“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 Courthouse

Old Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Pfingsten, February 2, 2008
1. Old Courthouse Marker
Inscription.  In 1739, the small brick courthouse of old Lancaster, one of the first in America, was completed. The two story courthouse was constructed in the center of the square and provided a courtroom on the first floor, and a council chamber and small storage rooms on the second floor. Small panes of leaded glass formed the windows, while atop the shingled roof sat a steeple and belfry. Every fall for 45 years, a colorful group of English and German churchmen, Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, and Quakers gathered at the courthouse to elect local officials. On June 15, 1774, citizens grouped at the courthouse to courageously protest the Act of Parliament against Boston declaring that importing/exporting with Great Britain should be halted. Several weeks later at a public meeting on July 9, citizens passed eleven resolutions against British oppression.
Then, on July 7, 1776, news of the Declaration of Independence reached Lancaster, and on the following day it was publicly read from the courthouse steps. Local magistrates rushed to the courthouse where they surrendered their commissions refused to recognize the King, and ordered the removal of the royal
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coat of arms from the courtroom.
Perhaps the most famous event occurred on September 27, 1777; on this day Lancaster was the Nation's capital as the leaders of our rebellion against England met at the old courthouse to discuss the nation's business while fleeing the British advance to Philadelphia. A sad end befell this venerable courthouse when in June 1784, it was entirely consumed by fire.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraNotable BuildingsNotable EventsPatriots & PatriotismSettlements & SettlersWar, US Revolutionary. A significant historical month for this entry is June 1829.
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 left on Queen Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lancaster PA 17603, United States of America. Touch for directions.
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 Center Square (Penn Square) (here, next to this marker); Central Market (here, next to this marker); Early Transportation Routes (here, next to this marker); Lancaster's 'freedom spies' (here, next to this marker); Penn Square (a few steps
Five Markers image. Click for full size.
Photographed 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.
from this marker); The Revolutionary War (a few steps from this marker); The War of 1812 (a few steps from 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.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on February 3, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,483 times since then and 83 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on February 3, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   2. submitted on February 4, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.

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Dec. 11, 2023