Fleeing religious persecution in Europe, Hans Herr and his family arrived in Lancaster County in the early 1700s. Although Herr’s son, Christian, built this traditional Pennsylvania German-style stone home in 1719, Hans is reputed to have lived here with his wife, Elizabeth.
After nearly 300 years, it stands as the oldest surviving dwelling place of European settlers in the county and the oldest Mennonite meeting house in the Western Hemisphere. The house also is noteworthy as an example of the distinctive Pennsylvania German-style floor plan and architecture. The typical floor plan consisted of a central chimney and was divided into three first-floor rooms: a kuche, or kitchen, a stube or stove room, and a kammer or bedroom.
The kitchen also featured a narrow, enclosed staircase to a second-story loft that usually was used for storage.Visit the museum and learn more about the history and culture of early Pennsylvania German life.