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The Zeller Homestead was built for Johannes Heinrich Zeller which is a direct descendant of Ruby Zellers who married Oris Druckemiller. Fort Zeller, Mill Creek (Millcreek Township), Lebanon County, PA Lebanon Valley is the early German influence Fort Zeller Museum in Newmanstown. The present structure originally served as a homestead for the Zeller family, who emigrated in 1710 from present-day Germany. Dating to 1745, the Zeller home functioned as a fort during the French and Indian War. With its mortar-covered limestone exterior, two-and-a-half-foot-thick walls, original embellishments, and massive Queen Anne fireplace, it provides an authentic glimpse at an architectural style that survives today only in Europe's Rhine Basin. Fort Zeller Museum is open year-round by appointment.Fort Zeller on the banks of Mill Creek in eastern Lebanon County, near the borough of Newmanstown, stands an old colonial blockhouse known as Fort Zeller. For two centuries this sturdy structure has served many and varied purposes. Its walls, two feet thick, served as a bastion against Indian raids during the turbulent frontier days of the mid-eighteenth century; its cavernous fireplace has been used by nine genera tions of Americans to heat water for laundry days, to feed the flames to huge copper lined kettles in which the ingredients of apple butter simmered or to render lard and tallow at butchering time. A natural spring, encased in solid limestone rock, forms in the cellar providing generation after generation with a natural refrigerator. Here, Heinrich Zeller, as he was known to his German companions, erected a temporary house which served as his dwelling from 1723 until 1745 when he built the strong house which came to be known as Fort Zeller because it was frequently used as a refuge for families whose less durable dwellings were laid waste by marauding Indians.

Mr. Croll says of the Zeller house of refuge that it is an old and well-preserved building built of solid masonry, and, in part, ornamented with carved stone door-jambs and head stones or lintels. It was erected in 1745 on land owned by Heinrich Zellers and now in possession of his eighth lineal descendant, Mr. Monroe P. Zellers. Even then it was built for protection and to guard against attack, the original windows being mere port holes, as shown in some still preserved. Many traditions still cluster about this old landmark. It is related of the original Mrs. Zellers that she superintended the construction of the house, whilst her husband was out on an expedition against the Indians, and that her laborers were colored slaves. It is said, also, of this same Christine Zellers that one day, whilst alone in the fort, she saw three prowling savages approaching and heading for the small hole in the cellar shown on the picture attached. She quickly descended the cellar steps and stationed herself at this window with an uplifted ax. Presently the head of the first Indian protruded through the hole when she quickly brought down the weapon with an effective blow. Dragging the body in, she disguised her voice and, in Indian language, beckoned his companions to follow, which they did and were all dispatched in like manner. It was here that the community found refuge during the Indian troubles, at which time it is said to have been attacked.

Click on images below to see actual photos and blue prints of The Zeller Home.