About the 1803 House

Longitude: -78.584550 Latitude: 40.257250
Location: 55 South Keystone Avenue, Emmaus PA 18049;

The Friends of the 1803 House:

Rodale Press test had purchased the property that the 1803 House was built on in the mid-1960’s for expansion of their business. The picture to the right is what the house looked like back then. Robert Rodale worried about tearing down the old house on the property without first doing some research.  So in 1974, Robert Rodale and Mayor Pierce Randall agreed that Rodale would donate the house to the borough, along with $10,000 in “seed money”, if an organization was established to research the history of the house, and raise an additional $10,000 from the community for restoration. In 1976 the "Friends of the 1803 House" was formed and restoration began. Elsie Yarema [pictured right] was a major key to the success or the restoration as she was there all of the time to make sure it was done correctly. The Friends of the 1803 House is a non-profit 501(c-3) corporation which administers the house as a museum. In 2003, the Friends of the 1803 House, placed the 1803 House on the National Register of Historic Places. Fund raising is through memberships, special events, corporate sponsorships, donations and grants. The Beginning of the Friends. For all published articles Go to Resources;
Our mission is to help preserve and maintain the 1803 House, as a museum for the community of Emmaus.
Below Pictures from 1976 [left] and Today [right]:

When standing at the 1803 House, what would you have seen looking around in the early 1800's?
West...village of Emmaus
East...stream and forest now called "South Mountain"
North...cleared farming fields
South...Moravian Church and God's Acre Cemetery


Who Built The 1803 House?:

Jacob Ehrenhardt Jr. built the 1803 House.  He was the son of Jacob Ehrenhardt Sr. who was one of the founders of Emmaus. Jacob Jr. was the youngest of 10 children of Jacob and Barbara Ehrenhardt. In 1782, Jacob Jr. who was 22, enlisted in the Northampton county Militia with 11 other men to fight in the Revolution, and was promptly removed from the Emmaus congregation which he had formally joined only about a month before.  In 1785 Jacob, Jr. married Susanna Saeger. Then In 1803, at the age 43, Jacob Jr. built this fine Federal Style house. At that time his girls were Barbara age 18, Anna Marie age 15, Anna Eleonora age 9 and Susanna age 6. Jacob, Jr. was known as a Revolutionary War soldier, a shoemaker and a builder. Jacob Jr. saw Emmaus grow from 92 residents in 1804 to approximately 130 at the time of his death in 1825. Because he went against the teaching of the Moravian faith, he was buried in God’s Acre, unrecorded and forgotten as a war hero. It wasn’t until the early 1930's that the Liberty Bell Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution found his name and the names of 11 men who serviced from Emmaus. They now are marked with the American flags in addition to a modest gravestone in the church cemetery. History of the 1803 House. For all published articles Go to Resources

The 1803 House Architecture:

Excerpt from "The Architecture of the 1803 House of Emmaus, Pennsylvania" [written by Richard Farmer]
In 1801 Jacob Ehrenhardt, Jr., age 43, decided to construct the house of their dreams - a house for his wife and four daughters. The house was constructed on a knoll at the base of South Mountain, just outside the original Moravian village of Emmaus, Pennsylvania. The house was oriented perfectly on the axes of true north, south, east and west with a small creek flowing by. Its German architectural elements included local field stone, a finely carved wooden doorway entrance, fireplaces, brick jack arches over the windows, and a well-crafted shutter system. The 1803 House Architecture. For all published articles Go to Resources

1803 House & Dale Earnhardt Jr.:

Why NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. was in Emmaus? 
 His Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather was Johannes Ehrenhardt who was the father of Jacob Ehrenhardt Sr. 
Morning Call article; or "Ramblings from the Bench"
For all published articles Go to Resources

1803 House Tours:

Step inside and go back in time to the early 1800's after the Moravians had settled in Emmaus. This beautiful renovated "time capsule" of the past is a vital link to our heritage and one of the oldest structures in the borough of Emmaus.  The 1803 House offers tours by appointment only for families, groups or individuals. Each tour is given by 1803 House Board members. Since we totally rely on donations to achieve our mission, we would greatly appreciate a donation. To Visit