The Hess Homestead in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is a historic Mennonite farmstead near the town of Lititz. The property is an ancestral home of the Hess family, who purchased the land from William Penn's sons in 1735. The log farmhouse is the earliest house in Pennsylvania associated with the Hess family.
The primary buildings at this site were constructed by the Hess family in the 18th century, including a 1740s log farmhouse, a 1778 stone farmhouse, and a 1769 oil mill. Both houses served as church meeting houses for the local Mennonite community until 1856, when the first Hess Mennonite church building was constructed nearby. These farm buildings are iconic examples of the vernacular architecture of rural Pennsylvania Germans.
Our website about the history of the Hess Homestead is here: Website.
Above: The log farmhouse and the summer kitchen, circa 1910.
The logs are covered with weatherboarding. A windmill pumps water from the well.
Above: Barn and pigsty behind the log farmhouse, ca. 1910.
The barn burned in 1922, sparked by cinders from a Reading Railroad locomotive.
Above: A ca. 1785 Germanic log house, rescued and relocated to the homestead from near Hanover, PA.
1824 Map of Lancaster County, PA
Published in Lancaster by Joshua Scott. January 1, 1824. (Blue arrows photoshopped into maps.)
Above: High-resolution, original map at the Library of Congress: Link.
Description of this map, at the Library of Congress: Link.
The Hess Homestead appears in the 1864 Atlas of Lancaster Co, Penna. as two placemarks (digital arrows added) with the name Hy. (Henry) Hess, who owned with farm with wife Catherine Hess. Henry and Catherine are great-great-great grandparents of Clarke Hess.
The map identifies Susannah Frank as the owner of the adjoining grist mill. Susannah was the daughter of Jacob Hess, and grand-daughter of this Henry Hess. She was the widow of Henry Frank.
The town of Lititz is shown with green watercolor in this map.
Photo credits: Color photos this page: Lee J. Stoltzfus
Hess Family Tree. Written ca. 1850 in German Script:
A larger image of this Hess family-tree sheet is Here.
Above: This Hess genealogy chart shows descendants of Mennonite Preacher John Hess ( 1768-1830), and wife Esther (Hershey) Hess (1769-1824). John Hess was born here at the Hess Homestead. and lived on this property his entire life.
The chart was written by an anonymous historian. It includes a tally which show the number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It descended in the family of Bishop Christian Bomberger and Barbara (Hess) Bomberger. (Chart: Clarke Hess Collection)