The 1852 Herr Family Homestead Today
Lancaster Newspapers, Inc
Upon Ethel Herr’s death, Amos and Ethel donated a portion of the 55-acre farm to East Hempfield Township with the stipulation that upon his death the house and remaining land would become the property of the township.
Herr lived to enjoy the beginning of Amos. Herr Park, the annual Community Fair at the Park, and to see the construction of the Township Municipal building. Herr frequently visited the township building. The rocking chair where he sat to visit with township officials is still there.
From Herr’s death in 1987 until October 1990, the house sat empty. Its rooms held a fairly large collection of antique furniture from the Herr estate, which the township had purchased at the estate auction.
In 1990, a five member volunteer committee appointed by the East Hempfield Township Supervisors, determined that, while the house had been altered over the years and was in need of extensive structural and cosmetic repair, it was a fine example of a 19th century Lancaster County farm house, worthy of preserving.
In February 1991, The Amos Herr House Foundation was formed to oversee the renovation, maintenance, and usage of the home. In keeping with Herr’s love of sports and community, funds for the restoration and maintenance of the property are, in part, raised through the annual 5k run sponsored by Dutch Gold Honey. The run begins and ends at Amos Herr Park in Landisville.
Sue Bleil, president of the Amos Herr House Foundation, says the house and tobacco barn, township building, park and recreational activities embody the spirit of Amos Herr and the Hempfield Community. That includes the farming origins of the community, the love of sport, the importance of family, and the ongoing effort to preserve history.
Visitors to the homestead “take a step back in time,” Bleil said. For older visitors, it’s like a nostalgic visit to Grandma’s house, but today’s youth generally have memories of more modern grandmas, she added, since a house like this is not as likely to be a part of their childhood experience.
Amos Herr welcomed high school sports teams, exchange students, and citizens who wanted to know more about his travels, Bleil said.
“We want the welcoming touch to prevail here.”
For more about Amos Herr, see the Herr Family Genealogy or read a poem one of his students wrote about him.