Since its founding in 1958, Zerbe Retirement Community has grown to become an extended family to the community, offering security and tender loving care to both residents and their families. The final venture of ambitious entrepreneurs, Dot and Sis Zerbe, Ann Zerbe Good and Ann's husband, Curly (Omar) Good, Zerbe Retirement Community is the lasting legacy of these long-time creative entrepreneurs.
Family involvement remains a hallmark at Zerbe Retirement Community as the next generation continues the tradition of family warmth and caring which has set the Zerbe Sisters apart from the beginning. Nancy Caffrey-Schafer, niece of the Zerbe Sisters serves as President and her son, Dan Caffrey is now the CEO and part owner and very active in the business.
1958 - the founders began boarding residents at their farmhouse in Bowmansville, Pennsylvania.
1960 - 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.
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.
1973 - Two new nursing wings were built.
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.
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.
Today - 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.
Most people don't know that the founders of Zerbe Retirement Community were already 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.
The foursome were also ambitious entrepreneurs investing in a number of ventures throughout the community including:
A Mink Business - The foursome purchased 6 mink with plans to raise and sell them for their beautiful fur. Two years and 25 mink later, the group tired of the time-consuming mink business to pursue their next venture.
Frog Legs Sales - Their next venture involved raising frogs to sell 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 were. Upon their release into the pond in autumn, 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.
Raising Foxes - 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!
Making Chow Chow - The foursomes 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.