HISTORY OF RUHL'S PICNIC GROVE

The first picnic was held in 1898 at Penryn Park, which was located in the mountains between Mt. Hope Station and Cornwall. This park could only be reached by train or by walking. The people parked their horses and buggies at Mt. Hope and carried picnic lunches. There were some small rides there, including a steam-operated merry-go-round. The railroad continued on to Cornwall but there was a turn table at Penryn Park for the engine to turn around and go back to Manheim and Lancaster. 


About 1905, the picnic was moved to a woods on the farm of the Aaron Stoner family. This was along Shumaker Road in Rapho Township. A band was hired and there was free lunch for everyone.


In 1915, the picnic was moved to the church parking lot when Aaron Stoner wanted to timber off the trees on his property.

In 1918, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Ruhl deeded a grove to Ruhl's Church along Newport Road. This was deeded under one condition: there had to be a least one gospel service there each year. This has faithfully been carried out through the years, except during World War II. The rationing of gas and sugar caused the picnic and the grove services to be held at the home of the Reverend O. R. Books. This was located in a grove along the north side of E-town Road and about 1/2 west of the church.


Around 1965, Mrs. Annetta Ruhl donated 2 1/2 acres of land at the present grove for parking vehicles.


......by Elvin G. Snavely

Ruhl's Church Historian

STONER'S PICNIC GROVE

BEFORE WORLD WAR I


CHICKEN CORN SOUP

The picnic has always been famous for the chicken corn soup that is made each year. It is made in large iron kettles, and when finally cooked, there are usually 20-22 kettles full. The soup can then be purchased by the public or church members in large containers or in a bowl.

GOSPEL SERVICES AT THE GROVE

Week-long Gospel Services are held at the picnic grove each summer with visiting pastors delivering the message each evening.

MUSIC AT THE GROVE

Just one of the delightful bands that have provided music at the picnic grove over the years.