Lancaster Pennsylvania History
In Gettysburg, just over an hour west of Lancaster, lies a place deeply rooted in American history. It is a 1.5-hour drive from Philadelphia and less than an hour from Lancaster County to read about one of the most important events in Pennsylvania history: the Civil War.
A replica of an Indian longhouse that tells the story of the agricultural history of the state as presented in the Pennsylvania State Historical Society Agricultural History Museum is new territory for me.
Lancaster was built in 1734 by James Hamilton and was the site of the first US Army settlement in western Pennsylvania. In 1772, the founding of Northumberland County took over the northern tip of the map and the county of Cumberland was established, ending the remote western territory of Lancaster County. Berk's foundation in 1752 further reduced the town to a single county with just over 2,000 inhabitants and a few hundred hectares of land. The establishment of a new county, Cumberlands County, in 1803 to end the much flatter western areas. Berks' creation of 1752 The map of Lancaster County was further reduced, and the shaping from the northern tip of the 23rd to the eastern edge of its territory was taken over by a formative year, 1771.
Lancaster County regained its place as an ever-expanding community that gradually spread westward, even as settlements in western Pennsylvania and the Ohio Valley diminished the county's economic importance. As the settlement grew in 1776, the local court approved the construction of what is now Lancaster County Courthouse in the town of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on the western edge of its territory.
While other communities in Lancaster County benefited from industrial development, the Lancaster City Historic District became an industrial area that grew faster. The tobacco and related industries also had a number of other industrial developments in the area, such as the construction of the city's first post office in 1776, but none matched the volume of production found within the Lancashire County Courthouse and its surroundings in terms of volume production.
One of the most common products pioneers needed to colonize the border was made in Lancaster, the Conestoga wagon and the Pennsylvania long rifle. The Pennsylvania rifle, which later became known as the Kentucky rifle when it was carried in the Ohio Valley, was developed even earlier than Lancaster County.
Lancaster was the state's first major turnpike to connect Lancaster to Philadelphia, while other highways and roads connected it to other cities in the county. Lancaster was also the county seat of the first public school, the Lancaster County Courthouse and the Pennsylvania State House.
The Pennsylvania government also settled in Lancaster and remained there for the duration of the British occupation of Philadelphia. Shortly after arriving in Lancaster County, John Conrad Beissel left the Ephrata Monastery and founded it, which is now restored and administered by the Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission. Lancaster also has two other museums that showcase Pennsylvania's Dutch heritage: the Lancaster Museum of Dutch Heritage and Penn State Museum.
They also serve as a perfect way to introduce visitors, and perhaps even themselves, to Lancaster County and the history of the region.
If you haven't had the opportunity to visit Lancaster County, you can't blame yourself for thinking that the only thing you can do in Lancaster, PA, is to visit the Amish. If you're planning a trip to Amished County, check out our guide to Lancaster City and its history to find out what you're doing in the city to really experience what the region has to offer. According to the Pennsylvania Historical Society, the Amish and Mennonites settled in Pennsylvania in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Soon we will go into Lancaster's history as it now concerns the Amish and Mennonites of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and its history in general. They surveyed the land in 1710 (then Chester County) and quarried large quantities of limestone at the southern end of the township. In the hills they found the best red sandstone in the state, used to build the old Lancaster Courthouse and Lancaster Prison.
The Lancaster County Historical Society maintains a copy of this work in its collection, along with other indexes and compilations. The index portion of the plate exists, and we have a selectively indexed volume of it in our collection.
A book called "Churches and Cemeteries in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania" is an excellent source of information on existing records in Lancaster County. The Census Records for Lancaster City are available on microfilm and we keep them in our collection along with a copy of the index part of this work.
The River Brethren of Christ, which was first founded in Lancaster County on the Susquehanna River, have a long history of their own, often confused with the Mennonites, the Amish of the ancient order. After an inevitable schism, the regular German Baptist Brothers flourished in Lancashire County and are now called the Church of the Brothers of Bre. This publication describes the Stouffer family, who are from Switzerland, and the descendants who emigrated to America and settled in Lancaster County in the early history of Pennsylvania. The book Lancaster County, Pennsylvania History contains a wealth of information covering a wide range of historical events, from the beginnings of Pennsylvania history to the present day.