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Kagerise Store and House

Adamstown Boro, Lancaster County, PA

The Kagerise Store and House (84-86 West Main Street, Adamstown) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [1]


The Kagerise Store and House (also known as Harting's Store) was built in 1827 as a combined store and residence by Michael Kagerise (Kergerize, Kegerize, etc.) and his wife Rachel. Rising two and one-half stories and spanning six bays, the building is constructed of sandstone. The earliest portion of the building, rectangular in plan, is two bays deep. On the interior, this section includes the forward apartment and the front half of the public area of the store. Additions to the original structure were made immediately after initial construction, within approximately the first five years. On the east side, this early addition extends three bays; on the west, two bays. These ells give the house its U-shape. The rear four bays of the western leg of this U-plan are a c.1850-1870 addition. A c.1935 one story shed roofed addition at the rear of the eastern ell completes the structure.

A large grass lawn extends to the west and north of the house, with a wooded area marking the northern boundary of the property. To the rear of the main structure is a small c.1840 contributing barn. To the west stands a c.1918 non-contributing garage (total: 2 contributing, 1 non-contributing). The integrity of the primary building in such elements as fenestration, material, scale, and stylistic detail is very high.

The facade was altered c.1890 by replacement of the original simple shed-roofed porch with an elaborately bracketed porch. The first-floor windows were altered at this time as well, with the original twelve-over-twelve sash being replaced by elongated floor length two-over-two sash with long four-panel shutters. With the exception of these alterations, the facade retains its original appearance. There are two entries on the facade. The first, in the third bay from the west, was the entrance for the house. The entryway is flanked by fluted pilasters with roundels, and by band-carved moldings. The door is topped by a diamond-and-oval patterned transom. The entry is recessed, with a panelled reveal. A similar recess in the fifth bay from the west contains the entry to the store. This entry consists of double doors. The porch, supported by square columns with brackets, extends across the entire six bay facade. Spanning the columns is an elaborately carved bargeboard. The porch cornice is decorated by a pierced X-pattern design. A turned balustrade encloses the porch on the two western bays. The second floor retains the original twelve-over-eight sash with six-panel shutters. A datestone between the third and fourth bays documents the house as being built for Michael and Rachel Kagerise in 1827. At the roofline a molded wooden cornice tops decorative square brackets. Beneath these brackets is a facia board with delicate serrated detail. The stonework on the facade corners is quoined. The gable roof which tops the earliest rectangular portion of the building, covered with slate on the front and tin on the rear, is punctuated on the facade by three evenly-spaced pedimented dormer windows. These windows each have two-over-two sash. Inside chimneys are present at both gable ends of the facade. All exterior woodwork is painted white.

The eastern elevation extends five bays along Willow Street and is built of rough-finished sandstone. On the east, the windows of the first and second bays contain twelve-over-eight and twelve-over-twelve sash. In the third bay they are twelve-over-nine, and in the fourth and fifth bays twelve-over-eight. All have three-panel shutters except the unshuttered fourth bay window on the second floor, and the two-over-two attic windows. A recessed entry with paneled reveal in the fourth bay (first floor) opens into a warehouse area for the store. The first bay contains an outside cellarway at street level. This elevation is further extended by a one-story, one bay shed-roofed addition with sandstone foundation, covered with German siding and containing six-over-six sash windows. An interior chimney extends from the gable peak at the rear.

The rear elevation consists of the rear facades of the ells which give the structure its U-shape. The eastern wing has two windows with four-over-two sash at attic level. A c.1935 shed-roofed addition extends across the first floor, as described on the eastern elevation. On the west side of this eastern ell is a very elaborate entry with fluted pilasters supporting an entablature with decorative medallion carving. The transom matches exactly the transom over the front facade entry to the house. This entire entry shares similar stylistic elements with the 1822 Sebastian Miller House at 15-17 West Main Street, Adamstown. Another feature of this back entry is that it has what is known regionally as an "Indian door." The base door is paneled wood on the bottom half, paned glass on top. A large paneled board rests in a groove on the bottom, and can be raised to cover the top half of the door, presumably to protect the house from entry by Indians.

The eight bay western elevation is finished sandstone, two stories, with a slate roof. Two pedimented dormers, each containing two one-over-one sash, punctuate the roofline, as does an interior chimney at the gable peak immediately to the rear of the northern-most dormer. Sandstone quoins mark a seam between the front and rear four bays. The rear section dates most likely to c.1850-1870, and contains six-over-six sash with two-panel shutters. The first bay on the first floor is a four paned window. The windows in the front four bays are twelve-over-eight on the second floor, twelve-over-twelve on the first, with three-panel shutters. The fourth and sixth bays on the first floor contain doors, the fourth bay door having a pedimented entry porch with rusticated cement block base and round columns. The entry in the sixth bay contains a paneled door set in a recessed paneled reveal. The third bay on the second floor contains a door with pedimented frame.

On the rear of the western wing, the two bay sandstone facade contains a four-paned window at the gable peak, six-over-three sash windows at attic level, and a plank door with pedimented frame on the second floor. The roof as visible from this elevation is covered with tin. Standard window treatment on all elevations consists of simple molded lintels.

The property included two outbuildings. The first, a c.1840 one and one-half story, six bay sandstone and vertical board barn with tin gable roof, lies directly behind the house. An addition of vertical board construction has fallen into disrepair, with a partially collapsed tin roof. A shed roof extends from the one story level of the wall closest to the house, and is supported by three poles, forming a sheltered carport. Also connected to this barn, at the northwest corner, is a wooden privy. This barn structure does contribute to the nomination, as it is an example of a barn of the period, and is a supporting part of the overall property's significance as a store and house.

A second outbuilding, lying west of the house, is the c.1918 garage. Two and one-half stories high, two bays wide with hipped roof and hipped roof dormer, this garage is constructed of rusticated cement block; the second story is covered with scalloped asphalt shingles. As a 20th century structure built of cement block, the garage is not considered a contributing element of the nomination of this property.

Original interior features are many. In the original structure and earliest addition they include deep paneled window recesses. Fireplaces in this early section retain their original mantels, heavily molded with pilaster trim. The most elaborate of these, on the first floor front, west side, has a carved scallop design on the panel corners and large roundels interrupting the pilaster trim. A molded arch supported by an engaged reeded column exhibits fine sunburst carving and a delicate scalloped border along the curve of the arch. The main staircase leading from first to second floor displays turned balusters and decorated stair ends. Doorways in this section are framed by molded trim with corner roundels. Doors are wooden with raised panels. The earliest section of the house is basemented.

Window and door treatment details are markedly different in the c.1850-1870 additions. Door frames are topped with a triangular pediment, and doors, while still containing raised panels, are treated throughout with a grained finish. Window reveals, rather than having squared paneled recesses, have a curved plaster recess.

The store interior consists of a large open rectangular room of public space, with a small warehouse to the rear. The interior was enlarged in 1955, with removal of an interior stone wall (original to the 1827 structure) which originally divided the public store space from a storage area. This wall was replaced by a large steel I-beam to provide support for the upper stories. Its removal approximately doubled the public floor space of the store. The expansion attests the fact that this store had remained an important commercial center in the borough of Adamstown for over 200 years, and does not detract from the significance of this structure.

Additions to the original structure, including the early expansion, the c.1850-1870 enlargement, and the c.1890 porch, have not compromised the integrity of the building as an excellent example of the Federal style of architecture. Double-hung multiple pane sash, cornices and entry details have all been retained. The most significant alteration in terms of style, the c.1890 porch, is of itself a pristine illustration of the elaborate ornamentation popular in this period of the late 19th century. In relation to the 1827 structure, the porch exemplifies a progression to newer styles while allowing retention of original details.


The Kagerise Store and House was built in 1827 for Michael Kagerise, a fourth-generation German-American. The store was in continuous operation from that time until June 1985, as a dry goods, hardware and general merchandise store. The remainder of the building is still in use as a private residence. Retaining a high degree of integrity, this is one of Lancaster County's best examples of the Federal style as used in a combined commercial/residential structure. The structure retains its original site, materials, and details such as fenestration, window and door surrounds, and interior details like mantels, doors, and detailed carving.

Adamstown, in the northeastern corner of Lancaster County on the border with Berks County, is situated between the county seats of Lancaster and Reading. In 1772, a highway and stage route was opened between those two towns, and the road passed through Adamstown. The town became a commercial center and a number of stores sprang up, several becoming established by the early 1800's.

Several examples of combined use store/residence structures of the same period are extant in Lancaster County. None as yet discovered, however, possesses either the concentration of interior and exterior stylistic features, of the integrity of original appearance that the Kagerise Store and House does. The Flickinger Store and House, 1-7 West Main Street, Adamstown, was built in 1820. While it has such elements as recessed entries, paneled shutters, and sandstone construction in common with the Kagerise Store and House, altered sash, vinyl siding and lack of significant detail lessen its stylistic identity and integrity.

In a county-wide survey of historic sites conducted by the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County from 1978-1985, several examples of the house/store were located. Of those, few were originally built as combined stores and houses, but rather as houses which were shortly thereafter used partially for commercial purposes. This is true for structures of the same period as the Kagerise property. The Peter Good Store on Route 23, East Earl Township, dates to approximately the same year as the Kagerise Store and House and, while it does have such Federal features as double entries with fanlights and some multiple paned sash, its altered chimneys, fenestration, and covering of asphalt shingles have severely compromised its integrity as an example of the Federal style.

Later structures indicate a common pattern of side-by-side store/plan, although none in Lancaster County as yet identified can provide such a clear example of definite Federal style. The Steinmetz Store on Route 322 in Clay Township, dating c.1870, is an excellent example of the combined commercial/residential structure of the latter half of the 19th century, but once again, the Kagerise Store and House remains Lancaster County's finest example of a combined store and residence of the Federal period.


Adamstown, Pennsylvania: 200th Anniversary 1761-1961. (Adamstown Bicentennial Committee, 1961).

Nelson, Barry R. The Hatters, Their Communities, the People...Adamstown, Pennsylvania. (Denver, PA: Saul Publishing Company, 1982).

Ellis, Franklin, and Samuel Evans. History of Lancaster County. (1883).

Everts and Stewart. The 1875 Historical Atlas of Lancaster County Pennsylvania. (Knightstown, IN: The Bookmark, 1976).

Klein, H.M.J., Ph.D. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania — A History. (New York and Chicago: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., Inc., 1924).

Kegerrise Family Genealogical File, Lancaster County Historical Society.

Deed Books, Registry of Wills, Lancaster County Archives at Lancaster County Courthouse.

Architectural Survey Files, Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County.

  1. Gail E. Knauer, Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster, Kagerise Store and House, nomination document, 1987, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Nearby Neighborhoods

Street Names
Main Street West