The Joseph Schneider Haus is the oldest dwelling in Kitchener, built in 1816 by Joseph Schneider. The site includes a bake house and wash house, a period garden, an orchard, and a piece of parkland near a former mill pond.
Joseph Schneider was part of a large group of Pennsylvania German Mennonites from Lancaster County that settled in Waterloo County, Ontario in the early 19th century. The Joseph Schneider Haus was designated a national historic site of Canada because of this association and because it preserves the vernacular house plan developed by the Mennonites in pre-American Revolutionary Pennsylvania. The designation refers to the elements of the house, outbuildings and landscape surviving from the early 19th century Mennonite homestead.
Located at 466 Queen St. South in Kitchener, the Schneider Haus is now a museum, a living recreation of life in Ontario in the 1850s, and has been restored to that period. A wonderful place to visit with many on-going activities and also houses a “family” of costumed staff who revive this lifestyle, offering baked goods on occasion.
This fine Georgian two-storey frame farmhouse is of original vernacular design including its rectangular massing, modified neo-classical exterior design and detailing with pitched roof, end chimneys, large verandah, and slightly irregular placement of window and door openings.
Viewings, events and programs can be found at: