In Short

Kalmbach Memorial Park is a distinct community center nestled in the Borough of Macungie. The park with its easy walking trails is opened to the public to enjoy from sunrise to sunset. In addition, many interesting educational programs and events take place throughout the year on our charming grounds or in the restored circa 1850′s barn.

The Kalmbach Legacy

Kalmbach Memorial Park is a distinct community center established by the late industrialist, Frederick Kalmbach Sr., founder of Electric Furnace Man, in Emmaus, PA. Although born in Germany in 1879, Mr. Kalmbach felt deeply privileged to experience the freedoms and cultural diversity of America. Therefore, he bequeathed his twenty-acre homestead as a place for others to gather and appreciate the freedoms and profound wonders of our God-given American heritage.

Frederick Kalmbach Sr. was a man with a vision who wanted to share his ideals of patriotism and his love of nature with the citizens of Macungie and the surrounding community. 

Birth

He was born in Altensteig, Germany on August 10, 1879. Early in life, he developed a talent as a tool and instrument maker working for various firms in Germany, Switzerland, and France. This technical ability, and a meticulous attention to detail, would later be his passport to success.

August 10, 1879
Early 1900s

Young Life

He immigrated to the United States at the age of 25 and further developed his tool making profession at the Goertz Optical Company in New York City. Three years later he founded the General Machine Company of New York. In 1907, he became the sole owner and president. Company activities were directed towards developing various technical applications based on clients individual needs.

Electric Furnace Man

Then in 1922, a major breakthrough occurred when the company contracted to produce an automatic anthracite coal stoker marketed under the name of Electric Furnace Man (EFM).

These stokers revolutionized the coal heating industry because of their self feeding automatic ash removal system. The idea worked so well that subsequent research and increasing orders necessitated almost complete curtailment of the company's other activities. Soon EFM was producing almost half of all automatic coal stokers produced in this country and was becoming too large for it's operation in New York City. By 1940, the company needed to own and operate its own foundry and after a short search for a new location, the business was moved to the vacant Zollinger-Schroth Silk Mill in Emmaus, PA.

1920s-1940s
July 29, 1941

Purchase of Land

On July 29, 1941, Fred Kalmbach Sr. bought a twenty-acre tract in Macungie, part of the John Singmaster farm along Cotton Alley, where he resided until his death on July 31, 1953. As a businessman, he was direct and practical, keeping detailed records of even the slightest expenditure; but in his personal life, Fred's benevolence overflowed with purchases and gifts made for the enjoyment of others. In Macungie, Fred was able to relax amidst the pleasant natural surroundings at his home of which he wrote "reveal the omnipotence of our Creator."

Artist renditions of the late Frederick Kalmbach Sr.’s home

Mr. Kalmbach’s love of nature, and his fondness for the Macungie community motivated him to direct that his home and surrounding property be developed as a “public park for the physical, cultural, and educational advancement of the people of the community”.

Mr. Kalmbach felt privileged to have experienced the freedoms and cultural diversity of America and deeply loved the American way of life. Through his living trust, he hoped to establish community enrichment programs to provide for the “enjoyment of the rights and privileges outlined in the Constitution of our great Republic which depend solely upon the faithful discharge of the duties and obligations the document imposes on every citizen.”

With the appointment, and under the direction of three Trustees, the desires and wishes of Mr. Kalmbach have been realized. Today, many cherish his generous vision.

Today Kalmbach Memorial Park provides a variety of programs, workshops and events geared to all ages and interests of the Macungie community. Lectures, historical programs, art classes, and musical presentation create a unique learning environment. A nature trail and walking path meanders through field and wooded areas of the estate, and various activities offer creative learning opportunities for the entire family.