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  • Ephrata Cloister

    A Householder Homecoming

Dear Friends,

We hope this message finds you and your family in good health.

The current pandemic has altered many parts of life. Unfortunately, it has forced the postponement of the Householder Homecoming at the Historic Ephrata Cloister scheduled for Saturday, August 1, 2020.

Postponing the program for a year until August 7, 2021 comes as a great disappointment to everyone involved. Currently, the Historic Ephrata Cloister remains closed to the public due to restrictions related to the Coronavirus, and we are unsure when the site will reopen. While we hope to return in the next few weeks, we also need time to prepare the site to again receive guests and insure their safety.

The history of your family’s connections to the historic site remains a strong part of the story we share with guests. While we can’t tell that story to you in person this year, we don’t want to miss the chance to share the historic community and the role of the Householders.

Michael Showalter, our Museum Educator, has spent nearly 40 years learning about the Ephrata Cloister and its married congregation. He has prepared a special 60 minute Zoom program we hope you’ll be able to join as a way to continue the spirit of the Homecoming in these new times we are living.

Titled, “Our Brethren Who Have Their Own Farms”: The Householders of Ephrata, the exclusive premier showing of this new program is being offered to all those who wished to be part of the Householder Homecoming at the historic site. This virtual visit will highlight the history of the 18th century Ephrata community and the palace your ancestors played in making it the most remarkable place in colonial America. We’ll finish the program with a chance for you to ask questions.

This special program will be held on Saturday, August 1 at 2:00 p.m. EST

More details about joining the event will be coming soon. Email for more information.

Until then, please continue to share the news about the Householder Homecoming in 2021, and continue to send any questions.

Stay safe and stay well.  

Friends and Staff of the Historic Ephrata Cloister.  


As the place where Ephrata began, the Ephrata Cloister holds connections to many of the area’s early families. To learn if your family is among those with ancestry connected to the historic site, click here to view the list of people currently recognized as members of the Ephrata Cloister and the subsequent Ephrata Congregation of the German Seventh Day Baptist Church (1732—1934).

The Historic Ephrata Cloister holds limited genealogical material.  Individuals are encouraged to begin their research at larger local libraries including The Historical Society of the Cocalico Valley, The Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, and LancasterHistory

Ephrata Cloister

Administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission:
Tom Wolf, Governor – Nancy Moses, Chair – Andrea Lowery, Executive Director

Ephrata Cloister is one of 26 historic sites and museums on the Pennsylvania Trail of History. For more information or to request a free 24-page visitor guide, visit or phone toll free 1-866-PATRAIL.

The Ephrata Cloister Associates is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, supporting the mission of preservation and education at this National Historic Landmark.

Anne Brossman Sweigart Charitable Foundation
Irene Weidman Charitable Foundation
Ephrata National Bank
Black Forest Brewery/Americana 1777 Inn