1803 House
55 South Keystone Ave.
Emmaus, PA 18049
(610) 965-0152

Places Nearby:
Lehigh County Historical Society
Mack Trucks
Pool Wildlife Sanctuary
Museum of Indian Culture
Allentown Art Museum
Moravian Museum of Bethlehem
More in:

Other States:

In 1747 Jacob Ehrenhardt and Sebastian Knauss donated to their community the land which would be named Emmaus in 1761. The name derives from the biblical account of Christ's appearance to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. This Moravian settlement has a unique history and, during the Revolutionary War, encountered an interesting problem: their teachings (and those of other religious groups in the area) forbade them to take up arms or to become involved in politics. When the Colonists decided to oust the British, the people of Emmaus would neither sign an oath severing allegiance to the king nor participate as soldiers.

Refusal to fight carried harsh penalties, such as fines, imprisonment, and confiscation of property. Jacob Ehrenhardt Jr. and eleven others finally relented, young Jacob serving in the 4th Battalion Company commanded by Captain Felix Good. Meanwhile, the community made its homes available to serve ill and injured Continental Troops.

Following the War, Jacob Jr. lived a while in Whitehall Township, married there, and then moved with his bride back to Emmaus. In 1803 he built a stone, Georgian-style house on his late father's farm. The site originally included a large barn and smaller outbuildings.

The house was lived in continuously by various families, until it was purchased by Robert Rodale in 1975 and donated to the community as a museum. Today it is operated by Friends of the 1803 House.

Visitors here will enjoy a tour back to the turn of the 18th century, exploring the rooms furnished as they may have appeared during Ehrenhardt's day. The Kitchen features a fireplace and the utensils of the day. The Living Room furnishings exhibit fine 18th century craftsmanship. The Bedrooms are upstairs and above them the attic, where a tiny handprint pressed into the old plaster may have belonged to one of Jacob's four daughters.

The house is representative of life in Emmaus 200 years ago. It's charming, and a Tour is fun and educational. Groups are welcome, as well as individuals and families. There are no formal School Programs. However, Museum staff will work with children and teachers to make a visit something special. Some groups have participated in an archaeological dig on the property, while others have assisted in making a house video tour.

Hours: Call for appointment.
$2.00 per person.
$20.00 per group.
Group Reservations: At least 2 weeks in advance.
Lunch: Nearby restaurants.
Handicapped Access: Partial. Call.
Directions: Rt. 9 (Tpke. NE Ext.) North to Quakertown exit. Turn left onto Rt. 663 North.. In Quakertown turn left at light onto Rt. 309. Go 12 miles to Exit 18-A of I-78/Rt. 309, Lehigh St. South. Lehigh becomes State Rd., then Main St. in Emmaus. Go 2½ miles and turn left at light onto 2nd St. (Anchorage restaurant on left). Go 2 blocks, turn left onto Minor St. Go 2 blocks, turn left onto Keystone Ave. to House on right. 60 - 90 minutes north of Philadelphia.

Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.