East Petersburg

EAST PETERSBURG - Founded 1800. Founded by Daniel Wolf, pioneer settler. East Petersburg Borough was formed in 1946 to fill a need to establish a municipal water system due to a typhoid fever epidemic, but the community’s roots date nearly to the time of the American Revolution. In fact, a farmhouse near the eastern end of the borough was built before the war, and a nearby mill was already producing grain.

In 1789, Peter Gotshall inherited 50 acres of land in the area from his father, Peter Gotshall the elder. Two years later the younger Peter Gotshall sold off his land in about five pieces. One of the buyers of Peter Gotshall’s parcels was John Wolf, who in 1806 sold land to his nephew, Daniel Wolf, who founded East Petersburg. Also in the early 1790s, Benjamin Hershey II, a Mennonite farmer, donated land at the northwest corner of present day Lemon and State Streets and a community meetinghouse was built there.

At that point the area of present-day East Petersburg was known as Heckel Stettle, with "stettle" being the German word for settlement and "heckel" being the German word for hemp or flax processing. In honor of the original property owner Peter Gotshall, Daniel Wold called his new development Petersburg. Later, when the postal service made efforts to become more efficient, it was discovered that another Petersburg existed in Pennsylvania. The Petersburg in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania was established in 1795, making it older than the Petersburg that Wolf developed in Lancaster County. The easiest way to solve the duplication was to add "East" to Petersburg, as it was the most eastern of the two Petersburgs.

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Sources and Links:
Lancaster Online - 5 Key Moments in East Petersburg's History
Uncharted Lancaster - How did ‘Heckel Stettle’ become East Petersburg? 
East Petersburg Borough - About


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