Learn More About Conestoga House and Gardens!
James Hale Steinman
Louise Tinsley Steinman
Conestoga House and Gardens is the estate of the late James Hale Steinman and Louise Tinsley Steinman of Lancaster.
The Steinmans purchased the land, including the original house and several outbuildings, in 1927. Soon after, Lancaster architect Frank Everts was commissioned to design extensive additions and modifications, creating Conestoga House as it appears today - an outstanding example of Colonial Revival architecture.
In the 1930's the Philadelphia firm of Mellor and Meigs designed and developed the formal garden areas, including the pool and stable complexes. There is a distinct European influence in the designs, evidenced in part by the emphasis on flowering urns and windowboxes.
Conestoga House was home to the Steinman family for over 50 years, even after Colonel Steinman's death in 1962. As a part of his legacy, the house and grounds
were incorporated as part of the James Hale Steinman Conestoga House Foundation
in 1982, and opened to the public for summer garden tours.
Since their opening in 1982 the gardens have been upgraded and expanded so that today they provide a unique look at a wide variety of annual, perennial, and tropical flowering plants.
The Pool Complex with its sixty-foot swimming pool, bathhouse, and outdoor dance floor is both an aesthetic and functional feature of the gardens. Several local civic and non-profit groups use the facilities to tour and have small picnics, receptions, and other special events after approval by the manager.
The Back Terrace and Back Yard areas comprise a microcosm of the entire gardens with their tubs, urns, windowboxes, and hanging baskets. A three foot deep wading pool was built for the Steinman children at the Back Terrace. Also there is a Hillside Garden, and a Arch Wall bordering the formal garden areas on the west.
Adjoining the pool area is the restored Lime Kiln, whose twenty foot shaft, once used in lime production, is now housed in a rustic stones pavilion. Here colorful, lowlight plants and comfortable wooden furniture provide a welcome retreat on hot summer days.
Completely replanted in 1992, the Boxwood Garden is an integral part of the overall gardens and provides a green oasis in all seasons. Unusual tropicals, graceful wrought iron furniture, and small fountain pool all add a fresh air to this area of the gardens.
The Rose Garden at Conestoga House was created in 1986 in an area that had been the site of an old barn foundation and paddock area adjoining the Courtyard and Stables Complex. Bordered by beds of summer-blooming annuals and perennials, this garden contains over 160 rose bushes representing almost twenty different varieties of our national flower.
The Water Garden with its array of hardy water lilies, aquatic plants, and resident koi is sited in what used to be the Duck Pond, and is the newest area of the gardens.
Other areas in the gardens include the Side Yard Garden (featuring hanging baskets, an herb bed, roof boxes, and a changing assortment of kitchen
patio container plants) and the Front Walk area with its close-up view of our renowned windowboxes.
We display animal topiaries and trough gardens and a few bonsai in some areas. Also included in the gardens complex are six permanent greenhouses where many of the display plants are grown and the tropical plants are overwintered.
Use the above control to turn the music on or off