Light's Fort

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Light's Fort was built in 1742 by Johanes Licht (John Light). Light's Fort is the oldest standing building of any kind in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. [1] John Light, an immigrant, purchased the land on December 29, 1738, from Caspar Wistar, and wife, Katherine, of the City of Philadelphia, Brass Button Maker, for 82 pounds and 4 shillings. Light’s Fort was built in 1742 on a tract of land, which was situated on a branch of the Quittapahilla Creek in Lancaster County (now Lebanon County) at 11th and Maple Streets. It contained 274 acres including an allowance of 6% for roads together with woods, water courses, etc.

The main uses of Light's Fort were as a house, a Mennonite Meeting Hall, an Indian fort, and a barn. During the Indian raids of the French and Indian Wars it was said to have housed and sheltered up to sixty families at once. In modern times it was an apartment for a short time.

The dimensions of Light's Fort are 30 feet (9.2m) by 40 feet (12.3m). It is built of local limestone and made in a Dutch hip roof style. When it was built, it had three stories, but only two survive today. It also had a basement made in an arch stone style.

Though that is what the structure looks like today there are no pictures, blueprints or sketches from the original time period. Today, the building is missing half of the second story and all of the third, though there is no documented reason for the sections of this structure missing. Other than that, there is little information known about this historic landmark.


  1. ^ McAteer, Patricia; Sandy Jones; Jim McAteer; Patricia McAteer; Allen Light; Sue Davis (2013). "Home Page: The Friends of Light's Fort". p. Home Page. Archived from the original on 31 May 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 

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Coordinates: 40°20′59″N 76°25′52″W / 40.3498°N 76.4310°W / 40.3498; -76.4310