Did You Know…The Story Behind Those Odd Named Towns?


The Holidays are now upon us all and we thought it would be fun to share some great ‘table talk’ with you. As residents of beautiful Lancaster County, it is likely we are all very familiar with the funny and sometimes odd town names that you find around here (Intercourse, Blue Ball, Paradise, Bird-In-Hand the usual suspects you know), but have you heard of these lesser known, odd community names?  Burnt Mills, Falmouth, Ono, Lickdale. Well, we couldn’t dig up a good story for you on those, but here is some enlightening background info on a few of them. Enjoy!

Blue Ball – Originally named Earl Town, it changed to Blue Ball officially in 1833 after a hotel at the same location, the Blue Ball Inn. During Prohibition, the Inn changed its name to Blue Ball Hotel. The old Inn was torn down in 1997. 

Intercourse – The Amish Village of Intercourse was named by George Brungard in 1813. During this time period, the term “Intercourse” referred to commercial or trading locations. Prior to that, it was known as the village of Cross Keys starting in 1754, named after a tavern established the same year.

Peach Bottom – This village got its name in 1815 from a settler named John Kirk who was a peach orchard owner.

Some other odd town names, outside of Lancaster County:

Jugtown –  Located West over in Franklin County, it is said this town was named for booze and/or pottery.

Pillow – Located in Dauphin County, the village was named after General Gideon Pillow.

Rough and Ready – Located in Schuylkill County and named for a ‘California Gold Rush’ town.

Jersey Shore – This Lycoming County town was originally named Waynesburg by the Manning brothers, who settled the town around 1785. Another settlement: Nippenose Township, arose on the eastern side of the Western Branch of the Susquehanna River around that same time, and of course a rivalry was born. The Mannings had come from New Jersey, and the eastern shore residents started referring to the Waynesburg settlement as the “Jersey shore.” In 1826, the name was officially changed to Jersey Shore.


How do we know all of these great Lancaster Local Secrets? We are local real estate agents and residents of Lancaster for more than 30 years!

For more information on the wonderful homes in Lancaster County,
call Mary Sue at 717-333-9653 (WOLF) or visit our real estate website at www.WolfandWebb.com.

No home is too big or too small for our team. We can’t wait to hear from you!


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