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.

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...
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 thoug...
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...
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 — ...
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.

1719 Hans Herr House Museum's cover photo
11/15/2018

1719 Hans Herr House Museum's cover photo

11/13/2018

Tickets for Christmas Candlelight Tours are going fast. Claim yours today at hansherr.org by calling (717) 464-4438.

Light glinting off of gold leaf on a handwritten manuscript, ca. 1470.  Learn how print material went from meticulously-...
11/05/2018

Light glinting off of gold leaf on a handwritten manuscript, ca. 1470. Learn how print material went from meticulously-crafted manuscripts such as this one to mass-produced literature in the 1500s and beyond at the Hans Herr House Christmas Candlelight Tours this year. We will look at this manuscript and other examples like it from the 1400s to the present before showing you the Herr House as it would have been on a winter evening centuries ago – lit with candles, warmed by the wood stove, with the Christmas story read in German. December 6, 7, and 8 (Thu, Fri, Sat).

About half of the tickets have been sold, so act quickly to get yours before they sell out at www.hansherr.org/events-2/candlelight-tours.

The manuscript pictured, starting with the gilded "A," reads “Ad faciendam misericordiam cm patribus nostris et memorari testamenti sui sancti…” - "To show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant," from Zechariah's Song, Luke 1:72 - a song anticipating the coming Messiah.

1719 Hans Herr House Museum
11/03/2018

1719 Hans Herr House Museum

While the Herr House has never capitalized on Halloween festivities, we concede that one of our “artifacts” is too g...
10/31/2018

While the Herr House has never capitalized on Halloween festivities, we concede that one of our “artifacts” is too ghoulish to not display…

Presenting the ill-maintained “Hans Herr” wax figure which was donated to us when the local wax figure museum went six feet under a number of years ago. On display today only at the Herr House.

10/29/2018
717 Drone Guys

717 Drone Guys

The 1719 Hans Herr House Museum will be celebrating its 300th birthday next year, making it the oldest surviving homestead in Lancaster County, PA. We hope you enjoy this drone flight around the property, accompanied by a favorite hymn of many Mennonite congregations.
Today there are tens of thousands of descendants of Hans Herr. See our link in the comments to a blog post Kristin previously wrote about this homestead and how it connects to our family.

Experience the 1719 Herr House & Museum grounds by candlelight during Christmas Candlelight Tours on December 6, 7, and ...
10/25/2018
Christmas Candlelight Tours | Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society

Experience the 1719 Herr House & Museum grounds by candlelight during Christmas Candlelight Tours on December 6, 7, and 8. This year, the tours will focus on the written word, and especially how it was printed.

https://www.lmhs.org/christmas-candlelight-tours/

Christmas Candlelight Tours by Communications Director | Oct 23, 2018 | Events | Experience the 1719 Herr House & Museum grounds by candlelight during Christmas Candlelight Tours on December 6, 7, and 8. This year, the tours will focus on the written word, and especially how it was printed. As they....

A special old tree on the Herr House grounds is featured on a wonderful new website cataloguing the most interesting tre...
10/15/2018
Home | Lancaster County Trees | Saucer Magnolia

A special old tree on the Herr House grounds is featured on a wonderful new website cataloguing the most interesting trees in Lancaster County. The tree featured here may be the oldest one on the museum property today, though – (spoiler) – it doesn’t come close to the age of the Herr House itself.

Check out information about our saucer magnolia here and spend some time learning about the other arboreal treasures found in Lancaster County.

https://www.lancastercountytrees.org/saucer-magnolia

Saucer Magnolia

Tickets for Christmas Candlelight Tours are now on sale. Claim your spot before they sell out! https://hansherr.org/even...
10/08/2018
Candlelight Tours | Hans Herr House

Tickets for Christmas Candlelight Tours are now on sale. Claim your spot before they sell out! https://hansherr.org/events-2/candlelight-tours/

2018 Christmas Candlelight Tours December 6, 7, and 8 Begin the Christmas season with this tradition. Learn about the local Native Americans and the Pennsylvania Germans, followed by the reading of the Christmas story in German while sitting in the candlelit Stube. “Christmas Candlelight Tours are...

Available today during Maize and Snitz Fest: smoked sausage with turnip relish
10/06/2018

Available today during Maize and Snitz Fest: smoked sausage with turnip relish

Come to Maize and Snitz Fest this Saturday, and sign up for Christmas Candlelight Tours before they are available online...
10/05/2018

Come to Maize and Snitz Fest this Saturday, and sign up for Christmas Candlelight Tours before they are available online!

It has been a rainy last few weeks, but we should be in the clear this Saturday. Come on out to Maize and Snitz Fest to ...
10/04/2018

It has been a rainy last few weeks, but we should be in the clear this Saturday. Come on out to Maize and Snitz Fest to see apple cider pressing and more.

We recently had a guest who had a distinction that few visitors here can claim: he grew up in the one “Herr House” t...
09/28/2018

We recently had a guest who had a distinction that few visitors here can claim: he grew up in the one “Herr House” that’s even *more* historic than the 1719 Herr House – the farm where the Herr family lived in southwest Germany before coming to America. While this farm complex exhibits a somewhat different architectural style than the Herr House, our guest was able to find plenty of similarities, like the use of rye straw bundles (“paling”) for insulation in the ceiling.

He was kind enough to send us this recent aerial photo of the farm, now operated by his brother, which I figured some Herr descendants might enjoy seeing...

For those with an engineering inclination, Maize and Snitz Fest will feature a variety of farm equipment running, includ...
09/25/2018

For those with an engineering inclination, Maize and Snitz Fest will feature a variety of farm equipment running, including multiple “hit and miss” engines. The Frick steam engine and thresher, along with a bailer, will be on hand demonstrating post-harvest grain processing.

Yesterday, September 23, was significant at the Herr House for two reasons:It was on September 23, 1710 that the Herr fa...
09/24/2018

Yesterday, September 23, was significant at the Herr House for two reasons:

It was on September 23, 1710 that the Herr family arrived in Philadelphia after crossing the Atlantic, marking the beginning of their time in America.

This year, it also marked 100 days until January 1, 2019 - the year when the Herr House turns 300! Stay tuned.

"Walking through the front doors, my eye was immediately drawn to a massive stove at the center of the house and a long ...
09/19/2018
A Visit To The Hans Herr House

"Walking through the front doors, my eye was immediately drawn to a massive stove at the center of the house and a long table with pieces of typical 17th-century cooking and kitchen material culture." from Alexandra Rosenberg for the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture
https://sites.udel.edu/materialmatters/2018/09/17/a-visit-to-the-hans-herr-house/

By Alexandra Rosenberg, WPAMC Class of 2019 One of my favorite aspects about classes at Winterthur is their hands-on nature. However, what I love even more is actually getting out of the classroom …

There are just three spots remaining in the Hearth Cooking Class with a week until registration closes. Claim your spot ...
08/30/2018
Adult Folk Art Classes | Hans Herr House

There are just three spots remaining in the Hearth Cooking Class with a week until registration closes. Claim your spot today by calling (717) 464-4438 or online at https://hansherr.org/education/folk-art-classes/blacksmithing/

2018 Folk Art Classes Scroll down to see Folk Art for Kids classes offered in 2018.   Blacksmithing Class Saturday, June 23 and Saturday, September 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Try your hand at blacksmithing with Matt Holliday, Dave Kauffman, and Frank Gillespie. Learn to start a fire with flint ...

Storm clouds starting to roll in.
08/02/2018

Storm clouds starting to roll in.

07/21/2018

Please note that due to the rainy weather, tonight's Music in the Orchard concert has been canceled. Join us in two weeks for our next concert.

The Herr House makes a nice backdrop for a tiger swallowtail that was exploring our grounds this morning...
07/18/2018

The Herr House makes a nice backdrop for a tiger swallowtail that was exploring our grounds this morning...

The Herr House is fortunate enough to be at a quiet, off-the-beaten-path kind of location.  That said, our address may b...
07/11/2018

The Herr House is fortunate enough to be at a quiet, off-the-beaten-path kind of location. That said, our address may be a little confusing to some…

Even though we’re the 1719 Hans Herr House, our address is 1849 Hans Herr Drive (we think… more on that later). We happen to be about half a mile south of 1719 Hans Herr Drive. The residents at that address are kind enough to give us our mail as needed when that gets mixed up.

The town name is Willow Street, which sounds awfully puzzling to folks who aren't from around here.

As for Hans Herr Drive, we *think* that’s our official address, but the sign on one end of the road says “Hans Herr Road,” not "Drive." Maybe we've been wrong this whole time.

In reality, we’re not that hard to find, and once you’re here we promise you’ll have a great time seeing historic buildings and learning about people who lived here centuries ago. Put us on your summer to-do list and stop by for a tour.

Want to have a pleasant evening on the Herr House grounds?  The orchard is looking lovely today for our first Music in t...
06/09/2018

Want to have a pleasant evening on the Herr House grounds? The orchard is looking lovely today for our first Music in the Orchard concert of the summer. Music starts at 6:00 with Alex Brubaker opening for Joy Ike. It looks like the weather should be fine, but in case of rain we'll have just as much fun with some music in our implement shed! Admission is $8. See you tonight.

05/31/2018

Have you ever wanted an introduction to smithing? Join us for Blacksmith Days and see blacksmiths at work.

Take up a hammer and learn how to blacksmith under the tutelage of the Herr House blacksmiths on Saturday, June 23, from...
05/15/2018

Take up a hammer and learn how to blacksmith under the tutelage of the Herr House blacksmiths on Saturday, June 23, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration is due June 9, the class costs $65. Register at www.hansherr.org or call (717) 464-4438.

1719 Hans Herr House Museum
05/02/2018

1719 Hans Herr House Museum

Recently, a keen-eyed visitor spotted some movement in the field next to the visitors' center.  Lo and behold, some fox ...
04/30/2018

Recently, a keen-eyed visitor spotted some movement in the field next to the visitors' center. Lo and behold, some fox kits emerging from their burrow to romp in the sun on a pleasant spring day... 🦊

We're grateful that, after more than 300 years of European settlement here, the Herr House is still in a rural area surrounded by farmland, which not only helps us better imagine this setting centuries ago but also allows us to observe this kind of wildlife.

04/25/2018
Herr House vicinity

Stop in sometime to check out our new map exhibit. We have a large (roughly 3' by 4') wall map of Lancaster County from 1851 - showing roads, landowners, and some businesses - as well as a reproduction of a 1719 map of the Americas, showing what the New World looked like the year the Herr House was built.

Also, we have cropped images of maps from 1824 to the present showing the immediate surroundings of the Herr House. The animated GIF here shows these maps in succession, but to get the full effect you really should stop by the museum and study them!

It's cloudy today at the Herr House, but yesterday the magnolia in front of the 1892 Huber House looked glorious in the ...
04/19/2018

It's cloudy today at the Herr House, but yesterday the magnolia in front of the 1892 Huber House looked glorious in the sunlight.

And, for a little throwback Thursday, let's put up a picture from the exact same vantage point, showing the farmhouse - now our museum store - from over a hundred years ago.

1719 Hans Herr House Museum
04/05/2018

1719 Hans Herr House Museum

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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