The town of Paradise, Pennsylvania is a very charming and attractive area set beside the Pequea Creek in eastern Lancaster County.
There are different theories on how this Pennsylvania Dutch country town acquired its evocative name.
Some people believe that the name came from the early 19th-century mapmaker, Joshua Scott. Scott is reputed to have remarked that the beauty of the Pennsylvania farm country where the town is situated is so beautiful that "it seemed like a paradise."
Other people believe that the name came from comments made by a French Huguenot by the name of Mary Fierre (also spelled Ferree). Along with her son, Daniel, Mary Fierre had fled the religious persecutions against the Huguenots in Europe and settled in Lancaster County in 1712. It is believed that the Fierres were among the first wave of Huguenot immigrants to settle in the United States.
It is thought that Mary Fierre, as well as the other Huguenot settlers, were so grateful to have escaped the religious persecution of Europe, that they felt that the little town that they now called home was simply paradise.
Another theory attributes the name to David Witmer who was a wealthy business and community leader. He is also thought to have been a friend of George Washington.
Some people believe that Witmer and his family were given the honor of naming the young town. While some members of Witmer's family preferred naming the town, "Pequea" after the nearby creek, other members preferred the name, "Tanawa" in honor of a local Native American chief.
However, David Witmer is said to have chosen the current name after being inspired by the natural beauty of the land.
David Witmer's 1781 home still exists today in the form of the Creekside Inn B & B.
Another historic landmark is the Revere Tavern. Built in 1740, it used to be called the Sign of the Spread Eagle Tavern and became a popular tavern and overnight stop for stagecoaches during the 18th century.
At one time the building was the home of the Reverend Edward V. Buchanon and his wife, Eliza Foster Buchanan who was the sister of the famous American composer, Stephan Foster. It is said that Stephen Foster composed some of his most famous songs while visiting.
Later, the building was purchased by Buchanan's brother, James, who became the 15th president of the United States.
Today, visitors can dine in the original tavern and spend the night in one of three buildings, one of which is a 1790 farmhouse.
For those interested in dinner theatre entertainment, Paradise offers the Rainbow Dinner Theatre on Route 30, 3 miles east of Rockvale Outlets. Here you can enjoy a delicious buffet-style meal followed by Broadway-caliber comedy productions. Shows are performed matinee, twilight, and evening - depending upon the schedule. For more information, you can visit their website at
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the town of Paradise