May 5: First Friday event at the historic Sehner-Ellicott-von Hess House

Join me on Friday, May 5, 2023, at the beautiful 1787 Sehner-Ellicott-von Hess House in downtown Lancaster from 5 to 8 pm for a First Friday Open House with the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County.

Say “hi” and pick up free Uncharted Lancaster stickers and magnets. I will also be running my First Friday Mini-Adventure that will have you exploring downtown Lancaster. Fantastic prizes are up for grabs with your choice between a 1.25″ soft enamel pin, a 3″ embroidered patch, or in honor of my $2,000 Jewel of the Susquehanna Treasure Hunt, a 1.18″ metal replica Spanish Doubloon. Click here to get a head start on the First Friday Mini-Adventure!

Items for Sale

The Trust will also be selling a large selection of prints, posters, books, and apparel. PLUS beautiful 18″ x 24″ prints of the hard-to-find 1899 Road Map of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. This restored and edited document serves as the treasure map for my $2,000 Jewel of the Susquehanna Treasure Hunt that runs until May 13, 2023. Click here to read more about the Jewel of the Susquehanna treasure hunt.

I will also have four packs of laser engraved 1875 Lancaster City 4″x4″ Slate Coasters for sale for only $20. Grab one while supplies last.

Can’t make it to the Trust on Friday? Purchase your treasure map online from the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County or in person at LancasterHistory’s Museum Store (Open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 am to 5 pm).

Click here for a complete listing of items that will be on sale.

Pop-Up Art Show

The Trust will also be hosting local artist Jordan Knisely for a one-night-only pop-up art. Knisely is an illustrator and visual development artist at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and a graduate of Lampeter-Strasburg. She will be selling prints, stickers, paintings, pins, keychains, apparel, and more!

Click here to read more about Knisely

This free event also includes self-guided tours of the gorgeous building (located at 123 N. Prince Street, Lancaster) while seeing Knisely’s art.

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Brief History of the Sehner-Ellicott-von Hess House

The building was the home of Andrew Ellicott, the first U.S. Surveyor General who famously helped map the western territories and the District of Columbia. It was in this house that Ellicott, commissioned by U. S. President Thomas Jefferson, taught Meriwether Lewis surveying techniques for the Lewis & Clark Expedition of western territories. Ellicott occupied the house from 1801 until he died in 1813.

The home is a beautiful example of early American architecture, built by Gottlieb Sehner and beautifully renovated by the Louise Steinman von Hess Foundation from 1978 to 1981. The Sehner family also helped to build Lancaster’s Masonic Hall in 1795 and the Fulton Opera House in 1852. Click here for a more detailed history of the house.

Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County

The Trust was established in 1966 to help “stem the rapid destruction of historic properties in Lancaster County.” Through the years, the Trust has been active in preserving many historic properties in Lancaster County that contribute to their respective communities as unique places for people to live, work, and play.

Their equation for success has been working for over 50 years. Look around you and know that our advocacy and direct action have resulted in saving hundreds of historic structures and other sites throughout the county. The flip side is that not everything can and should be saved. The Trust continually faces this delicate balance and works closely with all parties involved to reach an equitable decision for all. Sadly, it sometimes takes an irreplaceable loss to a community before preservation moves higher on the priority list.

Follow the Trust on Facebook for more architectural information and history from all over Lancaster County. Learn more at their website, or better yet, consider becoming a member of the Trust today.

Where to Go

The Sehner-Ellicott-von Hess House is located in the heart of Gallery Row in downtown Lancaster at 123 North Prince Street, Lancaster, PA. The building will be open from 5 to 8 pm on May 5, 2023.



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