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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Historic Downtown Lancaster, PA

I know it's been awhile since I've posted anything. Sorry 'bout that. We've just been doing regular stuff - hanging with family, babysitting (I love it!!), and staying out of the heat. But, yesterday, my friend, Cheri & I went to Lancaster, PA.

Most times when people think of Lancaster, PA (if they think of it at all), they think of the outlet shopping and the Amish Country. Well, Cheri and I had been to both numerous times, so we decided to explore downtown Lancaster. After having a
good lunch at the Central Market, which is Lancaster's Farmer's Market, we went to the Visitor's Center and signed up for a walking tour. I just love walking tours!!

Our guide was not the best I've ever had, but he was a nice older gentleman. We started with a short slide show that gave us an overview of the city. Did you know that Lancaster was once the capital of the United States? I certainly didn't. And it was for a very short time, but still . . . Lancaster is also the city in which the Woolworth's stores started. President Buchanan made his home in Lancaster. And the force behind the 17th Amendment which abolished slavery, Thaddeus Stevens, lived here, too. Stevens was also the "father" of our public education system.

During the tour we saw many beautifully restored homes from the late 1700s to the mid 1800s. There are several historic churches in the city, too. One of the churches was originally built as a children's church for Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. Apparently, the founders of Holy Trinity were German speaking and as children were born here and grew up, the children were English speaking. The older generation did not want to change having their services conducted in German so they built a whole other church for the kids to go to and have their services in English! Gosh, guess they never heard of having two services!

Holy Trinity is still active today. I loved the title of
the message for this past Sunday: "He Who Must Be Named." If you're not a Harry Potter fan, you won't get the joke. But, it is funny, I promise you. And it shows how much our spiritual life can be influenced by the media!

Another person everyone knows, Milton Hershey, grew up in Lancaster. One of his first businesses, a caramel factory, is still standing. It is now a senior citizens home. The building is in the midst of the historic district.

On the side of one of the historic homes is a fire department plaque. Apparently, if your home did not display this plaque and a fire broke out in your
home, the fire department would just pass you right by. This plaque was only obtained by paying a tax of some kind. Amazing.

DeMuth Tobacco, located in the city, is the oldest tobacco shop under continual family ownership in the United States. It was started in 1770 and has been handed down ever since. One of the DeMuth sons is a well-known painter - not to me, but to
those in the art world, I guess.

Cheri and I had a good time exploring Lancaster. I know there is much we missed, but you can only do so much at one time. The great thing is to be able to share it with a good friend.

September is shaping up to be rather busy. Not sure how much of it will be of interest to you, but I'll try. I will be going on a trip to New Hampshire with my mom. We'll be visiting my mom's sister, Aunt Helen. Randy & I saw Aunt Helen and my cousin, Wanda and her husband, Bob, last fall when we traveled to Maine. My mom hasn't seen Aunt Helen in years and wants to do so before age and/or ill health keeps them doing so. Randy & I will also try to get in as much time with friends and family before leaving October 1st for our trip south.

Take care of one another. Keep in touch. Until the next time . . .

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:59 PM

    Hi. I think it's so cool traveling around but never leaving home. I am doing a report thing on Milton Hershey and found this website. I read some of it and was really intrested. I cant belive that if your house was on fire and you forgot to pay your taxes for some reason that month the fire department would just drive on by. I think thats really mean. But anyway I hope you guys have fun in New Hampshire.