Amish-Style “Barn-Raising” Brings Destroyed Lancaster County Hotel Back

A landmark Lancaster County hotel destroyed in a gas explosion in December is making a comeback. Lancaster Online reports that the Bird-in-Hand Family Inn has “raised the roof” on its new building:

Bird-in-Hand Family Inn began a “barn raising” Tuesday to rebuild hotel rooms and an office damaged in a Dec. 18 explosion.

Weather permitting, workers from Upper Leacock Township-based Beechdale Builders will finish framing the building, adding trusses and putting on the roof today for the event that’s meant to evoke the group effort Amish church members undertake to quickly rebuild a neighbor’s barn.

Appropriately, they have Amish workers doing the job and have apparently styled this as something like an Amish barn raising. The accompanying photos suggest something like that. Here’s one of them, check the link for the rest:

An Amish worker works on an unfinished roof
An Amishman works on the new Bird-in-Hand Family Inn building. Photo: Blaine Shahan/Lancaster Online

Sounds like the whole project should be about wrapped up by October. This is nice news following a tragic story in which one hotel employee, Michelle Miller, lost her life. I happened to be in Lancaster County at the time and took the following images showing the destruction:

Bird-in-Hand Restaurant Under Repair Too

The explosion caused minor damage to the next-door Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant & Smorgasbord, where you may have eaten if you’ve visited Lancaster County. Though the damage was reported as minor, a January fire did more extensive damage and now that building is under repair as well.

The famous Amish Country Smorgasbord has relocated in the meantime to the former Revere Tavern in Paradise Township. Something to keep in mind if you’re in Lancaster County in the coming months and think you might be hungry at some point. I enjoyed the food there even more than I expected last time.

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    1. K.D.

      New Hotel Being Built

      What a wonderful thing: like a Phoenix rising from the ashes.
      Glad the restaurant damage & fire hasn’t caused the landmark
      business to close for good as is typical after such tragedies. I
      feel for the family of Michelle Miller. No doubt she is greatly
      missed by all who knew her. Thanks for the update!

      1. Erik Wesner