Rodale Press had purchased the property that the 1803 House was built on in the mid-1960’s for expansion of their business. Robert Rodale worried about tearing down the old house on the property without first doing some research. He and Mayor Pierce Randall agreed that Rodale would donate the house to the borough, along with $10,000 in “seed money”, if a committee could be established to research the history of the house, and raise an additional $10,000 from the community if restoration was decided upon. Robert and Ardath Rodale then donated the house and property to the borough in 1974 [black and white pictures to the right are courtesy of the Emmaus Public Library.] Restoration began after the 1976 Bicentennial celebration, with that committee comprising the majority of the new "Friends of the 1803 House” committee.
The Friends of the 1803 House is a non-profit 501(c-3) corporation which administers the house as a museum, and is generally the caretaker for the owner, the Borough of Emmaus. Fund raising is through memberships, special events, corporate sponsorships, grants and donations.