The Bucher-Brubacher Farm: 327 N. New Street. Lititz, PA
Above: The Bucher-Brubacher Farm as seen on Google Earth Street View.
This farm was owned by Joseph Brubacher (1785-1875) and wife Mary (Bucher) Brubacher (1787-1858). The majority of this farm was the southern portion of the Jacob Huber land patent. Another portion of the farm was part of the tract belonging to the immgrant Hans Martin Bucher.
Mary was the immigrant's granddaughter. Mary's parents, Joseph Bucher and Elizabeth (Eby) Bucher occupied the adjoining farm to the west, the Bucher Homestead.
The 1815 Direct Tax for Warwick Township describes this property as a 130-acre farm, with a one-story "timber" (log) house, about 30 feet in length by 20 feet in depth. The barn is described as stone overshot, 100 feet in length by 30 feet in depth. Additionally the tax record describes a one-story stone kitchen, measuring 16 feet in length by 12 feet in depth.
The present 2-1/2-story brick dwelling was likely constructed ca. 1820 to 1850 by Joseph and Mary (Bucher) Brubaker to replace the earlier log structure. The surviving bank barn probably incorporates the foundation of the barn described in the 1815 tax.
View this farm on a larger Google map.
An 1825 Vorschrift (Writing Sample) for 14-Year-Old Joseph Brubacher,
He was Born here at the Bucher-Brubacher Farm.:
Joseph Brubacher (1811-1884) was a 14-year-old Mennonite student when he received this writing sample, above. His sister was Catherine Brubacher, whose fraktur bookplate is shown lower on this page. His sister Maria's sampler also appears below.
This fraktur apparently was penned by a Moravian schoolmaster from the nearby town of Lititz, as suggested by the following design elements:
- Naturalistic floral decoration rather than stylized motifs.
- Flawless German script suggesting a highly-educated schoolmaster.
- An unusual choice of text. The text is I Corinthians 1:23: Wir aber Predigen... "But we preach Christ crucified..." Most Pennsylvania German Vorschriften include Bible verses, but this verse is not a typical selection. This text is suggestive of the Moravian's distinctive missionary zeal.
Joseph married Susanna Rudy (1813-1894). They were the great-grandparents of Judge Joseph B. Wissler who was born and raised at the Wissler Homestead. A photo of this same fraktur appears in the 1983 sale ad for Judge Wissler's estate, above. (Fraktur: Clarke Hess Collection)
An 1832 Deed from Jacob Johns to Joseph Brubacher,
For Land including the Southern Portion of the Huber's Tavern Farm:
This sheepskin document, above, transfers two parcels of land, totaling 107 acres, from the estate of Levy (Levi) Johns, to Joseph Brubacher, to enlarge Joseph's farm, the Bucher-Brubaher farm.
The deed is signed by Jacob Johns, and witnessed by Christian H. Rauch, the Lititz Moravian scrivener / surveyor who penned this document. It is also signed by Rudolph Rauch. This deed was not recorded at the Lancaster Courthouse until 1941, apparently because no one wanted to pay the recording fee. (Deed: Clarke Hess Collection)
An 1843 German-Language New Testament,
With Two Fraktur Bookplates for Mother and Daughter.
The Mother, Catharina Brubacher, was born here at the Bucher-Brubacher Farm.
This Philadephia New Testament, above, has birth-record bookplates for Catharina (Brubacher) Bomberger (1808-1837) and her daughter Maria B. Bomberger (1830-1910). The Testament was given to 13-year-old Maria with a fraktur bookplate for her, fastened to the front pastedown endpaper. The bookplate records Maria's birth on March 18, 1830.
Maria was seven years old when her mother Catharina died. Her mother's fraktur birth record was glued to the inside of this testament's rear cover. The mother Catharina was born November 20, 1808 here at the Bucher-Brubaker Farm. She married John Bomberger (1803-1868), on November 20, 1826. The artists of both fraktur are unidentified.
The daughter Maria married George Hoffer (1834-1912). They are buried at Hernley Mennonite Church near Manheim, Lancaster County.
Laid into this New Testament is a small paper momento for the mother Catharina, dated 1817. Her initials "CB" are penned onto the paper in the format of a weaver's pattern. This little monogram undoubtedly was a gift for Catharina when she was nine years old, from an anonymous relative or friend. Catherina died at the young age of 28. A slip of paper inserted into this New Testament records her death and age in German script. After Catharina's death, her husband John Bomberger married Rebecca Eby, daughter of Johannes and Maria (Witwer) Eby, who lived at the Johannes Eby Homestead at Snavely's Mill.
Catharina's family remained deeply rooted in the Lititz area. Her sister Barbara Brubacher married Christian B. Snyder, and they owned the Huber's-Tavern Farm. Her brother David Brubacher and wife Elizabeth (Hess) Brubacher built the brick-end barn that is now Zig's Bakery and Cafe. (New Testament with bookplates: Clarke Hess Collection)
An 1832 Sampler by 15-Year-Old Maria Brubacher,
She was born and raised at this farm.:
This sampler, above, was stitched by Maria Brubacher (Brubaker) (1817-1885) when she was fifteen years old. She was the daughter of Joseph and Mary (Bucher) Brubacher who built the existing brick farmhouse on this property. Some of the motifs here on Maria's sampler also appear on the 1825 sampler made by her cousin Anna Bucher, who lived on the adjoining farm, the Bucher Homestead. (That sampler is here.)
Maria married Christian Bomberger (1813-1885). He was the son of Bishop Christian Bomberger (1786-1871) and Barbara (Erb) Bomberger (1790-1834). Maria died in Shippensburg, Franklin County, PA. (Sampler: Present location unknown. Image from an old photograph when sampler was offered for sale in Connecticut ca. the year 2000.)