Peculiar Names: Turniptown

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is full of communities with peculiar names. This series examines their curious etymology. Next up: Turniptown.

According to LancasterHistory, the area once known as Turniptown lies between Lampeter and Strasburg, PA, near Edisonville.

The approximate location of Turniptown is shown above.

However, before the 1900s, this community was named “Turniptown” due to a weird twist of fate. Here’s the story.

In the 1800s, a farmer was transporting a wagon full of turnips to market. Unfortunately, the end gate of the wagon opened while going too fast around a sharp corner of the gravel road, spilling the vegetables all over the ground. 

The farmer tried to pick up all the turnips, but there were too many. He had to leave some of them behind. The remaining turnips were eventually beaten into the road by the hooves of other horses using the road.

In the coming days, the locals began to notice a strange smell in the air. It was the scent of rotting turnips. The odor lingered for months, and the locals started calling the area “Turniptown.” 

Want to Learn More?

Read about other Lancaster County towns with peculiar names, such as Bird-in-Hand, Blue Ball, Intercourse, and Paradise.


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The Spook of Turniptown Bridge

The bridge crossing Pequea Creek outside of Lampeter is said to be haunted. The tragic story involves a man who sold his soul to the devil for great wealth and attempted to evade repayment. His eternal punishment has made him the Spook of the Turniptown Bridge. Click the link to read this cautionary tale.

Former 1822 Edisonville Mill begins new chapter as ‘Olde Village Mill’ events venue

At a special open house event, I had the opportunity to tour the former Edisonville Mill located along Village Road outside of Strasburg, PA. Rebranded as the Olde Village Mill, the massive 1822 stone structure is a historic Pequea Creek landmark with a rich history dating back to 1740.

During its lifetime, the building saw use as a flour, corn meal, grist, sawmill, distillery, hydroelectric station, VFW, Eagle Gun Museum, and private residence. Most recently, new owners Daryl and Dianna Stoltzfus have overseen a meticulous renovation to preserve the building’s authentic heritage while seamlessly incorporating modern amenities. The venue offers a unique blend of history and elegance that celebrates the past while embracing the future. Click the link for a complete history and additional images of the Olde Village Mill.

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