How Old Is That History?
Sources document our heritage as beginning with the founding of the Township in 1729, sanctioned by John, Thomas, and Richard Penn as part of Lancaster County. However, we know that our roots are deeper than that: occupation of the geographic area we call home is documented by archaeological evidence dating to 6,000 B.C. At the time of European encroachment in the late 1600’s, the Susquehannock people (also known as the Conestoga) were the primary settlers of present-day Derry Township. One of the History Center’s most important collections, though currently in storage for installation in one of our recently renovated spaces, is the Nissley collection of arrowheads, sinkers, and assorted artifacts. This collection documents the indigenous culture of the original inhabitants in this area of Central Pennsylvania
The Scots-Irish settlers initiated the first displacement of Native Americans in the area. Settling in present-day Derry Township as early as 1724, they held their first documented services near the site of iconic Derry Church, which still stands today.
We’ll have more history to follow as we continue to celebrate our 30 years – and the centuries of history we preserve, promote, and interpret!