Intercourse Lancaster, PA
Intercourse is a village located in Leacock Township, in the great Lancaster County, Pennsylvania state, USA. The village, formerly known as “Cross Keys” from a noted old tavern stand, is also a census-designated place. This unique village is considered to have an estimated population of 1274 basing on the census carried out in 2010. The village is a very popular tourist attraction in Lancaster County due to its strategic positioning in the Amish country, and also its somewhat sexually suggestive name.
Considered as the heart of the Amish Country, Intercourse village is situated along the Old Philadelphia Pike (Route340) to the East of Lancaster County. It is just to the east of Bird-in-Hand and north of Paradise. The village also has close proximity to many Lancaster County attractions. It stands clearly as a reminder of the American tradition and heritage by the simple way of life exhibited
Intercourse village was founded in the year 1754. It started out as a community initially called Cross keys. Its name however changed to Intercourse in the year 1814, in a real estate scheme to establish a more sizeable town. It is stated that the word “Intercourse” was initially used to refer to fellowship and social interaction and support. One of the stated theories as to the idea of how the name of the village emerged is that that concerns two famous roads that crossed at the area. This were The Old King’s highway that ran for Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, and the road from Wilmington to Erie. This occurrence is stated to be the reason behind the two names given to this village.
The Village’s being can be greatly attributed to George Burngard who had acquired 48 acres of land north of the roads in 1813. He put out an attempt to lay out a town site and divided it into sections for lottery sale and advertising. However, his real estate lottery failed leading to most of the land being combined into one track. The old village contained only five houses, the inn included. Slowly the town grew. 1827 saw the establishment of the Travelers Inn, on part of the original William Penn land grant. A brick schoolhouse was also established in 1857 at a cost of $699, The Intercourse School that was a one-room school in 1882, among other establishments.
Communication, then was through letters. The Village faced a challenge since getting to establish a post office and keep it up and running proved to be difficult. A building and a postmaster could not be found. The first postmaster named Benjamin Fraim, who operated from the Cross Keys Tavern, worked here with is income for the 1829 amounting only to $8.21. After a great deal of work by the citizens in developing the area, a designated first class post office was established in 1990. Homes and population increased and business improved with businesses such as buggy shops, a hosiery mill, blacksmiths, bakery, furniture, brick kiln among many others. Infrastructure was also not left behind with a fire station, roads and new transport means, banks among other amenities being put up.
A historic day in the entire existence of Intercourse Village is on the November 1892 Election day when folks arrived at the Cross Keys Tavern to cast ballots. The event was overshadowed by a fire that went out of control. Homes, barns, warehouses and the town store went into flames. This was the event that inspired the establishment of the Intercourse Fire Company twenty years later.
Intercourse boasts of several signature attractions in the Amish country. Kitchen Kettle flocks with visitors who aspire to enjoy the most delicious jams, jellies, relishes and other products. The 50 years old facility has grown from having some gas burners and kettles in the garage used to cook and sell jelly, into a village of shops that offer diverse services. Intercourse Canning Company is another attraction in Intercourse Village. The company offers over 3000 different varieties of canned foods from within Lancaster. Pickled vegetable, fruits, relishes, salsas, BBQ and hot sauces, pancake, dip mixes and soup mixes are among the list of what the company provides.
The village being a symbol of history is also home to two museums. These are the American Military Edge Weaponry Museum and The Quilt Museum. The Quilt Museum mainly showcases the changing quilt, furniture and art gallery, alongside publishing books focusing on the various aspects of the Amish and the Mennonite culture. The first National Bank that was opened in the year 1908 is also one of the attractions. The building’s construction employed Colonial Revival Architectural style and is also listed in the National Historic Register. The building is one of Intercourses unique attractions one can’t miss to see. These attractions, apart from getting folks to flock the village to experience them, are also sources to learn and preserve the history of the community.
The Intercourse community can be said to be one that holds religion as a major aspect of their life. This is evident by the various churches which include: Episcopal, German Baptist, Mennonite, United Brethren, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Reformed. The seriousness in which the people take religion can be proved when you walk by on Sundays and finds most of the businesses closed.
Business is also a key aspect in the village. Business activities have been in existence at Intercourse for many years since it started existing. Wenger’s General Store and Zimmerman and Sons were two well-known business stores in the town. Wenger’s General Store was the first in town, owned by the “Worst” family. These buildings currently house the Quilt Museum and the Village Pottery. Zimmerman’s was built in 1892 after the famous town fire carrying out several business activities.
Other places of interest in the famous Intercourse Village include the Old Candle Barn, Zooks Fabric Store, Intercourse Pretzel Factory and the Stoltzfus Meats and Deli. There are also several events that are being hosted at Intercourse throughout the year.
A small town, but rich! Intercourse offers all manner of signals that invite you to the magnificently rich village. Not only does it offer knowledge of the rich American History but also a bunch of other activities from businesses to fun activities to ensure you get the best experience at the place.

Share this Article: