Zerbe Sisters Nursing Center

Our History - A Legacy of Compassion

Zerbe Sisters

Zerbe Retirement Community, as the final venture of ambitious entrepreneurs, has grown to become an extended family to the community, offering security and tender loving care to both residents and their families. Back in 1958, this was the long-term goal of sisters Dot and Sis Zerbe and Ann Zerbe Good, and Ann’s husband, Curly (Omar) Good. This foursome was already well known locally as The Zerbe Sisters and Curly, a popular music group that sang at church gatherings, community fairs and on a local radio show. However, what you may not know is that they were also very ambitious prior to founding the nursing center.

Their initial venture began with a trip to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where they bought 6 mink with plans to raise and sell the mink for their beautiful fur. But, after two years and 25 mink later, the foursome tired of the time-consuming mink business and pursued a less-troublesome business . . . frog legs! The scheme included selling the frog legs to fine restaurants in New York City for a hefty profit. The frogs were a true delicacy, but little did they know just how delicate these frogs would become. Upon their release into the pond in the autumn, the 12 pairs of jumbo frogs were expected to hibernate and reproduce. When spring arrived, Curly checked on the progress of their investments, only to find the frogs frozen from the winter cold! Venture number three included purchasing one male and three female silver foxes in hopes of breeding for their luxurious coats. However, one minor detail was overlooked . . . these foxes didn’t have a pen! As a quick solution to their problem, they locked the foxes in the chicken house. Unfortunately, the foxes chewed their way out and were never seen again! The last two undertakings included making chow chow for John Cope, and Triple Z, a complete and successful hosiery mill. This hosiery business flourished until World War II when nylon became unavailable to the mill due to its use in the production of war supplies such as parachutes. In 1958, after the closing of Triple Z, the foursome began boarding residents at their farmhouse in Bowmansville, Pennsylvania. In 1960, Dot, Sis and Ann became Licensed Practical Nurses and began offering the quality nursing care that people remember and expect five decades later.

Zerbe Sisters

However, demand for quality care and personal attention provided by the Zerbe Sisters soon prompted them to expand. In 1961 the Zerbe Sisters and Curly purchased the current site, a 62-acre estate with two elegant stone buildings, from the late Dr. Walter Rigg. The Carriage House, now called the Annex, was renovated to accommodate 13 residents, and the main house, known as the Mansion, housed 20 residents.

In 1973, two new nursing wings were built, and in 1978, another three nursing wings were completed. As these new wings were added, spacious lounges with beautiful brick and stone fireplaces were built for the enjoyment of the residents and their visitors. In 1997, a personal care residence, Harvest View, was added in order to respond to the changing needs and expectations of older adults. Its connection to the nursing center provides ready access to higher levels of care, while its separate entrance, dining, and activity areas provide independence and privacy for personal care residents.

Zerbe Sisters Nursing Center, Harvest View Personal Care, and Woodland Heights, a campus of independent living cottages, combine to create Zerbe Retirement Community. This neighborhood offers a unique and friendly environment for people with a variety of interests and needs. At Zerbe Retirement Community everybody knows your name, and we truly care about you.

Family involvement remains a hallmark at Zerbe Retirement Community. Nancy Caffrey-Schafer, niece of the Zerbe Sisters is President and her son, Dan Caffrey is now our CEO and part owner and very active in the business. We continue the tradition of family warmth and caring which has set the Zerbe Sisters apart from the beginning. It is the same family warmth that is shared with each resident, family member, staff member and friend...our extended family.


“Everyone is so kind to me and I received wonderful care since my move to Harvest View. The Zerbe sisters and I were longtime friends and I feel like I'm part of the family here”
Miriam Usner

Mission Statement
The commitment of this community is to include each resident in our extended family while focusing on the whole person at all phases during the retirement years. Our goal is to provide the resident with the highest quality of life possible. We will emphasize the dignity and individuality of each resident, addressing total wellness, including physical, social, and spiritual needs. All this handed down from one generation to the next. This is an environment which residents can call “home.”

Core Values
We exist to honor God by offering unconditional love to the older generations we serve and to each person who visits or works in our community.

We recognize the needs, accept and value the individuality of each resident, family member, visitor and staff member.

We treat each resident, family member, visitor and staff member as we would like to be treated.

We recognize and prioritize the needs of others’ in a respectful manner.


call us Woodland Heights Independent Living: 717-445-8741

call us Harvest View Personal Care: 717-445-8744

call us Zerbe Sisters Nursing Center: 717-445-4551

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