Above: The H. Reist Landis Farm on Google Maps Street View.
Below: The H. Reist Landis Farm in the 1903 Biographical Annals of Lancaster County:
This farm was subdivided off the Bomberger farm which is located to the north on 322 Memorial Road. The buildings appear to be mid-19th century. In 1875 the 48-acre farm was owned by the Henry Bomberger estate, before H. Reist Landis was owner.
Farmer H. (Henry) Reist Landis (1851-1934) was one of the most prominent Mennonites in the Lititz area. He was a member of the Penn Township school board, and was a founder of Lititz National Bank. Plus he was a founder of Lancaster's Northern National Bank at Lancaster, and the Independent Telephone Company of Lancaster County. In addition he was treasurer of the Lititz Lithographing Company and an owner of the Keystone Tobacco Company.
H. Reist Landis was a second cousin to the Landis brothers, who founded Landis Valley Museum. H. Reist's grandfather, "Rich" Benjamin Landis, was a brother of the Landis brothers' grandfather, "Drover" Henry Landis.
H. Reist prefered to be known as "H. Reist" rather than "Henry", presumably to avoid confusion with all his other relatives named Henry, including his father, his great-uncle, his great-grandfather, and his father's first cousin. H. Reist Landis and Maria are buried at Erb Mennonite Church, located next-door to their farm.
View this farm in a larger Google map.
Portraits: H. Reist Landis and wife Maria H. (Bomberger) Landis:
Portraits Courtesy of Lois Hollinger, Beth Weber, and John W. Eby
Two Privy Bags from the late 1800s,
Made by Women who had Lived here at the H. Reist Landis Farm:
Privy Bag #1: Widow Polly (Kreiter) Bomberger (1830-1893) stitched this privy bag when she was 60 years old, ca. 1890. Her husband Henry Bomberger (1826-1875) had owned this property until his death in 1875, at which time the H. Reist Landis family purchased the farm. Meanwhile the widow Polly (also known as Mary) moved to a small house in the nearby village of Kissel Hill, where she stitched this privy bag.
Polly chose a eight-pointed star pattern for her privy bag, with sawtoothed sashing, in brown, red, and cheddar (orange). This uniquely-vibrant cheddar fabric was popular among local Pennsylvania German quilters during this time.
Fortunately for later historians, one of Polly's relatives attached a note to this privy bag identifying Polly as the maker of this bright-and-bold textile.
Privy Bag #2: This bag was made here at this farm by Maria (Bomberger) Landis (1854-1917), who was Mrs. H. Reist Landis. Maria was born on the Bomberger-Wenger Farm, and was a grand-daughter of the cabinetmaker John Bomberger who had owned that farm. (See Maria in the two portraits on this page.)
The bag is pieced in a popular quilt pattern known as churn dash, or hole in the barn door. Maria sewed the bag ca. 1880. She used calico fabrics that were also popular for young girls' dresses during that era. This privy bag was sold at the auction of one of Maria's grand-daughters in 1998. (Privy bags: Clarke Hess Collection)
Family Portrait: Maria and H. Reist Landis with Landis Relatives, ca. 1906:
Maria and H. Reist Landis Retire to the Shober Mansion on the Lititz Square:
"The Most Desirable Residence Location in the Borough"
Above: Lititz's finest examples of Second-Empire-style architecture.
In 1907 H. Reist Landis and wife Maria H. (Bomberger) Landis moved from their farm into Lititz for their retirement. They had purchased an ornate, 18-room mansion on the Lititz square, on the northwest corner of Main and Broad. This house, known as the Shober Mansion, was "probably the most desirable residence location in the borough" according to a Lititz Record newspaper article the previous year. (Oct. 18, 1906). The house was built in 1881 by Augustus Shober, a Moravian storekeeper from Kissel Hill who built this house for his retirement.
The Landis' next-door neighbors, in the adjoining Stehman Mansion, was the family of retired Mennonite famer Joseph B. Wissler, who lived there until Joseph's death in 1909. The Wisslers' mansion had been built in 1889 by Jacob L. Stehman, who was baptized into the Mennonite church late in his life.
These high-style houses were Lititz's finest examples of Second Empire architecture, which was a French style popularized throughout Europe and America. During this same time, the family of Eli and Mary Garber, founders of Pensupreme Dairy, were living in a similar "French" mansion a few doors farther north. The Garbers were active members of Lititz Moravian Church.
Second-Empire architecture was originally inspired by architecture of Paris, when Napoleon III was emperor of the Second French Empire. This style is also known as the Mansard Style, because of the buildings' mansard roofs. Today those Second-Empire houses on the Lititz Square are gone. The site is the home of the Mutual Insurance building.
1916 Wedding Portraits in the Landis Home (Shober Mansion) on the Lititz Square,
Elizabeth B. Landis and John M. Bomberger:
Portrait courtesy of Lois Hollinger, Beth Weber, and John W. Eby
Above and Below: Wedding portraits of Elizabeth B. Landis and John M. Bomberger, photographed in the Reist home ( Shober Mansion) located on the Lititz square. Elizabeth (Lizzie) was the daughter of Maria and H. Reist Landis. John and Elizabeth were married at 11:00 on November 9, 1916.
Photo credit: Joanne Hess Siegrist Collection @ Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society.
Examples of Some Surviving Second-Empire-Style Homes in Lancaster County, PA:
Top: Lovelace Manor B&B on Marietta Ave. Lancaster. Built 1882.
Left: Grove Mansion in Maytown. Built 1880s. Right: West Lawn on W. Chestnut St. Lancaster. Built 1874.
The Former Mansions of "Cottage Row." On the Lititz Square.
In the1899 Atlas of Surveys of the County of Lancaster (Arrows Added):
1881 Lititz Newspaper Describes the Shober Mansion:
..."the doors are grained in imitation of French walnut, and are perhaps the finest specimen of [grain] painting in Lititz."
The Shober-Mansion Site Today, on the Lititz Square:
Above: Site of the former Shober Mansion, which the Landis family called home. Google Maps Street View.
The carefully-designed, Colonial-Revival building of the Lititz Mutual Insurance Company replaces the Victorian mansions of Cottage Row. The valuable commercial location of those high-maintenance mansions helped spell their demise. This insurance property is an attractive asset for the Lititz square. And a row of historic, Cape-May-style mansions could have been an equal asset, had those fanciful mansions survived.