Manheim, PA is a small borough in the Lancaster area. The population of Manheim is around 5,000 people and the borough gets its name from the City of Mannheim in Germany. It was founded in 1760 by Henrich Wilhelm Stiegel whose vision for the area was for it to be an industrial center. He began in ironwork where he prospered, and he went on to also found the American Flint Glass Manufactory to further his vision of Manheim as an industrial player. The factory failed in 1774, but the products manufactured there are still highly prized collectibles. Stiegel had acquired the land the borough is on from the family of William Penn’s secretary, deepening the history the area has to share. The lineage of the land is important and rich.
Though Stiegel did not live to see it, in the 1800s Manheim did indeed become a bustling industrial area that manufactured many goods of different types. Grandfather clocks, bricks and wagon shops enjoyed success at the time. When the Columbia and Reading Railroad came through in 1862, Manheim was able to expand its importance in the region as a result of the ease of transport the railroad offered. This increased the activity and revenue in the area.
Like many other towns, Manheim’s industry was severely affected by the Great Depression. The area now keeps a healthy commerce and trade for farmers and is also home to the Manheim Auto Auction which does a large business in no small part to the heavy traffic along Route 72. This Route makes Manheim an easy stop for travelers.
One of Manheim’s premier attractions is The Manheim Community Farm Show, held the first week of October. This event highlights farming in the community and has occurred over 60 times. It encourages residents and travelers alike to meet and appreciate the bounty that the Manheim area has to offer and identifies with the ‘farm to fork’ way of thinking that has recently surged. It is a great choice for visitors who wish to experience the heart and soul of Manheim.
The town itself is full of visible history, evidenced by the mix of architecture in the center. Old fashioned log cabins can still be seen on the streets together with early Victorian buildings and 20th century styles. One can take a driving tour of the many covered bridges in the area which number more than two dozen. The town square also hosts events all year long.
Several of the town’s churches are on the historical places list together with The Summy House Restaurant and Brewing Company. The Rose Manor and Manheim Manor Bed and Breakfasts are also historic sites.
As one can easily see, there is much to do in Manheim and a lot of history to experience and soak up. It is another gem in the Lancaster area that visitors can be sure will be a memorable stop along their way. Whether you stay in the borough or venture in from one of the surrounding towns, you will have a lovely time in historical and picturesque Manheim.