Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania

Coordinates: 40°9′12″N 76°36′2″W / 40.15333°N 76.60056°W / 40.15333; -76.60056
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Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Center Square at High and Market streets in 2013
Center Square at High and Market streets in 2013
Location of Elizabethtown in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (left) and of Lancaster County in Pennsylvania (right)
Location of Elizabethtown in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (left) and of Lancaster County in Pennsylvania (right)
Elizabethtown is located in Pennsylvania
Location in Pennsylvania
Elizabethtown is located in the United States
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 40°9′12″N 76°36′2″W / 40.15333°N 76.60056°W / 40.15333; -76.60056
CountryUnited States
 • MayorChuck Mummert (R)
 • Total2.67 sq mi (6.90 km2)
 • Land2.65 sq mi (6.87 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
463 ft (141 m)
 • Total11,639
 • Density4,388.76/sq mi (1,694.29/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area codes717 and 223

Elizabethtown (Pennsylvania Dutch: Betzischteddel) is a borough in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is located 18 miles (29 km) southeast of Harrisburg, the state capital. Small factories existed at the turn of the 20th century when the population in 1900 was 1,861. As of the 2020 census, the population of the borough was 11,639. Elizabethtown is commonly referred to in south-central Pennsylvania as "E-Town."[1] This nickname is also used for the local college and high school.


There are two stories about the origin of the town's name. In one version it is named after Elizabeth Reeby, wife of Michael Reeby who sold the first building lots here in about 1795. The officially accepted history[citation needed] is that, in 1753, Captain Barnabas Hughes acquired land and laid out a town, naming it for his wife, Elizabeth. The early settlers were primarily Scots-Irish and Pennsylvania Dutch. In 1758 General John Forbes supplied the expedition to Fort Duquesne with flour and oats and stationed a regiment here to protect his supplies.[4]

Elizabethtown became a borough in 1827, and a railroad was built through the area in the 1830s. The town was primarily agricultural until the early 1900s, when the Klein Chocolate Company (now part of Mars, Inc.) and several shoe factories, the last of which closed in 1979, opened. Elizabethtown College was established in 1899, and the Masonic Homes, now the Masonic Village,) followed in 1910.

Following the end of World War II, Elizabethtown grew rapidly, more than doubling its population between 1950 and 2000. Homes and businesses expanded into nearby farmland, making sprawl, farmland preservation, and revitalizing the downtown area important issues.[5]

Kreider Shoe Manufacturing Company in Elizabethtown was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.[6]

Public officials[edit]

Borough council[edit]

The Elizabethtown Borough Council has six members representing three voting wards. Each council member is elected to a four-year term. They are responsible for setting policy in every aspect of the borough, including budgeting, public works, zoning, and ordinances.


The mayor is elected to a four-year term and is responsible for overseeing the police department and performing ceremonial duties. The mayor casts votes at borough council meetings only in the event of a tie. The current mayor is Chuck Mummert (R).[7]

State and federal[edit]


Elizabethtown is located in northwestern Lancaster County at 40°9′12″N 76°36′2″W / 40.15333°N 76.60056°W / 40.15333; -76.60056 (40.153207, -76.600431).[9] Pennsylvania Route 230 passes through the center of town, leading northwest 18 miles (29 km) to Harrisburg and southeast 6 miles (10 km) to Mount Joy. Pennsylvania Route 283, a four-lane freeway, touches the northeast boundary of the borough and provides access from an interchange with PA 743. PA 283 leads southeast 18 miles (29 km) to Lancaster and northwest the same distance to Harrisburg. PA 743 leads north 10 miles (16 km) to Hershey and south 8 miles (13 km) to Marietta.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the borough of Elizabethtown has a total area of 2.7 square miles (6.9 km2), of which 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2), or 0.51%, are water.[10] The borough is drained primarily by Conoy Creek, which flows southwest to the Susquehanna River at Bainbridge.

The borough has a hot-summer humid continental climate (Dfa), and average monthly temperatures range from 30.1 °F (−1.1 °C) in January to 74.9 °F (23.8 °C) in July.[11] The hardiness zone is 6b.

Government and infrastructure[edit]

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Training Academy is located in Mount Joy Township, near Elizabethtown.[12][13]


Elizabethtown is home to Continental Press, White Oak Mills (an animal feed plant), Elizabethtown College, the Masonic Village, a large Mars Chocolate North America (a division of Mars, Incorporated) plant, Nordstrom’s east coast fulfillment center, and numerous smaller businesses.[14]


Historical population
2021 (est.)11,533[15]−0.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[16][17][18][3]

As of the census[17] of 2000, there were 11,887 people, 4,271 households, and 2,703 families residing in the borough. The population density was 4,567.4 people per square mile (1,763.5 people/km2). There were 4,483 housing units at an average density of 1,722.5 per square mile (665.1/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 96.32% White, 0.90% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 1.23% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.45% from other races, and 0.87% from two or more races. 1.45% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 4,271 households, out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.2% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.7% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 19.3% under the age of 18, 18.8% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 17.1% from 45 to 64, and 18.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 82.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.5 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $42,752, and the median income for a family was $52,214. Males had a median income of $35,764 versus $26,316 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $18,384. About 3.3% of families and 5.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.7% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 or over.


Public schools in the borough are part of the Elizabethtown Area School District. Mount Calvary Christian School is just outside the northern borough limits. Elizabethtown College, a private liberal arts institution, provides higher education.

Elizabethtown borough hall

Public library[edit]

Public media[edit]

Town newspaper



Elizabethtown Amtrak station

Elizabethtown is served by an Amtrak station, where all Keystone Service and Pennsylvanian trains stop. Bus service is provided by the Red Rose Transit Authority, which operates the Route 18 bus to Lancaster.

State routes PA-230, PA-241, and PA-743 run through the borough. The PA-283 freeway mostly bypasses the borough to the northeast, going through Mount Joy Township, but a small portion goes through the borough.[19][20]

Sister city[edit]

Annual fair[edit]

Elizabethtown hosts an annual fair to show off the local agriculture that has impacted the town since its founding. It has given families, friends, and tourists a fun and lively environment for over 40 years. The fair provides fundraising and a promotional tool for local churches, committees, and businesses. It is held in late August beside East High Elementary and Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church.[21]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b "E-Town: Elizabethtown Borough - Pennsylvania". Borough of Elizabethtown. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  2. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Census Population API". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Oct 12, 2022.
  4. ^ MacMaster, Richard K. “Philadelphia Merchants, Backcountry Shopkeepers, and Town-Making Fever.” Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, vol. 81, no. 3, 2014, pp. 342–63. JSTOR website Retrieved 19 May 2023.
  5. ^ MacMaster, Richard. Elizabethtown: The First Three Centuries. Elizabethtown, PA: Elizabethtown Historical Society, 1999.
  6. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  7. ^ Bristol, Jason (25 December 2012). "He serves and sings: 'The Singing Mayor' of Elizabethtown". Harrisburg, PA: WHP-TV. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  8. ^ "Representative Tom Jones".
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  10. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  11. ^ "PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State U".
  12. ^ "Zoning Map." (Archive) Mount Joy Township. Retrieved on 5 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Training Academy." Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Retrieved on 5 October 2012. "1451 North Market Street Elizabethtown, PA 17022"
  14. ^ "Mars Wrigley U.S., Elizabethtown | Mars, Incorporated". www.mars.com. Retrieved 2020-11-30.
  15. ^ Bureau, US Census. "City and Town Population Totals: 2020-2021". Census.gov. US Census Bureau. Retrieved 9 July 2022.
  16. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  17. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  18. ^ "United States Census Bureau QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  19. ^ "Elizabethtown Borough" (PDF). PennDOT Municipal Maps. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  20. ^ "Mount Joy Township" (PDF). PennDOT Municipal Maps. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  21. ^ N Web Solutions, E-Town Fair. "Elizabethtown Fair". E-Town Fair. E-Town Fair. Retrieved 5 September 2020.

External links[edit]

Media related to Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania at Wikimedia Commons