Bird n Hand, PA
The Village of Bird In Hand, PA is a small village with a population of 402 people as of the 2010 census. It is located in East Lampeter and Upper Leacock Townships. It is a historical site with a long and rich tradition and is a perfect example of the lifestyle and values of Lancaster, PA.
Initially comprised of Native American Shawnee and Susquehannock, Bird In Hand was met with an influx of Quakers and Swiss Mennonites in the 1700s. The Quaker Meeting House still stands in the village next to the fire company. These populations helped shape the area as it is known today and imparted their view of life to the residents.
The name of the Village comes, as one might expect, from the old saying ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’ which was reportedly said by surveyors at the time the surveyors were passing through while surveying the Philadelphia Pike. Since then the image of a bird in two hands has been displayed in various places in the Village. It is a name as quaint as the Village itself and somehow imparts the feeling of community and the value the residents place on their small part of Lancaster.
One of the Village’s most famous landmarks is the McNabb hotel, now called the Bird In Hand Hotel. It has stood the test of time and remained important since the time of the surveyors’ work in the area.
In 1834 with the development of the railroad through the area, the community gained importance as the most important stop on the Lancaster to Coatesville section. As might be expected, the Bird In Hand Hotel continued its popularity during this time. It was a bit of a boom for the Village.
The area gained fame after being featured in the theatrical musical, Plain and Fancy. This musical is also often credited with being the start of the Pennsylvania Dutch tourism boom.
Also of importance to the area is the Smucker family who opened a small motel and motor inn, coffee shop, and now restaurant called the Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant and Smorgasbord.
Today, the Bird In Hand Farmer’s Market is a major tourist draw together with The Water’s Edge golf course, a truly beautiful spot to see in the community. Visitors can also experience the Amish Tours which depart from Bird In Hand. Hot air balloon rides may also be taken from Bird In Hand in which one can see the amazing landscape surrounding Lancaster.
The Bird-in-Hand Bakery & Cafe offers customers delectable baked goods and small batch artisan ice cream in a variety of flavors.
For those with a taste for theater, The Bird In Hand Theater features Broadway style musicals in the heart of Amish country. The theater is set to open sometime in 2016 and a schedule of forthcoming shows is available at the website.
Tourism is a major part of the economy in Bird In Hand and with the multitude of things to do in this small community it is easy to see why.