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Penn Township


Township Municipal offices are located at 97 North Penryn Road, Manheim PA 17545; phone: 717-665-4508.

Beginnings [1]

Most of the land in present Penn Township was separated from a larger Warwick Township in 1846. It also appears that some parts of a larger Rapho Township, mostly in the vicinity of Mount Hope, were annexed to Penn Township during the nineteenth century. Most of the first settlers in Penn Township were of Germanic or Swiss ancestry and began settling around 1735. These early settlers located along the foot of the Furnace Hills. They slowly extended their landholding southward toward what is now White Oak (settled in 1794). Penryn, famous for the White Oak Church, is the oldest town in the Township, being founded in the 1730's. Limerock, founded by Dr. J. C. Brobst in 1880, was originally established to take advantage of the abundant limestone found in the southeast corner of the Township. At that time, the quarried limestone was shipped commercially via railroad to other parts of the country.

Mount Hope was an early post town with a stagecoach stop. Mount Hope also contained the Mount Hope Chemical Charcoal Works. This important industry produced some of the earliest smelting of iron-ore in Lancaster County. The village of Elm was originally called Penn and was well-known for the tavern established there. Molly Plasterer's Tavern (located where the five roads converged) was a rendezvous for iron workers when the forges and furnaces were in full blast, and a headquarters for mountaineers.

Today, Penn Township has evolved into a growing suburban area, strongly influenced by its proximity to both Manheim and Lititz Boroughs, as well as the Lancaster urbanized area.

  1. Manheim Borough / Penn & Rapho Townships, Official Comprehensive Plan, 1993, www.raphotownship.org, accessed February 2008.
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