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  • Writer's picture2 PA Traveling Girls

Mountain Mary - Oley, PA

Anna Maria Jung (Young) born in 1749 in Germany. She immigrated with her parents and two sisters to Philadelphia. Her father, Jacob Jung, died soon after settling in Germantown. After the Battle of Germantown in 1777, Anna, her mother and sisters, moved to the secluded hills outside of Oley near Hill Church. They lived in a small log home on 42 acres with an outdoor bake oven, milkhouse, lean-to for cows and a small cemetery.

It is said that after Anna’s mother died that she and her sisters continued to maintain the homestead. Eventually her sisters married and moved away. Anna lived alone, some called her a hermit, on the homestead for 40 years. She was a healer, farmer, community leader, herbalist, pow-wow practitioner, midwife and first traveling nurse.

Anna supported herself making butter from cows milk and keeping bees for honey which was sold at local markets. She dried herbs and made lotions, salves, teas, tonics, etc. Neighbors often came for medical advice. Anna was known to visit those in need even in the dark of night.

Some stories say that Anna had married Theodore Young who was killed during the war for independence. But this has never been proven.

In the 1790 census, Mary was listed at the head of the household with 2 other females living on the property. Mary was listed as “Abbess” which means a female that is a superior or governess of a community of nuns or holy women.

Anna died on November 16, 1819 at the age of 73. More than 1000 people attended her funeral. She is buried on the homestead with her mother and sisters.

In Anna’s will she gave the majority of her estate to her niece, Maria Elisabeth Schneider.

The photos are from when we visited the Mountain Mary Exhibition at the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center in Kutztown, PA.

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