William Gamber Farm
Manor Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

On 27 May 1717, Isaac Kaufmann (in English, Coffman) received a warrant for 300 acres in what became the northeast corner of Manor township, Lancaster county, PA. It was surveyed on 14 October 1717, and the patent finally issued on 11 November 1734. Among his close neighbors were David Herr (patent 3 June 1761), Hans Snider (warrant 26 November 1717), and John Bumgarner (apparently not of our Bumgarners) (surveyed 22 October 1736). Jacob Coffman received a plot nearby in 1733, and John Coffman in 1743. These were likely sons or brothers of Isaac. The northern boundary of the original Kaufmann grant is now the boundary between Manor and East Hempfield townships (and also Columbia Ave.), the east boundary that between Manor and Lancaster townships.

Improvements to the property included a house built in 1767 and another house built in 1785. In 1793, 180 1/2 acres of this property were purchased by Christian Stoner, who sold it to William Gamber about 8 years later. In 1807 William added a major barn to the property. A stone plaque rescued after the barn burnt about 1965 says "Erbauet durch William Gamber und Anna Gamber im Jahr 1807". Another plaque says "Rebuilt by Rudolph Gamber and Mary his wife Mary 16, 1853". (These stones are now in the root cellar of the 1767 house.)

In 1858, Henry S Gamber, probably the son of John Gamber born 1801 (exact relationship not yet determined, but possibly the second son of William) purchased from an heir of Isaac Kaufmann an adjacent plot of land on which he built a house. This building, with some additions, is now the Tobias S Frogg restaurant and bar on Columbia Ave (state road 462). A stone in the wall says "Built by Henry S Gamber AD 1858".

After the death of William in 1863, the property passed to his oldest son Rudolph. At the time, Rudolph was living in the 1767 house, William and his second wife in the 1785 house. William's grave marker reads "William Gamber, born Sept. 23rd, 1771, died Sept. 7th, 1863, aged 92 years 11 months and 11 days" (sic} The marker of his first wife Anna reads "Anna, wife of William Gamber, born July 1st, 1779, died Mar 4th, 1861, aged 82 years, {broken off} months, 1 day" (sic).

After the death of Rudolph in 1873 the house passed to his son John Landis Gamber. On his death in 1887 it passed to his son John Herr Gamber. John Herr had no children and on his death in 1955 the property passed to his nephew Ben Stauffer - son of John H's oldest sister Alice Herr Gamber who had married Benjamin Shenk Stauffer. Ben Stauffer divided the property, and in 1960 sold a part with the 1767 house (since enlarged, and with the address 155 Gamber Lane) to J L Dickerman. The 1785 house (now with the address 135 Gamber Lane) was purchased by James L Corrigan. Later when a development of the remaining farm property was proposed, Corrigan and Dickerman purchased the lane and some additional property for a total of about 6 acres. J L's son Steve lives on the lane also, in the house at the north end. This land is a green oasis adjoining the type of gray (literally) high density "suburban" development now so common around the US.

The farm had included a graveyard for the Kaufmann, Gamber and Stauffer families. The developer bulldozed that area. Dickerman saved several of the grave markers, which are now in the root cellar of his house.

To reach the farm, from Columbia Ave (SR 462), turn south on S Yale St (Hess gas station at corner), then right at the first corner (just past fire station) onto Temple, left at the first street Gamber Lane. The Tobias Frogg is 3 block further west on Columbia.

1767 house on left, wth later addition
Great room fireplace in 1767 house, with current owner Jereh Dickerman
House built by Henry Gamber 1858
View over what was lake on farm

last update 7 July 2002

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