Hans Herr House
1849 Hans Herr Dr.
Willow Street, PA 17584
(717) 464-4438

Places Nearby:
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Historic Rockford and Kauffman Museum
Gast Classic Car Museum
Toy Train Museum
Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Strasburg Railroad
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Hans Herr House, built in 1719, is the oldest building in Lancaster County and the oldest remaining original site of Mennonite worship in North America. The Museum includes the charming stone house built by Hans Herr, a reconstructed blacksmith shop, an 18th century outdoor bake oven and smokehouse, and a large agricultural exhibit.

Herr was the "aged patriarch" of a group of Swiss Mennonites who had come to America to escape the persecution they had endured for 200 years. The house, actually built by Hans's son Christian, served as the family residence and a congregational meeting place.

Several generations of Herrs occupied the house until the end of the Civil War. Then for a hundred years it was used as a farm storage building, until 1969 when a restoration project was begun. Five years and $400,000 later restoration was complete; the size of the site expanded to nine acres (the original farm was probably about 1,000), including several other historic structures, one of which is now the Visitor Center.

Today the property is operated as a museum by the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society. The 18th century experience of the first Mennonite settlers is interpreted here through exhibits of agricultural tools, colonial demonstrations (at special events), and through educational programs. The House itself is one of the best remaining examples of medieval Germanic architecture in the country.

A visit begins with a 45-minute Guided Tour of the House, including the main floor, attic, and the arched cellar. The tour demonstrates both the simple lifestyle and the ingenuity of these early settlers. After the tour visitors can stroll the grounds, visiting the blacksmith's shop, the settlers garden, and two sheds of farm implements and tools. An orchard contains antique varieties of fruit trees. Individuals, families and groups are welcome.

Three regularly scheduled special events throughout the year include Heritage Day, a farm festival with many demonstrations and workshops; Snitz Fest, celebrating the apple in Lancaster County; and Christmas Candlelight Tours.

School and Youth Groups can enjoy several great Programs including, Colonial Time Machine (elementary grades): a fictionalized account of life in the Hans Herr House through the eyes of a 10 year old, with activities and a project; and Spring and Fall Frolics (adaptable for most grades): a 4-hour workshop on Colonial Life with students participating in cooking, quilting, stone crushing, butter making and other activities. Two summertime programs are also available. There are also several special events just for student groups. Call for calendar and details. Groups consist of 10 or more.

Hours: Open April thru November, Monday. - Saturday. 9am - 4pm. Last tour begins at 3:00pm. Tours are on the hour but are staggered between the two houses. Call for details or visit the official website linked above. Closed Sunday. Closed the Friday and Saturday before Easter and on Thanksgiving. Closed December through March.
1719 House:
Adults $8.00
Children (7-12) $4.00
Children under 6 FREE.
Special events may be priced differently.
Lancaster Longhouse:
Same as above
Combined Admission (both houses):
Adults $15.00
Children $7.00
Groups (10 or more):
Adults $7.00/$13.00
Children (7-12) $3.00/$5.00
Children under 6 FREE
School Programs cost $5.00/student. No charge for 1 adult per 8 students. Additional adults $4.00 each.
Group Reservations: At least 2 weeks in advance (4 for Spring & Fall Frolicks).
Lunch: Small picnic area.
Handicapped Access: Visitor Center only accessible.
Directions: Rt. 30 West into Lancaster. Rt. 222 South about 5 miles. After passing Willow Valley Resort turn right onto Hans Herr Dr. ¾ mile on left. 60 - 90 minutes from Philadelphia.

Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.