The Joseph Hochstetler Homestead and Gravesite, Mifflin, PA

After a day of wonderful conversations, meetings, speaking opportunities, and book sales at the Jacob Hochstetler Family Association's Sixth Quinquennial North American Gathering today, the lovely Robin and I, with my brother Don and sister-in-law Arvilla, drove to the Mifflintown area to tour the Joseph Hochstetler homestead and burial site (and the burial site also of his son John). 

Joseph was the son of Jacob Hochstetler, the immigrant of 1738 (and my great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather). He built this house and Summer house and root cellar in the late eighteenth century, having moved to the growing Mennonite settlement in then Mifflin County (now Juniata County). We were warmly and generously welcomed by Don and Loma Saners, who bought the property in 1999. It was amazing to leaf through the photo album of the loving restoration of the once-derelict property these folks performed (see above). 

Amazingly, when the Saners bought and restored these historic buildings, they did not know that they were descended from the people who once lived here. Daniel Hochstetler of the JHFA, having visited the site and learning of Don's parents' and grandparents' names, traced their genealogy back to the very two men who are known to be buried on the property! 

Over the years, the Saners have acquired many period furnishings for the home, and carefully decorated it with obvious love and respect.

After our tour of the historic home, Summer house, and root cellar, we followed the woodland path to the burial site.

LIke the homestead, the tiny cemetery had been neglected for many years. Hostetler relatives from the area erected a new monument and fence around the site in 1966. Loma shared with us that an octogenarian resident of the area told her with great confidence that in addition to Joseph and John being buried there, he believes a wife and child are also interred there. 

It is amazing to be part of a family with such great respect for and interest in history, and thus to visit a home where my great-great-great-great-great grandfather and his son and their families once lived, and to see the spot where one of the three captives taken by Delaware warriors in the 1757 "Hochstetler massacre"--and his son--is buried.

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