“Why is Glenn Longenecker buying so many antiques?” It was June 2017, and I noticed cousin Glenn was outbidding antique dealers at our Aunt Ruthie’s property sale. He was sitting under the sales tent with several items he already bought huddled around his feet.
“Don’t you know he has a collection of old Longenecker stuff somewhere on his farm?” came the reply.
I had to know more. So, during my book tour last month, (September 2019), my husband, sister Jean, and I visited Glenn and Sharon’s farm off the Maytown Road in western Lancaster County.
The Farm and Museum
The immaculate Longenecker farm, once a dairy and pig farm, now raises crops of soybeans, corn, and guineas for sale to upscale restaurants in New York City.
One of the buildings (approximately 50′ x 150′) shown on the aerial view above contains farm memorabilia and more . . .
We were fascinated to find signs from my father’s shop, Longenecker Farm Supply, a1947 calendar with the H. R. Longenecker imprint, (Grandpa Henry), a “secretary” from Grandma and Aunt Ruthie Longenecker’s sitting room, and Grandma Fannie’s quilting frame!
Farmer’s wife Sharon is a quilter too and not bashful about showing off her exquisite quilts”
Sharon and Glenn with son Jamie in the background!
And much more! Dolls, and pitchforks; a cash register, a barn with a shingled roof, each shingle placed, one piece at a time, possibly with tweezers.
A model train, a butter churn . . .
A music box with handle that plays the old time “Bringing in the Sheaves”!
BringingSheavesMusicBox_6590 (Click to play)
We saw nearly a dozen famous Zook 3-D paintings. Aaron and Abner Zook, identical Amish twins, created intricate paintings with Amish farm themes in the last century, large art that often appears in restaurants and museums even now across the county.
Of course we saw nearly half a dozen tractors, here one with son Jamie, giving details . . .
But taking center stage was Glenn’s prized 1960s Pontiac GTO, ensconced by the famous Exxon tigers. (Remember? Put a tiger in your tank!)
My father, Ray Longenecker, and cousin Glenn’s father, Howard (son of Phares Longenecker) can trace their lineage from Ulrich Longenecker, who migrated from Switzerland, via Germany and the Netherlands in 1733. The next links in the chain were another Ulrich, two sons named Christian, a son John, and finally his son Levi Longenecker, who had three sons: Elmer, Ira, and Henry, my paternal grandfather.
Cousin Howard Longenecker was best man at my parents’ wedding. Ray and Ruth Longenecker and Howard with his wife Pearl celebrated their 25th anniversary together.
* * *
Well, I can see why Sharon isn’t bashful…her quilts are stunning. Thank you for taking us on this fantastic tour, Marian. I could spend hours in that museum. As someone who used to collect music boxes, I enjoyed listening to Bringing in the Sheaves.
What you didn’t hear was Sharon’s infectious laugh. She is the most ambitious farmer’s wife I know. In our conversation, she talked about rounding up guineas (by hand) to get them to market. I guess she quilts in the winter. I don’t know when she’d have time otherwise. From the looks of things, she is busy, busy keeping up her house and garden. Thanks for being “first responder” today, Jill!
Good morning, Marian! Jill beat me to first responder this morning. 🙂 Your cousins have a beautiful home! The quilts are so bright and beautiful. She should be proud of them.
Thanks for being an early bird today, Merril. I keep hoping soon you can ship that enormous manuscript off to the printer. How well I know the pressure of “almost done.” You are getting there! 🙂
If you ever need a topic for your kind of research, an aspect of Mennonites in Lancaster County could be it.
Hi Marian. I sent off the manuscript to my editor late afternoon yesterday–all done electronically. 🙂 She will get back to me with any questions she might have in a week or so, and then it will get sent off for copyediting.
I’m not certain what you’re suggesting about the Mennonites, but I think it would take an insider, or someone with more familiarity into the culture. 🙂
Congrats on sending off the manuscript, such a BIG DEAL! As I recall, it take a little while to scale back emotionally and physically from such an enormous project.
Still, your work is in the hands of someone else for now, and you can breathe a little easier. Kudos and plaudits, and all that good stuff. You definitely deserve it. ((( )))
Wow! An amazing collection. You were right when you described their farm as immaculate. That aerial photo of their immaculate farm made me feel terrible about the state of my much smaller home!. Thanks for the great variety of photos.
Glenn’s father, Howard’s farm was just the same. His wife Pearl kept the house just as Sharon does. They could charge admission for the house and museum. Really!
What a beautiful and interesting heritage and farm estate. Industry, creativity, and purpose are all over everything the Longenecker’s touch.
Yes, Carol. no wonder centuries ago William Penn invited them to till the land in Penn’s Woods, (Pennsylvania). From what I know of their family, all have a strong work ethic and commitment to excellent. Thanks for reading and commenting here!
What a fun visit to your cousin’s farm and wonderful museum. He’s amassed quite a collection! And Sharon’s quilts – simply magnificent! Thank you for taking us on a little tour of a place I’d never come across clear over here in Texas. I enjoyed it!
Welcome, Trisha. Yes, Lancaster County is a long way from Texas. I’m glad you enjoyed the tour. Please visit again! You never know what you’ll find here.
Have Sharon and Glenn considered doing AirBnB rentals? What a thrilling vacation it would be for the right people to have this intimate look at Lancaster County farm life. Thanks for the tour, Marian. Reminds me a little of how our neighbors converted their farm to agritainment with Back Home on the Farm, which has a little museum/restored carousel barn. https://backhome-onthefarm.com/
These Longeneckers are enterprising enough to know they could monetize the museum (and their home). But right now they seem content to raise guineas and create quilts. Maybe they’ll consider other options later.
Jean and I suggested they charge admission for the museum. In fact, we both uncorked the tall glass jar by the entrance and pressed some $$$ into it before we left. 🙂
Enjoyed the descriptive tour of the museum like collection. Almost looked like a maga Cracker Barrel display which I always love. Is he collecting to show sometime? Open to the public? Thanks for sharing. And can’t wait to read your book. Sent a message via Facebook to you.
My heart leapt with joy when I read your Facebook message. I admire you for deferring to the elders who are enjoying my book ahead of you.
The Longeneckers are very private people, and I don’t know that they are encouraging public viewings of the collection, though all that’s displayed certainly deserved that. Thanks for so heartily supporting my blog and book, Arneda!
Great photos! The farm and that museum are immaculate! Wow! And Sharon’s quilt is amazing! So beautiful! Do they have many visitors? Are her quilts for sale in the museum?
The Longeneckers let us in to see the collection because we’re related. I don’t think they are encouraging visitors. About the quilts: I don’t think Sharon sells them, but she has entered them into contests. They are definitely prize-winners, I agree, L. Marie!
OMGoodness, I had no idea they had such a collection, I knew about peanut butter glasses, Sharon’s quilts and the mini tractors but all the other things.. Amazing..hope he has good insurance..smile…The airbnb is a good idea, but Sharon is already so busy but knowing her if she wants it, she’ll figure out a way. Gotta send this on to my sibs..we’re first cousins to Glenn. My mother Esther often talked very lovingly about her brother Howard. Thank you, thank you Marian for posting this little visit to Sharon and Glenn’s farm. kathy
My eyes popped when we walked inside the museum. It’s huge! I get the impression Glenn has collected all these items just for the love of it. I don’t believe he is thinking about it as a money-maker, at least not right now.
Yes, I know you and Glenn are related. In fact, I consulted your mother’s Pitchforks and Pitchpipes book to work out the genealogy involved in my post. Thanks for commenting here, Kathy!
Wow! What an amazing treasure of family history! You must have been delighted with so many beautiful mementos of your childhood and youth and I presume it must have been very touching to see it all. I love those guineas and Sharon’s quilts are fantastic pieces of art. Well done to cousin Glenn! 👍❤
To be honest, I thought Glenn had collected a few things, perhaps relegating them to a special corner in his barn. How wrong I was!
I’m thankful Glen and Sharon have a climate-controlled place to store all this. The signs, calendar, and furniture from our family are well cared for here, even though I have to travel far to see them. Thanks for stopping by, Fatima!
It must be very comforting to know that all those family treasures are being cared for in a controlled environment, even if you have to travel to see them. Well done to Glenn and Sharon.
Wow Marian! This was a treat! Excellent photos. How lovely to visit while doing the book tour. 🙂
I agree, Susan. I had made a notation about a year ago when my brother was ill that when I returned to Pennsylvania, I would try to visit the museum. My book tour dovetailed well with our visit. Otherwise, I might not get to see it for a long while. Where we live in Florida and this spot are over 800 miles away. 🙂
You’ve been doing some serious travelling Marian – we too over the last 2 weeks and some more coming up this weekend. I don’t want to even hazard a guess as to the mileage – I did a rough estimate in my head and am shocked –
The tour was wonderful. Thank you Marian. It’s also interesting to me what my distant cousins are doing whose families remained in Pennsylvania, rather than moving west like my Longanecker ancestors.
Did I know you are a Longenecker? Are other Longeneckers living in California? I knew we had relatives in Kansas, but not in the Far West.
Thanks for piquing my interest in the ancestry of other Longeneckers, Dolores.
My Longanecker ancestors came to Illinois from Pennsylvania. Illinois is where I grew up. Haven’t met any Longaneckers in California yet, but I’m sure some are here.
What a treasure trove, Marian! What a wonderful place to visit! It’s mind boggling to think of all the work that goes into the upkeep, never mind the quilting and other hobbies! I always say that collecting is only good if the collection can be properly displayed for the enjoyment of the collector and all who want to see it.
If you read the other comments, you know I had NO idea the collection was this large. However, Glenn is a careful curator and the museum is climate-controlled. And, yes, it was quite an enterprise to collect and organize it all. Glenn built the space to house all this, so he is quite the designer as well, though I’m sure he had help! Thank you, Elfrieda.
is there an address for this farm museum PLEASE
I wish I could give you one, Brenda, but these folks are very private people. We got to see the collection because we are family, related on my paternal side through Ray and Henry Longenecker. Maybe they will open the collection to the public at some point. I agree, it deserves to be seen. Thanks for commenting, Brenda.
thanks for the reply. i mistakenly thought this was a museum that i could pass the info to for my daughter who is planning a trip “back home” in a few weeks. The business used to be a definite place to visit and i just assumed too much.
Brenda, I’m glad you could enjoy all the snapshots even though the museum isn’t open to the public. Do stop by again. You never can tell what you may find on this blog!
How fun to have a family museum! The tigers on the Pontiac are my favorite.
You are the first to mention this, Luci! Many years ago Exxon had a slogan Put a Tiger 🐅 in your Tank! This car probably harks back to that era!
This is too cool. What a fun place to visit, both as a family member and as a person interested in history. Thanks for taking the pics. Those quilts are amazing. And a music box that plays “Bringing in the Sheaves”? Oh, I do remember singing that song in church.
I probably should have let the tune play longer, but I always wonder how many seconds WP allows. Know what I mean.
I’m glad you could reminisce with these photos, Ally.
This reminds me of the TV show, “Strange Inheritance.” Do you ever watch it? Usually some relatives are left with collections that they can no longer maintain or store–or have no interest in the artifacts. Unfortunately. I do think it is sad when younger family members are not interested in things passed down–although I certainly understand too much of a good thing. Like many others here, the quilts caught my eye–those are just lovely. But I’m learning that kids today, many of them, don’t care for traditional quilts. … Life moves on I guess.
No, Melodie, I have never seen “Strange Inheritance,” but I do understand the concept. These Longeneckers do value the past. I had no idea how devoted they are to collecting Longenecker artifacts and many others. I see you are getting traffic on your blog for the drawing. Great! 🙂
Such treasures, Marian! I’m glad you managed to swing by and have a look at this collection of antiques. I wonder what Mike from American Pickers would say… 🙂 Such memories for you as well. Another book signing there wouldn’t be misplaced! And, yes, your cousin could charge admission for this little museum and their place could become part of an Americana route through Pennsylvania.
It’s good to hear your thoughts, Liesbet. Glenn and Sharon don’t seem a bit interested in monetizing their farm or museum at this point. Maybe in the future. They probably realize they’d be giving up a lot of privacy and perhaps personal security if they opened up their property to the public.
Right now, they seem content with their farming and quilt-making. Their son Jamie is a huge help; otherwise, they couldn’t keep up with their crops and animals. I don’t think they are interested in a book signing either. They paged through my book, but didn’t buy it – ha! 🙂
What an amazing find. I have been connecting with many cousins as well on this trip.one had some great old pictures to share with me. We are both lucky to come from large families who know the value of memories.
Yes, indeed: Good family stock who value our heritage.!
You have had a most ambitious book tour. When things settle down, maybe we can feature each other’s books on our blogs.
Yes, that is a good idea. After the great trip, I returned home to a lovely head cold. I’ll be in touch.
Oh Marian, it is so wonderful to preserve these many precious family relics. What a beautiful museum. I have to admit though that just coming off downsizing our four-bedroom home to move into a two—bedroom apartment has left me wondering how this could ever be downsized!
I agree, Kathy! No more collecting for me either.
But I think Glenn may have in mind passing the farm (and the museum) on to the next generation at some point.
It’s great to hear from you. I hope you are adjusting although it will take some time. I remember the downsizing and all that goes with it. Oy vey! 🙂
What a treasure trove of nostalgia! Amazing to have so many pieces of the past! 🙂
Agreed, Debby! I expected to see a cleared out space with a few items in their barn. Instead, I saw THIS!
What a beautiful farm with a delightful array of history and nostalgia! As a quilter, I will not be bringing mine down as they do not compare to Sharon’s. But my mom and dad had a secretary similar to the one shared here; our son Craig has it now. Bob drooled over Glenn’s GTO as I drooled over Sharon’s quilts. We both cried out at the same time, “What a beautiful home and look at that farm!” Such history should not be lost or forgotten. We have so much in our home from Bob’s family farm, and unfortunately, the generation coming after us shows little interest in much, if any, of it. Marian, thanks so much for sharing this post.
I’m glad you and Bob both enjoyed the nostalgia, Sherrey. I would have loved to keep the secretary in our home, but it didn’t fit. I’m thankful it’s in a climate-controlled space and well-cared for now. Still, I have framed needle work from Aunt Ruthie, some dishes, a Sunbeam mixer, and most importantly, Grandma’s old oak table that I’ll pass on to a grandson.
Two other items I cherish: my childhood rocker and an even older one from my mother’s side of the family.
It’s all so interesting Marian but it’s the quilts that stop me in my tracks . I think I’ve mentioned my sister makes the most beautiful quilts and I know she will be amazed at those beauties ,so if it’s alright with you , I’m sending this over to her .
By the way your book is on my Christmas list as we speak 👍
It’s not only all right – I say triple YES, YES, YES! i do remember your sister is an expert quilter. I admire quilts but I don’t have the patience for it. Also, my eyesight is too bad for such close work.
I hope Christmas comes soon for you, as I’m eager to have you read it, Cherry! Remember: It has some painful parts interspersed with the sweet, just like life! Thanks for chiming in here as always! oxo
Wow – what a fabulous farm and an amazing array of collectibles. Those quilts are superb!
Thanks for the observation, I’ve seen farms in Sweden that are spiffy too. I wonder if you are there now or back in England. I do know sometimes you make trips to care for your parents. Thanks again for this, Lady Fi!
Visiting the farm/museum must have been a thrilling part of your book tour, Marian. More family history. Beautiful quilts and farm memorabilia. I cherish the information and photos I have of my mother’s family who migrated from Europe in a similar way a century later, although they were Lutheran farm families who migrated to Ohio. I have photos of women (and men) in my family that go 6 generations back. Maybe I need to write the little I know someday.
I’m enjoying your book, especially when you question and search for your own way. I haven’t had time to read since getting the pup only a week ago. She’s SO MUCH work, but I’m not surprised. I’ve raised lots of pups since 1972 and they’re always overwhelming until we get a schedule going. She’s sleeping now. Whew!
I like hearing what you are up to, on your blog and your farm via Facebook. You know how to “scratch the itch,” and now with a puppy. I dub you Mother Nurture!
Maybe when you are snowbound and surrounded by warmth from your hearth, you can organize six (6!) generations of your family history. Probably Puppy will be tamer too I, for one, would be interested in excerpts. I’m glad you are enjoying my coming-of-age story. Writing it felt like doing therapy on myself, while preserving stories for the grandchildren. I’d like to know your thoughts when you finish.
Elaine, thanks for meeting me here, often on Sundays!
Wow..Just wow…Such an immaculate property and all that history, Marian which for you to see must have been wonderful and that beautiful quilt it is amazing…. 🙂
Marian — Wow! I thoroughly enjoyed the virtual photo tour you shared with your readers. THANK YOU for taking us along.
Laurie, I’m glad I could provide you with a vicarious visit. I was blown away by all this, especially since I expected so much less.
You have had a whirlwind of a life lately. I hope you have time to catch your breath. Thanks for stopping by!
What a tour! Wat a lot of really “neat stuff.” Those quilts!! I’d show them off too if I had that talent.
But when you think about it, we “show off” our talents by being brave enough to publish our books, Marian. xo