Lancaster County PA Realty Check: Lancaster County PA Firsts & Bests, III

Lancaster County PA Firsts & Bests, III

Lancaster County Firsts & Bests, III

Lancaster County has an unusual depth of history and variety in its economy.  Did you know that for all the commercial and residential growth in recent years, Lancaster County is still the largest producing agricultural county in Pennsylvania?

In Lititz, the Sturgis Pretzel House is the oldest commercial pretzel bakery in the United States!  The stone house was built by Peter Sturgis in 1784, and the first pretzels were baked by Julius Sturgis in 1861.

In Elizabethtown, A. Buch & Sons was the first commercial wheelbarrow manufacturer in the U.S.

In Columbia, The National Watch & Clock Museum has the largest clock collection in North America.

The Demuth Tobacco Shop at 116 East King Street, Lancaster, founded in 1770, is the oldest tobacco shop in the nation. It was founded by Christopher Demuth, and is still in the family.  Charles Demuth, the famous artist, lived next door, and his house has been restored to a museum.

The Strasburg Railroad is the oldest short-line railroad in America.  Only four miles long, it was first chartered in 1832, and finished by 1851.

The Philadelphia-Lancaster Turnpike, completed in 1794, was the first successful turnpike in America.  It was built between 1792 and 1794, the first road built with a hard stone base in the United States, following the design of the Scottish engineer MacAdam (sound familiar?)  The Lancaster Turnpike Company was a stock company, and tolls were charged at nine different tollgates, or pikes.  When the toll was paid, the pike would be rotated so that the horse-drawn vehicle could pass - hence the name "Turnpike"!



Brian Schulman offers expert real estate consultation and services in Lancaster County, PA.  To contact him, visit



Brian Schulman offers expert real estate representation for buyers and sellers of homes in Lancaster County, PA.  To learn more, visit

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Comment balloon 2 commentsBrian Schulman • June 21 2007 08:50PM


While we lived just outside of Philly, we used to visit Lancaster Co every few months.  I miss it!!
Posted by Christina Ethridge (The North Idaho Dream Team powered by SKE Realty Group) almost 12 years ago
Christina, even with all the recent growth, there's still a definite Lancaster County ambience in the countryside -
Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) almost 12 years ago