Drums is a town in Butler Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Located about 1,500 ft. altitude in the Sugarloaf Valley, it sits east of Interstate 81 and north of Nescopeck Creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna River. Its zip code is 18222.
The village was originally named "Drum's" after the Drum family, whose members developed the village's first school, post office, hotels, churches, roads, and businesses. The apostrophe was eventually dropped. Family members held positions as pioneers, land developers, justices of the peace, postmasters, school presidents, Lucerne County sheriff, hotel proprietors, lawyers, and Pennsylvania state legislators. The founders of Drums were the Drum family.
In 1738, Philip Drum, 36, emigrated to America from Germany with his eight-year-old son Jacob. In 1749, Jacob married Catharine Strauss, who gave birth to a son, George, on June 12, 1762. In 1774, their farmhouse was attacked by Indians, who according to Drum family legend, killed Jacob and took Catharine. George, who hid in the fireplace, survived and went on to develop the town of Drums.
In the late 1700s, George Drum bought land in the Sugarloaf Valley in the areas that would become Drums and Conyngham. "Among the early settlers were George Drum, Philip Woodring, Andrew Mowery, and Henry Davis". George Drum was an entrepreneur and government documents indicate he was a carpenter, contractor, and builder. George built the first hotel-tavern in Drums. The hotel building still stands on Old Turnpike Road with the old swimming pond behind it, but is now a privately owned residence. The Drums Post Office building was located next to the Drums Hotel. In addition, and according to church records, George was also a founding member of St. Johns Church and cemetery founded in 1799. George, his wife, and many other family members are all buried at St. Johns Cemetery. Other family members are buried at Drums Community Cemetery and Conyngham Union Cemetery.
George married Anna Margaret Woodring (born 1765), a daughter of Philip Woodring (1741—1819) and Mary Elisabetha Wagner (1743—1829) from Alsace, France. Anna Margaret descended from an enterprising family; her ancestors included mayors of towns in Alsace that alternatively belonged to France and Germany. Anna Margaret spoke German, Alsatian, French, and English; George spoke German and English. Her surname evolved from the French "Vatrin" (pronounced "Vatree" in French) to the German "Wotring" (pronounced "Votring" in German) to "Woodring" in America.
In 1808, George's son Philip (born Feb. 15, 1787) bought land in Luzerne County from Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. In 1810, Philip established Drums' first carding mill on the Little Nescopeck River. In addition, Philip also established the first wool-processing mill in 1835, a short distance from the carding mill. In 1814, George's second son, also named George (born Oct. 16, 1792), bought land next to brother Philip. Philip bought more land in 1814, 1826, 1836, and 1847. On February 27, 1858, Philip died in Drums, Butler Township, aged 71; he was buried at St. Johns Cemetery. His wool mill passed to his son Jacob.
Further community and land development by family members made Drums and St. Johns the commercial centers of the township. Drums is the principle village in Butler township. It is in the heart of a rich agricultural section and is on the Old State Road leading to Hazleton, Pennsylvania and Wilkes-Barre, about six miles from the former, it's natural trading point, between Big and Little Nescopeck. 
George Sr. was elected justice of the peace for Sugarloaf Township in 1811; his son George Drum Jr. later held the same office, while his grandson George W. Drum, born March 12, 1832, was elected justice of the peace in 1860 for Sugarloaf Township based in the town of Conyngham, adjacent to Drums. George W. was elected to the Pennsylvania General Assembly (Pennsylvania legislature) and served from 1879 to 1882. Jacob Drum, a son of Philip Jr. and namesake of his great-grandfather, served as justice of the peace in 1847 and 1852. Jacob's mother was Philip's first wife, Magdalene Beisal, for whom Beisals Road in Drums is named. Jacob and his wife Susan are buried at St. John's Cemetery and have an obelisk for a gravestone.
Philip L. Drum III born 1871, was the grandson of Philip, and son of Nathan. He was an alumnus of Lafayette College and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. Philip became a popular lawyer and a Pennsylvania state legislator in 1901 and 1902. In addition to the attorneys and state legislators in the family, Abraham Drum (son of Philip) became sheriff of Luzerne County for several years.
William Drum, son of George, established the first post office in Drums in 1826 as postmaster. Carrie Drum (grand daughter of Philip the 2nd) was postmistress from the late 1800s and into the early 1900s. All told, the Drum family operated Drums post office for about a century.
George's son Abraham (Abram) took over management of the tavern hotel in the center of Drums, which was passed to succeeding generations in the family and became known as "Drums Hotel". Abraham built an additional hotel in the mountains of Drums, just north of the town's center. Drums Hotel (which operated for about a century), and other family businesses, sat at a triangle of roads that was the commercial heart of Drums.
Drums is served by the Butler Township Police Department, which employs Chief David Pavelko, a sergeant, and five other officers. Fire, rescue and emergency medical services are provided by volunteers from Valley Regional Fire and Rescue, which was formed when Butler Township Fire Company and Conyngham Fire Company merged in 2005.
The city's zoning and code enforcement department issues building permits.
Drums' first school was founded by Drum family members and named the Drums school. It was constructed with logs in 1809, "on the grounds of the old Union Church", and served all of the township's children. "In 1870, the Drums school was moved to a new location across the road from the present Drums school". "In 1941, the original wooden Drums school was closed and a larger brick structure was built". The school is now known as Drums Elementary Middle School and is at at 85 S. Old Turnpike Road.
Drums School is served today by the Hazleton Area School District. In addition to the Drums Elementary Middle School, the Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences (HAAS) will be located within Drums for the 2013-2014 school year. HAAS is a magnet program that focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The Trinity Church project, which George W. Drum donated his land to, organized a Sunday School on May 6, 1844. The president, Isaac Drum, was born in 1820, the son of Jacob Drum. Isaac served in the American Civil War. Other officers included superintendent James Smith; secretary James Hillman; treasurer William Harker; and managers Adam Beisal, Mrs. Beisal, Daniel Durst, Mrs. Yost and Mrs. Hunt. A constitution was adopted August 25, 1844. By about 1880, a new group of officers took control: president Nathan S. Drum (Son of Philip); vice president John S. Spencer; superintendent Cyrus Straw; secretary A.A. Drum; librarian Mary Jacobs; treasurer Josiah Drum; and managers Cyrus Straw, Henry Gilmore, John Spencer, Mrs. Hedian, Mrs L. Straw and Miss E. Jacobs.
St. John's Church was organized December 26, 1799. George Drum (the first) was a founding member of the church. By April 18, 1809, Rev. Frederick Van de Sloat wrote a constitution and by-laws for the government of the congregation. The subscribers to this document were George Drum, John Balliett, Philip Woodring, Jacob Speth, George Wenner, S. Earles, Jacob Balliett, Peter Hill, John Balliett sen, Peter Scheide, Michael Beishline, Jacob Drumheller, A. Maurer, P. Ruth, J. Fuse, J. Wenner, H. Maurer, George Beishline, and Michael Bitterle. One of the founders; Jacob Drumheller (in the Drum family tree), built the first building in what became Hazleton, Pennsylvania in 1809. Many founding members of the Drum family have their final resting place at St. John's Cemetery, including George Drum and wife Anna Margaret Woodring; Philip Drum and second wife Magadalena and first wife Magdalene Beisal, George Drum 2nd, Jacob Drum and wife Susan Mochamaer, Abraham Drum and Isaac Drum.
Balliett, Beisal, Beishline, Butz, Chapin, Drasher, Drumheller, Hughes, Turnbach, Roth, Winter, Woodring and Wagner are some of the names in the extended Drum family who lived in the Drums area and contributed to the community.
Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church was founded with the building committee team consisting of Rev. Colborn, Stephen Drum (son of Abraham), Cyrus & Andrew Straw, an A. P. Goedecke.
As of 2013, places of worship include Drums United Methodist Church, Good Shepherd Church, Christ Reformed Episcopal Church, St. Paul's United Methodist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church.
- Helman, Laura. "The History and Genealogy of the Drum Family. Press of Berkemeyer, Allentown, Pa. 1927, p.2 p.3, p.12, p.14, p.13, p,28
- Helman, Laura (1927). The History and Genealogy of the Drum Family. Berkmeyer.
- Bradsby, Henry. "History of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania"1893 Chicago: S.B. Nelson & Co., Publishers. p. 539
- Butler Township. "History of Butler Township, Lucerne County 1786-1880", Butler Township Publication Book, p.3
- Helman, Laura. "The History and Genealogy of the Drum Family" Press of Berkemeyer, Allentown, Pa. 1927 p.3
- Bradsby, Henry. "History of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania" Chicago: S.B. Nelson & Co., Publishers. 1893 p. 540
- Helman, Laura. "The History and Genealogy of the Drum Family" Press of Berkemeyer, Allentown, Pa. 1927 p. 28
- Bradsby, Henry. "History of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania" Chicago: S.B. Nelson & Co., Publishers. 1893 p.540
- Butler Township Booklet. "History Of Butler Township, Luzerne County, 1786-1880", 1880, p.6
- Helman, Laura. "The History and Genealogy of the Drum Family" Berkemeyer, Allentown, Pa. 1927, p. 12-13.
- Helman, Laura. The History and Genealogy of the Drum Family, Press of Berkemeyer, Keck & Co., Allentown, PA, 1927, p. 12
- Drums Lions Club. "Two Hundred Years Of Progress:Butler Township, 1784-1984" published by The Drums Lions Club, Butler Township, Luzerne County, Pa. 1984, p.25
- "Police". Butler Township. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
- "About Us: Valley Regional Fire and Rescue". Valley Regional Fire and Rescue. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- "Zoning and Code Enforcement". Butler Township. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
- Drums Lions Club. "Two Hundred Years of Progress: Butler Township, 1784-1984" published by Drums Lions Club ( publication verification at "butler-township.com"), Butler Township, Pa. 1984, p.42
- name=Hazleton>"Drums Elementary/Middle School". Hazleton Area School District. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
- "Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences". Hazleton Area School District. Retrieved April 27, 2013.
- Helman, Laura. "THE HISTORY AND GENEALOGY of the DRUM FAMILY" Press of Berkemeyer, Keck & Co. 1927, p.14
- Butler Township. "History Of Butler Township, Luzerne County, 1786-1880" Butler Township printing, 1880, p.4
- "Butler Township Churches". Butler Township. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
- "Bio: Nate Eachus". Kansas City Chiefs. Retrieved April 27, 2013.