Experience the 1719 Herr House & Museum grounds by candlelight during Christmas Candlelight Tours on December 6, 7, and 8. This year, the tours will focus on the written word, and especially how it was printed.

As they move from site to site on the grounds, guests will learn how the printing press and production of books impacted cultural and religious life from the 1400s to the present. Examples of print material from the 1500s onward will be on display, including a 1529 Froschauer Bible that is part of the museum’s collection.

Gutenberg’s invention of moveable type that allowed for mass production of print material paved the way for the Reformation in the 1500s. The ideas of early Anabaptists spread with the help of the printing press, establishing a faith community that would eventually be transplanted to Pennsylvania in the early 1700s. Here, Anabaptists continued to produce Bibles, hymnals, and other religious works that many families treasured enough to preserve and pass down for centuries.

In the Native American Longhouse, guests will learn about the topic of printed language as it relates to American Indians in the Lancaster area. Presenters will cover topics including the petroglyphs along the Susquehanna River and attempts by local Europeans to transcribe Native words, which survive today in Lancaster as names of rivers and towns.

Tours conclude with a gathering in the stube, the main room of the Herr House, heated by the wood-fired stove and lit by candles, with the Christmas story from Luke 2 read in German.

Tickets for this event are on sale now on the Herr House website or by calling 717-464-4438. Tickets, which reserve a specific evening and time, must be purchased in advance to attend.