Welcome to the Knauss Homestead Preservation Society

Emmaus, Pennsylvania

The Knauss Homestead was constructed of logs in the style of German homes of that period.  It did not have electricity or indoor plumbing. The Knauss property was part of tracts of land (approximately 400 acres) bought by Sebastian H. Knauss, from the Honorable Thomas and Richard Penn, Esqs. the Proprietors and Governors in Chief of the Province of Pennsylvania, by patent or grant. These Records are on file in the office of the Department of Internal Affairs of Pennsylvania at the State Capitol Building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Later, a barn was built on the property.

Sebastian, along with Jacob Ehrenhardt Sr. donated property for the establishment of the Moravian community of Emmaus.  Hence, they could be justifiably considered the "Founders of Emmaus".

For a total of 158 years the Knauss House sheltered the descendants of Sebastian Heinrich Knauss - seven generations were born within its walls. Upon the death of Mary Ellen (Adrain) Knauss in 1931, widow of Herman Knauss, the house and surrounding thirty five acres were purchased at auction by Atty. Dewey Marcks.

Although the Marcks family installed electricity, heating and a kitchen, the house was never used by them as a permanent residence.  Upon the death of Mrs. Marcks in 1972, the house remained vacant for the next 20 years.

In 1992 the property was acquired from the Marcks estate by the Borough of Emmaus.

The Knauss Homestead is listed on the National Registry of Historical Landmarks.

About the Knauss Homestead Preservation Society

The Knauss Homestead Preservation Society’s sole mission is to restore and preserve this nationally recognized historic site. All Officers and Board of Directors are volunteers, dedicating their time, money and resources into maintaining this property for public use, enjoyment and education. We need your help! Membership is vital to any organization but there are many other ways you can help! See below for more ways to get involved:

  • Membership
  • Cash gifts and matching grants
  • Restoration donation
  • Donations to our annual campaign
  • Sponsorships
  • Volunteer work

If interested in becoming a member, please complete the form on the back and mail it to The Knauss Homestead Preservation Society, Post Office Box 714, Emmaus, PA 18049. If you have any questions, please use the Contact Us page to email us.

Montage Tracy KnaussPhoto Montage Courtesy of Tracy Knauss

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The Knauss homestead is located at


164 East Main Street (rear)

Emmaus, PA 18049