You are hereZeisloff Log House

Zeisloff Log House

By chris - Posted on 28 October 2008


       George Zeisloff (who built this log house) and his brothers Balthazer and Nicholas, arrived in America from Germany on September 1, 1736. George and his family joined the Allemaengel Moravian Congregation on May 12, 1755. In 1756, most of the Zeisloff family was massacred by Native Americans during the French and Indian War. Only two sons survived.
      This 18th century story-and-a-half log house was relocated from its original site about 1.5 miles away along Zeisloff Road, and reconstructed at its current location in Ontelaunee Park. The house originally was one and one-half story, and measured 22 by 32 feet.
      The lower part of the roof is slightly kicked out to protect the wall logs beneath it. This might reflect some Swiss architectural influences. There is board-and-batten siding on the gable, and a pent roof at the bottom of the gable to protect logs beneath it. Logs extend slightly beyond the corners. The original fireplace lintel is used in the restored house. It is one log measuring 12 feet long and about 16 by 16 inches square. Many original stones also are used in the fireplace and the building’s foundation. In the rear wall of the fireplace is an opening through which hot coals were passed into the Stube or living room where a five plate cast iron stove was used to heat that room. Smoke from the stove passed through a small hole into the fireplace.
      The stairway treads going to the attic are removable. This allowed occupants of the house to remove the steps as they retreated into the attic when raids by Native Americans were impending. There also was a small “loop hole” or peephole in the attic over the east door so occupants could remain alert for danger. The opening also could be used to sight a gun.
      The house also contains a Salen Fenster, or soul window, in the bedroom’s west wall in the downstairs. This Kammer, or chamber, is where the older people slept and upon death the soul window is where the deceased person’s soul escaped to the outside through the hole. Younger family members slept in the attic. You may walk around this building and take photographs of its exterior. On special occasions each year, such as Pioneer Days during October and the Pioneer Christmas Open House, visitors may go inside the Zeisloff Log House and adjacent Fort Everett.

      Access: From the previous house turn left onto Jones Road across from the Bellis Log House and continue for 1.0 mile to Mountain Road. Turn right and continue for 4.3 miles to Route 309. Carefully cross Route 309 (a dangerous intersection) and continue onto Mosserville Road for 1.7 miles to Route 143. Turn left onto Route 143 and drive 0.2 mile to the entrance to Ontelaunee Park on the right.Turn into the park and drive to the Zeisloff Log House and rebuilt Fort Everett Stockade. Park nearby, then walk to the buildings and enjoy these fascinating structures.

Selected References

      n. d.      1740 Zeisloff Log House [brochure]. Lynn-Heidelberg Historical Society, New Tripoli, PA
      n. d.       Zeisloff Log House/Some Interesting Facts and Unique Features [handout information sheet].
                    Lynn-Heidelberg Historical Society, New Tripoli, PA

<- Previous Cabin