Central Penn College's History
The Boyer House
The Boyer House, named for the Boyer family who occupied the house for almost 200 years, presently is owned by Central Penn College. Ownership of the home can be traced in a direct line to seven generations of Boyers. The families were farmers, and farming continued by the family until 1999 when Rob Boyer, who was living in the house when the College purchased it, passed away. The College bought the Boyer House from Catherine Boyer on March 19, 1999, and College President Todd Milano promised Mrs. Boyer he would restore the stone house and dedicate it to the Boyer Family.
The Boyer House is a unique treasure of the past. Many other old houses do exist, but not many can claim so few changes over a 200-year period. The removal of the staircase railing on the second floor and the addition of a bathroom in 1947 were the only modifications made to this home in its 200-year history! No interior walls were ever removed or altered. During the renovation, the bathroom was removed and the staircase railing was restored to its original place.
It is unclear exactly when the Boyers bought the land and built the house known as "The Boyer House." What is known, however, is that John Harris was the first to purchase property in what is now East Pennsboro Township.
Harris purchased 311 acres of land in 1737; and, one month later, on February 18, 1737, he sold a portion of that land, (290 acres) to Mr. Thomas Spray, of Darby, County of Chester. That acreage included the 209 acres that would become the Boyer Farm.
Philip Bayer (Boyer) was born in 1709, and was the son of Frederick Bayer from Straussburg, Germany. Phillip and his wife, Susanna, had 13 children, all born in Lebanon County. Their youngest surviving son, John Peter, purchased 77 acres from the original Thomas Spray plot; and in 1794, Jacob Boyer had possession of the entire 209 acres. He sold 78 acres, to Christian and Barbara Blosser on April 15th, 1794 (taking a portion of the property out of Boyer hands until May 5, 1810 when Peter and Anne Margaret Boyer purchased it for 700 pounds).
In 1829 John Peter sold the property to his son George. George and Elizabeth had eight children; and one of them, Philip, purchased the farm in 1883. On February 4th, 1903, Philip and Susan Boyer sold 50 acres of it to the Pennsylvania Railroad. The remaining acreage remained in the Boyer family until March 19, 1999 when Central Penn College purchased the property from George Walton Boyer, Jr.'s wife, Catherine A. Boyer.
Today the historic stone farmhouse serves as office space for College President Todd Milano, his assistant Linda Buffington, and his Special Assistant Dr. Dilip Abayasekara, and has become part of the campus of Central PennCollege. Throughout the year, special guests are invited to join President Milano for a quiet informal lunch in the upstairs conference room. In addition, the Historical Society of East Pennsboro Township maintains two rooms showcasing memorabilia of the township's past. More than a thousand people have toured the Boyer House and that number continues to grow.
In July 2004, the Boyer family held their 100-year reunion in the Central Penn Conference Center. Many Boyer family members once again walked through the door of The Boyer House.
To tour the Boyer House, contact Judy Jacobs or Jim Leonard, Executive Director, Historical Society of East Pennsboro Township, by telephone 717-732-5801. Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Did You Know?
Pennsylvania Business College
Central Penn College's history can be traced back to 1881 - when the Pennsylvania Business College opened its doors on Market Street in Harrisburg.