America's Best History Spotlight
On this page we're going to Spotlight the lesser known historic sites and attractions that dot the history landscape across the USA and are worth a visit if you're in their area. And while they may be lesser known, some are very unique, and will be that rare find. You'll be, at times, on the ground floor, or maybe even know something others don't. It'll be fun. Visit them.
Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, New Jersey
It's our heritage, no matter where in the United States we live. How our forefathers, for the most part, existed. At the Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, we explore a remarkable village about the Germanic heritage of farming in the United States. With period buildings from a variety of eras and other locations, all kept in pristine condition, this village will take you back in time, not far from all the Amish heritage that still persists today in the fields around Lancaster. Photo above: Period buildings at the Landis Valley Village.
Info, What's There Now, History Nearby
Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Over one hundred acres of restored period buildings that examine and celebrate the German heritage and rural culture from 1740 to 1940. Specifically, this site is an extension of the residence farm of the Landis family, brought to tourist life in 1925 by brothers Henry Kinzer Landis and George Diller Landis when they invited the public in. It was the breadbasket of America with over ninety percent of German immigrants who landed in Philadelphia becoming farmers. The Landis ancestors came to America in the early 1700's. Over the years, the brothers collected 75,000 artifacts, many of which you'll see on your visit there.
It's quiet here, unlike some other farm museums along busy thoroughfares. It's a good place to have a picnic in their grove, then wander around the period structures ranging from country stores to hotels, some brought from other locations, others built here to provide a better context to the village. It's the largest German heritage village in the United States. By the end of your visit there, you might want to have a beer or a sausage sandwich.
Photo above: Landis Valley Village Visitor Center.
Where Is It
Landis Valley Village is located at 2451 Kissel Hill Road Lancaster, PA 17601. That's just off Route 272 from either Route 30 or Route 222 going into Lancaster. Lancaster, Pennsylvania is about 75 miles west of Philadelphia. It's fifty-seven miles east of Gettysburg on the same Route 30, known as Lincoln Highway.
What is There Now
Landis Valley Village has expanded since the first days the Landis' brothers put their artifacts in a barn. Eventually they constructed a tavern to serve as the first visitor center, then a courtyard with gunshop and two sheds. Once the Pennsylvania Museum Commission became involved, it expanded rapidly, including buildings such as the 1856 hotel, 1890 school house, log buildings, firehouse, Swiss bank barn, textile buildings, and a new visitor center. Today there are over twenty-five buildings to visit and step back in German time.
How Much to Visit
Adult $12.00. Children 3-11, $8.00. Under 3 free. Rates subject to change without notice.
Open Tuesday to Sunday from mid-March until the end of December. January to March, open Wednesday to Sunday. Closed major holidays. 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except Sundays 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
So what else is there to do near the the Landis Valley Village? You're in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, so there's plenty, much on the culture of the Amish, but there's also Railroad Museums, a conservative image theater Sight and Sound plus other theaters, and the home of James Buchanan. Not too far away, there's the Cornwall Iron Furnace and Gettysburg, about an hour away.