The community became known for its charity, helping new settlers to build houses, caring for the poor and elderly, operating a school for area children and offering guests free lodging.
The many different buildings include a Weaver's Workshop where they spun linen from flax, an Academy opened in 1837 as a private school for the neighborhood children, a Bakery which produced bread, the mainstay of a colonial diet, the Physician's House which held homemade herbal remedies, a Small Bake House for preparing candles and soaps.
The members lived a very simple life, ate very little meat, were celibate and slept on a wood plank with a block for a pillow to help them dedicate their life to God.
An interesting part of our local history, Ephrata Cloister is worthy of a visit.
This was the first stop of our recent Traveling Herb Seminar that journeyed to destinations in Lancaster County.