Hildeville – Hanover, Pennsylvania - Atlas Obscura

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These small house replicas have stood proudly since the 1950s, even as the property has changed hands. 


Sometime in the 1950s, these little houses were built by Kurt Hildebrand, the original owner of the property who lived in the house across the street with the white fence. Depending on whom you ask, locals will say Kurt built the little houses for his grandchildren, his wife Elsie, or as a hobby and that he would decorate them as a little Christmas Elf village during the holiday season.

The homes are mainly composed of stone, mortar, wood, and also have working electricity. Each house has its own unique quirks, from window layouts, porches, their own matching colored lights, and even unique doorknobs. At the time of construction, there was also a stone windmill, a bridge, and a few more homes at the stream. One home was crashed into and destroyed in the late 1970s by a pickup truck and others were damaged beyond repair during a flood.

Since then, the house has changed hands several times, and all new owners have taken care of or have done repairs several times over the years. The little village is now known as “Hildeyville” or “Hildeville,” and locals recall childhood memories of these little homes fondly and have passed on the imagination and wonderment they evoke to their children or grandchildren.

Some still believe that garden fairies live in the houses and come out at night when no one is looking, or that the houses were for mice, frogs, birds, leprechauns, gnomes, or little trolls. Let your imagination run wild when viewing these beauties lovingly tucked into the quaint town that is Hanover, Pennsylvania. Artist Bobbi Becker from New Chester painted the houses for pictures and greeting cards.

Know Before You Go

Many people stop but don't get out because parking is lacking. However, you can park in the lot across the street at 1012 Abbottstown Pike, Hanover, PA 17331. Please be careful crossing the road.

Although the owners appreciate and welcome visitors to Hildeville, please be mindful that this is on private property.

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September 20, 2021

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