Photos by Melanie Hunt Streeter
When you drive from down the valley that separates Wellsville and Andover NY, one property really stands out, and it has for 181 years. The Hann Homestead Inn sits comfortably on the north side of NY-417 and demands notice with its stately white pillared front porch. It is almost impossible to drive by without being harkened back to the days old when travelers used this property in a very similar way they do today: As a working inn, gathering place, and a big part of the local community.
For Barbara Strouse Rechenberg, it’s all about coming home. One hundred and eighty one years ago, Barbara’s great great great grandparents, Simeon and Rachel Hann, built a special home, a home with 17 rooms, amidst 600 acres in Shoemakers Corners, NY ( now Andover, NY.)
In this home, Simeon and Rachael Hann raised 10 children. For the next 120 years, generation after generation, all members of the Hann family lived on the property. The family names of Hann, Baker, Adams and Lever all have a place in Barbara’s family tree. Many of these families are Founding Families of Andover, NY and all have played a part in the story that is The Hann Homestead Inn.
In the 1960’s, the home was sold to someone outside of the Hann family then sat abandoned and falling down for almost 40 years. In 2000 the house was purchased and lovingly restored. In March of 2014, the house then was purchased by the Rechenbergs. The Hann Homestead is once again back in family hands!
Barbara and Kurt Rechenberg wish to preserve the home that holds so much of her family history. They look forward to showcasing the many pieces of local and family artifacts in their collection. Barbara wants to give back to the community she grew up in by providing a much-needed source of overnight accommodations in Allegany County. Creating a home-like atmosphere for those returning to the area or simply traveling through.
The Hann Homestead Inn opened for business in August of 2014 and has become a popular destination for history lovers. Not only can visitors submerge themselves in the history of the Inn as a living artifact, but spend time in the birthplace of Allegany County. The counties first settler, Nathaniel Dike, and many of his descendants, are buried near that pioneer settlement in Elm Valley. Between Wellsville and Andover, a history buff could spend years exploring the landmarks, museums, trails, and legends of yesterday.
This historic inn isn’t just about history: Weddings are a common site as you drive by and glance at the front porch. In fact, one wedding party in recent years turned out to be the 5th great grandson of Simon and Rachel Hann!! Family reunions are also popular and the Rechenbergs have recently expanded capacity by resurrecting a smaller farmhouse on the property.
The Blue Bird Tourist Home is an 1880 farmhouse and seasonal vacation rental in Andover NY. There are 5 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, 1 king bed, 5 queen size beds and one full size bed. The bathrooms are fully stocked with fluffy towels, complimentary shampoo, conditioner and body wash. You will find a fully equipped kitchen with stainless appliances and custom butcher block counter tops, there is a gas grill and also a HUGE fire pit in the yard next to our little babbling brook. We are ATV friendly and have onsite trout fishing on Dyke Creek. “The Bluebird” is a perfect place to meet for a long weekend with family and friends.
Just as the Hann family did five generations ago, they give back to the local community. The Rechenbergs are starting a Hann Homestead High School scholarship for genealogy research partnering with the Andover Historical Society. The Inn sponsors multiple youth sports teams and have been constant contributors to local community events like the Andover 4th of July Celebration.
With one foot in history and the other moving into the future, Simeon and Rachel Hann’s great-great-great granddaughter welcomes you to visit and enjoy the family home. The old homestead has come a long way since the Hann’s settled here in 1840. In 2021 the “vibe” is reflective of the Rechenbergs taste and personality, and it even has a modern hashtag, #RusticElegance. The modern Hann Homestead Inn is a place where muddy boots and campfires meet a beautiful vista and a gorgeous farmhouse table.