An advertisement in the February 1921 issue of Normal Instructor and Primary Plans magazine listed Maple Farm Home as “A nice, quiet place to live and rest” with “good air, water and food, electric lights and bath.”
The ad encouraged interested parties to contact Lillian G. Franzen at Box 22, Akron, Pa. “If you want to care for yourself or relative or friend, write to us for rates,” it said.
The Franzen family had owned the 66-acre property at 604 Oak Street at least since 1909, when they inscribed their name and the date on the cornerstone of a house that remains on the grounds, at 3 Maple Farm Road. In the 1930s, according to newspaper files, the family operated Maple Farm as a summer resort. Wealthy Philadelphians came to Maple Farm to enjoy Lancaster County.
Over the years, Maple Farm evolved into a skilled care facility. In the early 1940s, under the guidance of Franzen’s daughter, Mary Fink, it became the first licensed nursing center in Pennsylvania.
In 1997 Franzen’s granddaughter, Mary Ann Russell, sold the property to Lancaster General Health, which operated the nursing facility for more than a decade. Licensed for 119 residents, it was home to 95 in 2009.
Garden Spot Village acquired Maple Farm in 2009 and immediately began implementing its person-centered model of skilled care. Between 2010 and early 2013, the entire facility was renovated. Two inviting households with all private bedrooms, as well as parlors, great rooms and open country kitchens replaced the traditional institutional floorplans. Each household accommodates 23 residents.
Although the building’s footprint remains the same, it has been upgraded for energy efficiency, with new windows, roof, attic insulation and new lighting, electrical, plumbing and fire suppression/sprinkler system throughout. Exterior improvements included new signage, a new lawn, flowerbeds, dozens of new trees along Route 272 and Maple Farm Road, and other landscaping.
Cornerstone Design Architects of Lancaster designed the project, and Wagman Construction of York was the general contractor.