“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)

Penn Square

Lancaster City

Penn Square Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), July 7, 2019
1. Penn Square Marker
Inscription.  Since its establishment in 1730, Lancaster City has been a bustling, vibrant community with a rich history. Founded by James Hamilton, an English businessman, the city was designed to be the county seat, with a Courthouse placed in the center of town, where the Soldier and Sailors monument now stands.

❖ City Hall, built in 1794, was located where the Lancaster Cultural History Museum now stands. City Hall housed both State and County offices, and from 1799-1812 City Hall served as Pennsylvania's capital building when Lancaster was the state capital. Lancaster was also the capital of the United States for one day, September 27, 1777.

❖ Lancaster City grew quickly and its people became known for their entrepreneurship. By the mid 1750s, there were over 245 local artisans including shoemakers, carpenters, bakers, wheelwrights, tailors and tobacconists residing in Lancaster City.

❖ The oldest tobacco shop in the nation is still located at 114 East King Street. Established in 1770, Demuth quickly became the favorite gathering place for local men. Fifteenth President of the United States, and
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Lancaster native, James Buchanan was known to give Demuth cigars as gifts to dignitaries and friends.

❖ Many notable businessmen got their burgeoning start in Lancaster, including Frank Woolworth, who opened his first successful five-and-ten cent store in 1879, and Milton S. Hershey founder of Hershey Chocolate, learned how to be a chocolate candymaker at Joseph Royer's shop on West King Street.

❖ For centuries, Central Market has been the center of activity for residents and visitors alike. Central Market is the oldest contineously operating farmers market in the country. Many of the stands have been in business for generations, selling home made baked goods and fresh produce.

❖ Another Lancaster City landmark is the Fulton Opera House. Originally builty as a meeting hall in 1852, the Fulton was a theater for well-known actors and performers, including the Barrymore Family, Al Jolson and Mark Twain. Performances varied from vaudeville and drama to movies and comedies. Today the Fulton Opera House is home to Lancaster Symphony Orchestra and Opera Lancaster, and is one of the finest, live performance theaters in Pennsylvania.

❖ Over the centuries Lancaster City has been the gathering place of many, from its earliest years as a meeting place for law makers and the Continental Congress, to its present standing
Penn Square Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), July 7, 2019
2. Penn Square Marker
as the socal and economic hub of Lancaster County.
Erected by Lancaster County Historical Society.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicColonial EraIndustry & CommerceWar, US Revolutionary. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #15 James Buchanan series list. A significant historical month for this entry is September 1877.
Location. 40° 2.291′ N, 76° 18.352′ W. Marker is in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in Lancaster County. Marker is at the intersection of North Queen Street (Pennsylvania Route 72) and East King Street (Route 462), on the left when traveling north on North Queen Street. Marker is on the NW corner of the square. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 15 North Queen Street, 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 (a few steps from this marker); Old Courthouse (a few steps from this marker); Old Center Square (Penn Square) (a few steps from this marker); Central Market (a few steps from this marker); Early Transportation Routes (a few steps from this marker); Lancaster's 'freedom spies' (a few steps from this marker); The Revolutionary War
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(a few steps from this marker); The War of 1812 (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lancaster.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 28, 2019. It was originally submitted on February 6, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,723 times since then and 82 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 9, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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May. 31, 2023