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In December of 1742, Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf of Saxony, the leader and organizer of the modern day Moravian Church, stopped and preached at the tavern of Jacob Huber, located north of Lititz along the Newport Road. Count Zinzendorf was searching for a tract of land for the establishment of a religious community similar to those in Bethlehem and Nazareth, Pennsylvania. John George Klein, who was not in attendance at the tavern, followed Count Zinzendorf to Lancaster where he preached the next day. At Lancaster, Klein was won over by the Count's cause and was inspired to turn over his tract of land. The tract consisted of 491 acres that meandered along Carter's Run (today known as the Lititz Run), which became the new settlement. On June 12, 1756, a letter from Europe addressed to the Moravian Brethren, was received from Count Zinzendorf, in which he named the new settlement Litiz. "Litiz" was the German spelling. The name that was given was in commemoration of the "Castle of Lidice nad Citadelou," located in Eastern Bohemia near the Silesian/Moravia border where the early Moravian Brethren found refuge in 1456.
From the beginning to present day the community of Lititz has been rich in history. The strength of any community lies within the people. The citizens of Lititz all share the belief that they are justly proud of their heritage.
Lititz has many varying church denominations, including Evengelical, Mennonite, Lutheran, Catholic, United Methodist, Brethren, and others. The Lititz Moravian Church is still located on Church Square just off of East Main Street. The construction of the Church was completed in 1787, and even survived a fire in 1957.
Lititz is home to Linden Hall, the oldest all girls' boarding school in the United States, which is located adjacent to the Moravian Church. In 1746 the Warwick "Gemeinhaus," a meeting house/school, was built which became the foundation of Linden Hall.
One of America's oldest continuing observance of Independence Day also takes place in Lititz. Since 1818 the community-wide Fourth of July celebration in Lititz Springs Park has been a mainstay. The festivities include the "Fairyland of Candles" along the Lititz Run within the Park, which is a grand illumination of over 7,000 candles, started in 1843 when only 400 were lighted. In 1846, the first fireworks display was added to the schedule of events. One of the newest additions to the festivities was in 1942 when the first Queen of the Candles Pageant was held to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the first candle illumination. Twelve young ladies, who all are members of the Warwick High School Senior Class, are selected by their classmates through a secret ballot. The individual who receives the most votes is the Queen and the others are her Court. Today the Fourth of July celebration attracts upwards of 20,000 people.
The staff at Lititz Borough invites you to visit Lititz and experience our deep rooted history for yourself. Spend some time walking down our tree lined Main Street, browsing in the boutiques and specialty shops. Stop for a bite to eat at one of the wonderful cafes. Be sure to take a tour of the Wilbur Chocolate factory and don't forget to pick up some Wilbur Buds at the candy outlet. Also, don't miss the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery. It was the first commercial pretzel bakery in the United States. We hope to see you soon.