Lebanon County PA> Towns in Lebanon County > City of Lebanon, PA
Lebanon City was established in 1740, by George Steitz, and was originally called Steitztown. The area reflects a lot of its German heritage in some of the oldest historic buildings and churches. In order to fully appreciate it, park and take a walk, you’ll be surprised with the diversity of shops, architectural details and cozy coffee shops inviting you to sit down and share fun stories with friends. Christmas brings carriage rides, craft shows occur in Fall and Spring, and Summer kicks off Music in the Park at nearby Coleman’s Park.
Over the years, the population has grown to approximately 25,000 and includes much diversity, as people realize this quiet area is a great place for families. Surrounded by farms and small towns, Lebanon is a half way point between the more urban Reading and the state capital of Harrisburg.
Because Lebanon is also within a couple hour drive from Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. and only three hours drive from New York City, there is easy connection to hubs of commerce and arts.
Attractions & Things to Do in the City of Lebanon
- Enjoy artwork and music with Lebanon Art Walk-the first Friday of each month
- Tour the Stoy Museum, home of the Lebanon Historical Society and be enchanted by the antique toy display or intrigued by items owned by Lebanon County founders.
- Take a walking tour of Lebanon just to see the exceptional historic buildings and varied architecture, such as the railroad stations.
- Visit the Farmer’s Market for lunch or to purchase local meat and produce, along with other locally made crafts.
- Find a good read at the county library’s used book sales.
- See the works of local artists at the Lebanon Arts Council
- Play a round of golf at one of the nearby golf courses.
- The county’s Expo Center has programs throughout the year and the Lebanon County Fair is a must-see for residents and visitors alike.
- Get some chocolate covered bacon or a pair of chocolate shoes and freshly-made caramel corn at Wertz’s Candies.
- Sit with friends at one of the area’s trendy coffee houses
- Explore local crafts at the Spring and Fall Craft Shows
- Take a carriage ride during the Christmas season
- See the Lebanon Bologna Drop on New Year’s Eve
- Have stuffed French Toast at the Inn at 422, and maybe encounter the resident ghost
- Take a canal boat ride through the Union Canal Tunnel
- Set a chair along Cumberland St and view the Memorial Day or Holiday parades
- Walk the trails at Stoever’s Dam and visit nearby Lion’s Lake Park.
- Cheer local school athletes at their competitions.
- Enjoy food, rides, and animals at the Lebanon County Fair each July
Parks & Recreation in Lebanon, PA
Lebanon City has a number of playground areas available for children to play or for a game of basketball. There are also several nearby parks and recreation areas just outside of the city limits.
- Coleman’s Park – playground and picnic areas, baseball fields, walking trails, miniature golf, and in summer enjoy Music in the Park, Lauther Water Park, and an annual baseball tournament
- Stoever’s Dam Park – walking trails, fishing, boating, picnics, baseball fields, and the home of Lebanon City’s Midget Football and Softball organizations
- Lion’s Lake – fishing, walking paths, playground area, softball field, boating, picnic pavilion
- Union Canal Park and Tunnel – fishing, walking trails, canal boat rides
- South Hills Park – picnic areas, playground, volleyball, walking/biking paths, ball fields
A Little History
Because of its central position, Lebanon became an important stop for early trade and transportation, bringing wealth and notable persons to the area. The Union Canal, completed in the early 19th Century, brought people and goods into Lebanon. George Washington stayed at the stone inn on the corner of Cumberland and 10th Streets (now Patsy Fagan’s Pub) for the Canal’s groundbreaking in 1792.
Nearby Cornwall Iron Furnace produced cannons for the American Revolution and iron stoves for homes throughout the 19th Century and the owners, the Colemans, brought the first railroad into Lebanon in the mid 1850’s, eventually becoming the Cornwall Railroad. Initially a rival railroad, the Cornwall-Lebanon Railroad eventually merged with the Cornwall Railroad, with many of the lines active until damage from Hurricane Agnes in the 1970’s led to closing. Two of the station houses, with very distinctive architecture, can be seen on 8th St. in Lebanon City.
The Stoy House, now a museum and the home of the Lebanon Historical Society, was originally owned by William H. Stoy, a doctor during the American Revolution. Its upper rooms were later used as the law office for James Buchanan, later our 15th president. It was during his time there that he most likely began courting Ann Coleman, daughter of the iron baron family, and now alleged ghost of Inn 422.