The Barber Shop

The proper shave and haircut was essential for every gentleman, so it came to pass that a barber shop was opened in Berne. Many barbers from neighboring towns came to Berne on Saturdays to do whatever shaving needed to be done. To our knowledge, Fred Hoffer was the first barber to establish a shop in Berne. Late in the 1800s, newspaper records show that Frank Foreman and Fred Wechter owned a barber shop on the east side of Main Street.

The barber shop is 10 feet wide and 18 feet deep. There is a door on the north end and a door and windows on the east, west, and south ends. The inside walls are of plain tongue and groove pine boards. A chimney of brick hangs down in the center of the room just enough to accommodate a stove pipe on the north and south side. The ceiling is of narrow pine boards. There was no water except for a cistern that was close by. The building was first owned by a medical doctor, which suggests it may have first been a doctor's office.

The barber shop was a generous gift to the Swiss Heritage Society from the late Elvira Lehman. It had been part of her family home since the 1940s until its move to the Village in 1991.