1719 Hans Herr House Museum

1719 Hans Herr House Museum The 1719 Hans Herr House is the oldest building in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and the oldest Mennonite meetinghouse in the Americas. Complete information at www.hansherr.org.
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The 1719 Hans Herr House Museum contains buildings and exhibits tracing the formation of Lancaster County and early America, including three Pennsylvania German farmhouses; several barns; a blacksmith shop, smokehouse and outdoor bake oven and an extensive collection of farm equipment spanning three centuries. DAILY TOURS The 1719 Hans Herr House is open to visitors Monday through Saturday, April through November. Docents in period dress talk about 18th-century life and lead tours through the küche, stube, kammer, attic and cellar of the oldest building in Lancaster County. Grounds and outbuildings are open to self-guided tours. SCHOOL FROLICS Four times a year, hundreds of elementary and middle school students descend on the 1719 Hans Herr House to learn about early American life first-hand. Guides in period dress demonstrate blacksmithing, woodturning, baking in an outdoor oven, making brooms, shoes and soap and other 18th-century tasks. Kids have a chance to try their own hand at decorative fraktur and scherenschnitte, hand-washing clothes, making baskets, quilting and churning butter. Every day includes colonial-era games. PUBLIC EVENTS In collaboration with the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, the 1719 Hans Herr House hosts "Lancaster Roots," a year-long schedule of concerts, classes, festivals, field trips, exhibits and sales. For a complete list of events, go to www.LancasterRoots.org. • Snitz Fest—Lancaster County’s long-running celebration of Pennsylvania German food, crafts and farm life always draws a spirited crowd. The autumn festival focuses on apples (“snitz” often refers to sliced, dried apples), with demonstrators making apple cider and apple butter, and apple dumplings and snitz pie for sale. • Historic Driving Tour—In an area thick with history, many historic landmarks are overlooked. Beginning in 2010, the 1719 Hans Herr House has organized a self-guided tour of half a dozen historic sites nearby. In 2011, the home of former Pennsylvania senator Amos H. Mylin saw cars down the block and almost 300 visitors. • Music in the Orchard—Who says learning can’t be fun? Families are invited to picnic in the shade of the Herr family orchard as they listen to a great mix of local musicians. The grounds are open for self-guided tours.

I support Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society and its mission to conserve history with the library/archives, the 1719...
11/19/2019

I support Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society and its mission to conserve history with the library/archives, the 1719 Hans Herr House Museum, the Lancaster Longhouse, and the Mennonite Information Center & Biblical Tabernacle Reproduction. Will you join me? #ExtraGive November 22nd.

http://bit.ly/LMHSExtraGive

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Join us in our mission to conserve history... One week until the Extraordinary Give. #ExtraGive http://bit.ly/LMHSExtraG...
11/15/2019

Join us in our mission to conserve history... One week until the Extraordinary Give. #ExtraGive http://bit.ly/LMHSExtraGive

Pictured here are, left to right, Maud Harnish (b. 1884), her sister Cora Harnish (b. 1898), and an unidentified man dur...
10/03/2019

Pictured here are, left to right, Maud Harnish (b. 1884), her sister Cora Harnish (b. 1898), and an unidentified man during a visit to the Herr homestead. This photograph appears to date from the mid-1910s.

A family photo in front of the Hans Herr House in the year 1920.#ThrowbackThursday
09/26/2019

A family photo in front of the Hans Herr House in the year 1920.

#ThrowbackThursday

Virginia creeper blankets the northwest corner of the Herr House in 1920.#ThrowbackThursday
09/19/2019

Virginia creeper blankets the northwest corner of the Herr House in 1920.

#ThrowbackThursday

It's a beautiful day for plein air painting on the grounds of the Herr House!  We're pleased to have artists from the La...
09/19/2019

It's a beautiful day for plein air painting on the grounds of the Herr House! We're pleased to have artists from the Lancaster County Art Association capturing beautiful scenes around our campus today.

A group of young men (and one young woman) gathered in the fireplace of the Herr House.Perhaps someone who knows early 2...
09/12/2019

A group of young men (and one young woman) gathered in the fireplace of the Herr House.

Perhaps someone who knows early 20th century garb can assign a precise date to this, but your museum director is guessing around 1920.

For all the photos of the exterior of the house, precious few photos showing the interior seem to have been taken prior to the 1960s.

#ThrowbackThursday

An unidentified visitor stands in the doorway of the Herr House in 1921.#ThrowbackThursday
09/05/2019

An unidentified visitor stands in the doorway of the Herr House in 1921.

#ThrowbackThursday

The Herr House in 1925, viewed from the east.Some architectural historians speculate, based partly on horizontal lines i...
08/29/2019

The Herr House in 1925, viewed from the east.

Some architectural historians speculate, based partly on horizontal lines in the masonry and a hole in the mortar near the top of the first floor windows, that the house originally had pent eaves - small roof projections on the gable ends between the first and second story windows. A more detailed study of this may be pursued at some point to determine if this feature should be reconstructed today.

#ThrowbackThursday

A 1921 shot showing the front of the Herr House, complete with agricultural odds and ends piled up around the structure ...
08/22/2019

A 1921 shot showing the front of the Herr House, complete with agricultural odds and ends piled up around the structure - accessories testifying to the structure's function as a tobacco barn for several decades in the 20th century.

#ThrowbackThursday

A picture dating from 1925, showing the Hans Herr House from the southwest.#ThrowbackThursday
08/15/2019

A picture dating from 1925, showing the Hans Herr House from the southwest.

#ThrowbackThursday

A 1925 photograph of a woman seated on the Herr House front steps.It seems that for the first quarter of the 20th centur...
08/08/2019

A 1925 photograph of a woman seated on the Herr House front steps.

It seems that for the first quarter of the 20th century, the Herr House almost always had fence posts and/or rails piled up on the southeast corner, as seen here - a ubiquitous feature on the numerous early-20th century postcard images of the building.

#ThrowbackThursday

Two people - perhaps a grandfather and granddaughter - pose in front of the Herr House, ca. 1925.#ThrowbackThursday
08/01/2019

Two people - perhaps a grandfather and granddaughter - pose in front of the Herr House, ca. 1925.

#ThrowbackThursday

Ca. 1926, this picture shows the Herr House in winter.This image is from a postcard - just several inches across - yet s...
07/25/2019

Ca. 1926, this picture shows the Herr House in winter.

This image is from a postcard - just several inches across - yet scanned at high resolution gives an incredible amount of detail. The technological strides of the 20th and 21st century have made photography much more convenient, but early 20th century photography techniques and equipment had the ability to yield extremely detailed images.

#ThrowbackThursday

An image from the late 1920s shows the poor condition of the house during that decade.Across the front of the house, at ...
07/18/2019

An image from the late 1920s shows the poor condition of the house during that decade.

Across the front of the house, at a height just above the tops of the windows, are a series of holes. The purpose of these holes was mysterious until it was concluded in the early 2000s that these holes originally housed timbers that supported a front overhang - a common Germanic architectural feature. This feature was added to the house and can be seen today.

#ThrowbackThursday

A photo taken around 1930 after a bank barn that sat just to the east of the Herr House burned to the ground after being...
07/11/2019

A photo taken around 1930 after a bank barn that sat just to the east of the Herr House burned to the ground after being struck by lightning. The stone foundation from that barn is visible on the right side of this picture.

On that foundation was built a single-story structure that now houses our rural life display, the Faith & Furrow Exhibit.

Though this fire was no laughing matter, your museum director knows a humorous story about the incident that he'll tell you (free of charge!) if you stop by the museum and ask.

#ThrowbackThursday

The 1719 Herr House in 1931, just after some much-needed refurbishing after being neglected for several decades.#Throwba...
07/04/2019

The 1719 Herr House in 1931, just after some much-needed refurbishing after being neglected for several decades.

#ThrowbackThursday

The Herr House in 1931, viewed from the southwest.#ThrowbackThursday
06/27/2019

The Herr House in 1931, viewed from the southwest.

#ThrowbackThursday

A nice clear image from 1931 showing the house from the northeast, a vantage point that gets photographed less often.  T...
06/20/2019

A nice clear image from 1931 showing the house from the northeast, a vantage point that gets photographed less often. The masonry was re-pointed and the roof was repaired shortly before this picture was taken - modest but important efforts to preserve this building, though gaping window holes are painfully obvious in this image.

#ThrowbackThursday

While the Herr House has been a museum since the 1970s, it has been a destination for history lovers and Herr descendant...
06/19/2019

While the Herr House has been a museum since the 1970s, it has been a destination for history lovers and Herr descendants for much longer than that.

The corner cupboard shown here is from circa 1790 and stood in the Herr House for almost 200 years until the house’s restoration in the early 1970s. After the Herr House was abandoned around 1900, curious visitors stopped by from time to time to explore this building. Many of these guests wrote their name and the date of their visit on the insides of this cupboard.

Dozens of pencil inscriptions can be found by shining a light across the wood on the insides of the cupboard doors. Visible here are inscriptions from 1910, 1911, and 1920.

Join the thousands of people who have made the Herr House a destination in the past 120 years by stopping in to see us this summer! We’d love for you to take a tour, sign our guestbook, and NOT write anything on our antique furniture. 😊

A beloved image that was posted on our Facebook some time ago...Circa 1931 or 1932, siblings Pauline and Dave Huber pose...
06/13/2019

A beloved image that was posted on our Facebook some time ago...

Circa 1931 or 1932, siblings Pauline and Dave Huber pose in front of the Herr House. Polly and Dave grew up on the homestead, and Dave was a tour guide here for decades. He passed away in January of 2018.

#ThrowbackThursday

The Story Ride is part bike ride, part history tour, part party. Consider joining the ride next week to hear from a vari...
06/07/2019
the-story-ride

The Story Ride is part bike ride, part history tour, part party. Consider joining the ride next week to hear from a variety of storytellers, including Herr House Director David Schrock. Learn more at https://www.thestoryride.com

The Story Ride is three things in one: an organized bike ride, a curated history tour, and an after party. Along the tour, riders stop at various story sites, where they are told a bit of mind-bending history by an on-site storyteller before rolling on. Included in registration is admission to the ...

A bit of intrigue for this week's Herr House image...A note on the back of this photograph, which was taken in the early...
06/06/2019

A bit of intrigue for this week's Herr House image...

A note on the back of this photograph, which was taken in the early 1930s, identifies the woman pictured here as “Aunt Luna Shaub” and states that she was the last person to live in the Herr House. However, though Luna was a descendant of the Shaubs that lived on this property in the 19th century, decadal census records always place Luna Shaub as living in Ohio until late in her life, and her descendants today do not have any information on the possibility of Luna having lived here.

The details of the last resident of the Herr House are not known for sure, though your humble museum director hopes that some historian / family member might know something that he doesn't! Theories, leads, and speculations are welcome...

#ThrowbackThursday

06/06/2019

The Harrisburg Mandolin Ensemble kicks off Music in the Orchard: Harrisburg Mandolin Ensemble this Saturday, June 8. The mandolin quintet performs an eclectic blend of acoustic music including original tunes and arrangements of standards. They draw from a variety of genres including jazz, bluegrass, and swing. Folk-style performer Matt Miskie will open.

A 1933 image showing an unidentified group posing on the Herr House's front steps.In the off chance that anyone can iden...
05/30/2019

A 1933 image showing an unidentified group posing on the Herr House's front steps.

In the off chance that anyone can identify any of the individuals in the old photos we're posting, we'd love to hear from you!

#ThrowbackThursday

1719 Hans Herr House Museum
05/30/2019

1719 Hans Herr House Museum

05/30/2019

Educational programming at the 1719 Herr House & Museum is made possible in part through our generous Lancaster Roots Sponsors, such as Herr's. We are grateful for their support.

One of the displays on the Herr House museum campus is a collection of datestones from local buildings.  Among the dates...
05/27/2019

One of the displays on the Herr House museum campus is a collection of datestones from local buildings. Among the datestones is an 1879 stone for “Mt Hope School,” which was a one-room schoolhouse several miles southwest of the Herr House. The vicinity of the schoolhouse is also commemorated by a road name – Mount Hope School Road.

The road sign for “Mt. Hope Shc. Rd,” however, leaves us wondering whether local educators should be dedicating a few more lessons to spelling…

The Herr House in the mid-1930s after a snowfall.  Though this building was not lived in throughout the 20th century, th...
05/23/2019

The Herr House in the mid-1930s after a snowfall. Though this building was not lived in throughout the 20th century, the Huber family maintained the roof enough the keep the interior in a relatively well-preserved state.

#ThrowbackThursday

A snowy, mid-1930s images taken from the rear of the house.  Visible here is a repaired crack running vertically up the ...
05/16/2019

A snowy, mid-1930s images taken from the rear of the house.

Visible here is a repaired crack running vertically up the gable end. Though repaired multiple times since then, this same crack regularly reappears, a natural consequence of the stone structure expanding and contracting with the seasons.

#ThrowbackThursday

Between sun and showers, 240 students from 7 schools explored early American life during one of our Spring Frolics.
05/10/2019

Between sun and showers, 240 students from 7 schools explored early American life during one of our Spring Frolics.

A group of unidentified young ladies gather in front of the Herr House in this 1935 photo.  Though derelict throughout t...
05/09/2019

A group of unidentified young ladies gather in front of the Herr House in this 1935 photo. Though derelict throughout the first part of the 20th century, the house was a sort of pilgrimage site for descendants who were eager to explore this ancient abandoned farmhouse.

#ThrowbackThursday

A colorized image from the mid-1940s showing the rear of the Herr House.The tobacco barn which stood beside the Herr Hou...
05/02/2019

A colorized image from the mid-1940s showing the rear of the Herr House.

The tobacco barn which stood beside the Herr House (or behind, from this angle) was always white, but the person who colored this image incorrectly assumed it was red.

#ThrowbackThursday

A picture of the Herr House from 1946.  Just to the right we see the corner of a long-since-demolished tobacco barn, whi...
04/25/2019

A picture of the Herr House from 1946. Just to the right we see the corner of a long-since-demolished tobacco barn, which sat close to (and visually overshadowed) the 1719 house for the first part of the 20th century.

#ThrowbackThursday

The second installment of 2019's #ThrowbackThursday pictures at the Herr House: Here we have a photograph from the sprin...
04/18/2019

The second installment of 2019's #ThrowbackThursday pictures at the Herr House: Here we have a photograph from the spring of 1961 showing David Mark Huber sitting on the Herr House front steps. "D. Mark" was the last owner of the Herr House before the property was sold to the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society in 1969.

D. Mark was a great- great- great- great- great- grandson of Christian Herr, the original owner of the house. Remarkably, the property was owned continuously by descendants of immigrant Christian Herr from 1710 to 1969.

D. Mark Huber will be featured in another photo slated to be posted later this year as we move backward chronologically. In 1898, a 2-year-old David Mark was photographed with other family members in front of the then-newly-built "Huber House," the building that now houses the museum visitors center.

We just wrapped up a finger weaving class here at the Herr House.  Native Americans traditionally used this technique to...
04/13/2019

We just wrapped up a finger weaving class here at the Herr House. Native Americans traditionally used this technique to weave without using a loom, with beautiful results. Here we see one of the students just getting started on her project, as well as another one from this morning further along to show the pattern.

We offer a variety of folk art classes here throughout the year, with local experts teaching small groups of students traditional crafts. Check out more of our upcoming classes and other special events at www.hansherr.org/events.

We’re just about two weeks into our 300th anniversary season, and we’ve had some beautiful weather so far to get the yea...
04/11/2019

We’re just about two weeks into our 300th anniversary season, and we’ve had some beautiful weather so far to get the year going. Visitors so far have come from California, North Carolina, New York, Maryland, and of course, Lancaster County.

To help us celebrate the history of the Herr House this year, we’ll post an old (pre-1970) photo of the house each week for #ThrowbackThursday. We’ll go in reverse chronological order, starting with more recent pictures and ending with the oldest known images of the house. Many of these photographs are in our museum collection but haven’t been seen by the public before.

We’ll start with an image from 1963, taken by a local Herr descendant as part of a school project at the time. Incidentally, this person is still tour guiding at the museum today, 56 years later. This picture gives a good idea of what the house looked like a decade before its restoration.

Starting to feel (and look!) like spring at the Herr House.  It was a beautiful day to do some cleanup on the grounds be...
03/30/2019

Starting to feel (and look!) like spring at the Herr House. It was a beautiful day to do some cleanup on the grounds before we open for the season on Monday, April 1!

“There is no connection between this individual and the Biegelhof.”Recent scholarship corrects some of what we thought w...
03/20/2019

“There is no connection between this individual and the Biegelhof.”

Recent scholarship corrects some of what we thought we knew about the Herr family in Europe in the 1600s. The most recent issue of Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage (which is sent to members of Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society and is available for purchase at www.lmhs.org/research/lmhs-publications/pa-mennonite-heritage) explains that some unclear records that were compiled in Europe in 1947 led historians to believe that the Biegelhof in Germany (a farm generally now referred to as “Unterbiegelhof”) was where the Herr family lived before coming to America. Anne Augspurger Schmidt-Lange shows how this notion was apparently mistaken.

While this might feel like one step backward in understanding the history of the Herrs, new research by Dr. Hanspeter Jecker in Switzerland (currently being translated and to be published in PMH this fall) puts us two steps forward. This forthcoming article explores some newly-discovered documents that supply us with important clues about names, dates, and locations related to the Herr family in the 17th century - perhaps the biggest strides forward in Herr family research in recent years.

More information here: https://mennonitica.ch/die-schweizer-anfaenge-von-pionier-siedler-hans-herr-in-pennsylvania-von-mythen-legenden-und-neuen-einsichten/

Happy March from the 1719 Hans Herr House, which means we’re one month away from opening again for the season on April 1...
03/01/2019

Happy March from the 1719 Hans Herr House, which means we’re one month away from opening again for the season on April 1.

This time around, it isn’t just any reopening, but the start of celebrating this house’s 300th birthday! 🎂🥳

What can you expect this year? To name just a few things:

- A special Herr homecoming celebration on Saturday, September 7, designed for all Herr descendants and anyone who love this house to gather for a fun day of celebrating.

- Some intriguing new research coming out regarding Herr family history in Europe in the Spring and Fall issues of Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage.

- The publication of a book – currently getting its finishing touches – that celebrates this three-century milestone.

- Much more, which we’ll keep you posted on throughout the year.

Stay tuned!

1719 Hans Herr House Museum's cover photo
02/01/2019

1719 Hans Herr House Museum's cover photo

1719 Hans Herr House Museum
02/01/2019

1719 Hans Herr House Museum

"The Miller farm was founded shortly before Lancaster County’s oldest surviving home — the 1719 Hans Herr House — was bu...
01/24/2019
A nod to 300 years: State honors family who has run Rohrerstown farm since 1717

"The Miller farm was founded shortly before Lancaster County’s oldest surviving home — the 1719 Hans Herr House — was built. But none of the Brubaker buildings from that era have survived." https://lancasteronline.com/news/local/a-nod-to-years-state-honors-family-who-has-run/article_199b9db4-1f7b-11e9-a839-63ae4ab78c6d.html

Pennsylvania has presented its first honor to a farm that has been continuously operated by the same family for 300 years.

12/11/2018
Gather in the wood-fire heated Stube of the Herr House during Christmas Candlelight Tours and hear the Christmas story f...
11/20/2018

Gather in the wood-fire heated Stube of the Herr House during Christmas Candlelight Tours and hear the Christmas story from Luke 2 read in German. Friday's tours are sold out, but there are still openings on Thursday and Saturday.

Address

1849 Hans Herr Dr
Willow Street, PA
17584

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 16:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Saturday 10:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(717) 464-4438

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