Manheim Historical Society honors Manheim couple

By on July 5, 2017

Jeff and Anna Mae Enck’s historic home at 2 S. Charlotte St., Manheim, was honored with a Red Rose Award recently.

History abounds in Manheim, and the Manheim Historical Society is dedicated to preserving that past. The organization’s annual Red Rose Award recognizes preservation efforts in the Manheim Central area. It was presented to Jeff and Anna Mae Enck in May.

The couple was recognized for their efforts to preserve their home at 2 S. Charlotte St., which anchors a part of Manheim’s Market Square. Society Vice Director Dave Balmer and Curator Bea Kreiner presented the award, a glass rose hand-blown by the artisans at Stiegel Glassworks 1976, to the Encks.

They’ve owned the home since March 1994.

“I am the man on the ladder,” Jeff Enck said with a laugh as he explained that he recently scraped old paint off and repainted the house, parts of which date to the 1760s. As part of that project, he also scraped and painted the barn.

He also recreated the front porch. It was during that process that he found discovered the original yellow-and-green paint scheme.

“As I was working on the porch project, I scraped some of the wood and found the original yellow paint,” he recalls. “When we bought it, the house was painted maroon and dark gray — Baron colors. I was excited to see the yellow, which is what I remember as a kid.”

He said that the rear balcony and courtyard is what made the couple fall in love with the house.

“We lived on Grant Street and didn’t need any more space. I was never fond of scraping and painting, but we knew it would be a high-maintenance property,” Enck said. “We enjoy living on the Square, even though some of the tractor-trailers rattle the house. I’ve become interested in researching the history of the property.”

The property’s history is interwoven with not only the history of Manheim and our nation, but also the historical society. When the borough was originally laid out by founder Henry William “Baron” Stiegel, the property was Lot 108. Jeff Enck explained that at that time there were two buildings on the site, one of which was the two-story log home. That log portion exists today as the front two rooms and two upstairs rooms of the home.

A former summer kitchen with a large fireplace is also incorporated into the home. Enck said the summer kitchen also featured a well, which has been covered. He related that when it was covered, coins that had been tossed into the well, were removed and melted into a commemorative coin for the fire company.

The property was purchased from Stiegel by Francis Hopkinson of New Jersey, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the man credited with designing the first American flag. A friend of Stiegel, Hopkinson never lived in Manheim. In 1778, he leased the property to Robert Morris, another signer of the Declaration of Independence.

It’s had a number of other owners, including David and Minnie Missimer, who purchased the property in 1929. Their daughter, Kathryn, married a gentleman, Mr. Weil, who operated an antique shop in New York City. Eventually David Missimer and Mr. Weil became partners and opened an antique shop in the barn on the property.

Anna Mae and Jeff Eck (left) were recently honored with a Red Rose Award. Presenting the hand-crafted award are Manheim Historical Society Vice Director Dave Balmer (holding the award) and Curator Bea Kreiner. The award was hand-crafted by the glass blowers at Stiegel Glassworks 1976. (Photos by Rochelle Shenk)

In 1964, the property was purchased by the Manheim Historical Society, which was formed that same year, for use as a museum. As a tribute to its former owners, it was known as the Missimer-Weil House. The house served as a museum, while the barn served as a gift shop. Because of the rising cost of insurance, the museum was closed in 1968. It was sold, changing owners until the Encks purchased it. For seven years Anna Mae Enck operated a gift shop, Treasures of Missimer-Weil, on the property.

“We do love the house and barn,” Enck said. “We feel more like we’re caretakers than owners, but we’ve made it our home.”

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at RAASHENK@aol.com.

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