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Historic Theodore Kimple Farm c.1884

1289 Church Rd, Orrtanna, PA 17353, USA
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Historic Theodore Kimple Farm c.1884
This gorgeous 48 acres farm and beautiful 5 bedroom farmhouse are just minutes from Gettysburg and nestled in a private setting that seems to have ignored the rest of the world’s frantic march to modernity. The large original bank barn greets visitors on their approach to the house and an expansive front porch decorated with historic ornamentation offers the opportunity to rest and treat one’s senses to views & sounds that have changed little in the last 150 years. The home has been restored with attention to preserving the historic detailing and an addition was added, designed by an architect who specializes in historic restoration, in 2006 that offers a spacious main level master suite overlooking exquisite gardens. There are four second floor bedrooms and a traditional sleeping porch, which now serves as an extension of the charming second master bedroom.

Conewago Creek meanders through the farm and there was once a stone mill (built in 1824 by John Lowstetter) on the property, down the hill from the house, but it did not survive to today.  An old country road ran right in front of the house and barn, as was common in the 19th century, but it has long been abandoned and only a grassy impression remains. This is a home steeped in the history of a working farm family, the Kimples, who came to the Buchanan Valley in 1884 to build their farm and continued to live here for several generations to around 1970. There is a photo in the living room of the Kimple family taken in 1890 posing in the lower meadow. There is also an inscription on the living room wall memorializing the date of the house as 1884. This small section of wall has never been painted over.

This is a home of rare and beautiful distinction. Such a serene setting as this is rare and it is offered for sale for the first time in over 30 years.

Theodore P. Kimple (1831-1923)

THEODORE KIMPLE, farmer, P.O. Graeffenburg, was born in Coden, Bavaria, Germany, November 17, 1831, and is the only child of John and Elizabeth (Hile) Kimple, who immigrated to America in 1837, and settled near Chambersburg, Franklin Co., Penn., where they remained three years; then removed to Adams County, and to the farm upon which their son now resides. The father also purchased a saw and grist-mill, which was re-built by his son in 1885. He was a man of the strictest integrity, and during his life his business affairs were such that regrets were many when his death occurred in 1877. His widow survived until 1884, when she died at the age of seventy-seven years. Theodore was married July 7, 1856, to Miss Helena Miltenbarger, who has borne him twelve children, of whom John, Henry, James, Theodore, Francis, Catherine, Margaret, Elizabeth and Jennie are living. John married Annie McKendrick, Henry married Mary Brady, James married Annie Dillon, and all are residents of the near neighborhood. The parents are members of the Catholic Church. Mr. Kimple is now completing a term as school director, in which he takes great interest. During their residence in this township he and his wife have been devoted members of St. Ignatius Church, and rank highly as people of worth and piety. Mr. Kimple owns valuable property, and is one of the enterprising men of his section. His sons manage the mill and farm, which return a fine revenue, under the supervision of their father.
*Source: History of Cumberland and Adams Counties, Pennsylvania Chicago: Warner, Beers & Co., 1886

History of Buchanan Valley

James Bleakley was the first farmer; was also a shoe-maker by trade, 1734. The first child born in the valley was Isabella Bleakley, June 11, 1748. The first marriage was in 1778; William Brandon to Jane Bleakley. James Bleakley, Jr., built the first saw-mill in 1783. The first death was June 30, 1809, in the person of the wife of James Bleakley. Mrs. Armstrong was the first school teacher (1790), the schoolhouse being situated in the northern part of the valley at the foot of the Pine Mountain. The first grist-mill was built in 1824 by Lowstetter, which stands on the farm now owned by Theodore Kimple, being on the Conowago Creek. George Douse was the first store-keeper, opening his store in 1851.

Historic Conewago Creek

Conewago is an Indian word ( either Lenape or Iroquois) meaning “at the place of rapids”. In 1734, William Penn authorized licenses to people wishing to take up land west of the Susquehanna River. About 20 licenses were issued for about 8,000 acres of land along the upper reaches of the Conewago Creek and it’s tributaries in the northern part of what is now Adams County. The first settlers moved into this area because it was at the intersection of two important trails; one The Conewago Creek as it passes through the scenic Narrows northwest of Arendtsville in Adams County PA, originating in Baltimore and leading to Carlisle and the north; the other starting in Philadelphia and leading westward and southward to and beyond the Potomac river. In 1737 was the first survey of the disputed land between Lord Baltimore and William Penn. The strip of disputed land was called “Little Conewago”.


Theodore Kimple – History of Cumberland and Adams Counties, Pennsylvania Chicago: Warner, Beers & Co., 1886
Theodore Kimple
 – Obituary in 1923
Kimple Family
 – Pages from The Record Herald 1914
History of Buchanan Valley – Excerpt from
Conewago Creek
 – Conewago Creek Watershed
History of Adams County – Published in 1886
Gettysburg – National Park Service
Civil War Trust – Battle of Gettysburg
Gettysburg Foundation – Visit Gettysburg
Aerial – Parcels View
Aerial Video – Drone video of farm

  • Address: 1289 Church Road
  • City: Orrtanna
  • State/county: Pennsylvania
  • Zip/Postal Code: 17353
  • Country: United States


Updated on July 8, 2019 at 1:02 am

  • Property ID: 4240
  • Price: $575,000
  • Land Area: 48.06 Acres
  • Bedrooms: 4
  • Bathrooms: 2
  • Garage: 1
  • Garage Size: Attached - 1 Space
  • Year Built: 1880
  • Property Type: Farms
  • Property Status: Sold


Contact info

Gary Gestson
Gary Gestson
301-975-9500 ext. 4604301-646-0046
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