Jeff Rhoads is a native of Berks County having grown up in the Boyertown area. He has substantial
Jeff Rhoads is a native of Berks County having grown up in the Boyertown area. He has substantial family roots in Berks County and is a descendant of Germans who emigrated from the Palatinate region of
Germany to the Oley Valley in the early 18th Century. He has ancestors buried in several different cemeteries throughout the Oley Valley. In the early 1900’s, Jeff’s great uncle Charlie owned and operated the Inn at Oley, then known as the Rhoads Hotel, as well as a speakeasy on Rhoads Lake just off of Lake Road in Oley.
Jeff is a student of Pennsylvania German culture and has been collecting SE Pennsylvania redware pottery for over 30 years. This includes redware pieces made by the last of the traditional Pennsylvania German potters: Jacob Medinger (Neiffer Pottery/ Limerick, PA) and the Stahl Pottery (Powder Valley, PA). Jeff has collected dozens of examples from both potteries and, since both potters documented their work and signed many pieces, their history has been well established. Jeff has given talks on the Stahl Pottery for other historical societies and organizations. He is a long-time member of the Historical Society of Berks County and is a board member of the Artifacts Bank, a Reading-based nonprofit architectural salvage organization supporting the Centre Park Historical District.
In addition Jeff has undertaken the extensive restoration of two Germanic eighteenth-century stone farmhouses starting in 1984 and currently resides with his wife in the 1765 Hoch-Keim mansion located just north of the hamlet of Lobachsville. As a result of substantial research required for these projects, Jeff has become very knowledgeable of Pennsylvania German architecture and, in particular, the Federal period. Jeff is also on the board of Pike Oley District Preservation Coalition (PODPC) a land preservation organization helping to preserve the beautiful farms and surrounding landscape of the Oley Valley.
(Tuesday) 7:00 pm
Oley Fair Centre Building, 24 Jefferson Street, Oley, PA