“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lancaster in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Old Center Square (Penn Square)

Old Center Square (Penn Square) Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, February 2, 2008
1. Old Center Square (Penn Square) Marker
Inscription. Indian wigwams, a hickory tree, and a spring - that was old center square "Hickory Town" prior to 1730. In that year, however, significant changes occurred as Andrew and James Hamilton laid out Lancaster Townstead with an open square. Streets crossing at right angles, and three plots designated for a courthouse, a jail, and a market area. In 1744, several hundred indians from the six most powerful, confederated tribes of the middle Atlantic indians signed the Treaty of Six Nations with colonial representatives from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. Following meeting in the old courthouse in the square, the indians, in exchange for £1,200, blankets, guns, rum, and gold, rescinded their rights to disputed land in Virginia and Maryland, renewed former treaties, and swore allegiance to the British against the French.
Sam Adams, John Adams, Charles Carroll, John Hancock, and Robert Morris walked through this very location on September 27, 1777, when Lancaster was host to the Continental Congress. Other famous visitors have included George Washington (1791), Andrew Jackson (1819), Marquis de Lafayette (1825), William Henry Harrison (1836), Sam Houston (1848), Zachary Taylor (1849), Abraham Lincoln (1861), Ulysses S. Grant (1876), Woodrow Wilson (1895), and John F. Kennedy (1960).
During the 18th and 19th centuries, center square
Five Markers image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, February 2, 2008
2. Five Markers
This and four other markers are grouped together on the northwest corner of the square. Central Market can be seen in the background. See related markers below for the other 4 markers.
enjoyed a local color indicative of Lancaster's trade and personalities. The square was a public market until a market house was built on the northwest corner in 1757. Robert Fulton's father owned a tailor shop at the northeast corner while in the southwest sector Joseph Simon, indian trader, operated one of the largest trading stores in the colony.
Location. 40° 2.282′ N, 76° 18.355′ W. Marker is in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in Lancaster County. Marker is at the intersection of Queen Street and King Street, on the right when traveling north on Queen Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lancaster PA 17603, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Soldiers and Sailors Monument (here, next to this marker); Old Courthouse (here, next to this marker); Central Market (here, next to this marker); Early Transportation Routes (here, next to this marker); Home Site of Col. William Henry (within shouting distance of this marker); S. Dale Kaufman (within shouting distance of this marker); James Buchanan (within shouting distance of this marker); Lancaster City (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lancaster.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Lancaster markers displayed together.
Categories. Colonial EraIndustry & CommerceNative AmericansNotable BuildingsNotable EventsNotable PersonsSettlements & SettlersWar, US Revolutionary
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 4, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,368 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 4, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
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