Brief History of Quarryville

Township Tuesday

Welcome to Township Tuesday, where we will examine the history of different Lancaster County townships each week. This week instead of a township, a borough: Quarryville Borough.

Quarryville Borough

1899 map of Quarryville Borough

Quarryville became a Borough in 1892, but its origin goes back to 1775 when Martin Barr acquired several thousand acres encompassing an area that included what is now Quarryville Borough. The town was officially named Quarryville in 1837, and the first post office opened in 1849. Before 1837 the area was known as Barr’s Quarries.

1899 map of Quarryville Borough

Martin’s son, Abram Barr, is reported to be the first to take limestone from the area in 1820, and the settlement was due mainly to the development of limestone quarries. In 1858, the area’s 12 quarries, employing over 100 men, produced 600,000 bushels of lime. With this kind of industry, others soon followed. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, churches, hotels, and other businesses began to appear.

Geographically, the borough is the hub of southern Lancaster County. It covers approximately 1.3 square miles and boasts a population of around 2,700 residents.

1899 map of Quarryville Borough


Here’s your chance to own a copy of the 1899 map of Quarryville Borough created from a 600 dpi scan of plate 75 from the 1899 Atlas of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Size: 18″ x 24″. Other options include maps of Eden and Drumore Townships, which at the time encompassed parts of Quarryville. Available in sizes: 16″x16″ and 18″x18″.

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Learn More

The History of Columbia Borough as recorded in the ‘1875 Historical Atlas of Lancaster County’

1864 Map of the Borough of Columbia.

In the summer of 1726, three prominent Quakers—Robert Barber, John Wright, and Samuel Blunston—came from Chester with their families to the Susquehanna River and settled in an area that would eventually become known as Columbia. Nearly 150 years later, the community was second in population and the first in importance for manufacturing iron in Lancaster County, having but few equals in the entire State. Click the link to read the full 1875 history of Columbia Borough.


One thought on “Brief History of Quarryville

  1. I was surprised to learn that the quarries around Quarryville produced lime. Growing up in the area, I was always told that the primary product of most of the quarries was nickel, with some iron mined as well.

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