Lancaster County has several towns with peculiar names. This series examines the etymology of these curious community names. Next up: Paradise.
Two people, Marie Warenbuer Ferree and Joshua Scott, are typically credited with naming this town.
French Huguenots, persecuted during the religious wars in France, found a haven in Pennsylvania at about the same time that the Swiss Mennonite settlers were emigrating. The pioneer of the Huguenot movement was the widow Marie Ferree. She took her family to England and, after securing the sympathy of William Penn and Queen Anne, received a land grant for the acreage here in Pennsylvania. She was able to bring her children to America in 1709.
A few years later, the Ferree family found their way to the Pequea Valley area of Lancaster County. Her family lived peacefully among the Native Americans who called this area home. Click here to read more about the Pequea Valley.
Legend has it that upon arrival, Marie said, “This is truly a paradise!” giving the town its name. She is buried in Carpenter Cemetery, located on Black Horse Road next to the Strasburg railroad track. Click here to read more about Marie Ferree and how her grave might be the oldest in Lancaster County.
There is a similar story involving Joshua Scott. While standing in the middle of the road, Scott stated that the town should be called Paradise because of the beauty he saw around him.