Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the seat of Lancaster County. It is on the Conestoga River in the southeastern part of the state. It is an industrial city and a commercial center for a rich agricultural area.
Lancaster lies in the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country—the popular name for the region where the Amish, Mennonites, and other Pennsylvanians of German descent live. Attractions include Wheatland (1828), the homestead of President James Buchanan; the Fulton Opera House (1852), one of the oldest continuously operating theaters in the country; and the farmers' markets. Franklin and Marshall College is here.
Lancaster was laid out in 1730. During colonial days it was noted for the manufacture of long-barreled rifles. On September 27, 1777, the Continental Congress met at Lancaster, making it the national capital for one day. Lancaster was the state capital from 1799 to 1812. It was incorporated as a city in 1818.