The Amish Farm and House are situated at the corner of Witmer Road and Route 30 on Lincoln Highway East in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The 15 acre working farm is open all year round, seven days a week except on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. The Amish Farm & House provides visitors with an educational experience reflecting both the historical and contemporary Amish way of life in Lancaster County.
The site dates as far back as 1715 when Pennsylvania's founder William Penn gave it to colonial Governor John Evans, at a time when settlers from Europe were arriving in the region. Construction of the current farmhouse began in 1805 and over the next 150 years its residents, who were Quakers, Mennonites and Amish operated it as Pennsylvania German farm. Eventually it became the first tourist attraction in Lancaster County when it opened to the public in 1955.
The tour guide staff comprises 90 percent natives of Lancaster County with the remaining 10 percent having lived in Lancaster Countymost of their lives. Most grew up around the Amish and are personal friends with many Amish people. Staff at the site includes current and retired school teachers and educators, retired business people and professionals, retired tour operators and students during their summer breaks.
The centerpiece of the visit is the two hundred year old house, which includes a 45 minute guided tour. The front room shows how the Amish of Lancaster County hold church services in their homes. This overview tells visitors why the Amish do this and how the religion shapes their lifestyle.
The kitchen is a room where Amish people spend much of their time, and here visitors can learn more about Amish education. The bedrooms illustrate how minimalist the d,cor is, with colorful quilts and simple furniture. The clothing hangs on the walls, and more information about how the Amish dress and why this hasn't changed for 300 years.
Many of the historic farm buildings are still standing up to 200 years after they were built. The tour of the farm features a look at these buildings including a stone bank barn dating back to 1803 with many farm animals. The tobacco shed has displays of tobacco and memorabilia, whilst there is also an authentic Conestoga wagon dating back to the mid 19th century.
Amish education is further explored in the Willow Lane One-Room Schoolhouse, which was opened on the farm in 2006. It was designed to accurately mimic an Amish one-room schoolhouse and contains a working gas stove, gas lights and artwork created by local Amish children. Special 15 minute presentations can be given on request for groups of 15 or more.
A countryside tour package is offered by staff at the farm, which takes approximately 90 minutes and takes in other Amish countryside areas in Lancaster County. Visitors can take home souvenirs of their trip, which can be bought at the gift shop adjacent to the farmhouse. As well as food items there are products made at the farm and other Amish related items.