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community trans 65hLancaster County is a land of immigrants. Today, visitors can go from hearing Spanish in downtown Lancaster to Pennsylvania German only a few miles away in the farmlands surrounding Bird-In-Hand. Over the centuries, the people who have arrived in this region and made it their home have carved a rich history and complex heritage into the landscape.

A Town is Born (pronounced LANK-iss-ter)

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Between 1729 and 1742, Lancaster would transform from a handful of settlers into a sprawling town with James Hamilton playing a vital role in this transformation. Hamilton sold off smaller lots of land in the center of the county and required residents to erect within one year a substantial dwelling house. By 1742 these plots of land had formed the Borough of Lancaster, with 270 houses and 750 inhabitants.

 
The First European Settlers

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The first permanent settlers consisted of 29 families led by Hans Herr. They were poor, hardworking Swiss Mennonites, persecuted and banished from their homelands for their religious beliefs. They arrived in Philadelphia in 1710 and by 1711 had settled in Conestoga, in what is now Lancaster County.

 

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County,
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For hundreds of years Lancaster has helped to shape the story of America.

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