Text From the
United States Department of the Interior National Park Service

Submitted to the Pennsylvania Museum Commission by Estelle Cremers

Five Springs Farm
Rhoads/Lorah House & Barn


Name of Property:
Historic Name: Rhoads/Lorah House & Barn
Other Name: Five Springs Farm

Street Address: 1832 Old Swede Rd.
Town: Amity Township
State: Pennsylvania County: Berks
Zipcode: 19518




The Rhoads/Lorah House and Barn are located on Old Swede Road (present Route 662) near a cross-road known as Yellow House in Amity Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. The buildings center closely around the house and barn under ancient shade enhanced by modern ornamentals and foundation plantings. The buildings stand on the west side of the highway 350' back from the road and face eastward across the small constant flow of five springs through a meadow. The buildings consist of a ca. 1830, 2-1/2 story limestone Georgian house attached to an earlier 2-floor, one room per floor, stone house (making a T-shape), a matching, large in-tact stone barn carved "J.Rhoads Sep 14 AD 1830" on its closed frame forebay, a one-floor, half in-ground, stone springhouse of early date, a mid-20th century frame drive-thru corn crib, a one-floor frame machinery shed, and a 1950s free-standing 3-car garage.

House and barn  

There is on the nominated 6 acres (part of 11.4 acres) an ancient second spring under a much remodeled small brick secondary house, counted noncontributing. These buildings are counted as six contributing buildings (house, barn, spring-house, corn crib, machinery shed and garage) and one noncontributing building (the modified secondary house). A small frame building, said to be a chicken house, is not counted as it appears to have been moved in from elsewhere. The property is in excellent condition.

  House & Spring house  

The ca.1830 House: (Contributing)


The 2-1/2 floor 42'x20' circa 1830 Georgian house faces east toward Route 662. It is built of local limestone, five bays wide with a centered front door approached by several steps up to a small stone-floored landing. The Body family (who owned the farm from 1930 to 1999) declare that the entrance was originally covered with a gable-roofed hood supported on two slender posts, and that they removed the hood in 1950. Presently, the original single, 6-paneled entrance door is held within original reeded columns rising to corner blocks at the top moving into a simple 1950 flat wooden pediment attached directly to the stone wall. There is a 4-pane transom over the recessed door. All windows are flanked by wooden, three-panel shutters held in place by long wrought iron hooks. There are two 15-pane windows per floor on both the north and the south side walls of the ca.1830 house and two 4-pane windows at attic level. The cellar is entered on the south side of the house by a half in-ground entry with a brick-arched doorway. The kitchen forms the rear 7', or west side of the house. It holds its own entrance door and one 6/6 window to the south and a repeat of the same on the north side where an enclosed shed frame porch originally collected coats and boots from the barn. This north side porch was turned into an office in the 1970s and in 2004 converted into a modern kitchen.

House East side  

Internally, the Georgian front section holds one room per floor on either side of a 7'-wide central hallway. Ceilings are a generous 9' high on both floors with four windows per room. There are no chains or weights in any windows. The windows on the first floor are 9/6 and on the second floor are 6/9, probably the original division.1 The centered front door opens into the hallway, and there is a back hallway door into the original kitchen.. There is a chimney on each gable end of the building servicing fireplaces in two of the four rooms. (See Floor Plan) There is no fireplace in the first floor south room, and no fireplace in the second floor north room. No support, or evidence of support, is found in the basement (or above) that any fireplaces might have been removed. A built-in corner cupboard is featured in each of the first floor rooms, each with a 9 glass-paned upper door and a solid lower door. All inside doors hold German-style box locks.


The center hall runs the full depth of the Georgian section. It is lighted by the 4-pane transom over the six-panel single front door. The stairs are about 40" wide, bannistered to the south or hall side. Each step is finished on the hall side with original applied carpenter scroll-work. The hall leads westward directly into the original kitchen. The stairway rises to a landing. The landing, in turn, bears left, then left again to continue three more steps east into the second floor front hall, and right three steps up into the bedroom over the kitchen. Spreading upwards both ways, the landing is called a 'butterfly' landing. It makes possible the second floor connection from the front bedrooms to the rear bedroom over the kitchen. The Body family again say this second floor connection of the back bedroom to the front hallway was a change they made not long after their 1930s purchase.

Front Hall  

The stairway continues open to the third floor where it is closed off with a wide-plank pine wall and door. The attic, or half floor under the eaves, which originally held two small 4-pane windows on each gable end, was divided into a north and a south bedroom by addition of one double-windowed dormer to the west in each of its now two rooms ... again, a 1930/40s feature by the Body family.

Although the outside stonework matches well the stonework of the Georgian front of the house, the undated 17' X17' stone kitchen gives evidence of having preceded the building date of the formal front section. This is evidenced strongly in the basement where there are four 2' thick stone walls and a large stone arch supporting the fireplace above that clearly preceded the Georgian basement. Still evident is the stairway tucked beside the fireplace that connected basement and all floors of this one-room, two floor & loft building. Today the stairway has been converted into closets on both the first and second floors. The stairs to the unfinished loft above the back bedroom are still intact behind a second floor door. There is no internal connection between the loft above the back bedroom and the third floor of the Georgian house.

  Keeping Room

The inside measurements of the almost 8 foot wide keeping room fireplace are 3-1/2 feet deep by 5' high. The hearth is brick. Original iron crane and trammel bars and hooks remain along with the iron door that once connected a bake oven to the inside hearth. The outside bake oven has been removed at an unknown date. Stains on the outside wall declare its position. The stains would suggest that it had a gable-covered protective roof over the oven. There is a deep candle niche in the right side of the fireplace. As fireplace cooking was replaced with free-standing stoves, doors were fitted to the big, now drafty kitchen fireplaces. These wooden doors, found in the barn, have been returned to their early position.


The inner east wall of this kitchen (now keeping room) holds four doors side-by-side. The south door enters the south or dining room of the Georgian section, the next door enters the hallway, the third door opens into the cellar stairway of the Georgian basement, and the north door enters the parlor of the Georgian section. The north wall holds the same formation as the south - one outside door and one window. The porch that originally stood there was enclosed in the 1950s by the Bodys, and has been remade in 2004 into a 13.4' square modern kitchen. The old kitchen with fireplace facility may have stood unto itself or it may have serviced a more primitive house (possibly log) than the present Georgian four-room & hall house, but no records have been found to verify either possibility.

Keping room East  

The 1830 Barn: (Contributing)


The 66'x 41' limestone barn compliments the limestone five-bay Georgian house. It is a stone east-facing, closed-bay Standard Pennsylvania Barn. (Dombusch Type H or Ensminger Class II, Type A.) 2 The two gable stone ends enclose and support the forebay with Peilereck corners, into which a cupboard has been made in the south corner to hold curry combs, straps, etc. The gable ends are stone with slatted ventilation openings. The forebay is vertically sided between the Peilereck corners. There are four cattle doors and two 'people' doors to the east under the forebay. A four-lite transom tops each door.

Barn - East side  
  Barn South Side

The south gable wall has a shingled pent roof the full distance of the south stone wall under which are two horse stall doors. The pent and the doors have been shielded against west winds with a boarded windbreak to the west. There were two (possibly three) horse stalls on this south end of the stable under the pent eave. Two of these horse stall doors were replaced by a modern 6-panel door and a 12-pane modem window in the 1960s to make an office for the Body poultry farm. An original 4-pane window remains east of the door. A horse stall on the southeast corner is accessed from the east facade under the overhang. "Cattle bars" remain in the frames of these horse doors.


The west side (or back) of the barn turns its corners in stone with four side-by-side, full height barn doors in the center on original long iron hinges. The doors have been remade but the original hinges reused. The doors are approached by a gentle, mounded-earth ramp. The north side of the barn holds two single sash 6-pane windows at cattle level and a window at the gable. There are four slatted ventilation openings. There is a small one-room, one floor, concrete ‘milkhouse' 12'x8' room, attached in the 1940s, to the northeast corner, flush with the east wall of the barn. Its entrance door and a small window face east.

Barn West Side  
  Barn Interior

Internally, the threshing floor, granary, flooring, bents and ladders are original to 1830. (See barn floor plan.) There are two 'throw-down' doors in the eastern wooden forebay of the barn floor and three 6-pane windows. Evidence remains of an original outside stairs from the barn floor down to ground level (on the outside of the stable) and under the forebay overhang. The stable has been modified from its original dirt-floored enclosures to meet 20th century dairy regulations with concrete floor, feeding troughs, and gutters. One row has been adapted still later with slatted racks for hay feeding of beef cattle.


The Spring House: (Contributing) -->

There is a one-room, half in-ground stone spring-house, of even date with, or before, the Georgian house, in front of the Georgian dwelling house. The building is roofed with a moss-covered, gabled, wood shingle roof. Entrance is in the south gable end down three or four stone steps. An outside stoned basin catches the springhead outside to the left of the steps. Inside, there is a poured cement floor surrounded on two sides with flowing water into which 40-quart milk cans were lowered for cooling. The building is 13' long by 12' wide with a vaulted ceiling holding embedded hooks and evidence of a roof ventilation vent. Pit holes are found in the side walls that once supported plank shelves for food pans and puddings. There is one small 4-pane window in the north wall. This building and the springs under and near the Brick-over-stone-Spring House (the noncontributing secondary house) are connected by a stone-walled ditch between them. The gravel entrance driveway, only one-car wide, bridges over this ditch.

Spring House  

<-- Garage: (Contributing)

Built in 1950, this stone, 3-car garage is built into a gentle hillside behind the house "T" and the secondary house and measures 33'x 24'. With roll-up doors, it has a 'person' entrance door on the north side. It sets part in-ground and faces east with a gable roof. The south gable wall holds a wooden, outside stairs to its loft. There are no windows,


The Brick-Over-Stone Spring House/Guest House: (The Secondary House) (Noncontributing) -->

Only the width of a driveway separates the Georgian house from the small 2-bay brick-over-stone-basement Secondary House. Believed by local residents to have first been a simple, covered spring, entered by five descending fieldstone steps on its eastern side, it became a useful work or wash house by ca.1830 with the addition of a small 2-floor, one-room-over-one, 2-bay stack house built on top of the spring. The first floor of this standing, 2-bay, 18' square building is entered from the west side. The first and second story walls are soft hand-made brick under a thincoat of stucco, the bricks roughly dating with early brick kilns in the region dating to the 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 19th century. Original heating of this small, stack house-over-spring was probably by open fireplace, long disappeared, and replaced in the 1950s by an outside block chimney to vent a small springroom furnace. Floor patching on the second floor of the brick section indicate that the second floor may have been first accessed by a ladder stairway on the north wall. In the 1950s, the Body family added a one-room, two floor cinder block addition to the south with an open-sided, screened deep porch overlooking the glade or hollow where other springs begin.

Guest House  

The cement block basement under the 1950s addition is now connected to the springroom of the first stone basement by a wide-board slab door, suggesting that an outdoor, larger spring enclosure may once have joined the stoned room of the first section. No date has been offered to confirm the original building period, but evidence of early construction of the first 1-over-1 section above the stoned spring is apparent in rough, wide-board flooring and primitive workmanship. So useful has been the presence of this little building, that every generation has considered it an asset for work, storage, or extra space, without concern for style. Since 2003, with modernized kitchen and bath facility, it is used as a guest house. Because it has been so considerably modernized and doubled in size, it is considered historically Noncontributing even though its original spring and first building date are early components of the Rhoads/ Lorah House and Barn nomination.

  corn crib

<-- Drive-through Corn Crib: (Contributing)

Directly west of the barn is the Drive-through Corn Crib, a gabled building measuring 30' x 23.8'. The center drive-through is enclosed with doors on both ends and is dirt floored. The corn cribs on either side speak to years of corn production on the farm.

Machinery Shed: (Contributing)

Standing to the rear and west of the corn crib is a wooden building on a stone foundation, 18' long by 20' deep with a 27' lean-to on the north end. As a machinery shed, it stored any machinery that was not housed elsewhere on the farm.


Chicken House: (Not counted)

A small 20'x12' frame, one room building presently stands in front of the barn and milk house. It is termed a chicken house and may be a remnant of the 1940s/50s/60s chicken/ brooder business of Henry Body. As a small hen house standing close in front of the barn and facing toward the cattle entrance to the barn, it is an unlikely position for a chicken house. It appears to have been repositioned from somewhere else on the farm at some unknown date and does not rest on permanent foundations.


Small Pond: (Not counted) -->

A small pond is seen in front of the barn. Built about 1950, when farm ponds were encouraged as insurance premium rate-reducers to farm owners, it is little more than a scooped-out hollow to impound flow from the five springs with a mounded higher northeast end. There is no apparent mortared dam-brest and it is probably no more than 8' at its deepest. Local memory recalls a 'natural fountain' between this pond and the NE end of the house where now there is only a circular metal cap at ground level. Water exits from the pond by ground release into the natural spring flow of the other springs.

All buildings are in good-to-excellent condition and, with the exception of the 'chicken' house, in their original positions. The matched architecture of the house and barn, 'though not unusual in this farming region, is well-executed and indicative of the widespread pride-in-ownership of the region.


Statement of Significance:

Area of Significance: Architecture
Period of Significance: ca. 1830

The Rhoads/Lorah House and Barn, built ca.1830, is a product of the dissemination of the Georgian/ Federal aesthetic in Berks County, and an example of adaptation of the work of two regionally prominent master builders, Conrad Henry and Gottlieb Drexel, of the post-1800 period,. Often operating in tandem, their work can be found from the Oley Valley region into Reading and the surrounding neighborhoods and counties. The Rhoads/Lorah House and Barn meet National Register Criterion C in the area of Architecture as an example of adaptive use of regional components scaled to an admiring farmer's purse, and as a fine example of progressive architecture among the German farmers. Building on several generations of Rhoads participation in a successful farming community, this nomination clearly illustrates the cautious growing awareness of architectural style within a farming region. The Rhoads/Lorah House and Barn is important to the broad architectural history of eastern Berks County.

Coming out of the 183 acre farm pioneered by Johann Jacob Rhoads in the 18th century, this 19th century set of buildings clearly shows the family progression into a more comfortable abode and awareness of architectural trends. It retains in barn and land-use much of its inherited agrarian culture, while the house speaks to a greater allotment of time to the pleasantries of life. As the Rhoads family became leaders in the farming community of Amity and Oley townships, they participated in the growing architectural standards appearing in their communities.

Early known to inhabiting Lenni-Lenape Indians as The Place of Five Springs, a 183 acre pioneer farm was purchased by Johann Jacob Rhoads, II, from John Campbell's estate sometime between 1742 and 1750. Johann.Jacob was a son of 1717 immigrant, Johannes Rodt (Rhoads) and his wife, Maria. who brought three sons, Johann Konrad, Johann Jacob, and Matthias, with them to the 10,000 acre Swede's Tract in upper Philadelphia County (later Berks County). The Campbell parcel, a second generation Rhoads purchase in the township, was bought by Johann Jacob Rhoads, II, and wife, Magdalena. They raised a family of 10 children on the 183 acre farm that lapped the early Swede's Road. Jacob died in 1798, a widower of many years. In 1785, Jacob wrote his Will devising the 183 acres to his youngest sort, Daniel (1752-1825) with whom he lived. The family home, a plain, added-to farmhouse, is on the east side of Old Swede's Road. Daniel and Magdalena (Kerst) Rhoads were parents of 13 children, four of which did not reach majority. Daniel's Will devised the 183 acres to seven (of eleven) sons, and $600 to his only living daughter, Mary, who would marry neighbor, George Lorah. Jacob and John, the oldest living sons, purchased their siblings' rights to become sole owners of the farm. Neither Jacob nor John married. They continued the general farming practices begun by their father and grandfather with little change until after their father died.

By 1825, animal husbandry was appearing as more than a cow or two and a few sheep, hogs, and chickens for the table (as well as for wool, hides and feather beds). The Rhoads 'boys' moved with the times. With no clear lead from Rhoads or Lorah descendants, it is assumed that, since the oldest brothers, Jacob and John, bought out their siblings, they were the active farmers on the 183 acres and lived in the original Rhoads homestead until after their father died. At some point, John moved across the road to whatever primitive dwelling may have been standing there, and in 1830, built the gray limestone house and matching barn, the barn bearing his initials and the date, 1830, on the barn forebay. After 1845, when Jacob died, the eastern side was rented to brother Abraham's son, Jonah, and, in 1859, sold to him by John.

Mary Rhoads married neighbor George Lorah a few years after father Daniel died. A daughter was born in 1831 and another in 1840, and George died shortly thereafter. John Rhoads wrote his Will in 1859 devising the "new buildings" with roughly 54 acres to his now widowed sister, Mary Lorah, and her two daughters. John Rhoads died in 1861.

Mary Rhoads, 20 years younger than her bachelor brothers, married George Lorah between 1825 and 1831 when their first child was born. They may have lived on the adjacent Lorah farm until George died in the 1840s or they may have participated in building the Georgian front to an earlier kitchen and lived on the farm of this nomination. In 1859, John Rhoads' Will recites the bounds of 54 acres 50 perches to be set off "to my sister, Mary Lorah."

John's Will is the most descriptive document found to date of the physical layout of the western side of the Rhoads farm, indicating that John by that time was living with his widowed sister on the west side of the highway. Brother Abraham was living on non-original Rhoads land adjoining to the west and received watering rights "at the hydrant back of my orchard ... with privilege to replace the hydraulic ram and feeding pipe thereof; near my dwelling from whence the water proceeds." These were provided for Abraham's use. The Will continues to the "lower (southern) part of my said Plantation," and speaks of a dam "near the line of Abraham Rhoad's land, to convey or drain it in'and along the ditch now made for that purpose, through said Mary's land, across the road into the meadow of the said lower farm ..." This lengthy description points up the importance of the farm and its water as opposed to buildings and who lived where.

The matched quality of the standing Georgian-fronted house and the dated barn are strong indications that they were built in approximately the same 1830 time period. Whether built by John Rhoads or George Lorah cannot be answered at this time. That the Georgian-fronted house was there and occupied by Mary Lorah and her daughters before John Rhoads wrote his Will is undeniable. Further Mary Lorah's residence is so noted on maps until she died in 1881 devising the 54 acres to her eldest daughter, Ella Louisa, and husband, Hiram Ludwig. The Ludwigs lived on and farmed the acreage 44 years increasing its size to 76 acres 118 perches. In 1925, the property devolved to the three living Ludwig daughters, each of whom had homes elsewhere. In 1927, the sisters sold the 76 acres to Henry A. Body, a poultry farmer in the area.

The Henry Body family made certain changes to the house, mostly internal (the stairway landing connection to the back bedroom and turning the north back porch into an office room). They built a large brooder house in the south field. This building has been razed within the last few years. No longer needing as much acreage for a poultry farm as the Rhoads and Lorahs had maintained as a full service farm, Body sold off much of the north and northwestern acreage over the next 50 years. Henry died in 1981, and his widow, Dorothy, continued to live there until 1999, when her estate sold the buildings and the remaining 11.4 acres to Carter P. and Sarah C. Reese of Reading, and they, in 2001, to David and Liz Goldfarb of New York, present owners.


The Architecture:

Limestone farmhouses and matching barns are a part of the German and Georgian tradition of southeastern Berks County. The Rhoads/Lorah farmhouse and barn are part of that tradition.

The seven southeastern townships are dotted along main roads as well as back roads with a diversity of farmhouse and village design on the Georgian/Federal theme. Usually well balanced five-bay facades and almost always two-and-a-half stories high, they are two-rooms per floor separated with a central stair hall, usually with an off set kitchen extending to the rear. The trend-setter was the Fisher 1801 farmhouse just north of Yellow House documented as the product of stone-mason, Gottlieb Drexel and carpenter, Conrad Henry. A full-blown example of a beautifully balanced 5-bay facade with a singularly identifiable, detailed cornice, the Fisher House, and others like it, are top-of-the-line architectural examples of use of Georgian balance and design in the region. The interior wide hall of the Fisher House is flanked by a room on either side and a working kitchen to the rear. There is decorative interior detailing in first and second floor rooms.

Fisher House
Fisher House, Oley Township
  Rhoads Lorah Farmhouse
Rhoads-Lorah Farmhouse, Amity Township

The Rhoads/Lorah House and Barn relate to this Georgian pattern, clearly opting for the balance and grace of the Drexel/Henry style but on a more modest scale either by choice or necessity. Choosing specific elements of the Drexel/Henry style - such as 9' ceilings, gracious center hall, (though not quite as wide as in the Fisher House), and 6/9-pane windows (where the Fisher House has 12/12 pane windows), but not the singular cornice which most surely came at a high price - the Rhoads/ Lorah house carries the Georgian style in more modest degree. Missing elements found in other examples of this style in the area are prominent keystone lintels over the windows and a water drip course below the first floor or a belt course above. A four-paned transom over the front door substitutes for the fan transom. None of these missing elements detract from the general substantial and gracious appearance of the Rhoads/Lorah House. It simply states in more modest fashion approval and awareness of a trend in architecture.

John Rhoads' use of the words 'new' buildings in his 1859 Will begs the question of how long one can continue to call buildings new. Was he thinking in terms of five years? ten years? or almost 3I) years? In light of the Rhoads homestead across the road, which would have been close to 100 years old, thirty years may still have seemed 'new.' Without firm documentation in taxes or census, we cannot know.3


That bachelor, John Rhoads, claimed ownership is evidenced in his name above the date on the barn. But at 1830, Jacob was also living and Mary just married. Many scenarios can be imagined between the two Rhoads brothers and their newly married brother-in-law, but none positively date the building of the house. It may have been a wedding gift at c.1830 to sister, Mary and George Lorah from the Rhoads family. We do not know. We do know that Mary Lorah lived there until 1881 when she died, and that her daughter, Ella Louise, and husband, Hiram Ludwig, continued as owners and farmers to live there until both were dead by 1925.

The house was brought into the modern age by the new owners, Henry and Dorothy Body, in the 1930s and '40s in the form of indoor running water, plumbing and central heat. The stairway landing was connected to the back bedroom at this time, and in the late 1940s, the attic was divided into two bedrooms with the west-facing double dormers. Henry Body reduced the 76 acres by several sales during the next 30 years, and his widow and sons reduced it still more after Henry's death in 1981 to bring the parcel down to its present 11.4 acres. A six acre portion thereof with buildings is the thrust of this nomination.

Barn Date  


Laying between Boyertown and Reading, at Yellow House on Route 562 (the Boyertown Pike to Reading), Amity Township is in the path of burgeoning modem development. The area known as Yellow House is rapidly building into lot developments of varying size; but Yellow House itself is bordered on the north by Oley Township which, almost in its entirety, is a National Register District. The Rhoads/Lorah House & Barn relates strongly to the Oley heritage.

In addition to the above mention of the Fisher House two miles north of Yellow House, there are numerous examples of Georgian or Federal architecture in the region. They will break into full-blown examples of the Drexel/Henry high style Georgian thru less complete appearances. The group is represented by the Knabb House, the Lapp House, the Hunter House, and others, all in the full enthusiasm of tastefully and artistically embellishing a light gray limestone, 5-bay, center hall, balanced two-and-one-half floor facade. The Rhoads/Lorah House and Barn is a prime example of local awareness of style in the area and a judicious application of such to whatever degree one felt proper for his own particular needs. That the Rhoads/Lorah farmhouse forms a bridge between the full Drexel/ Henry examples and the simple, plain but substantial farmhouse for a mid-sized farm. Non-extravagant, the Rhoads/Lorah House and Barn is a middle step between the full-blown architecture of the near-by 1801 Fisher House and other Georgian houses of the region and the plain, unadorned but substantial, often added-to, early farmhouse. As such, it is important that it be recognized as vital to the progression of architectural history in the Berks County farm community.

Major Bibliographical References:

Berks County Court House, Reading, Pa. Recorder of Deeds, Register of Wills, and Agricultural Conservation Office (Amity Township) Tax records unavailable.

Census Records: Internet for Amity Township, Berks County. [Meager]

Croll, Rev. P.C. - Annals of the Oley Valley. Chapter VI (Fisher) Reading Eagle Press. 1926.

Huber, Randall B. - "The Legend of Gottlieb Drexel, A Re-evaluation of History." Historical Review of Berks County. Winter 1998-1999. page 10

Montgomery, Morton L. - History of Berks County in Pennsylvania. "Amity Township" Everts, Peck & Richards, Philad. 1886

Montgomery, Morton L. - Historical & Biographical Annals of Berks County, Pa. J.J.Beers & Co. 1909. Chapters IV & VI - Nationalities and Agriculture.

Pencil Points Reference lost. Ca. 1930s/40s. Article on Gottlieb Drexel and the Fisher Farm.

Pendleton, Philip E. - Oley Valley Heritage, The Colonial Years 1700-1775. Oley Valley Heritage Association. 1994. Chapters 2 & 3. plus special mention of Rhoads & Greiner families.


Mrs. Alice Kutz, 96 years old - close friend of the Body family. 2003
Her husband built the porch/kitchen towards the barn for the Bodys. Albert Kutz - son of above -10/2112005

John Body, Trexlerville. Lived on the farm after 1930.

Mr. & Mrs. Lorah, Lobachsville, Oley Twsp., 10/15/2005

Leon Berndt - Douglassville. Lived on John Rhoads farm during the 1940s.

10/16/2005 Internet searchs by David Goldfarb
Bierman, Guy L. 'Descendants of Johann Jacob Rodt,' http://freepages, genealogy.rootsweb.com/~bierhaus/Rhoads/index.htm. May 4, 2003.

Geographical Data:

Verbal Boundary Description:

Beginning at the northeast corner of the property where a dirt/gravel driveway leads from the west edge of Pennsylvania Route 662 into the Rhoads/Lorah buildings, move westward along the center of the driveway approximately 500 feet passing close by the north side of the 1830 barn to a surveyor's pin set for a corner in the driveway. Thence move southward approximately 400 feet along the Rhoads/ Lorah west boundary line to a point about half-way of the full Rhoads/Lorah west boundary line; thence, leaving the west boundary line, turn eastward at a 90* angle and draw a straight line about 450' to Route 662; and thence follow along the western edge of the highway R/W, following the curve in the road, to the place of beginning Containing approximately half (or 6 acres) of the almost 12 acre current property size.

Boundary Justification:

Current plot size of the Rhoads/Lorah - now David & Liz Goldfarb - property is 11.4 acres with all the buildings oriented eastward to the early Old Swede's Road (Route 662). Since the buildings are clustered in the northwest quadrangle of the 11+ acres, and the property is being presented as eligible under architecture, (no longer producing agricultural products), only the acreage around and in the viewshed of the buildings have been included in this presentation. The unincluded south roughly six acre field holds only one remnant of the Body 1930-1980 poultry business - a frame, not large, and in poor condition turkey run. It neither adds nor detracts from the ambiance of the property. A larger brooder house in this field was demolished some years after 1980. For these reasons, the six acre south field was dropped from the nomination.

The meadow that lies between the buildings and Route 662, on the other hand, is part and parcel of the charm and setting of the architecturally important limestone house and barn. They cannot be separated one from the other anymore than the barn could be important without its house or vice versa. They, together, with the meadow, the spring runs, all of which are on the nominated half; and such accompanying smaller buildings as remain tucked close-by to declare the seat of a surviving family endeavor and an architecturally important generational residence.


  1. It is locally thought that the first floor windows (9/6) have been reversed because of wear and more frequent use, and that the second floor 6/9 with less wear was probably the original setting.
  2. Ensminger, Robert F. The Pennsylvania Barn. Pg. 124-125 & 214.
  3. Berks County taxes are unavailable for this period. I have been told on the telephone that they have the tax records, only to find when I get there that they do not. I will continue to search.