, April 23, at the Main Library. He'll also talk about why some, like the Slate Belt and Saucon Valley, still exist while others, like the Cement Belt and A-B-E Area, have nearly disappeared.
This free program is sponsored by the Friends of the Library who will hold a brief meeting at 6:30 pm. The program is open to the public and will be held in the Catherine Drake Room. The room is handicapped accessible at the Church Street entrance.
For more information, call 610-258-2917 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.