Above: The Bucher Homestead, ca. 1960 photo.
Above: Bucher Homestead Site as seen on Google Maps Street View.
Bucher Homestead Site
The Land and the Owners:
Hans Martin Bucher immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1737. He married Elizabeth Bomberger, daughter of Christian Bomberger. Upon Christian's death in 1742, Bucher received 160 acres where he was already residing.
Martin Bucher died in 1779. His son Joseph (1755-1804) and brother John (b. ca. 1760) owned the property jointly until John moved to York County. After Joseph's death in 1804, the farm was owned by his son Jonas (1783-1864). The farm was 127 acres. This farm was in continuous Bucher ownership until 1988.
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The house was described in the 1798 direct tax as stone and log, measuring 43 by 25 feet. Also described were a shop constructed of logs measuring 20 by 15 feet, and a log tenant house 26 by 24 feet. A late 18th-century barn survived until 1988.
A stone springhouse was built by Jonas Bucher in 1829. The old farmhouse burned in 1884, sparked by a fire in the attached kitchen when the Buchers were making apple butter. A 20th-century owner of the farm, Raymond Bucher was a longtime minister in the Mennonite church. He was a great-great grandson of Jonas and Susan Bucher.
Preserving the Bucher-Homestead Springhouse:
Above: When the Buchers sold the farm for an industrial park in 1988, Clarke Hess moved the 1829 springhouse across Lititz to his 1740s Hess Homestead. Clarke is a great-great-great-great grandson of Jonas and Susan Bucher who built the springhouse.
Below: The 1829 Bucher springhouse, in its new home at the Hess Homestead.
Below: 1829 datestone on the Jonas Bucher springhouse.
Above: Detail of Bucher farm drawn by Clarke Hess in 1988. Full drawing: Here.
A Spectacular Quilt made at the Bucher Homestead in 1860
By 19-year-old Fannie S. Bucher:
Above: Fannie Bucher's 1860 quilt, with close-up detail. Fannie was living here at the Bucher Homestead when she made this extraordinary sampler quilt. She used thousands of bits of fabric to create a quilting tour-de force. The quilt is Fannie's masterpiece of mini patches, some being as small as a quarter-inch in size. Every block is its own unique design. Fannie embroidered her initials in the corner, "FSB", with the embroidered 1860 date.
By 1861 Fannie married Simon B. Snyder (1836-1907), a farmer in Clay Township, Lancaster County. Their eldest daughter, Barbara B. Snyder (1862-1922), produced a related quilt (see quilt below).
Fannie was born into a Mennonite home, and married a Church of the Brethren man who had a Mennonite mother. Half of Fannie's children married Mennonites, and half of them married Brethren spouses. (Quilt: Clarke Hess Collection).
Fannie's Daughter, Barbara, Creates her Own Spectacular Quilt:
Above: Barbara B. Snyder's quilt, ca 1878-82, with close-up detail. Barbara was the daughter of Fannie S. Bucher, whose quilt appears on this page above this quilt. When Fannie married, she moved off the Bucher Homestead to the nearby 1781 George Illig House, in Clay Township.
Barbara Snyder (1862-1922) made this quilt at the Illig House when she was a teenager, similar to the age her mother had made her quilt. This sampler quilt is Barbara's masterpiece, and has patches made with as many as 144 tiny pieces of fabric. Barbara was required to work on the farmstead for her parents until 8 p.m., so she made this remarkable quilt in her evening off-hours. (Quilt: Clarke Hess Collection).
9-Year-Old Joseph Bucher Receives a Pencil Box
Made by his Grandfather Jonas Bucher at the Bucher Homestead:
Above: Jonas Bucher constructed the stone springhouse at the Bucher Homestead in 1829. Jonas also made this salmon-painted pencil box, which he gave to his grandson Joseph R. Bucher. The lid is inscribed, "This I got from my grandfather when I was 9 years old in the year 1857, Joseph R. Bucher." The grandfather carved the box from a solid block of wood, with the lid pinned to the top. The grandfather and grandson were both living at the Bucher Homestead during this time.
Joseph's grandson Henry B. Widder also signed this box, on February 7, 1924. The drawings are by Elam Stoner, ca. 1865, who is not related to these Buchers. (Pencil Box: Clarke Hess Collection)
A Jonas Weber Miniature Cradle made for Six-Year-Old Fannie S. Bucher,
While she was Living at this Bucher Homestead:
Above: Jonas Weber (1810-1876) has become one of Lancaster County's most celebrated folk artists. His miniature chests and other woodenware command much attention from collectors and historians.
Jonas Weber, working in Leacock Township, made this miniature cradle for Fanny S. Bucher (1841-1910) when she was living with her parents here at the Bucher Homestead. Fanny's father, Joseph Bucher (1820-94), was a first cousin of Jonas Weber.
The inscription on the cradle's underside reads, " Fanny S. Bucher / 1847 [changed later to 1797] / Lavina B. Snyder / March 21, 1911. Lavina was Fanny Bucher's youngest daughter. The cradle was sold at New York's Sotheby's Auction in the 1980s, at the sale the Earl Robacker Collection. Clarke Hess is a great-great grandson of Fannie S. Bucher. (Cradle: Clarke Hess Collection)
1825: Anna Bucher Makes a Sampler at the Bucher Homestead:
Above: Anna Bucher (1812-1880) was only 12 or 13 years old when she stitched this sampler at the Bucher Homestead. She was the daughter of Jonas and Susan (Witwer) Bucher. Anna later married Henry Reist (1814-1855).
Her sampler includes the OEHBDE motif, which is typical of Lancaster County Mennonite samplers. The letters in that heart medallion stand for the motto, O Edel Herz Bedenk Dein Ende (O Noble Heart Consider Your End). Anna stitched this sampler with silk and cotton flosses on homespun linen. (Sampler: Clarke Hess Collection).
A Decorated Towel Made by 17-Year-Old Anna (Schenk) Bucher
She Died Young, at Age 22, here at the Bucher Homestead:
Above: The life of Anna (Schenk) Bucher (1820 - 1842) was short, as she died at age 22. But she is survived by this decorated towel she made at age 17.
Anna was the daughter of Veronica (Ober) Shenk and Joseph Shenk, of Buffalo Spring, Heidelberg Township, Lebanon County. Around 1840 Anna married Joseph Bucher (1820 -1894) and moved here to the Bucher Homestead.
Anna died here when her only child, Fanny Bucher, was only four months old. Her husband then married Catherine Risser, and 11 children were born to them here on this farm.The cause of Anna's death at age 22 is unknown. She rests in peace in the Bomberger Graveyard, on the hill overlooking the farm.
Anna used the Germanic spelling of her Shenk name for this towel, "Schenk." She also included the phrase "Jesus bleib in mein Haus" (Jesus stay in my house.) Her daughter, Fannie S. Bucher, later added her own initials to this towel: "F S B." (Towel: Clarke Hess Collection)
A ca. 1790s Handwrought Moravian Lock from the Bucher Homestead,
In Early Blue Paint.
With a ca. 2016 Cat named Katie at the Hess Homestead:
Above: The basement and rear bedroom of the 1884 Bucher Homestead's frame farmhouse featured early handwrought Moravian hardware.
This lock was salvaged from the rear bedroom when that house was demolished in 1988. The Buchers could close and lock that bedroom door from the hallway, by detaching the lock's handle, turning it counter clockwise. The lock unoubtedly had also been in the farm's earlier stone and log farmhouse which had burned in 1884. The basement of the frame house also featured early, hand-wrought hardware: a pair of 18th-century Moravian pad hinges. (Moravian lock and non-Moravian cat: Clarke Hess Collection)