Oldest private home in Lititz is for sale

By on October 24, 2018

The oldest private home in Lititz is for sale.

Known as “The Warden House,” this unique dwelling, is located at 121 E. Main St., was built in 1757.

On Sept. 22 of that year, work began with the construction of the foundation of the home. The first private home in Lititz, the structure was originally built by Lewis (Ludwig) Cassler, who was a shoemaker and tanner in what was then a closed Moravian-only community. Cassler would eventually settle into the home one year after the town was founded with his second wife, and their children.

The next occupant was Rev. Abraham Reinke, who was given the job of warden for the town &tstr; a duty which in those days was very similar to a mayor. It was an era when Lititz was comprised of about only 277 residents, and properties were leased from the Moravian Church. The next person to live in the home was John Gottlow Kummer. He had served as the principal of Linden Hall until he was asked to act as the warden for the religious community and congregation.

An early sketch of the 1757 “Warden House.” Image courtesy of the Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, PA.

Julius Beckler was the next occupant. He would also serve as the principal of Linden Hall. But in 1862, he began a girls’ school of his own in the Pilgerhaus, which was situated next door to his home. The home was connected to the school by a doorway on the second floor, which provided easy access for Beckler to travel from one place to the other throughout the day.

 

A 1955 view of the “Warden House” in downtown Lititz

History tells us that he was somewhat eccentric, and desired his building to be taller than Linden Hall. So, he added a widow’s walk at the top. Later, Linden Hall added two widow’s walks of their own, and shortly after that, Beckler’s school went out of business. The last member of the Beckler family to occupy the structure would be his daughter, Olga, who lived there until her death in 1934.

Several decades later, the home was beautifully restored in 1953 and 1954 by Carl Drepperd. Drepperd was curator of Landis Valley Museum and was a noted Lancaster County historian. The home would next be purchased by the current owners, who would continue to preserve the historical integrity of the home.

Cory Van Brookhoven is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your comments at cvanbrookhoven@lnpnews.com or 717-721-4423. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *