Weidman Family History
In the late 1800's, Great-Grandma & Grandpa Weidman came to America from Germany. They settled originally in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This was a logical choice, since a large portion of the area's population was already made up of German-speaking people. The area had came to be known as the Pennsylvania-Dutch country, because so many of the Dutch immigrants settled there and German traditions and culture had became linked with the area. The area was rich in farmland and those who knew how to work the land became part of a self-sufficient community. When the industrial revolution came, those whose religions allowed them to be part of the modernization of society looked toward the new technology as a new opportunity to improve their standard of living. The Weidmans moved to Rochester, New York, where Great-Grandpa gained employment as a construction worker hired to help build a central office building for a new company called Eastman Kodak. The Weidmans built a meager home on Orange Street and began having children. All of the Weidman children were born in this original family homestead as pictured here around 1895.
The company did well, and profit sharing extended the new wealth to the company's employees. Soon, the family could afford to build a newer and bigger house on the land next door to their original property. Shortly after the family settled into their new home, Great-Grandpa fell from a construction platform and fatally injured his stomach. Great-Grandma was left to care for the home and the growing children alone. All of her children were eventually married in the new house, and their children would visit the family homestead on special occasions. One of her granddaughters is Dorothy (Montgomery) Burchard. She remembers visiting the old house next to Great-Grandma as a young child during the early 1930's. A new family was living their then, and their young daughter was about Dorothy's age and became her playmate. She is perhaps the only grandchild to have ever been inside the original Weidman homestead as it pretty much was in the days that the Weidmans first built and lived in it. She remembers being impressed by how old and different everything was. There was no running water or electricity in the house yet. A hand water pump supplied well water to the kitchen sink and a spinning wheel sat in the living room. The family kept warm with a fireplace. The house still stands on Orange Street today. I personally saw it just this summer on a drive through of the old neighborhood. There have been some modifications and additions built onto the original structure, but the picket fence still surrounds the front yard (though also slightly modernized).