October 6: First Friday Ghost Stories at Ellicott House

Join me on Friday, October 6, 2023, at the beautiful 1787 Sehner-Ellicott-von Hess House in downtown Lancaster from 5 to 8 p.m. for a First Friday Open House with the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County. I will be telling some of my favorite family-friendly Lancaster County ghost stories via a multimedia presentation on the second floor at 6 and 7 p.m. Perfect for the approaching haunted Spooktober season!

On the first floor, I will have a collection of beautiful reproduction maps from the 1800s of Lancaster City, including the 1864 Map of the City of Lancaster, the 1875 map of the North Half of Lancaster City, and the 1875 map of the South Half of Lancaster City on display.

Pop-Up Art Show – Magical Naturalism

However, the highlight of the evening will be local artist Reagan Lehman and her one-night-only art show entitled “Magical Naturalism,” featuring a collection of her original watercolor paintings.

Inspired by exploration and wonder, this collection blurs the lines between myth and reality. Whether you encounter pixies or giants, each piece invites you to view the natural world through the lens of imagination.

Framed, original illustrated work will be available for purchase—starting at $65. Twenty percent of all sales will be donated to the Historic Preservation Trust. Learn about the show on Reagan’s website or Instagram.

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. In this house, 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 to reach an equitable decision. 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.



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