The 1795 Reist House: 820 Woodcrest Avenue. Lititz, PA
Above: The 1795 Reist House on Google Earth Street View
This historic stone farmhouse has been well documented by historian Dr. Gabrielle Lanier Ph.D., history professor at James Madison University. In her 2004 book The Delaware Valley in the Early Republic, Dr. Lanier presents detailed information about the history and construction of this farmhouse.
She writes, "The Christian and Barbara Reist House was built in 1795 for a prosperous Mennonite farmer and his wife. ...the house incorporates several Germanic features, including elaborate iron tulip-form iron door latches, a vaulted food-storage cellar below the kitchen addition, a first floor stube [stove room] and a kammer-like room [parents' bedroom], both of which always lacked fireplaces and were apparently heated with stoves, and cellar ceilings insulated with packed clay and secured with wide wooden boards beneath the entire main block." (page 61)
The farmhouse is part of a 292-acre patent that was issued to Abraham Steiner (Stoner) in 1736 from the Penn family. Steiner was a blacksmith who joined the Moravians and relocated to Northampton County. In 1775 Christian Reist (1740-1814) wrote his will and described his farm as being 188 acres located in Warwick Township, which included the majority of the Abraham Steiner patent. Christian was the son of immigrants Peter and Anaclore Reist. Christian grew up on the Reist Homestead.
Christian Reist's wife was Barbara Witmer Reist. Christian left his entire estate to his wife Barbara. The three executors whom Christian appointed in his will were his wife, John Huber (the miller at East Petersburg) and Christian's brother Abraham Reist (1737-1813), who was living on a portion of the Peter Reist Homestead.
Barbara's will stated that her belongings should be sold at public sale within four weeks of her death and all her real estate at a later time. Several bequests were made to women who were not relatives, but the majority of her estate was divided in half between her siblings and their families and her husband's siblings and their families.
View this property in a larger Google map.
A Collection of American Indian Arrow and Spear Points,
Found on this Reist Farm:
Above: Some of the northern portions of this Reist farm were owned by Haydn Bomberger in the late 1800s, and later by his son Christian. During their many years of cultivating these fields the Bombergers gathered a significant collection of stone points dating from Archaic to Late Woodland periods (5000 B. C. to 1400 A. D.)
According to Kathryn Hostetter Bomberger, widow of Christian, most of the points were found along the stream bed, and at the pond along Water Edge Road. This land was a portion of the Steiner patent, and later the Christian Reist farm. The points were created from a variety of materials, including jasper, argillite, and quartz. (Points: Clarke Hess Collection)