The Amish Farm and House history is of great interest. Situated on a property that dates back to the days of Pennsylvania's founder William Penn, our farm was given from Penn to colonial Governor John Evans in 1715. At the time, this area was part of Pennsylvania's undeveloped wilderness, which saw the first Europeans settle here less than 5 years before (c. 1710).
When the Lancaster-Philadelphia Turnpike was built in 1792 (now the Lincoln Highway/Route 30), it brought major changes to this part of Lancaster County. The Lancaster-Philadelphia Turnpike, which passed directly in front of our farm, was the first paved road in the United States and therefore, the primary road between Lancaster and Philadelphia.
The new pavement proved itself successful as traffic increased and businesses began to sprout along its 62-mile path towards Philadelphia. Conestoga Wagons filled with cargo from Philadelphia and merchandise from Lancaster were familiar scenes. Business people and homeowners alike clamored to be located near the turnpike. It became quite desirable and fashionable to live along the first paved road.
The original settlers' log structures and early homes, built with local timber, soon proved to be inadequate for the growing families or for the status the occupants desired. Those early homes were soon replaced with larger and much stronger stone buildings. Large stone houses and barns once were a common site in this part of Lancaster County.
It is in this climate that Isaac and Mary Evans--descendants of the original Evans family--began construction on the current farmhouse in 1805. Believed to have been built as a wedding gift, the limestone they used was quarried on the property. In 1803, construction was completed on the uniquely Pennsylvania German limestone bank barn.
Through the next 150 years, the property changed hands, but all its residents--Quakers, Mennonites and Amish--operated this farm as a quintessential Pennsylvania German farm. They grew typical crops of this area and raised traditional farm animals, including a bull named Bobby. After nearly 7 generations as a home, the house would serve another purpose. It would serve as the first tourist attraction in Lancaster County and opened Lancaster County to the world!
The Farm and House in 1910
The Farm and House in 1955
The year 1955 marked the birth of Lancaster County tourism. The prior year (1954), the play, "Plain and Fancy" was a smash hit on Broadway. The play featured the Amish and the area in which they live--Lancaster County. For many, it was their first introduction to both. The play sparked so much interest in Lancaster County that visitation ballooned from 25,000 annual visitors to over 2,000,000 visitors by 1960.
Because there was no official visitors center or an educational farm from which visitors could correctly learn about the Amish lifestyle, it was not unusual for out-of-towners to totally ignore privacy and look through kitchen windows and trample through corn fields trying to get a glimpse of anyone who they thought might be Amish. With millions of people coming to Lancaster County and the added interest in the Old Order Amish (not to mention the invasions of privacy), local restaurateur and founder of tourism, Adolph Neuber, believed there should be a place where visitors could correctly learn about the Amish lifestyle.
Hoping to fulfill this need, Neuber purchased the 25-acre farm adjacent to his restaurant with the idea to open it to the public. On July 1, 1955, The Amish Farm and House was born. It was opened to provide a quality educational experience reflecting the historical and modern customs of Lancaster County's Amish and that is authentic, accurate, cooperative, and respectful of its Amish neighbors.
We are proud to say that we are the first tourist attraction in Lancaster County and the first tourist Amish attraction in the United States.
It's our desire to show you how quality, expertise, and authenticity are all part of the experience when visiting our nearly-300 year old farm and joining us on one of our scenic tours.
We are proud to say that 90% of our tour guide staff are natives of Lancaster County. Although the other 10% were born somewhere else, they've lived here in Lancaster County most of their lives. Not many companies--including tourist related attractions--can claim that.
We're proud of our staff.
You can rest assured that our guides are very knowledgeable about the Amish lifestyle. Most grew up around the Amish, studied the lifestyle for years and are personal friends with many Amish people. It's first hand knowledge and experience with the Amish that is the hallmark of our tours.
Our staff are current and retired school teachers and educators, retired business people and professionals, retired tour operators, and others. We also employ students during their summer breaks. Our staff strives for accuracy, professionalism, and friendliness. You will always see a smiling face at The Amish Farm and House.
Open 7 Days a Week
10 am - 4 pm
2395 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster, PA.
Copyright 2015. Amish Farm and House.
All rights reserved.
2395 Lincoln Highway East
Lancaster, PA 17602