Germany Township History

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Historic Map Image
1858 Historic Map of Germany & Mount Joy Townships
Courtesy of Pennsylvania State Archives, MG-11 Map Collection, Map # 2


     Germany Township originally was part of "Digges Choice", a land grant of 10,000 acres to John Digges on October 14, 1727. The community was settled in 1733 as a part of York County, Pennsylvania. Adams County formed in January 22, 1800 and the Germany Township became annexed within the new county. A 311-acre tract of the original Germany Township was sold to Peter Klein in 1760; it became the oldest town in Adams County, known today as Littlestown. Germany Township is bordered by Mount Joy Township to the west, Mount Pleasant Township to the north, Union Township to the east and the State of Maryland to the south.

     The 1800 census established the township population at 1,031. Historical records showed the majority of the area's early settlers were from Germany and Great Britain. From 1819 to 1821, Jacob Fondersmith made Kentucky rifles in the township. In 1824, several merchants in the township began selling imported foreign wines, liquors and other wares. Later, iron ore mines were worked on two of the township farms starting in 1876. A short line railroad served the township and nearby areas, The Littlestown Branch Railroad began operations July 1, 1858 and would eventually becoming part of the Pennsylvania Railroad. In 1863, the rail line was used to transport wounded soldiers from the Battle of Gettysburg. The Gettysburg and Petersburg Company was chartered in 1807 to construct the areas first turnpike, which was completed seven years later. The toll road was built from Gettysburg to a site near Biddles Mill at the Maryland Stateline in 1809. This section would become part of the through line from Pittsburgh to Baltimore.


Littlestown Railroad History