1. Who was George Bachman?
2. What was on this piece of land in 1745?
3.When was Coopersburg given its name?
4.Why is there a cow statue in our yard?
WRITTEN BY DORIS CLEGG COOPERSBURG HISTORICAL SOCIETY
DER SIEBENSTERN, GOOD JAKES & the NAME BACHMAN
Reaching out through history, Coopersburg grew from an intersection of trails in the corner of what eventually became Upper Saucon Township. Being at the intersection, it was also a good stopping point for travelers.
The trails came from Allentown and north, from Bethlehem and east, and from Upper and Lower Milford and west. These areas had been settled by Europeans who came here to build homes and farms. They sold produce locally and to the Philadelphia region. The trip, up to 100 miles at the time, could take as long as multiple days one way. The trails were hard on the wagons and the horses, as well as the farmers. Over time, the need for resting the horses and repairing wagons was as necessary as rest for the farmers.
George Bachman emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1727, acquiring more than 300 acres in the area about the year 1737. Some accounts show he purchased more land and, at one point, owned up to 1000 acres, the majority of Coopersburg today. Seeing an opportunity, he built a “rest stop” for travelers in Coopersburg between 1745 and 1750, Der Siebenstern, as the first hotel in the area. It housed the travelers and the horses. Eventually, his sons ran Der Siebenstern after George’s death.
Der Siebenstern was one of the earliest businesses in Coopersburg. A “hotel,” it was built from squared logs, lathed and plastered on the outside, the floors covered with large flat stones. At the time, the horses were also stabled under the same roof as the travelers. The horses provided some heat and the practice kept them safe from theft.
Joesph Frey bought Der Siebenstern in the early 1800’s and over the years, added a distillery, a stone warehouse, a store and other buildings. Subsequently, multiple proprietors owned, expanded, rebuilt and still hosted customers. The older building was eventually torn down and a new hotel was built, the Eagle Hotel,” which later was renamed the Barron House. Coopersburg Fire Company bought it in 1941.
The name Bachman has reached out through history and genealogy to link family members back to the hospitality industry.
George Bachman was born in Switzerland in 1686. He became one of a large number of people who emigrated from Switzerland and a number of other European countries at the time to settle in the region.
The family’s descendants have been in the area for more than two hundred ninety years. It grew overtime and spread out as all families do but some have stayed , some have moved and some have moved back. Family members have had a great affection for the history here and the genealogy of the family throughout. Pam Gutshall Page, her sister Brenda Lee Gutshall Kotroutsos and brother, Rand Gutshall, are 11th generation descendants of George Bachman.
Their father, Frank "Kelly" Bachman Gutshall, instilled in them a love of the history and a great affection for the name Bachman. He was the genealogist of the family as well as the peacemaker and main contact person for different branches of his family. These were strong interests he passed to his children as well.
Pam Page and her husband are probably familiar to many of our readers for their volunteer work in the Borough with Community Day and with the Food Bank.
Recently we saw the return of Brenda Lee Gutshall and her life partner, Chef Angelo Loucareas, with the couple’s important move to the area. They have reestablished a family connection to the hospitality in Coopersburg as the proprietors of “Good Jakes.” The restaurant operates in the Coopersburg Fire Company’s Social Quarters, which was the Barron House and on land in the block where George Bachman first operated Der Siebenstern 275 years ago.
The restaurant, “Good Jakes,” was named after an affectionate term for a firefighter. It’s slang that developed about a hundred years ago in New England. Early fire alarm boxes were set up like telegraph systems with a hook called a telegraph tapper. Some veterans from the first World War became firefighters after arriving home. Since they were familiar with a portable telegraph system that was based on J3 telegraph key systems that became known as J-Keys, the system was very easy for them to operate. That translated eventually to the firefighters who could send Morse code and handle fires being called Good-J-Key. As we always do, we shortened it or changed it a bit and it became Good Jake for the firefighter that we value as a first responder and a lifeline. We use it with respect and affection for them. Good Jakes is a very appropriate name for the restaurant.
With thirty years of experience in restaurants, Chef Loucareas serves a delicious variety of American and Mediterranean foods, and specials each day. Check out their menu online at goodjakes.com for eating in here in town or takeout. The location is familiar and you will be seeing history meeting the present and the future.
Additional Information from: COOPERSBURG The TOWN of POSSIBILITIES Book
On June 25, 1832, the residents named this town, Coopersburg, in honor of Judge, Peter Cooper. They did so because they were so impressed with his foresight and leadership of the growing community. He replaced Der Siebenstern with the Eagle Hotel.
Cooper’s grandson became a renowned Jersey Cattle breeder. He held sales on the lawn of the Linden Grove Farm mansion on Main St. The event brought in 5,000 buyers and prize cattle were sold anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 per head.
To be called a “Good Jake” is the highest honor a fire fighter can be given for bravery and performing well under pressure. Our logo, the Dalmatian firehouse dog, ran alongside horse drawn fire engines, clearing the streets and guarding against theft. They also prevented horses from getting spooked and drew them in closer to the blaze.
Our restaurant is connected to the Coopersburg Fire Company Social Quarters, however, we are open to the public. As our guest, inhouse diners can order drinks from their full bar. Your patronage at our restaurant and the social club help support the local volunteer fire company.
Angelo Loucareas takes pride in having owned and operated 12 restaurants in Europe and America over the last 30 years. His first restaurant was on the island, Rhodes, in Greece. It was a fish tavern serving the most delectable Mediterranean dishes to locals & tourists. He met an American woman, married and came to the U.S. to start a family. He opened a 200 seat full service restaurant in Connecticut but didn't stop there. He then launched his duel career of coaching tennis. He started his own academy coaching many players including his own son, Dimitris, who became the Florida state champion and #3 in the American junior division.
Angelo's life partner, Brenda Gutshall, assists him in the management, marketing and entertainment for the restaurant. Brenda is a direct descendant of George Bachman who was a pioneer of Coopersburg in the 1700’s.
Angelo, Brenda and Good Jakes' energetic team of staff ensure you will have a fantastic dining experience.
They share their great enthusiasm for the success of Good Jakes Restaurant to you, the members of Coopersburg Fire Company Social Quarters and the local community.
Angelo welcomes you all with traditional Greek hospitality. "KALI OREKSI" Enjoy your meal.
Who was George Bachman?
A pioneer, founder & developer of the area known as Coopersburg today.
What was on this piece of land in 1745?
Bachman built a rest stop for travelers on the highway from Bethlehem to Philadelphia called, Der Siebenstern Hotel, with a tavern and stable.
When was Coopersburg given its name?
On June 25, 1832, the residents named this town, Coopersburg, in honor of Judge, Peter Cooper.
Why is there a cow statue next to our building?
Because Cooper’s grandson was a world famous Jersey cow breeder whose auctions on Main St. drew in thousands of buyers. His cows sold for up to $20,000 per head. Holy Cow! That was a lot of money in 1910.
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