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Here, in Lancaster County, we share a common bond: the unique history of this wonderful place. Not only was Lancaster once the capital of the United States and the site of Milton Hershey’s first chocolate factory, Lancaster was the home to Thaddeus Stevens (1792-1868) — the powerful congressman played in the movie “Lincoln” by Oscar winner Tommy Lee Jones.

Fortunately, the Thaddeus Stevens home on South Queen Street still stands as part of the Lancaster Convention Center. Unfortunately, the chocolate factory built by Milton Hershey (1857 –1945) is no longer on Church Street.

Our goal at the Historic Preservation Trust is to bring individuals and organizations together to identify and protect homes, barns, bridges and other structures that are historically significant. We do this by surveying properties countywide to identify those that should be saved. Lists of surveyed properties then are recorded at the Preservation Trust and shared with municipalities. Once in municipal records, the Preservation Trust is notified should a historic structure be threatened by neglect or demolition. When notified, we assess whether the structure is worthy of being saved. If it is, we work to build coalitions to protect it.

Another key component of our mission is to educate. All too often, preservation is taken for granted. Residents and visitors alike appreciate the many historic structures that add beauty to our county. Few stop to reflect on what it takes to have the vision and gain the public-private support needed to make a historic structure an often-photographed landmark. We advise property owners, realtors, government officials and others and make our extensive library on historic preservation available to members at no charge. Our events, such as the popular Gourmet Gala in the summer and the fall architectural tours, showcase properties that are to be restored or have been restored.

If you agree that historic preservation is important and that it adds value by encouraging neighborhood revitalization, economic development, heritage tourism and conservation, please join us as a member at the seniors or student ($25),  individual ($35), nonprofit and government entities ($50) or business ($100) level. 

If you have questions about membership, volunteering or contributions, please give us a call at 717-291-5861 or stop by our headquarters (1787) at 123 North Prince Street in downtown Lancaster. We are open Monday through Thursday 9 am to 5 pm and on Fridays by appointment. Our headquarters building is where surveyor Andrew Ellicott (1754 –1820 ) taught Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) navigation and surveying skills prior to the Lewis & Clark Expedition (1804-1806)

Thank you for giving this consideration.

Yes, I'd like to join today!

I am pleased to become a member of the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County and support its mission to protect landmarks of historical significance.
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