Mount Joy is a borough located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA. This town was named after an Irish supply ship, Mount Joy, which was founded in 1721 by Scots-Irish immigrants. Mount Joy is one of the names in the lists of ‘delightfully-named towns’ in Pennsylvania Dutchland. Other towns in this list include Blue Ball, Intercourse, Bird-in-Hand, Paradise, Lititz, as well as Bareville. Most people shorten the name of this town to Mt Joy as outlined in Mencken (1963). This name is suspected to have been derived from Montjoie, a French battle cry.
History has it that the Donegal Presbyterian Church was established in 1721 as well, and was strategically located between what is currently Maytown and Mount Joy. This church was granted a 200-acre tract of land by the William Penn family. Later in 1777, a congregation gathered under the former Witness Tree to pledge their loyalty to the American Revolution. As such, the Lancaster County Historical Society believes that it is the oldest church that is still operational to present.
This town is located along Route 230, initially considered as the only road that linked Lancaster and Harrisburg. The town began as one of the three villages that were clustered together as a stop for those travelling from the western frontier. The initial businesses with Mount Joy during this period consisted of taverns, wagon makers, and blacksmith shops. But, due to the large amount of fertile land that surrounds the town, Mount Joy’s identity has been distorted to represent an agricultural industry. According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 6.1 km2. All the total area is covered by land and is considered to be part of the Appalachians.
Even though Mount Joy has changed with times over the years, a lot of the original architecture designed before 1939 still survives. These architectural designs offer a historical charm. The town seeks to blend such history with much renaissance. In fact, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania selected this town as a Main Street Community in 2002. With such a rare opportunity, this town offers the visitors a step back into the past. The town is so magical that it guarantees its visitors of exciting activities, community events, and attractions.
Some of the public services in Mount Joy include The Milanof-Schock Library, Borough of Mount Joy, Mount Joy Township, Fire Department of Mount Joy, and Donegal School District. The Milanof-Schock Library is located at 1184 Anderson Ferry Rd Mount Joy, PA 17552. This library opened in 1999 and was meant to serve all the residents living in the five municipalities that make up the Donegal School District. The District includes Mount Joy together with Marietta Borough, East Donegal Township, Mount Joy Township, and Rapho Township. At present the library is considered to be the de facto community center in the region. It also serves as an after-school haven for most of the youth in Mount Joy, as well as a life-long learning center for all the residents in the area.
Mount Joy is also served by the Fire Department Mount Joy. It is a volunteer organization that is located in Northwest Lancaster County, PA. This organization provides fire and rescue services to all the parts of Mount Joy and portions of Mount Joy Township, Rapho Township, and East Donegal. This organization has consistently been ranked among the top ten busiest Fire Departments in Lancaster County. In 2008, it was ranked 6th having taken care of 682 incidents. At times, the department also provides and receives mutual aid service to the following departments; Elizabethtown, Rheems, Maytown/ East Donegal, Marietta, Columbia, Bainbridge, Matersonville, Manheim, West Hempfield, Hempfield, Rhorerstown, and East Petersburg. The organization is funded through different sources in the community and seeks to provide high quality services to that effect.
Whenever you visit Mount Joy, you will still experience a history with the modern twist. The popular attraction here is the Bube’s Brewery. It is located along 102 North Market Street Mt Joy, PA 17552. This attraction is a brewery complex that was established in the 19th Century. It was first established by Alois Bube, a Bavarian immigrant. It consists of a series of buildings that performed the functions needed at the brewery in a collective manner. Bube’s stands in history as one of the few breweries established in the early days that still stands today. More so, it not only operates as a microbrewery but serves as a dining mecca and entertainment venue as well.
Bube Brewery began producing beer once more in November 2011 after stopping the process back in 1917. However, the present day brewery still operates in the original brewery’s ice house. The brewery often welcomes visitors to enjoy free tours from Monday through Friday starting at 5-9pm. Ghost tours are also offered by Jean Ellis, a resident ghost expert in Mount Joy. Ellis just happens to be the great granddaughter of Alois Bube’s.
Apart from visiting the brewery, you can also dine at Bube’s. You can choose to dine in any of the restaurants including The Catacombs, Alois, and The Bottling Works. The Catacombs restaurant can be accessed in the aging cellars of the brewery, 43 feet under the street level. The restaurant features a fine dining menu every evening. Alois hosts the Murder Mystery event dinners. The Bottling Works is often open for lunch, dinner, and late evening snacks.
While exploring Mount Joy, you may also want to get lost in the surrounding country roads of North-western Lancaster County. Such exploration will enable you understand the serene environment of the farm. You can as well check out the historic covered bridges through the Historic Rivertowns & Western Villages Trail.
Some of the popular events in Mount Joy include Fourth Fridays in Downtown Mount Joy scheduled for the fourth Friday of each month, Taste of Mount Joy – Cruisin’ Cuisine scheduled for end of July, Crabfest, scheduled for early September, and Winterfest, scheduled for early December. Apart from the events, one of the major resources of Mount Joy is the Main Street Mount Joy.