Elizabeth's Garden & the Carriage House
Located to the rear of the Museum are Elizabeth's Garden and the Carriage House
meeting room. The areas are used most times for Foundation programs and for
community events but they are also available for special events. Elizabeth's Garden
and the Carriage House are convenient and beautiful settings for your special event.
The garden is designed to attract butterflies and hummingbirds and includes a variety
of 18th century plantings and a lovely collection of roses, a favorite of the
Foundation's founder, Elizabeth Keiffer. A bronze plaque with a poem written by
Mabel Reist Koch dedicating the rose to Henry William Stiegel can be seen in the
We welcome volunteers who
are willing to help with the
maintenance and development
of Elizabeth's Garden!
If you are interested in renting
the garden for your special
wedding or event, please call
the Foundation at 665-5560
and provide your name, phone
number, desired date and use.
We thank the patrons below for their generous
support and help with Elizabeth's Garden!
Pictured above is the school bell from
Manhiem's first public school.
In 2001, when HMPF was established, it became a goal of the organization to develop
an attractive garden area in which to occasionally hold outdoor activities. It was also
decided that a building at the rear of the property could be developed into a meeting
room, a small exhibit room, and a workshop for general maintenance of the property.
All of this development was accomplished to a high degree. A major problem at HMPF
has become the maintenance of the garden (Elizabeth’s Garden), named for Elizabeth
Keiffer, the woman who established and funded the organization. If you click on the
highlighted word, you will see what we have been faced with.
A Story that needs to be told!
GOOD NEIGHBOR/BAD NEIGHBOR
As the development of Elizabeth’s Garden progressed, HMPF became more and more faced with
conditions created by the neighbor to the west of the garden. After HMPF erected fencing, to
enclose the garden area for safety and privacy, problems started. HMPF had permission from
Manheim Borough to place fencing along both sides of the garden and this did not sit well with
the one neighbor. HMPF had planned to erect a low maintenance vinyl fence, but, unfortunately,
we were influenced and we made a mistake and erected a treated lumber fence. Sometime after
the fencing was in place, the neighbor planted bamboo along our fence on their side. Since they
did not plant the bamboo in a container or behind a barrier wall to keep the bamboo from
spreading, the bamboo invaded and destroyed planted areas in Elizabeth’s Garden. The
garden eventually lost many beautiful plants (butterfly bush, coreopsis, zebra grass and
Black-eyed Susan). In order to try to destroy the bamboo that invaded HMPF’s garden, we had
to obtain the services of Tomlinson and Bomberger. This meant having three very potent
chemicals professionally applied to the bamboo in our garden to stop the growth and spread and
to kill all the bamboo that had invaded our property. While in time the bamboo in our garden
was killed and its spreading was for the most part ended, the three chemicals have rendered the
soil sterile for a period of five to six years. To return the affected area (more than thirty feet in
length) to some appearance of beauty, we have been forced to landscape the area with red
sandstone rocks, potted plants and other attractive items.
In addition to the bamboo problem created by the neighbor, Elizabeth’s Garden is faced with a
bombardment of tree trash balls from the neighbor’s sweet gum tree. The neighbor had
three of the sweet gum trees in their yard, and, upon finally considering the mess that the trees
create, they expressed, “who in the world would plant trees like that”. They had two of the three
sweet gum trees removed about two years ago, leaving the one closest to our Elizabeth’s
Garden standing. The one left sanding is the one that produces what you will see in the pictures
(trash to HMPF’s garden).
On top of the bamboo and gum tree ball debris, we are continually faced with the spouting on our
Carriage House building being clogged with pine needles from the same neighbor’s huge
three pine trees. We are now forced to add gutter guard, in the hope that we can prevent the
pine needles from continually blocking our spouting and causing overflows and damage to the
Carriage House meeting room building.
Considering what has taken place here in Elizabeth’s Garden, one could easily begin to believe
that things against the Historic Manheim Preservation Foundation, Inc. are being done out of
spite. Most intelligent people would be grateful that an organization like HMPF exists and they
would certainly not want to create problems for HMPF related to litter and destruction of planted
When the organization was established and the garden was being developed, we needed to
remove two trees that were in our garden area, and, as a good neighbor, we removed things for
the neighbor from their property, at their request. For the neighbor, we removed two pine trees
(two of their five), a rotting compost box filled with rotting pine needles, and a shanty attached to
their barn. The shanty attachment was missing a door; a window, and the floor was littered with
scrap wood cuttings. As a good neighbor, the two HMPF workers, one paid and the other a
volunteer, removed the trees; compose box and the shanty with all the trash. We removed all of
this at $15.00 per hour. There was no charge to the neighbor for the use of the truck that
hauled the waste and no charge for a farmer to eventually dispose the waste. As unbelievable
as it might seem, one person climbed the two huge pine trees; sawed off the limbs and gradually
removed sections from each of the two trees, down to the ground level. Again, HMPF (a good
neighbor) arranged to have the work done for the neighbor at the rate of $15.00 per hour; paid
to only one of the workers. One thousand dollars would not have covered the neighbor’s cost to
have the trees removed by those who are in the business of removing trees, and they would not
have removed the shanty and compose mess.
When HMPF was first faced with the bamboo problem, we were informed that under the definition
of trespass, the property owner who planted the bamboo, because of its invasiveness and
destructiveness, could be sued for the removal of the bamboo from the HMPF property and all
damages and losses to HMPF, plus the labor costs involved in the restoration of that part of the
garden affected by the bamboo. Being good a neighbor and foolish, we didn’t take any action
against those responsible for the garden destruction. Now, with the bamboo once more
appearing to invade an area of Elizabeth’s Garden and all of the trash deposited in our garden
from the neighbor’s trees, HMPF will be forced to proceed with legal action to resolve the
problem of litter and damages.