Quarryville Borough
300 Saint Catherine Street
Quarryville, PA 17566
717-786-2404 Phone
717-786-0154 Fax
office @ quarryvilleborough . com

Office Hours
Monday through Friday
7:00 am - 4:00 pm
EVENTS

Lewis & Clark Circus - June 12
SECA Fest - July 8
Hospice Auction - September 1, 2 ,4
Solanco Fair - September 20, 21, 22

History

Excerpts are set forth below from a book entitled ‘History of Southern Lancaster County.’ This book was printed in 1990 by William T. Cooke Publishing Inc., for The Solanco Heritage Project, ISBN Number 0-9627796-0-1.

First Post Office 1849

Quarryville was officially chartered as a borough in 1892 but its origins go back as far as 1775 when Martin Barr acquired a tract of land, which covered some 2,000 acres, and grain from that farm went into a distillery on his property. The town was officially named Quarryville in 1837, and the first post office was opened in 1849.

Before 1837 the area was known as ‘Barr’s Quarries.’ The early settlement was due primarily to the development of limestone quarries. Martin Barr built a great stone dwelling near his quarries and it became known as ‘The Ark.’ Historians disagree on the construction date of ‘The Ark.’ A state marker and Ellis and Evans record the date as 1791. The Lancaster County Historical Society Volume Number Two, dated 1897-98, carries a lengthy article on ‘The Ark’ and reports a date stone on the building’s west wall shows 1790. Barr did build a house in 1791, but it was for his son, Abram. The next year he built the same style house for another son, Martin. Barr had four sons and two daughters. He added a house for Jacob in 1793. Christian, the eldest son, died in 1816. A daughter, Christiana, married John Mowrer, who carried on lime burning at Quarryville until 1860.

There were no businesses in ‘Quarryville’ until 1833 when the Haines store opened. The site of this store was later known as ‘Hotel Quarryville.’ George W. Hensel, a lad of fourteen, began working there in 1837. By 1855, Hensel owned the entire business. (Our town lists the dates as 1839 and 1856). With Lewis Haines as his business partner, they erected a stone store building in 1847. The old frame building was fitted-up as a house of public entertainment, but without a bar. It was owned by a tailor, George Shaub, and then sold in 1851. The new owners, Jacob Neff and James C. Ensing (another spelling Ewing), applied for a tavern license, amid a storm of local protest. The license was granted in 1852. ‘Hotel Quarryville’ burned on Christmas eve in 1921.

First Church Saint Pauls 1851

In 1858, over 600,000 bushels of lime were hauled from Quarryville. A dozen quarries were running and more than a hundred men worked in them. Every lime burner had at least one six-mule team and some had as many as three teams. The business almost became extinct because commercial fertilizers claimed the market.

Until 1851, there was not a church within three miles of Quarryville. It was then that St. Paul’s cornerstone was laid and the church was dedicated in 1852. The pastor of the ‘German Reformed Church’ at New Providence served both churches. By 1883, a Methodist Church had been built and was attached to the Fulton Circuit. The ‘Saint Catherine of Siena Roman Catholic Church’ was erected in 1896.


Hotel 1847

There were no businesses in ‘Quarryville’ until 1833 when the Haines store opened. The site of this store was later known as ‘Hotel Quarryville.’ George W. Hensel, a lad of fourteen, began working there in 1837. By 1855, Hensel owned the entire business. (Our town lists the dates as 1839 and 1856). With Lewis Haines as his business partner, they erected a stone store building in 1847. The old frame building was fitted-up as a house of public entertainment, but without a bar. It was owned by a tailor, George Shaub, and then sold in 1851. The new owners, Jacob Neff and James C. Ensing (another spelling Ewing), applied for a tavern license, amid a storm of local protest. The license was granted in 1852. ‘Hotel Quarryville’ burned on Christmas eve in 1921.

The ‘Quarryville National Bank’ opened in 1883 with a capital of $60,000 and George W. Hensel was president of the institution.

A printing office was opened by Fred Reynolds. Ill health forced him to sell the business to his brother Howard and this venture led to the publishing of the ‘Quarryville Sun Newspaper’ in 1885. Later, with his health improved, Fred opened the ‘Reynolds Funeral Home’ in 1890.

It was mainly the construction of the railroad, connecting Quarryville to Lancaster, which deserves the credit for the village’s growth and increase in population. Prior to the railroad, there were trolleys. They ran from Lancaster to Quarryville and from Quarryville to Oxford.

The former ‘Farmers Bank’ stands on the corner of North Hess and East State Streets. What in now known as the ‘Quarryville Family Restaurant’ was once ‘Al Book’s Bakery.’ Book delivered bread to homes throughout the southern end. Bob Murphy was the man who converted this old bakery store into a restaurant around 1950.

One of Quarryville’s most beautiful old homes is on the corner of State and Lime Streets. Today it is the ‘Reynolds Funeral Home.’ In years gone by it was the ‘Dickinson Home.’ To some, this corner is still known as ‘Dickinson’s Corner.’

‘Ferguson & Hassler’ grocery store was opened in 1916 where the downtown ‘Dollar General Store’ is now located. ‘Jake Herr’s’ meadow is now covered with a huge parking lot and spectacular shopping mall known now as ‘TownsEdge.’
The ‘Quarryville Fire House’ was built on East State Street in 1926. The fire company dates back to 1902. The first firehouse was a small building located on Hess Street.

A sawmill used to be at the corner of Broad and Second Streets.

‘Rhoads Restaurant’ was the oldest restaurant in Southern Lancaster County. The building that occupied that corner was known as the ‘Kirk Hotel.’ In 1893 it was destroyed by fire and Jerome Rhoads replaced it with a Spanish-type building, which was called the ‘Spanish Tavern.’ When local people objected to the word tavern, the name was changed to ‘Rhoads Restaurant.’ The building today houses multiple businesses.

The building that sits East of ‘Abel Brother’s’ gasoline station’ was formerly a butcher shop owned by William Hess. Beaver Creek runs under the building. The building to the West of Abel’s was once ‘Bob Book’s,’ a shoe store, a candy store, a dentist office and a clothing store.

Where PNC (formerly ‘Bank of Lancaster County-Quarryville Branch’), is located at East State and Hess Streets, used to be a very large Victorian style home built by Levi McCallister, with a stone wall that extended around the sides. The building located next to it was Quarryville’’ first flower shop.

Did You Know?

Did you know Quarryville has a jail? In a small room, in the back part of what is now known as ‘Sam’s Pizza Place,’ there once was a lock-up or jail, which was seldom, if ever used. The oldest building in Quarryville is called ‘The Ark.’ It can be seen on North Church Street, and the building dates back to 1791.

One story often heard, whether true or not, is that at one time Milton Hershey looked closely, and inquired several times as to building in Quarryville what we know today as ‘Hershey Park’.

There are many other wonderful historical facts about other local businesses and enterprises in Quarryville, too numerous to mention here. Quarryville Borough is a blessed community with its history and heritage.

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