Penn Township is approximately 29.4 square miles with boundaries being Chiques Creek to the west, Cornwall Mountain to the north, and man-made boundaries to the east and south of the township.
Geography & Economics
Penn Township is geographically and economically linked to the Lancaster urbanized area, however it has a strong secondary link with Lebanon County. Lancaster Road (PA Route 72) is the primary transportation link connecting the township with the Lancaster and Lebanon metropolitan areas.
For more details about the demographics of Penn Township, view the 2010 demographics summary.
Most of the land in present Penn Township was separated from a larger Warwick Township in 1846. It also appears that some parts of a larger Rapho Township, mostly in the vicinity of Mount Hope, were annexed to Penn Township during the 19th century.
Most of the first settlers in the township were of Germanic and Swiss ancestry and began settling around 1735. These early settlers located along the foot of the Furnace Hills. They slowly extended their landholding southward toward what is now White Oak (settled in 1794).
Penryn, famous for the White Oak Church, the oldest town in the township, being founded in the 1730’s. Limerock, founded by Dr. J. C. Brobst in 1880, was originally established to take advantage of the abundant limestone found in the southeast corner of the township. At that time, the quarried limestone was shipped commercially via railroad to other parts of the country.
Mount Hope was an early post town with a stagecoach stop. Mount Hope also contained the Mount Hope Chemical Charcoal Works. This important industry produced some of the earliest smelting of iron ore in Lancaster County. The Village of Elm, originally called Penn, was well known for the tavern established there. Molly Plasterer’s Tavern (located where the five roads converged) was a rendezvous for iron workers when the forges and furnaces were in full blast, and a headquarters for mountaineers.
Today, Penn Township has a growing suburban area surrounded by the large rural region, strongly influenced by its proximity to both Manheim and Lititz Boroughs, as well as the Lancaster urbanized area.