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Schoenersville, Pennsylvania

Schoenersville is a settlement situated between Hanover Township in Lehigh County and Hanover Township in Northampton County. NW-to-SE Schoenersville Road serves as the county line, coming up from Bethlehem and meeting NE-to-SW Airport Road Route 987) in the village, and beyond there becoming Weaversville Road. Schoenersville is split between an Allentown zip code and a Bethlehem zip code. Schoenersville Road was originally called the Gnadenhutten Road, which the Moravian missionaries used to travel from Bethlehem to the Lehigh Gap and beyond. The road was later used to reach the village of Schoenersville.

Northampton County was created in 1752 from parts of Bucks County with Easton as the county seat. In 1812 Lehigh County was formed from parts of Northampton County and Allentown was named the county seat.

Schoenersville derives its name from Adam Schoener, who settled there in 1784. Adam was the son of Heinrich Daniel Schoener and his second wife, Eva Aultman. His father was born in Ehrstadt, Baden-Württemberg and immigrated to America with his parents and four siblings in 1717.

Adam opened and operated a tavern which he named "Blue Ball." Why was the tavern named, “Blue Ball?” There are a couple of likely options. One was that like a “No Vacancy” sign, a large blue ball was placed outside when the tavern was full. Another possibility was that a large pole with a blue ball that could be raised or lowered was located in front of the tavern. Illiterate stagecoach drivers knew that the passengers needed to be picked up if the blue ball was on top of the pole. The blue ball would remain lowered and the stagecoach driver would pass by if there weren’t any passengers.

Some stories state that Adam opened the Blue Ball Tavern after its construction in 1794. Another version is that a Jacob Clader operated a tavern at the site before 1780, possibly in 1776. He then sold it to Adam in 1791, who renamed it "Blue Ball." It was definitely recorded as a stopping place for the stages that ran from Mauch Chunk (renamed to Jim thorpe) and Philadelphia.

There are also variations on the structure. According to an edition of The Allentown Democrat on 29 April 1896, the landmark structure was razed by E.R. Benner, the Recorder of Deeds, who planned to build a double frame house on the site.

Others claim that the structure still stands at 2201 Schoenersville Road and that it was known as the "Schoenersville Inn" from 1830 until 1988. That building still stands and is still used as a restaurant.

The building at 2201 Schoenersville Road

Adam married Catherine Elizabeth Remmel in 1794. They had seven children; five daughters and two sons. He built a brick house near Christ's Church, the oldest church organization in the town of Hanover in Lehigh and Northampton counties. He lived in the house until he died in 1849 at the age of eighty-six.

After his death, the tavern was taken over by his son, Thomas Schoener, who kept it for three years.


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