The familiar adage “if walls could talk” often comes to mind when we enter an old or interesting house. When was the house built? How has the house changed? Who lived in the house? What function did the house play in the lives of its inhabitants over the years?
These questions and more arouse our curiosity. The answers to many of these questions become apparent as we systematically examine the physical evidence of the house and study the extant written records that document its existence in time and place. Tracing the history of a property and learning about the people who lived on the property can be fascinating.
Our house history website is designed to help you learn how to research the history of your house. In addition to the tutorial, we have also included several case studies of Lancaster County buildings. These examples show various architectural styles as well as the cultural and economic diversity reflected in the building construction. Although Lancaster County buildings have been chosen as case studies, the process of conducting a house history is similar throughout the United States.
The Ressler Mill Foundation and the John Bickford Foundation have generously provided funding for this project.
My name is Ashley Metzger and I am a graduate student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I received my B.A. in History with a minor in Anthropology in 2011 and will graduate with an M.A. in History and a focus in Public History in December 2012. I hope to become a museum educator when I graduate and would love to work with the history of fashion if I have a chance. I am an intern with LancasterHistory.org this summer and I know it will give me the skills that I will need for the future.
The staff and volunteers of the Archives Department at LancasterHistory.org never know what they'll find when working on the documents and records in the collections. Fortunately, when they do discover something noteworthy they are very willing to share!
Because pictures are worth a thousand words, but sometimes they need an interpreter.
You know that cliché about a picture being worth a thousand words? Ok, well, imagine the stories going on in my head after cataloging several hundred photos every single day!
One Young Lady, One Old House, Two Hundred Years of History
I’m Jennifer Walton, Assistant Director of President James Buchanan's Wheatland, and I love an old President and his old house! Over the past six years, I’ve learned quite a lot about both, and I would love to share it with you!