Programs & Services /
Historic homes, barns, bridges and other structures give Lancaster County a distinctive character – one that appeals to residents and visitors alike. The Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County recognizes historic structures when they qualify for the Preservation Trust Historic Plaque Program.
To recognize historically and architecturally significant structures in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, as well as to encourage the preservation of the county's rich history.
The 6 inch by 8 inch plaque is made of high quality cast bronze. The oval will have the date when the structure was built in the center. In the oval circling the date will be HISTORIC PRESERVATION TRUST OF LANCASTER COUNTY. The outer-most oval will state: THIS PROPERTY RECOGNIZED BY:
$190 covers cost of plaque, a donation to the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County and a one-year membership in the Preservation Trust. Installation is the plaque purchaser’s responsibility.
Does Your Property Qualify?
To qualify for the program, a structure must have been built during the World War II era or earlier and must be associated with at least one of the following:
The site of a significant local, state or national event.
Person or People
A site that can be identified with a person or persons who significantly contributed to the development of the county, state or nation.
Builder / Designer / Architect
The work of a master builder, designer, or architect whose individual work has influenced the development of the county, state or nation.
A building that is recognized for the quality of its architecture.
Preserved or Reused
An example of historic preservation excellence, including re-adaptive use
Historic Plaque Program Application
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Resources for researching the histories of Lancaster County structures:
- At its headquarters at 123 N. Prince St., the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County has information about thousands of historic properties around the county. It’s open Monday-Thursday (Fridays by appointment). Call 291-5861 or visit hptrust.org.
- You probably can find most of the past owners of your property by searching the Lancaster County Recorder of Deeds’ website, Lancasterdeeds.com. For older deeds, you may need to use the site’s e-film reader, for which there are instructions on the site.
- Bonnie L. Bowman, recorder of deeds, says researchers may call 299-8238, or visit the office in the county government center, 150 N. Queen St., Suite 315, on weekdays to ask her staff for help. Download deed documents at home at no cost; printouts at the recorder’s office will run you 25 cents a page.
- On the archives’ website, co.lancaster.pa.us/lancoarchives, click “House History resources” link for a description of documents, records and maps that might be useful in research. The county archives are in Suite 10 of the county government center. Call: 299-8319.
- Twice a year, archivist John Bennawit offers a free class, “Homemade History: Researching Your Historic Home in the Lancaster County Archives.” This year, the course will be offered June 7 and Sept. 13, at the county government center. Reserve a seat at 299-8257.
- Help in searching documents through the county historical society, Lancasterhistory.org, is available Monday-Saturday at the Campus of History, Marietta and North President avenues. Call 392-4633. The “Guides “ menu on the society’s website contains a “House History” section that will guide you through the process of examining your house for useful architectural evidence, and searching land records and other resources.
- The Lancaster Mennonite Society , 2215 Millstream Road, contains records including family histories, estate papers, photographs, postcards and historical books published by local municipalities. It’s open Tuesday-Saturday. Call 393-9745 or visit Lmhs.org.