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Past, Present, & People

On the Campus of History you will learn about Lancaster—one of America's oldest cities, founded in 1730—and the unfolding of nearly 300 years of remarkable history. From stories of the Conestoga Indians and the Underground Railroad to the political legacy of James Buchanan and Thaddeus Stevens to the stories of your own family, Lancaster's history has something to offer every visitor to the Campus of History!

LancasterHistory.org exists to engage and educate the public about the people, places, and events that shaped Lancaster County within the context of the history of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States of America. We collect, preserve, exhibit, and make accessible materials chronicling Lancaster County's complex and illuminating past.

As a member of LancasterHistory.org, you will have exceptional access to:

  • THE LANCASTER CAMPUS OF HISTORY
    •  Visit the park-like setting on the ten-acre Campus of History featuring the historic grounds and gardens of President James Buchanan's Wheatland, the Louise Arnold Tanger Arboretum, and the award-winning and environmentally-sustainable headquarters of LancasterHistory.org.
  • PRESIDENT JAMES BUCHANAN'S WHEATLAND
    • Learn about the life and legacy of James Buchanan, the 15th president of the United States and only President from Pennsylvania, and the family he raised at his beloved country estate.
  • CONGRESSMAN THADDEUS STEVENS
    • Learn about the life and legacy of Thaddeus Stevens, champion of Civil Rights and Education, and his partner Lydia Hamilton Smith.
  • THE DECORATIVE ARTS & THE HERITAGE CENTER COLLECTIONS
    • Immerse yourself in the art and culture of Lancaster County. Surround yourself with the treasures from the Heritage Center Collections--including the Esprit Collection of Amish Quilts--and more than 20,000 artifacts on display in the Richard C. von Hess Devorative Arts Center.
  • EXHIBITIONS
    • Explore three centuries of history through a series of changing exhibitions. Discover the stories of real Lancastrians who sought freedom in this community from the seveteenth century through today. Encounter an engaging mix of artifacts as wide ranging as Thaddeus Stevens' wig and Harriet Lane's House of Worth ball gown to the weapons used during the 1850 Christiana Resistance, a prescursor to the Civil War.
  • LIVING HISTORY PROGRAMS
    • Enjoy a wide range of learning opportunities: public history programs, encampments, historical re-enactments, specialty tours, school-focused tours, exhibitions, classes, lectures, and films.
  • ARCHIVE AND LIBRARY
    • Discover a full-service Research Library and Historical Archive to help you explore your family's history and your community's past.

Membership Benefits

With the purchase of membership to LancasterHistory.org, your benefits will include:

  • FREE admission to all exhibitions in Groff and Gerhart Galleries
  • Complimentary standard admission to President James Buchanan's Wheatland (fees may apply for special programs such as Yuletide at Wheatland)
  • Unlimited use of our 16,000-volume research library
  • Member discount to all classes
  • 10% shopping discount in our Museum Stores at the Campus of History and in downtown Lancaster
  • Invitations to our programs, events, classes, and special series
  • Subscription to The Journal of Lancaster County's Historical Society
  • Subscription to The Historian, our bi-monthly e-newsletter (email required to receive The Historian)
  • 10% discount on Fulton Theater tickets purchased for Thirsty for History Thursdays

To view more information and the different membership levels, please download or view our membership brochure by clicking here.

FOR COMPUTER USERS: You can also download a membership brochure by clicking here. You can choose to purchase your membership by downloading the membership brochure and mailing in your information to LancasterHistory.org or by paying online through our PayPal form by clicking here.

FOR TABLET OR SMARTPHONE USERS: Please select any of the buttons below.

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Our Supporters:

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Our Blogs

The History Bucket

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Because the world is a bucketful of questions.  And someone's gotta answer them

While working with the object collections of LancasterHistory.org we come across many questions.  Visit here to see some of the more unusual stories that we have uncovered.

[Read My Blog]

Historically Speaking

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The staff and volunteers of the Archives Department at LancasterHistory.org never know what they'll find when working on the documents and records in the collections.  Fortunately, when they do discover something noteworthy they are very willing to share!

[Read Our Blog]

Marianne's PhotoBlog

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Because pictures are worth a thousand words, but sometimes they need an interpreter.

You know that cliché about a picture being worth a thousand words? Ok, well, imagine the stories going on in my head after cataloging several hundred photos every single day!

[Read My Blog]

Wheatland: A Love Story

Who would have guessed that a young lady would fall in love with an old President and his old house?

One Young Lady, One Old House, Two Hundred Years of History

I’m Jennifer Walton, Museum Associate at President James Buchanan's Wheatland, and I love an old President and his old house! Over the past nine years, I’ve learned quite a lot about both, and I would love to share it with you!

[Read My Blog]



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