About the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County

Ellicott House historic marker

Founded in 1966 to “stem the rapid destruction of historic properties in Lancaster County,” the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County’s mission is to encourage and facilitate historic preservation throughout the county. The Trust has been directly involved in preserving more than three dozen important Lancaster County landmarks and has provided advice, assistance and guidance in the protection of others.

Our Historically Significant Office

The Sehner-Ellicott-von Hess House (1787) was the home of Andrew Ellicott, the first U.S. Surveyor General who famously helped map the western territories and the District of Columbia. It was in this house that Ellicott, commissioned by U. S. President Thomas Jefferson, taught Meriwether Lewis surveying techniques for the Lewis & Clark Expedition of western territories. Ellicott occupied the house from 1801 until his death in 1813. The home is a beautiful example of early American architecture, built around 1789 by Gottlieb Sehner and beautifully renovated by the Louise Steinman von Hess Foundation from 1978-1981. Both the gardens and home are open to visitors daily by appointment.