August 4: First Friday event at the historic Sehner-Ellicott-von Hess House

Join me on Friday, August 4, 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.

I will display a collection of reproduction maps from the 1800s of Lancaster City and Lancaster County.

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 a 1.18″ metal replica Spanish Doubloon. Click here to get a head start on the First Friday Mini-Adventure!

Items for Sale

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

Pop-Up Art Show

The Trust will also be hosting artist Dan Zdilla for a one-night-only pop-up art. Shelly lives in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She says:

Zdilla is an artist, musician, and teacher from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He works in collage, creating naturalistic imagery that is sometimes representational or allegorical. His current work is made exclusively from National Geographic magazines and glue.

He is a 2005 graduate of Millersville University with a degree in art education and a 2018 graduate of Millersville University with a master’s degree in art education.

He lives and works in Lancaster City with his wife, Katie, daughter Cecilia, and dog Frannie. For additional details about Dan Zdilla, visit his website at

Adventure Awaits!

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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 July 7, 2023.



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