Above: The Hans and Maria Brubacher Farm on Google Maps Street View.
Satellite View of the Hans and Maria Brubacher Farm:
Blue pin: Brubaker Farmhouse
Purple pin: Brubaker / Bar Graveyard
View this farm in a larger Google map.
The Hans and Maria Brubacher Farm is the earliest surviving Brubaker farmstead in Brubaker Valley, a limestone-rich valley north of Lititz. In the mid 1800s there were 13 Brubaker farms in these lowlands near the Hammer Creek.
Hans Brubacher (1685-1748) purchased the 300 acres on October 20, 1731, from Lewis Lewis for 192 pounds. His son, John Brubacher (1719-1804), purchased 150 acres of this land from his siblings on June 10, 1760, for 500 pounds. The other 150 acres went to Daniel Brubacher, one of John's younger brothers.
Sometime circa 1749 John Brubacher married Maria Newcomer (d. 1750). Shortly after Maria's death, Hans married Maria Dohner (1728-1802). Hans and this second Maria built the older section of this farmhouse in 1770, according to one of the two datestones on the house facade. This is the east side of the farmhouse, which probably adjoined an earlier log dwelling which was replaced in 1816 by the west side of the house.
This west side of the house has an 1816 datestone. This section of the farmhouse was built by Jacob Brubaker (1782-1854) and Maria (Eby) Brubaker (1787-1864). Maria was born at the Eby Homestead at Hammer Creek. Jacob was a grandson of Hans and Maria, who had built the first part of the house.
A Rare Mennonite Hymnal Owned and Inscribed by Hans Brubacher
(He settled this Brubaker Homestead, and built the earliest part of the house.)
Above: This rare edition of the Ausbund hymnbook is one of only two copies known. The other copy of this unusual variant is held by the Mennonite Church Archives at Goshen, Indiana.
The hymnbook was published ca. 1700, with a title page stating publication in Basel, Switzerland . The book was owned and inscribed by Hans Brubacher (1719-1804) who first settled this Brubaker Homestead site in 1731, as described above.
Hans Brubacher received this hymnbook from Peter Newcomer, who was probably Hans' father-in-law. Hans' wife was Maria Newcomer. The front flyleaf is inscribed:
Disses Lider bichlein geherth Mir Pether Neükompt ano 1722. (This little songbook belongs to me, Peter Neukompt [Newcomer].)
In different handwriting: Jetz und Aber dem Hanes Brubacher. (But now of [owned by] Hans Brubacher) (Ausbund: Clarke Hess Collection)
The 1760 Deed Release for this Brubaker Homestead:
Above: This 1760 deed release for the Brubaker Homestead was issued to Hans (John) Brubacher Jr. (1719-1804) by his siblings and their spouses. The document indicates that the heirs of Hans Brubacher Sr. (d. 1748) are granting clear title to this farm to their brother John Jr.
The signatures with red wax seals are of the Brubacher brothers, their spouses, and a brother-in-law. The Brubachers signed their names using the German spelling "Brubacher", while the scrivener who penned the text Anglicized the spelling to "Brubacker" and "Brubaker." Today the spelling here is usually "Brubaker."
The signatures are: Henrich Brubacher and wife Elizabeth Brubaker (her mark), Abraham Brubacher and wife Barbra Brubaker (her mark), Jacob Brubacher, Peter Brubacher and wife Barbra Brubaker (her mark), Daniel Brubacher and wife Fronia Brubaker (her mark), Joseb [Joseph] Brubacher and wife Elisabeth Brubacher, David Brubacher and wife Elizabeth Brubaker (her mark), Christ Brubacher, and Abra [Abraham] Buckwalter, married to Ann Brubaker who did not sign.
Only one female spouse signed her name. The other women used an x mark or an initial for their names, presumably because they could not write. (Deed: Private collection).
Jacob and Maria Brubacher's Aussteier Book:
A Record of Items they Gave their Children for their Marriages:
Above: This Denkbuch, or record book, was penned by Jacob Brubacher (1782-1854) to record the value of the items he gave to his children for when they began housekeeping. The entries are dated 1826 to 1848. During this era records were kept to ensure that each child received an equal amount from their parents.
Jacob and Maria built the west side of the farmhouse here at the Brubaker Homestead, as described at the top of this page. That house addition has an 1816 datestone. (Record book: Private collection)
Three Seamstress Sisters at the Brubaker Homestead
Susanna, Maria, and Anna Brubacher:
13-Year-Old Susanna Brubacher Stitches a Sampler in 1821:
Above: Sampler by 13-year-old Susanna Brubacher, dated 1821. Stitched here at the Brubaker Homestead.
This cross-stitch sampler was made by Susanna Brubacher (1808-1884) while she was living here at the Brubaker Homestead. She was only 13 years old when she stitched this linen sampler.
Susanna was the daughter of Jacob and Maria (Eby) Brubacher, making her the great-granddaughter of the Hans and Maria Brubacher, who had built the earlier part of this house.
Susanna stitched this sampler with silk flosses on homespun linen. She included her name, an alphabet, and numerals. Her sampler also features a tulip tree with two birds. Plus there is a vase of carnation-like flowers.
This textile was Susanna's "marking sample" which she used to record designs that she would later stitch on other textiles. Susanna did not intend this sampler to be displayed, but instead she probably kept it in her sewing basket, or a similar location, for her own reference. (Susanna's sampler: Clarke Hess Collection)
12-Year-Old Maria Brubacher Stitches a Sampler in 1821:
Above: Sampler by 12-year-old Maria Brubacher, dated 1821.
Stitched here at the Brubaker Homestead the same year her older sister Susanna stitched her own sampler, shown previously on this page.
Above: 1821 was a very good year for stitching samplers at the Brubaker Homestead. Sisters Susanna and Maria Brubacher both stitched a sampler that year, and and they appear above. (Maria's sampler: Private collection)
Susanna Brubacher and her Sister, Anna, Create Two Decorated Towels: 1823 and 1837:
Above: Two decorated towels by the Brubacher sisters, stitched at the Brubaker Homestead
Several years after Susanna Brubacher stitched her 1821 sampler (shown previously on this page) she created a decorated towel, and dated it 1823. She used pattern-woven toweling of homespun linen, and stitched a plain-weave linen panel to the top. She then decorated the towel using cotton and silk flosses, using traditional Pennsylvania German motifs such as peacocks and crowns.
Susanna's younger sister, Anna, stitched her own decorated towel 14 years later in 1837 (see below). Anna also used pattern-woven toweling, and a plain-weave panel, as her older sister Susanna had used for her towel.
Anna added a drawn-work panel to the bottom of her towel in 1841, and included that date and her initials in the drawn work. She also added her name and residence along the bottom border. (Towels: Clarke Hess Collection)
An 1844 Sampler made by 20-Year-Old Anna Brubacher:
Above: A motto / sampler made by 20-year-old Anna Brubacher, here at the Brubaker Homestead.
This needlework motto was stitched by Anna Brubacher (1824-1873) who was a younger sister of Susanna and Maria Brubacher, who stitched the samplers shown previously on this page. All three sisters were living here at the Brubacher Homestead when they created these needlework pieces.
Anna used wool flosses on a homepun linen ground to create this motto. Anna would have been bi-lingual, speaking both English and Pennsylvania German. Anna later married Mennonite preacher Abraham Horst. (Sampler: Clarke Hess Collection)
1825 Fraktur Bookplate by Henry Brubacher,
A Bachelor Artist at the Brubaker Homestead,
Made for his Niece, Susanna Brubacher:
Above: This fraktur was created by Henry Brubacher (1785-1839) who lived here at the Brubaker Homestead. Henry never married, and probably lived on this farm his entire life. Henry's parents were Jacob Brubacher (1758-1793) and Susanna (Erb) Brubacher (1762-1844). This fraktur artist was an uncle of the three Brubacher sisters who made the textiles above on this page.
The fraktur is dated January 21, 1825. The text indicates this fraktur was in a "Gesang Buch", a song book. This song book was undoubtedly the 1820 Mennonite hymnbook Unpartheyisches Gesangbuch (Impartial Song Book), published in Lancaster by Johannes Bär.
The fraktur's text also indicates this book was given by Susanna (Erb) Brubacher to her granddaughter Susanna Brubacher. This grandmother had two granddaughters named Susanna Brubacher, and either granddaughter could have been the owner of this bookplate. Both granddaughters were nieces of Henry Brubacher who created this bookplate. One of these two granddaughters named Susanna Brubacher stitched the sampler and the decorated towel shown above on this page. So that's three Brubachers named Susanna on this page, and that's a lot of Susannas. (Fraktur bookplate: Private collection)
Fraktur Bookplate Made for Maria Brubacher,
(She Stitched the 1821 Sampler Shown Elsewhere on this Page)
Above: This fraktur bookplate was made for Maria Brubaker (1809-1887) by an anonymous artist. The bookplate is mounted in an 1824 German-language New Testament. Maria was born and raised here at the Brubaker Homestead. She was one of the three seamstress Brubacher sisters described above. Maria's sampler also appears here on this page, above.
Maria married John Reist, and in 1856 they moved to the Peter Reist Homestead located west of Lititz. (Fraktur bookplate: Private collection)
A John Long Lamp Owned by Elizabeth (Hershey) Brubaker, Here at the Brubaker Homestead:
Above: This beautifully-crafted lamp is inscribed "Elezbeth Hershey March the 16th 1849." Elizabeth Hershey (1825-1891) was the daughter of Andrew and Elizabeth Hershey who lived in Sporting Hill, Rapho Township, Lancaster County. The village of Sporting Hill was also home to the blacksmith who made this lamp, John Long (1787 - 1856).
On November 14, 1849, Elizabeth married Jacob E. Brubaker (1821-1898). Jacob was born here at the Brubaker Homestead. He was the youngest son of Jacob and Maria Eby Brubacher, and inherited the farm from his parents. This Jacob, the son, was brother of the three girls who made the textiles shown on this page, above. Elizabeth moved to this Brubaker farm when she married Jacob.
When John Long made this lamp in 1849 he was living with a Mennonite couple, Emanuel and Anna Hernley Long. This lamp was part of Elizabeth's Aussteier, or wedding outfitting, and was received in preparation for her marriage. The lamp was designed to burn animal fat for lighting. The lamp descended in the Brubaker family, and was purchased in 1987 at a household sale of a great-grandaughter of Elizabeth (Hershey) Brubaker, whose name is on the lamp.
John Long's legacy is a group of exceptional iron oil lamps that many collectors consider to be among the finest examples of Pennsylvania German smithwork. (Lamp: Clarke Hess Collection).
Benjamin H. Brubaker Wears a Beaver Top Hat at his Wedding:
(He was born and raised here at the Brubaker Homestead.)
Above: Benjamin Brubaker's top hat, with its orginal box, made by Frederick W. Smith, hatter in Lancaster.
Top hats made of beaver fur were international high fashion in the mid-to-late 1800s. These hats were also popular among Lancaster County Mennonites during this era, and were often worn as wedding hats.
This hat is the wedding hat of Benjamin H. Brubaker (1851-1895), who was born and raised here at the Brubaker Homestead. His mother was Elizabeth Hershey Brubaker, whose name is engraved on her John Long lamp shown above on this page.
Benjamin wore this wedding hat on Nov. 13, 1873, when he married Anna Landis (1854-1915). She was the daughter of Mennonite farmers Henry and Catherine (Reist) Landis, who lived on the Isaac Long Farm.
The hat descended to Benjamin and Anna's oldest son, Andrew Landis Brubaker (1883-1961). Benjamin and Anna are buried at East Petersburg Mennonite Cemetery.
The hat-box label reads, "From F. [Frederick W.] Smith Dealer in Hats, Caps, and Straw Goods No 28. East King Street." This hat maker worked at that location from 1869 to 1873, according to Lancaster directories. (And Benjamin's wedding was in 1873.) Today that address is the home of Annie Bailey's Irish Pub. (Hat: Clarke Hess Collection)