About West Lampeter Township

West Lampeter Township is a township of the second class with a population 15,209 (2010 census) within 16.5 square miles.  West Lampeter has a unique mix of agriculture and suburban country development.   While we have grown over the past decade, West Lampeter still has a strong sense of agricultural preservation.  Indeed, farming has played a major role in the township’s rich history which dates back to the founding of Lancaster County…
 
The Township of Lampeter was one of the original townships of Lancaster County, its boundaries being clearly defined in the year of the County’s separation from Chester County in 1729. Earlier, from 1718, it was part of Conestoga Township, which embraced practically the entire portion of Chester County taken to form Lancaster County. In 1841, this rather large township, then known as Lampeter, was divided equidistantly down the center forming the Townships of East and West Lampeter.
 
West Lampeter’s boundaries were and to this day are, Lancaster Township and the City of Lancaster on the northwest, East Lampeter on the east, Strasburg on the southeast and Providence and Pequea Townships on the south.
 
The Lampeters, so history tells us, derived their names from the Welsh college town of Lampeter. Typically, Welsh in the character of its early settlement, both East and West Lampeters were part of a larger tract conveyed by William Penn to the London Company. Because of the choice agricultural land in West Lampeter Township, settlers were plentiful and farming excellent.
 
West Lampeter Township’s history has been influenced considerably by its early settlers, many of whom were Mennonite. One of the earliest recorded settlements in Lancaster County was in West Lampeter Township in 1719, by Mennonites led by Hans Herr and located near Willow Street. The oldest home in the County, the Hans Herr House, still stands as it did in 1719, and well marks the importance of this Township in the historical development of Lancaster County.
 
Among the earliest settlements in West Lampeter were those at Lampeter and Willow Street. Due to their proximity and convenient access to Lancaster, the County Seat, these two areas developed quickly and to this day remain two of the most important locations in the Township.
 
Of historical and military significance in the Township is the old “Deering Ford” located at Bridgeport where one today finds a modern bridge affording access across the Conestoga River. “Deering Ford” was used by the United States Congress in 1777 while the Capital of the United States was being moved from Philadelphia to York, Pennsylvania. In 1795, legislation was passed to permit the erection of a stone bridge across the Conestoga at Bridgeport, thus connecting the very important King’s Highway with Philadelphia and the City of Lancaster.