Jump to content
  • Entries
  • Comments
  • Views

About this City Journal

Entries in this City Journal


Thank you everyone who have commented! Judging by it, it seems I'm heading in the right direction!



@kingofsimcity Thank you Sir! Comic Sans is decent enough for me but the choices are a bit limited here!

@Ln X Yes, but not quite complete! There's plenty of work left to do that'll keep me busy for quite some time. It's 7 x 7 all large maps! I think my favorite part of building up a region is laying out the forests. I won't plant on flat land or rolling hills as they'll be developed. I do plan on adding tree lines and small patches of woods later on.

@Swordmaster Thanks!

@raynev1 I think a good backstory will give a region character! This entry ought to bring the region up to it's current time which will be just short of the second World War. Thanks for following and the stars!

@kschmidt I've studied old maps of my area from the 1950s on up. Once you left the city limits you were in farmlands as far as the eye could see. No sprawl, just small towns and villages. No shopping centers, business parks, and no freeways! I'm trying to replicate that now and then go crazy on the 'burbs but that's probably not gonna happen anytime soon and there will be plenty of farm left over.

@MilitantRadical Thanks! It's only gonna get more wicked as time goes by.


Now onto the CJ......


By the early 1800's, Lancaster had become a hub of activity both in the city and in the country side. Immigrants continued to filter in, one group in particular were the Anabaptist from Germany. Also known as the Amish and the Mennonites, they were attracted to William Penn's promise of freedom of religion, they came to Pennsylvania to escape the religious persecution of their people in both the 18th and 19th centuries. They were a people who worked the land and upon arriving to the region they found the soil to be richer and easier to farm then what they had in Europe. It wasn't long until the area was being dubbed the "Garden Spot of America" a term that's used to this day.

During the War of 1812, Lancaster Barracks was once again called into action by forming and training new and old soldiers alike. The city also did it's part by supplying the Army with uniforms, weapons, ammunition, and food rations for the troops. After the war many citizens turned their attention south of the Mason-Dixon line. Slavery was outlawed in Pennsylvania and and due to it's location, Lancaster became an important hub to the Underground Railroad. Once a fugitive slave made it across the M-D, they were given the choice to settle in the North, continue to Canada, or return to their homelands. Tensions were high all along the M-D and even though Lancaster County shared only 5 miles of it, there were many noted skirmishes between slave hunters and those suspected of harboring fugitive slaves. The region produced many abolitionists who would go on to fight against slavery and rights for the former slaves after the Civil War. Lancaster was the home of the states only citizen to hold the Office of the President. James Buchanan was the 15th POTUS, holding office from 1857 to 1861. Many in the North did not have favorable views of President Buchanan. Many believed that he sided more with the pro slave South and sat on his rear on the issue while trying to expand American influence to the Caribbeans and Central America. Towards the end of his term, the war drums began to beat as the southern states began to talk of seceding from the Union. That talk became reality the end 1860 when the state of South Carolina seceded from the Union, several other southern states followed suit and a few months later the Confederate States of America was organized. The CSA took over all federal facilities located within their boundaries thru eminent domain, President Buchanan did nothing to prevent this, just sat on his rear. President Buchanan eventually did call for the mobilization of the Federal Troops but it was too late, his words fell on deaf ears in Congress. Nothing further was done to prepare or prevent the coming conflict.  By the time Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated, war was at the gates.

As horrendous as the Civil War was, Lancaster benefited greatly from the economic prosperity that it brought. Tens of thousands of troops rotated thru Lancaster Barracks for training before hitting the battlefields of the south. A permanent medical school was established at the Barracks as an attempt to improve battlefield survivability, which it did at the cost of many troops returning home with limbs missing. Many factories and shops sprouted up in the city and surrounding towns to meet the supply demands needed at Lancaster Barracks, adjoining farmland was cleared to make way for tent cities for the incoming troops. While no direct combat actions took place in the county, the citizens and soldiers in the Susquehanna River town of Columbia prevented the Confederate Army from crossing the river and occupying the region on June 28th 1863. In a last ditch effort to thwart the approaching Northern Virginia Army, the covered bridge spanning the mile wide river was burned forcing the army to turn back. Less then a week later, the battle of Gettysburg was fought. While the war ended in 1865 and even after the assassination of President Lincoln, the war over civil rights would last for many years to come.

After the Civil War and the dawn of the industrial revolution, the region experienced explosive growth. The city from 1860 to 1880 grew from 22,540 to 39,200. The city became a hub for manufacturing of various goods, along the Susquehanna, steel mills were constructed to meet the demands of a growing and expanding nation. during this time a shopping and entertainment districts were established in center city. Financial companies also began to flourish. On April 1st 1898, the capital building burned to the ground. People at first thought that it was a prank at first until seeing the burned out and half collapsed shell of what was the cities most prominent building. The governor who had just returned from an overseas trip to Europe vowed to rebuild the capital building more grander then any in America. The new building was completed in on July 4th 1910 which was heavily inspired by the Hungarian Parliament Building, to which the governor had seen being constructed during his trip. By January 1st 1900, Lancaster City had grown to 78,950 and had no signs of slowing it's growth.


Here are some shots of just a few prominent places around the city during the 1800's that were taken in the early 1930s.

The new capitol building with the Commonwealth Park and it's unique pond shaped like the state boundary.


City Hall, the large domed building was constructed in 1899 and is a smaller replica of the origional capital building that had burned down. The building to its right is the original city hall built in 1788.


The Lancaster-Union Shot Tower, once the tallest structure in the country was constructed in response of the War of 1812.


The Lancaster Federal Penitentiary was built in 1804 and houses only the worst of the worst violent criminals. It has a capacity of 66 inmates and due to it's ultra strict protocols, there has never been an escape at this facility. Originally it served as the county prison until 1880 when overcrowding forced the county to construct a larger facility.


The Lancaster Central Market was built in 1800 and is the oldest continually operated farmers market in the country.


The Brunswick Hotel, built in 1833 was the center of social life in the region well into the 20th century. It still remains a hot spot for the social eliete.


The Fulton Theater (top, 1888) and the Republic Opera House (bottom, 1801) are the anchors of the Entertainment District. Many thespians got there break here before moving onto Broadway, Vaudeville, and Hollywood.


There is also the Rembrandt Theater (1875) and the Little Tokyo Theater (1897). They were constructed as a result of the economic boom the region experienced during this time, many more theaters are to come making the Entertainment District a popular destination from up and down the eastern seaboard.


Musser Park on the eastern edge of Center City was founded in 1830 and is the largest park in the Center City neighborhood.


The Old Colonial Cemetery which layed its first person to rest in 1729 and closed due to being at capacity in 1866.


Finally the Conestoga Wagon Works, the oldest industrial building in the county built in 1715 and rebuilt in 1852 after a fire. The CCW built the famous Conestoga wagon from 1715 until 1893 and was instermental in the expansion of the nation. The CCW would later become Conestoga Motor Works and then the Murphy Automotive Works.



I think in the next update I'll go thru the different neighborhoods in the city. Tomorrow I go back to work for the first time this year.....YAY!! I had a ruptured appendix at the beginning of the year which allowed me to build up this region greatly in the past month! I don't know when I'll get around to the next update but it should be next weekend or maybe sooner if works quiet!

As always I appreciate any comments, critiques, and advice!


I figure since I've been floating around here since 2003, maybe I should start a CJ. Better 13 years late then never huh??

Today I'm going to give a somewhat brief back history on my region. It is based on my hometown of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It will share many similarities of the real area as well as how It might of looked if events had been different. The map and layout share some similarities as well but is noticeably different. For instance, the Allegheny Mountains are further east and my region is at the edge of it's eastern Foothills and Piedmont. The river that flows thru Lancaster, the Conestoga is a lot wider compared to the real one but it maintains its curves quite well.

Lancaster (Lang-kiss-ter) was laid out in March of 1718 by British settlers at the site of Hickory Town, a small trading village. Lancaster at the time was part of Chester County and a year later the County of Lancaster was formed. As the years went by, the settlement and the surrounding countryside steadily grew with British, Scottish, Irish, German, Dutch, and Swiss settlers. Lancaster became a Borough in 1728 and was incorporated into a city in 1742 with a population of 4,219. As the Colonies grew, so did resentment from the Native Indians who felt their land and way of life was being taken from them. Wars broke out through out the century but the Lancaster area experienced relative peace during this time and had a friendly relationship with the local Indians, the Conestoga of the Iroquoian speaking Susquehannock tribe. That all came to an end in December 1763 when a militia from northwest of the county raided their established home, Conestoga Town, killing three quarters of it's population and burned the town to the ground. Those who were able to escape were sheltered at a Quaker meeting house located in the middle of the city. A week later on Sunday December 27th, while the citizens were attending morning church services, the militia returned and massacred the remaining Indians. After that day, residents of the county vowed to protect the good and innocent from those who desire bloodshed to push their agenda. On January 1st 1764, the Lancaster Militia was formed and to this day remain in service as an active duty armored cavalry unit based a mile from the site of the massacre.

During the Revolutionary War, Lancaster was an important manufacturing center for the Continental Army. The Lancaster Barracks north of the city was established after the Battle of Wheatland in October 1777. The post and cemetery where built over the battlefield. The winter of 1777-1778 brought extreme hardship to the Army as they hunkered down in Valley Forge just east of the county. the living conditions were so grim that the Continental Congress ordered General Washington to mobilize his troops to the newly created barracks in Lancaster. Many soldiers did not survive the march, but many more would have fallen if the stayed at Valley Forge. Once in Lancaster, over half of the soldiers were treated at the new Pennsylvania Military Hospital for frostbite, malnourishment, gangrene, and a plethora of diseases. Locals supported the troops by providing food and clothing. By spring the Army was mending and with the arrival of Baron Von Steuben, the Army was a respectable force to be reckoned with. The Army left in the middle of June and the Lancaster Barracks became a center for training soldiers and mending wounds from the battlefield as well as housing prisoners. There would be no further conflicts conflicts in the region.

By the end of the war and Philadelphia being both the newly minted nations capitol and the state capitol, it was decided to vote on moving the state capitol away from the city to a more central location. Lancaster received the most votes due to being the largest inland city in the state (1790 population of 12,454) and quick, relatively easy access from Philadelphia and Baltimore. It had a navigable river which leads to the Chesapeake Bay, and vast resources such as metal/gunsmiths, textiles, agriculture, and higher education. In 1799 the state capital was moved to Lancaster at a site along the Conestoga River on the northern end of the city.


Ok so maybe it's not so brief as I've only gotten to the end of the 18th century. In the next installment I'm going to babble on about Lancaster's place in the 19th century and I'll throw up a bit more pics but for now y'all get just one, the region! I'm pretty well photoshop/gimp illiterate so there probably will be no touchups to the pics besides what Imgur can do. After that it'll be the 20th century and we'll see the city and it's countryside grow big time!


That's about it for now! I hope I didn't bore y'all too much and I'll always be open for advice and critiques!


Help Keep Simtropolis Online, Open & Free!


Would you be able to help us catch up after a bit of a shortfall?

We had a small shortfall last month. Your donation today would help us catch up for this month.

Make a Donation, Get a Gift!

We need to continue to raise enough money each month to pay for expenses which includes hardware, bandwidth, software licenses, support licenses and other necessary 3rd party costs.

By way of a "Thank You" gift, we'd like to send you our STEX Collector's DVD. It's some of the best buildings, lots, maps and mods collected for you over the years. Check out the STEX Collections for more info.

Each donation helps keep Simtropolis online, open and free!

Thank you for reading and enjoy the site!

More About STEX Collections