Hans Herr House Museum, Willow Street

#16 of 28 in Museums in Lancaster County
Must see · History Museum · Museum
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.


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.


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.


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.
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  • We visit Lancaster a lot and somehow we've missed this beauty till today. For $15 we got an excellent 1 1/2 tour of one of the oldest homes in America. Besides the house and all the artifacts in it...  more »
  • Incredible history of life in the early 1700. Local Indians and the settlers and how they lived. It is amazing for all ages. The volunteers rely the story extremely well and with passion. This is....  more »
  • If you like history, you will love this place! They have both a stone farmhouse built in 1719 and a replica of a Conestoga Indian log house from the 1600's. Our guide was very thorough in his explanations and did a. excellent job. We loved it. The tour is 90 minutes.
  • First homestead in Lancaster County dating back to 1719. According to the guide, one of the earliest Mennonite gathering sites (church) in Pennsylvania & North America. Be prepared for a trip back in time. Tours are available. Also has a replica Native American longhouse.
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