Lancaster County (Pennsylvania Dutch Country) is rich in history and beauty from the farmlands  to the towns.  You will find in Lancaster the oldest Amish communities in the country, Mennonite history, a large selection of restaurants of all kinds of cuisines, Art Museums and Revolutionary War history. 



One of the oldest Inland towns in the U.S.

The Dutch pronunciation is Lengeschder.  We have chosen to "Lang-kiss-ter", NOT "LAN-caster" or "Lan-CAST-er".


Lancaster was first settled in 1709 by German immigrants who were known as Pennsylvania Dutch. At that time Lancaster was known as “Hickory Town.” The city lots were laid out by the Honorable James Hamilton, and on May 10, 1729, it became the county seat.  John Wright, a prominent citizen, gave it the name “Lancaster” after Lancaster, England where he formerly lived. The city is known as the “Red Rose City” due to its link to Lancaster, England.

In 1742 Lancaster became a borough, was the site of the Treaty of 1744, and was the National Capital of the American Colonies on September 27, 1777, when the Continental Congress was fleeing British forces (who had captured Philadelphia).  From 1799 to 1812 Lancaster was the Capital of Pennsylvania and became a charted city on March 10, 1818.  Lancaster surrendered its charter to become a Third-Class City under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on May 27, 1974.

Lancaster was the home of the Conestoga Wagon, and the birthplace of the Pennsylvania long rifle. During the Revolutionary War, Lancaster was an important munitions center. 

Lancaster City Historic District measures 3 square miles and the buildings date from 1760 to 1950 with the majority dating from 1860 to 1930. Some of the notable buildings and sites include the City Hall (1795-1798), Lancaster County Prison (1851), Watt and Shand (1879) and the Conestoga Steam Cotton Works (1847).  There are several historic cemeteries and churches in Lancaster, including the Lancaster Cemetery and the Woodward Hill Cemetery.  One of the historic Churches is the St Mary’s Catholic Church (June 1741). 

The downtown area features art galleries, museums, one-of-a-kind shops, interesting architecture, unique restaurants offering local foods, family fare, fine dining, and a 19th century farmers market.

Some of Lancaster’s famous residents included President James Buchannan, U.S. Representative Thaddeus Stevens, Surveyor Andrew Elliott, artist, Charles Demuth, F.W. Woodworth and Milton S. Hershey.