History

The Past
Ephrata Borough is located in the northeastern section of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The borough is the outgrowth of the famed religious community, the Cloisters, founded in the early 1700s by the German mystic Conrad Beissel. When the Cloister community declined in the early 1800s, the village grew as a regional center of commerce. During this time of growth, two resort hotels were built, the Mountain Springs and the Mount Vernon House. The village also became known as a key stop for the Reading and Columbia Railroads.

The petition for a charter to incorporate Ephrata into a borough was presented on April 20, 1891. Following many debates, this rapidly growing village was finally incorporated on August 22, 1891. The population at the time was about 2,200 people. Six newly elected councilmen organized this new enterprise called Ephrata Borough with a council / mayor form of government.

The Present
Ephrata's many historic buildings continue to add a special charm and character to the community and serve as an important reminder of the borough's history. The community's first bank, Ephrata National Bank, still serves residents today. The Mountain Springs was a development site for a hotel / restaurant complex, and the Railroad Station has been preserved and serves as a community's visitors center. For more information concerning the history of the community please contact the Historical Society of the Cocalico Valley, located at 249 West Main Street, Ephrata, by calling 733-1616.

In addition to the historic beauty of the community, there is an abundance of recreation and public service facilities, a recreation center, two movie theaters, a playhouse, a community pool, and many parks provide varied sources of entertainment. The borough also offers both public and private school choices to provide quality education for future generations. Health care services are available at the Ephrata Community Hospital.

Ephrata Borough offers a wide variety of traditional municipal services, including a fine police department, code enforcement, and parks and recreation. We also provide sewer and electric utilities and operate the water system of the Ephrata Area Joint Authority. The borough is committed to offering dependable, low-cost service to the community.

The Future
Economic development continues to play a vital role in the future success of the borough. The borough completed a revitalization project in the downtown area that enhanced pedestrian safety and improved aesthetics. Our goal is to develop a healthy and prosperous community for today and for the future. The borough continues to strengthen the economy by encouraging utilizing commercial properties, attracting specialty retailers, and revitalizing historic buildings. Developing these assets will provide a pleasant community in which to live, work and play for many generations to come.