Troxell Steckel House

Taking pictures of historic architecture is even more fun when there’s a family connection.  John Peter Troxell is a descendent of mine, seven generations back, on my mother’s side.  Uncle John finished this incredible stone house in 1756, when he and his family (including my great, great, great, great, grandfather) owned much of Whitehall Township in Lehigh County.  The description on the historic marker says it best, calling the house “fortress like”.  The inscription between the second story windows reads in German, “God protect this house from all danger, for our room is under heaven”  John Peter Trachsel and Maria Magdala.

When I’ve gone inside, beside the thick stone walls, I always notice the short door frames.  I’m six feet tall and have to duck to enter the front door, and also between the rooms inside the house.

During my last visit, the house was open daily.  But as you can see the house is now open for tours and by appointment only.  A nice surprise this visit was the sight of a new rail trail, the Ironton Rail Trail (, that passes by the property along Coplay Creek.

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