The Isaac Meier Homestead welcomes the summer season with open houses, hands-on classes, and a tavern night marked on its calendar.

The homestead holds open houses each year, starting in April and running through August. This year, the homestead will open its doors to the public again on June 15, July 27, and Aug. 24, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Attendees can tour the facilities, and the youngest attendees can enjoy story time and a craft with a Myerstown Community Library librarian.

Homestead president Michelle Voydik said that possibly at the open houses in June and August, a “gentleman” might offer walking tours of the homestead and the borough’s historic residences. Those interested can watch for updates on the homestead’s Facebook page, which is its main social media platform, as well as the sign outside of the homestead.

The open houses are an Isaac Meier tradition. The volunteers — this year, enough volunteers to have one in each room during the free event — are educated and trained by books that were created when the tradition started. Due to the number of volunteers, Voydik plans to present about the garden and accompany the librarian.

“We’re always looking for volunteers to help out with events,” Voydik said. “They don’t necessarily have to help with tours and dress up. We have a new gentleman that [is] just going to be helping to get events going and setting up and tearing down at events. So, we have a lot of different roles that people can play.”

The homestead is striving to increase its number of younger volunteers, and Voydik mentioned that her grandchildren, some of whom are teenagers, are helping. “If you’re interested in history, we will take you on,” she said.

New to the homestead is the offering of classes.

When asked how the classes came about, Voydik said, “I had taken my daughters-in-law for Christmas over to Landis Valley for a basket class. And [I] got to talking to the woman, [Joan Betzold], who teaches the classes to see if she would be interested because she’s from Maryland and coming up this way. And she was thrilled about it. And that’s what started it.” She then found Margi Wright via Facebook and contacted her.

The first one is a drop spindle spinning class with Wright on Saturday, June 15, from 10 a.m. to noon. The class is limited to 10 people, with tickets costing $20 each. After the class, there will be the option to purchase a drop spindle and some wool for $18 to continue the fun at home.

The drop spindle spinning class. (Provided photo)

On Sunday, June 23, the homestead will host a basket-weaving class from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Betzold, who has more than three decades of experience weaving and teaching others to weave and attends dozens of arts shows each year, will ensure students leave with a basket they made. The class must have between six and 20 students. Tickets are $60 each.

The basket weaving class. (Provided photo)

Wright is also the instructor of the third class, open fire dyeing with natural dyes, which will be held on Saturday, July 27, from 10 a.m. to noon. The class is limited to nine people. The tickets, which cost $25 each, include two skeins of local milled yarn for each participant to take home.

The open fire dyeing with natural dyes class. (Provided photo)

“And then, since we’re having classes for the adults, we decide we’d have a class sometime in August, we haven’t worked out all the details yet, for a children’s class to make a wooden toy from back in that era,” Voydik said. “So, they would just have to keep watching Facebook for when we come up with everything for that one.”

“And then, our big new thing for this summer is we are having a tavern night,” Voydik said. The tavern night is scheduled for Saturday, July 13, from 5-8 p.m. The event is limited to 30 people who are 21 or older, with tickets costing $40 each.

Oakgrove Farm Historical Brewing will host the event, which will feature a colonial-style meal. “He and his wife will portray the tavern keepers and will have alcoholic beverages,” Voydik said, for people to “purchase” with their two tokens.

The hosts will discuss tavern life, games, and gambling in that era. There will also be games to play amidst live music from a harpsichordist and a cellist.

Tickets for the classes and the tavern night must be purchased in advance. Voydik said the proceeds go partially toward the instructors, hosts, and materials and partially “to keep the homestead running.”

Questions about this story? Suggestions for a future LebTown article? Reach our newsroom using this contact form and we’ll do our best to get back to you.

Support local journalism.

Cancel anytime.


🌟 Annual

Already a member? Login here

Free news isn’t cheap. If you value the journalism LebTown provides to the community, then help us make it sustainable by becoming a champion of local news. You can unlock additional coverage for the community by supporting our work with a one-time contribution, or joining as a monthly or annual member. You can cancel anytime.

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Lexi Gonzalez has worked as a reporter with LebTown since 2020. She is a Lancaster native and became acquainted with Lebanon while she earned her bachelor's degree at Lebanon Valley College.


LebTown membership required to comment.

Already a member? Login here

Leave a comment

Your email address will be kept private.