Lititz, Pennsylvania

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Lititz, Pennsylvania
125 E. Main Street
125 E. Main Street
Etymology: A Bohemian castle
"The Heart of Lancaster County"
Location in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Location in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Lititz is located in Pennsylvania
Location in Pennsylvania
Lititz is located in the United States
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 40°09′17″N 76°18′12″W / 40.15472°N 76.30333°W / 40.15472; -76.30333Coordinates: 40°09′17″N 76°18′12″W / 40.15472°N 76.30333°W / 40.15472; -76.30333
CountryUnited States
 • MayorTimothy Snyder (R)
 • Total2.33 sq mi (6.02 km2)
 • Land2.32 sq mi (6.01 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
381 ft (116 m)
 • Total9,369
 • Estimate 
 • Density4,076.23/sq mi (1,573.84/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area codes717 Exchange: 625,626,627
FIPS code42-43816

Lititz /ˈlɪtɪts/ is a borough in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States, 9 miles (14 km) north of the city of Lancaster.[4] As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 9,369.[2]


Houses on Main Street

Lititz was founded by members of the Moravian Church in 1756 and was named after a castle in Bohemia near the village of Kunvald where the ancient Bohemian Brethren's Church had been founded in 1457. The roots of the Moravian Brethren's Church date back to the ancient Bohemian Brethren's Church. It was one of the four leading Moravian communities in the Northeastern United States (Bethlehem, Emmaus and Nazareth, each in Pennsylvania, were the three others).

For a century, only Moravians were permitted to live in Lititz. Until the middle of the 19th century, only members of the congregation could own houses; others were required to lease. The lease system was abolished in 1855, just five years before the beginning of the Civil War. More information can be found in the book A Brief History of Lititz Pennsylvania by Mary Augusta Huevener, published in 1947.

During a part of the American Revolution, the Brethren's House, built in 1759, was used as a hospital. A number of soldiers died and were buried here. Lititz is also home to Linden Hall School, the oldest all-girls boarding school in the United States. Located adjacent to the Moravian Church on 47 acres (19 ha) of land, Linden Hall School was founded by the Moravians in 1746, a decade before the borough was incorporated.[5]


Lititz has held a town-wide celebration of Independence Day since 1813. Tourists and residents from the region attend the annual Queen of Candles Pageant and fireworks display in Lititz Springs Park. The park itself is extravagantly decorated each year, with wooden beams and trestles placed from side to side of the stone-walled stream and stretching nearly the entire length of the park. The trestles are fitted with sockets for white candles. Musical performances take place throughout the day. In the evening, the first candle is lit by the year's Queen of Candles pageant winner. The park also hosts festivities for children and food offerings comparable to those at a county fair. The 4th of July parade is sponsored by Lititz Lions.

Another summer event is the annual art show sponsored by the Village Art Association of Lititz and the craft show sponsored by the Lititz Rotary Club, which extends from the Lititz Springs Park out into Broad Street (PA-501) and Main Street (PA-772). Annually, the Saturday before Columbus Day is Chocolate Walk, a much-anticipated downtown event hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Lititz Area.

Starting in 2014, the Lititz AMBUCS started an annual charity-fundraising microbrewery festival in downtown Lititz. The event was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19. In 2021, the event was held again but expanded from one to two days and [6]moved from downtown to just outside town at a location that would better accommodate the larger crowds.

Another popular community event that occurs in February is the Fire & Ice Festival. Co-sponsored by the Lititz Lions and Venture Lititz, the festival is a free, family-friendly event that features food trucks, entertainment and ice carvings.[7]

During 2006 a year-long celebration was held commemorating the 250th anniversary of the naming of the town. Some of the major events included a service and commemoration ceremony in Lititz Springs Park on Sunday June 11, the official naming ceremony on Monday June 12, a fountain show in the park called "Symphonic Springs" during August 20–26th, and a New Year's celebration.

Every month, many downtown Lititz businesses stay open later every second Friday on Second Fridays from 5-9 p.m. to encourage more people to come out to shop downtown businesses and dine at local restaurants. [8]

Lititz is often named in lists of "delightfully-named towns" in Pennsylvania Dutchland, along with Intercourse, Blue Ball, Mount Joy, Bareville, Bird-in-Hand and Paradise.[9][10][11][12][13]

In 2013, Lititz was announced the winner of Budget Travel's "America's Coolest Small Towns" competition from among 15 other finalists.[14]


Lititz is located in northern Lancaster County at 40°9′17″N 76°18′12″W / 40.15472°N 76.30333°W / 40.15472; -76.30333.[15]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2), of which 2.00 acres (8,090 m2), or 0.13%, are water.[1] Lititz Run flows through the downtown from Lititz Springs Park toward the Conestoga River, 6 miles (10 km) to the southeast.[16]

Lititz has a hot-summer humid continental climate (Dfa) and average monthly temperatures range from 30.1 °F in January to 74.7 °F in July. [1] The local hardiness zone is 6b.


Pennsylvania Routes 772 (West Orange and East Main streets) and 501 (Broad Street) run through the town. PA 772 leads east 6 miles (10 km) to Brownstown and west 5 miles (8 km) to Manheim, while PA 501 leads north 16 miles (26 km) to Myerstown and south 9 miles (14 km) to Lancaster, the county seat.

The Reading and Columbia Railroad operated passenger service through downtown Lititz until 1952. Norfolk Southern continues to operate freight service to Lancaster, while the line between Lititz and Ephrata has been converted into a rail trail.[17] A replica of the Lititz Depot was constructed at its former location in Lititz Springs Park in 1999, along with a small museum in a Reading caboose.[18]

Bus service in Lititz is provided by Red Rose Transit Route 10,[19] the successor of the Conestoga Traction Company trolley line to Lancaster along the Lititz Pike.

Law and government[edit]

Ralph Miller guarded the Lititz water works for sixteen years. Photo by Marjory Collins in 1942.
  • Mayor: Timothy R. Snyder (R)
  • Borough Manager: Sue Ann Barry
  • Borough Council
    • Shane Weaver, President
    • J. Andrew Greiner
    • Stephen Lee
    • Christine Sensenich
    • Ken Mobley
    • David Brubaker

Lititz, along with Elizabeth and Warwick townships and part of Penn Township, is located in the Warwick School District.

  • Schools
    • Warwick High School
    • Warwick Middle School
    • Lititz Elementary School (at former site of K-12 Lititz High School; serves the central and northern part of Lititz borough and western Warwick township out to Penn township and its border with Manheim Central School District)
    • John Beck Elementary School (founded independently of the district and incorporated; serves the northern part of Warwick township and Elizabeth township)
    • John R. Bonfield Elementary School (serves the eastern part of the school district, including the outskirts of Lititz borough and Warwick township)
    • Kissel Hill Elementary School (serves the southern part of Lititz borough and Warwick township south to the Manheim Township line)
    • Linden Hall School for Girls (the oldest all-girls private school in the country)


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)9,465[3]1.0%

As of the census[21] of 2000, there were 9,029 people, 3,732 households, and 2,407 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,884.0/sq mi (1,499.6/km2). There were 3,827 housing units at an average density of 1,646.2 per square mile (636.9/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 97.23% White, 0.44% African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.87% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.50% from other races, and 0.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.52% of the population.

There were 3,732 households, out of which 29.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.9% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.5% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 23.0% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 21.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.2 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $40,417, and the median income for a family was $52,028. Males had a median income of $36,126 versus $25,997 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $20,601. About 2.6% of families and 4.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.9% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over.


General Sutter grave in Lititz Moravian Cemetery
Military hospital plaque in Lititz
Nicolaus Zinzendorf's waistcoat at Lititz Moravian Archive and Museum

Borden family murders[edit]

Lititz received national press coverage on November 13, 2005, after David G. Ludwig, 18, shot and killed Michael and Cathryn Borden. Ludwig fled the scene with their daughter, and an Amber Alert was issued for her.

Ludwig was arrested with the minor daughter in Indiana, extradited to Lancaster County, and held on several charges including criminal homicide. He pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree murder, reckless endangerment, statutory sexual assault and firearms violations. Ludwig received two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole plus 9.5 to 19 years for the weapons charges.[23] Ludwig lived within the borough of Lititz. The Bordens lived outside the borough in Warwick Township. After the murders, police seized 54 guns from the home of Gregory and Jane Ludwig, including three assault rifles, shotguns and handguns.[24]

Sister city[edit]

A sister city relationship between Lititz and Kunvald (Czech Republic) was established on June 11, 2006, during the celebration of the 250th anniversary naming of Lititz. The ceremony took place in Lititz Springs Park. Their Pennsylvania sister city is Emmaus in Lehigh County.

Sites of interest[edit]

Public services[edit]

Museums and historic sites[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Total Population: 2010 Census DEC Summary File 1 (P1), Lititz borough, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  4. ^ Google Maps
  5. ^ "Linden Hall". Linden Hall History. Archived from the original on October 2, 2011. Retrieved June 18, 2011.
  6. ^ "Lititz Craft Beer Fest – A charity fundraising craft beer festival on Main St. in Lititz, Pennsylvania". Retrieved 2022-01-26.
  7. ^ "Lititz Fire & Ice Festival | Outdoor Ice Carvings & Fire Show". Venture Lititz. Retrieved 2022-01-26.
  8. ^ "Second Fridays in Lititz". Discover Lancaster. Retrieved 2022-01-27.
  9. ^ Ward's Quarterly 1965; 1:109.
  10. ^ Anderson, William Charles, Home sweet home has wheels, or, Please don't tailgate the real estate, 1979, 209.
  11. ^ Museums Journal 2006; 106: 1–6, 61.
  12. ^ Rand McNally's Vacation and Travel Guide, Rand McNally and Company, 1978, 52.
  13. ^ Mencken, Henry Louis, "Raven Ioor McDavid," The American language, 1938.
  14. ^ "America's Coolest Small Towns 2013 - Travel Deals, Travel Tips, Vacation Ideas - Budget Travel". 9 May 2013. Archived from the original on 9 May 2013.
  15. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  16. ^ Geographic Names Information System. "GNIS entry for Lititz Run (Feature ID # 1192790)". Retrieved 2019-03-24.
  17. ^ Lueders, Andrew. "The Reading and Columbia". Abandoned Rails. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  18. ^ "The Reading and Columbia RR". Columbia Pennsylvania. Columbia Historical Society. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  19. ^ "Route 11 schedule" (PDF). RRTA. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  20. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  21. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  22. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  23. ^ Lovelace, Brett. "Ludwig Gets Life". Lancaster Online. Archived from the original on 2013-03-12. Retrieved 2012-12-15.
  24. ^ Kelley, Janet. "54 guns, ammo seized from Ludwig home; cache of weapons found in Lititz family's house includes three assault rifles, shotguns and handguns". Lancaster Online. Retrieved 2012-12-15.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

Further reading[edit]

  • Moravian Historical Society Transactions, volume ii, (Bethlehem, Pa.)
  • Mombert, An Authentic History of Lancaster County, Pa., (Lancaster, 1869)

External links[edit]

Media related to Lititz, Pennsylvania at Wikimedia Commons