County Founding Day Open House

County Founding Day Open House

Celebrate Lancaster County’s 295th Birthday on the Campus of History!

An illustration of a cat wearing a toga next to text "County Founding Day."
LancasterHistory’s History Explorer’s program mascot, Harpo, dressed as Lady Justice.

On May 10, 1729, Governor Patrick Gordon granted a county charter to local citizens to create what would become Lancaster County. Join us on May 9 from 5-8pm (technically County Founding Day Eve!) as we celebrate 295 years of Lancaster County with extended museum hours and special tours of our major exhibit, Thieves & Vagabonds, which tells the story of the county’s origins and the complex history of law and justice in our community.

Open House activities include:

  • Display of the “Petition for the Establishment of Lancaster County,” on loan from the Pennsylvania State Archives, for one night only;
  • Curator’s Tours of Thieves & Vagabonds: A History of Law and Justice in Lancaster County, LancasterHistory’s latest major exhibition at 5:30 and 7pm;
  • “1729: The Year Lancaster Went Legit,” an illustrated presentation of Lancaster County’s geography by Ben Webber, Manheim Township Historical Society President, around 6pm;
  • Uncharted Lancaster Scavenger Hunt for the Campus of History, an activity for all ages;
  • Debut of “Harpo’s History Explorer’s Activity Sheet: Thieves & Vagabonds Edition,” an activity for kids based on the Thieves & Vagabonds exhibition; and
  • Birthday cake cutting around 6:30pm! Happy Birthday, Lancaster County!

Tickets for County Founding Day Open House are $10/Adults (18+), $8/Seniors (65+), $5 (Students 11-17 or with College ID), and free for children 10 and under. LancasterHistory Members receive complimentary admission!

Please register for tickets to the County Founding Day Open House online or by calling 717.392.4633. Limited tickets will be available at the door for walk-ins. Registration ensures ample resources for all participants to enjoy the festivities, including a slice of birthday cake!


Open House Family-Friendly In-Person Event

May 9, 2024 LancasterHistory, 230 N. President Ave., Lancaster, PA 5-8pm $10 - FREE