The Conestoga Area Historical Society
The Harnish House
The stone house on the extreme right of this image is the original Harnish house, it was located on the New Danville Pike in Conestoga Twp, it is now located on the grounds of the Conestoga Area Historical Society.
Built by Martin Harnish, the house dates back to about 1750, the land was warranted to Martin Harnish and patented in 1748 by Jacob Harnish. Martin had died prior to 1748. It was replaced about 1800 by a frame house which burned down about 1850 and the brick house, still on the property, was built. This stone home served as living quarters for the family while the brick building was being constructed.
To see the location of this homestead on the 1875 Atlas for Conestoga Township, click here. Jacob Harnish is shown as the owner.
The children of Martin and Magdalena Harnish were Jacob, born about 1720; Michael, born about 1722; Christian, born about 1725; Martin, born about 1730, married Catherine Schehr; Andrew, born Aug. 1, 1759; Barbara, born about 1732, married John Hackman and emigrated to Virginia. Anna Harnish born about 1734, married Stephen Liess; and Mary, born about 1736 and died young.
The building is 2 1/2 stories and constructed with field stones, the roof was made of tile. Its about 15 feet by 24 feet and was build on the side of a hill so both the lowest level and the middle level had ground floor access. The lowest level served as the kitchen, it was a single open room. The second level had two rooms, a bed room for the parents and a family or sitting room. The third floor was a loft where the children slept. The second level had a set of narrow, winding stairs to the loft but to get to the kitchen from either level you had to go outside, there is no internal way to get to the kitchen.
The house was moved in Oct. 2000 to the grounds of the historical, about a two mile trip at the cost of about $30,000. It was brought up the New Danville Pike to Elm Street, and then up Elm to Kendig Road and then up Kendig Road to the grounds of the historical society. The house has been fitted with some reproductions of period pieces as well as lots of information on the Harnish family.
Is this a cool mobile home or what ?
I guess at 96 tons it would be a little difficult to move and the fact that you would have to have a utility line crew to raise phone and electrical lines make it a little impractical.
The costs of acquiring the house were born by the Harnish family, some of the information for this article came from Rogelyn Harnish who recently published "The Martin Harnish Freindschaft, 1729-1999". The book is available from Rogelyn or through the Conestoga Area Historical Society.
Below is the house as it appears on the grounds of the Conestoga Area Historical Society. You'll note the red fencing, this surrounds a pit that was used to mix the mortar for repairing and pointing the building. In order to do this correctly the pit and mortar had to be prepared well before the building was moved.
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