Manor Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

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Manor Township,
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Township
Mann's Creek
Mann's Creek
Map of Lancaster County highlighting Manor Township
Map of Lancaster County highlighting Manor Township
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Lancaster
Settled 1717
Incorporated 1730
Government
 • Type Board of Supervisors
Area
 • Total 48.6 sq mi (126 km2)
 • Land 38.5 sq mi (100 km2)
 • Water 10.1 sq mi (26 km2)
Population (2000)
 • Total 16,498
 • Density 427.9/sq mi (165.2/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 717
Website Manor Township

Manor Township is a township in west central Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States. Manor Township takes its name from the Manor of Conestoga, which was originally surveyed and reserved for William Penn in 1719. It was changed to its present form in 1759. The population was 16,498 at the 2000 census.

Manor Township is one of the six immediate suburbs of the city of Lancaster, all sharing the same official designation as Lancaster, Pennsylvania by the United States Postal Service.[1] With exceptions such as parts of Millersville, 17551. Conestoga 17516, Washington Boro 17582, and Pequea 17565.

History[edit]

Manor Township takes its name from the Manor of Conestoga, which was originally surveyed and reserved for William Penn in 1719. There is evidence that William Penn visited this area prior to 1690. At this time the area was Native American territory. The Susquehannocks were the largest tribe in the Susquenhanna Valley with the center of their community in the Turkey Hill area. The Quaker government had surveyors lay off a large area bounded by the Little Conestoga Creek near Millersville, to the Susquehanna River, and to the Conestoga Creek.

This area was called the Manor of Conestoga, and some historians believe it was set aside as a domain in which the Indians could live and hunt. The Manor contained 16,000 acres east of the Susquehanna River. For the most part the land was flat and well watered, and the soil was rich and fertile.

William Penn had reserved a 3,000 acre site on the eastern bank of the river just north of Turkey Hill for his New Philadelphia. The city would have been at the end of the present Blue Rock Road. Blue Rock Road was an ancient Native American trail prior to the arrival of the white settlers. The road today is known as Route 999 as it leaves Millersville, crosses the Little Conestoga and heads to the river just south of Washington Boro. Blue Rock Ferry, which operated around 1730, was located at the end of Blue Rock Road. Blue Rock Road had great significance and was considered the first gateway to the west.

Following Penn's death three of his sons assumed control of the Manor in the early 1730s. The Swiss-German Mennonites were among the first Europeans to occupy the subdivided lots. H. Frank Eshleman's map of the Manor 1730 (circa), lists 28 property owners and identifies the towns of Washington Boro, Creswell, Safe Harbor, Windom, Letort, Millersville, and Rock Hill. The map shows the 3,000 acres held by the proprietors, approximately 4,000 acres vacant and the area established as Indiantown. Common family names of the people in the Manor were Patterson, Shank, Shenk, Funk, Stoner, Bachman, Hostetter, Herr, Martin, Leaman, Kilhaver, Oberholtzer and Hamilton.

Records indicate the Manor of Conestoga was officially changed to Manor Township in 1759. Additional landowners common family names at this period included Habecker, Shellenberg, Neff, Witmer, Kendig, Eshelman, Stehman, and Miller.

One thing which made the Manor vastly different from other localities in Lancaster County at this period was the existence of the Indian reservation (Indiantown) established by William Penn. It remained until December 1763 when the Paxton Boys invaded the reservation and massacred the few remaining Indians.

For the next 100 years the Township was subdivided as the large plantations were cut into smaller tracts to accommodate growing families. The iron industry came to the Township in 1846 when the Iron Works was built in the village of Safe Harbor. The T-shape rail was the principal produce of the mill.

The Civil War came close to Manor Township in 1863. Governor Curtin called every able-bodied man to enroll for the defense of the States. Citizens of Manor and Millersville assembled at the headquarters at Safe Harbor. The invasion threat to Lancaster County ended as the Columbia-Wrightsville bridge was burned and Lee's army was defeated at Gettysburg.

By 1880 the population of Manor Township was approximately 4,000 people. From the late 1800s through the mid 1900s Manor Township was known for producing fine tobacco crops. Manor farmers produced more tobacco than any township in Lancaster County. Churches and schools were built as the area continued to grow. The railroad along the western boundary of the township enabled industries to develop, including a woolen factor near Safe Harbor, match factory in Safe Harbor, and an implement factor near Millersville. In April 1930 construction began on the dam for the Safe Harbor Water Power Corporation and was completed twenty months later in 1931.

Washington Boro's official merger into Manor Township in August 1973 was one of the most significant changes in recent memory. Today, Washington Boro remains famous for the tomatoes grown by its farmers.

Most of Manor Township remains rural and agricultural in use. The land is considered by soil scientists to be as fertile as any in the United States. The vast majority of development has occurred in the north eastern section of the Township.[2]

The Conestoga Town, Roberts Farm Site (36LA1), Murry Site, Strickler Site, Shultz-Funk Site (36LA7 and 36LA9), and Windom Mill Farm are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[3]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 48.6 square miles (125.9 km²), of which, 38.5 square miles (99.8 km²) of it is land and 10.1 square miles (26.1 km²) of it (20.70%) is water.

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 16,498 people, 6,464 households, and 4,699 families residing in the township. The population density was 427.9 people per square mile (165.2/km²). There were 6,710 housing units at an average density of 174.0/sq mi (67.2/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 95.64% White, 1.35% African American, 0.10% Native American, 1.26% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.78% from other races, and 0.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.28% of the population.

There were 6,464 households out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.3% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.3% were non-families. 22.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the township the population was spread out with 24.0% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.2 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $47,806, and the median income for a family was $54,958. Males had a median income of $37,932 versus $27,398 for females. The per capita income for the township was $22,243. About 2.4% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.4% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or over.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lancaster's suburbs". Google. Retrieved March 18, 2008. 
  2. ^ http://www.manortwp.org/townshiphistory.html
  3. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  4. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

Coordinates: 39°58′00″N 76°24′59″W / 39.96667°N 76.41639°W / 39.96667; -76.41639