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Lititz, Pennsylvania

Borough of Lititz
125 E. Main Street
Named for: A Bohemian Castle
Motto: The Heart of Lancaster County
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Lancaster
Elevation 381 ft (116.1 m)
Area 2.3 sq mi (6 km2)
 - land 2.3 sq mi (6 km2)
 - water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%
Population 9,029 (2000)
Density 3,884.0 / sq mi (1,499.6 / km2)
Settled 1710
 - Founded 1756
Mayor Ronald G. Oettel, Jr. (R)
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 17543
Area code 717 Exchange: 626,625,627
Location of Lititz in Lancaster County
Location of Lititz in Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States

Lititz is a borough in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, six miles (approximately 10 km) north of the city of Lancaster.

Houses on Main Street


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Law and government 3
  • Demographics 4
  • Recent controversies 5
    • Water pollution 5.1
    • Borden family murders 5.2
    • Racist incident 5.3
    • Warwick School District mascot 5.4
  • Sister city 6
  • Sites of interest 7
    • Public services 7.1
    • Museums and historic sites 7.2
  • Notable people 8
  • See also 9
  • Notes 10
  • Further reading 11
  • External links 12


Lititz was founded by members of the Moravian Church in 1756 and was named after a castle (mentioned form of name is German; Czech name of this castle is Litice) 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.

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.[1]

Lititz has been holding a town-wide celebration of Independence Day since 1813. This annual spectacle attracts many tourists and former residents that return for the annual Queen of Candles Pageant and fireworks display in Lititz Springs Park. The park itself is decorated each year, rather extravagantly, 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 sockets for white candles to be placed and lit during the celebration. The first candle has traditionally been lit by the year's Queen of Candles pageant winner. Musical performances by such groups as "Flamin' Dick and the Hot Rods" then follow. The park also hosts festivities for children and a plethora of 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).

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.

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.[2][3][4][5][6]

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


Lititz is located at .[7]

Pennsylvania Routes 772 (Orange and Main Streets) and 501 (Broad Street) run through the town.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2), all land.

Law and government

Ralph Miller guarded the Lititz water works for sixteen years. Photo by Marjory Collins in 1942.
  • Mayor: Ronald G. Oettel, Jr. (R)
  • Borough Manager: Sue Ann Barry
  • Borough Council
    • Karen Weibel, President
    • Todd Fulginiti
    • Shane Weaver
    • Doug Bomberger
    • Ruth McKennon
    • James Wynkoop

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)


As of the census[10] 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.

Recent controversies

General Sutter Grave in Lititz Moravian Cemetery
Military Hospital plaque in Lititz
Former Mayor of Lititz Hon. Russell L. Pettyjohn
Zinzendorf`s Waistcoat at Lititz Moravian Archive and Museum

Water pollution

Lititz has been criticized for its alleged poor ground water quality. The water in Lititz Springs Park tested at 19.1 for nitrates on August 8, 2007 in a test paid for by the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal.[12] Lititz' water quality was also criticized in February 2008 after Listerine was discharged into the aquifer by the nearby Johnson & Johnson chemical plant,[13][14] and residents complained about a "minty" taste. Johnson and Johnson initially denied any responsibility, but the problem was later identified as the result of a leaky pipe on the company's property. In 2008, the Intelligencer Journal reported that the nonprofit group League of Humane Voters created a website "dedicated to the cause of monitoring issues surrounding the Lititz watershed."[15][16]

Lititz Borough has a multi-million dollar water treatment plant that removes pollutants so that the water distributed to residents meets all Federal and State regulations.[17]

Borden family murders

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.[18] 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.[19]

Racist incident

The town received national press coverage on October 11, 2007, after three white 16-year-old students allegedly yelled racial slurs and threw paper wads at minority students outside the 1,600-student Warwick High School. School officials vowed to discipline the three students with suspension or expulsion, tighten security, and ban Confederate flags on school property. Six students were charged with disorderly conduct.[20]

The superintendent said the incident was revealed only after a teacher overheard other students discussing it and alerted administrators.[21]

In order to "[try] to rebound from a string of racially motivated incidents," the community commemorated the 2009 Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday with a call to unity. The community's churches, including the Lititz Moravian Church made "clear statement[s] against racism."[22]

Warwick School District mascot

The high school's current mascot depicts the profile of a Native American warrior. Since 1999, some Lititz residents, teachers, and students have criticized the mascot both as a racist stereotype[23] and for misrepresenting a Native American religious symbol.[24] The campaign to eliminate the mascot resurfaced during the 2009–2010 school year, as the district renovated the high school's football field; current plans call for a spear design in the center of the field. In 2010, the district removed the warrior logo from the high school's sign, replacing it with a black-and-red seal featuring the letter W.[25] The warrior image has been used less frequently since 1999;[24] since then, residents have suggested to the school board that the mascot be changed to something representative of Lititz, such as "Wilbur Buds,"[24] a well-known product of the local Wilbur Chocolate Company.

In 2010, the Warwick School Board passed a resolution that from now on, the Native American Head & Spear logos will be used for athletics and the black-and-red seal featuring the letter 'W' will be used for academics.

In January 2011, a member of a group in support of the Warrior logo/name presented a donation to the school board from a bumper sticker sale that was conducted the previous fall.

Sister city

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, PA.

Sites of interest

Public services

Museums and historic sites

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ "Linden Hall". Linden Hall History. Retrieved June 18, 2011. 
  2. ^ Ward's Quarterly 1965; 1:109.
  3. ^ Anderson, William Charles, Home sweet home has wheels, or, Please don't tailgate the real estate, 1979, 209.
  4. ^ Museums Journal 2006; 106: 1–6, 61.
  5. ^ Rand McNally's Vacation and Travel Guide, Rand McNally and Company, 1978, 52.
  6. ^ Mencken, Henry Louis, "Raven Ioor McDavid," The American language, 1938.
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  11. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  12. ^ Lititz Springs Park water found high in nitrates
  13. ^ Listerine tainted Lititz water
  14. ^ 'Minty' Lititz water studied – Johnson & Johnson plant eyed by DEP
  15. ^ Web site focuses on Lititz water: League of Humane Voters adopts cause
  16. ^
  17. ^ Kline confirms Lititz water is safe to drink
  18. ^ Lovelace, Brett. "Ludwig Gets Life". Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  19. ^ Kelley, Janet. It is now known that David Lugwig did not kill the Bordens but their young daughter. She has been arrested and David has been released from prison. html#ixzz2F9AnZCYF "54 guns, ammo seized from Ludwig home; cache of weapons found in Lititz family's house includes three assault rifles, shotguns and handguns." . Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  20. ^ Six at Warwick charged in wake of racial unrest in district
  21. ^ Racist incident roils Pa. high school
  22. ^ MLK Day service aims to help Lititz heal
  23. ^ Is Warwick's Indian logo racist? – A group of Warwick students have won a partial victory in their quest to banish from the district the logo of an American Indian, which they say is racist.
  24. ^ a b c Knowles, Laura. Warwick Controversy Over Mascot Renewed. Intelligencer Journal, April 29, 2010.
  25. ^ Long-debated Warwick logo slowly disappearing – The mascot has been a source of dispute for years. District sports teams still use the image.

Further reading

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

External links

  • Official website
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