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 Reid Heilig | Home > Heilig Heritage > 
Heilig House, Pennsburg, PA
Date(s): March 21, 2011. Album by Reid Heilig. 1 - 24 of 45 Total. 4062 Visits.
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Enlarge photo 1
Front entrance to the house built by Henrich Heilig prior to 1750. It is now known as the Heilig-Hoch House as the Hochs bought the house from the Heiligs in the 1860s and have lived there ever since. It is built of red shale by and large. Pay close attention to the quality of the stone and its size and the careful laying of the stone on this front view. As you see the other sides you will see why the front facade is the "Money Side."

Enlarge photo 2
A view showing the 20th century porch that has been added onto the house. A footnote-there were three Heilig houses in this town but only the Henrich Heilig house remains. Supposedly they all had a distinguishing feature: the attic windows were in the form of half moons. There is some evidence that would indicate that the windows have all been replaced with differently shaped windows.

Enlarge photo 3
The house sits next to an 19th century silk mill now converted to condominiums. It is truly amazing how well the Hochs have maintained this house that has been called "the Jewel of the Perkiomen Valley" The Hochs are owed at great debt of gratitude by the Heiligs for their excellant care. I say "Thank you" or as the old Germans would say "Danke schoen!"

Enlarge photo 4
The windows with their crescent moon arches. The attic windows do not appear as crescent moons but were supposedly half moons according to old records. Maybe those records meant crescent moons and not half moons. Hard to say for sure. Shutters would have been inside the house originally.

Enlarge photo 5
Corner showing the excellant craftmanship in laying the rock.

Enlarge photo 6
A side view  from the front corner. Notice that the stone changes in color. The front of colonial houses were called the "Money Side" because the dwellers wanted the best materials to be seen by the arriving visitors so the most money was spent to put the best materials in front. This was a common German custom in Pennsylvania.

Enlarge photo 7
Side view of house from rear showing recently added chimney. This was done to allow oil fired central heating.

Enlarge photo 8
A better side view.

Enlarge photo 9
Rear view showing fuel oil tank for the central heat.

Enlarge photo 10
Rear view showing small window to allow some natural light into basement. Until recently the basement floor was just laid brick and there was water flowing thru channels between the bricks from the spring over which the house was built. There were recessed places in the brick floor so that the water could flow around items stored in the pools of water to keep them fresh. The water then went thru a drain to the outside. Clyde Hoch says that at present 2010 due to a drought there is no water flowing. Orginally I am sure it was used to keep food cold as our spring houses in the South were used.

Enlarge photo 11
Full on rear view. If you pay attention you can see where the family added on another partial story in the late 1700s or about.

Enlarge photo 12
This shows how the best stone was used on the corner to give more strenght and appeal to the house.

Enlarge photo 13
View showing the kitchen door.

Enlarge photo 14
Beautiful corner rock work and another example of the money side but here to be the secondary entrance-the kitchen door- side. Most friends usually come in the kitchen door in country houses..

Enlarge photo 15
Kitchen door side. An old description of this house indicates this door was orginally a "Dutch Door" or a door that the top and bottom were in two separate parts so the top could be opened for air circulation and the bottom kept closed so the toddlers were kept in and the animals and chickens out.

Enlarge photo 16
Kitchen door side

Enlarge photo 17
Front corner of kitchen door side. Porch was a recent addition.

Enlarge photo 18
Fantastic rock placement. Old Henry knew what he had to do to make a first class house.

Enlarge photo 19

Enlarge photo 20
This notation appears on a locally sold post card by Len Hillegass of the Heilig House: "The Heilig House at 313 W. 4th Street is considered to be the oldest house in Pennsburg. Wounded and ill Colonial Soldiers were cared for there by the very compassionate Heilig family during the Colonies' fight for independence from British rule during the American Revolution."

Enlarge photo 21

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This is the orginal walk in fireplace in which the family did all their food cooking and baking. The doors are a much later addition to try to keep the heat from going up the chimney  when no fire is in the fireplace. The fireplace has been rebuilt.

Enlarge photo 23
The firebox must have been about 8 feet wide before having the sides slightly enclosed to conserve heat escaping up the chimney. It is about 3 foot deep and 6 foot high. It must have had a small dutch oven built into the firebox wall.

Enlarge photo 24

 Continued ...
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  Sign the Guestbook. Displaying 9 of 9 entries.
Nice job on the discription!
Clyde Hoch, Tue, 4 Jun 2019 1:53PM
Wonderful pictures with informative commentary! I hope to visit there tomorrow to see my ancestors' home.  Thanks to the Hoch family for preservation of the home.
Mary Alice Heilig, Tue, 19 Jul 2016 5:42PM
Thanks for sharing the photos of the Heilig-Hoch house in Pennsylvania!  As a Heilig descendant who lives in Missouri, I will probably not get to visit the house in person, but your photos let me get a wonderful glimpse.  Mary
Mary Schondelmaier, Sun, 21 Dec 2014 4:48AM
First noticed this house on way to do genealogy research around the corner at the Schwenkfelder Library and thought what a charming old house. After three hours research I discovered I was descended from Henry Heilig!  Thanks for the interior photos.
Fred Fonseca, Wed, 28 May 2014 6:44PM
CORRECTION from previous post
Sophia Heilig (1823 - 1893)
is my 3rd great grandmother
Christiana Jane ruckstool (1852 - 1895)
Daughter of Sophia
sophia filey mcdade ruckstool schweigert (1868 - 1894)
Child of Christiana Jane
thomas hiley schweigert (1891 - 1970)
Son of sophia filey
roberta jane schweigert (1930 - )
Daughter of thomas hiley
kimberly ann ford Orifice
Kim Orifice, Fri, 23 Dec 2011 2:44PM
My mother is Roberta Schweigert.  Her Father Thomas Hiley Schweigert married S. Filey Mcdade.  She was the daughter of Christiana Jane Ruckstool Mcdade Odonnell.  Christiana Jane Ruckstool was the daughther of Sophia Heilig.  And so on.  Thank you for sharing this.
Kim Orifice, Fri, 23 Dec 2011 12:16PM
Excellent work, thank you so much. I live about 20 minutes from this place and have wanted to visit for a while, now I want to even more. This house was built by my 6th Great Grandfather on my dad's side. Thats great great great great great great grandfather, pretty cool. I may also be connected to the current owners through the Hoch family but that is where it gets complicated. Laura Bertolet Heilig was my Great Grandmother, her Great Great Grandmother was Mary HOCH Griesemer.

Thanks Again Reid,
Jeff Brunner.
Jeff Brunner | www.heiligkuh.com/perlged.html, Sat, 21 May 2011 7:36PM
My father told me about this house, but I've never actually seen it. Thank you so much for sharing.
Charles Heilig, Tue, 3 May 2011 4:19PM
Really enjoyed the Heilig Reunion today especially the history lessons.  Please keep them coming --Fascinating.

See ya,
Gayla Heilig Lyerly, Sun, 24 Apr 2011 5:36PM
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