Lancaster, Ohio

Lancaster (locally /ˈlæŋk(ə)stər/ LANK-(ə-)stər) is a city in Fairfield County, Ohio, in the south central part of the state. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 38,780. The city is located near the Hocking River, approximately 33 miles (53 km) southeast of Columbus, 38 miles (61 km) miles southwest of Zanesville, and is the county seat of Fairfield County.[5]

Lancaster, Ohio
City of Lancaster
Lancaster as viewed from Mount Pleasant in 2006
"Glass City", "The Stir", "L Town"
Location of Lancaster, Ohio
Location of Lancaster in Fairfield County
Coordinates: 39°43′N 82°36′W
CountryUnited States
  MayorDavid Scheffler (R)
  Total18.90 sq mi (48.95 km2)
  Land18.84 sq mi (48.80 km2)
  Water0.06 sq mi (0.16 km2)
879 ft (268 m)
  Density2,058.4/sq mi (794.8/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
  Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code740 and 220
FIPS code39-41720
GNIS feature ID1048903[4]


The earliest known inhabitants of the southeastern and central Ohio region were the Hopewell, Adena, and Fort Ancient Native Americans, of whom little evidence survived, beyond the burial and ceremonial mounds built throughout the Ohio and Mississippi valleys. Many mounds and burial sites have also yielded archaeological artifacts.[6] (See also: Serpent Mound and Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, which though not located in Fairfield County, are close by.)

Prior to and immediately after European settlement, the land today comprising Lancaster and Fairfield County, Ohio was inhabited variously by the Shawnee, nations of the Iroquois, Wyandot, and other Native American tribes. It served as a natural crossroads for the intertribal and intra-tribal wars fought at various times.[7] (See also: Beaver Wars) Noted frontier explorer Christopher Gist reached the vicinity of Lancaster on January 19, 1751, when he visited the small Delaware town of "Hockhocking" nearby. Leaving the area the next day, Gist rode southwest to "Maguck", another Delaware town near Circleville.

Having been ceded to the United States by Great Britain after the American Revolution by the Treaty of Paris, the lands north of the Ohio River and west of the Appalachian Mountains became, in 1787, incorporated into the Northwest Territory. White settlers began to encroach on Native American lands in the Northwest Territory. As the new government of the United States began to cast its eye westward, the stage was set for the series of campaigns that culminated in the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794, and the Treaty of Greenville in 1795. With pioneer settlement within Ohio made legal and safe from Indian raids, developers began to speculate in land sales in earnest.

Knowing that such speculation, combined with Congressional grants of land sections to veterans of the Revolution, could result in a lucrative opportunity, Ebenezer Zane in 1796 petitioned the United States Congress to grant him a contract to blaze a trail through Ohio, from Wheeling, West Virginia, to Limestone, Kentucky, (near modern Maysville, Kentucky) a distance of 266 miles (428 km). As part of the deal, Zane was awarded square-mile tracts of land at the points where his trace crossed the Hocking, Muskingum, and Scioto rivers. Zane's Trace, as it has become known, was completed by 1797. As Zane's sons began to carve the square-mile tract astride the Hocking into saleable plots, the village of Lancaster was founded in 1800. Lancaster predated the formal establishment of the state of Ohio by three years. There were also many villages and townships settled right outside of Lancaster around the same time i.e. Lithopolis, Royalton, and Greencastle, Ohio which contributed to the booming success of the small village.

The initial settlers were predominantly of German stock, many from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and had migrated from Pennsylvania. Ohio's longest continuously operating newspaper, the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, was born of a merger of the early Der Ohio Adler, founded about 1807, with the Ohio Gazette, founded in the 1830s. The two newspapers were ferocious competitors since they were on opposite sides of the American Civil War, with Der Ohio Adler anti-slavery and supporting the Union. The city also had numerous migrants from the Upper South who sympathized with the Confederacy. The two newspapers merged more than two generations later in 1937, seventy-two years after the war's end. This was shortly after the Gazette was acquired by glassmaker Anchor-Hocking. The newspaper is currently part of the Newspaper Network of Central Ohio, which is in turn a unit of Gannett Company, Inc.

Initially known as New Lancaster, and later shortened by city ordinance (1805), the town quickly grew; formal incorporation as a city came in 1831. The connection of the Hocking Canal to the Ohio and Erie Canal in this era provided a way for the region's rich agricultural produce to reach eastern markets.


Lancaster is located at 39°43′N 82°36′W (39.7193, -82.6053).[8] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.90 square miles (48.95 km2), of which 18.84 square miles (48.80 km2) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2) is water.[1]


Historical population
Est. 201840,414[3]4.2%

The median income for a household in the city was $33,321, and the median income for a family was $39,773. Males had a median income of $30,462 versus $23,023 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,648. About 8.7% of families and 10.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.8% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 38,780 people, 16,048 households, and 9,937 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,955.9 people per square mile (755.0/km2). There were 17,685 housing units at an average density of 879.6 per square mile (339.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.9% White, 1% African American, 0.5% Asian, 0.30% Native American, 0% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.6% of the population.

There were 16,048 households of which 27.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.4% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.1% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city the age distribution of the population shows 24% under the age of 18, and 15.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.6 males.


Top employers

According to the City's 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[13] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Fairfield Medical Center 2,099
2 Fairfield County 947
3 Anchor Hocking 900
4 Lancaster City Schools 745
5 City of Lancaster 430
6 Kroger 412
7 TreeHouse Private Brands 341
8 Crestview Manor Nursing 230
9 Fairfield Homes 185
10 Glasfoss Industries 175

Arts and culture

Lancaster is home to the Fairfield County Fair,[14] a week-long fair and the last (88th) county fair in Ohio each year, always in the second week of October. It features a variety of attractions including truck, tractor, and horse pulls, demolition derbies, concerts, bands, and horse races. The Fairfield County Fair also includes lots of food, exhibits, games, and rides for people of all ages.

AHA! A Hands on Adventure

AHA! is a children's museum founded in 2006. Its mission is to provide a hands-on, interactive, playful and educational environment that invites curiosity, allows exploration, encourages participation, and celebrates the childlike wonder in everyone.[15]

Georgian Museum

Originally built in 1832 for the Maccracken Family, this Federal home is constructed predominantly of brick and local limestone. Converted into a museum, it is now furnished as it would have been in the 1830s with some original pieces and numerous early Fairfield County, Ohio items. Located in one of Lancaster's three National Historic Districts, the structure mixes elements of American, Georgian and Regency architecture.[16]

The Decorative Arts Center of Ohio

The Decorative Arts Center of Ohio is a not-for-profit museum whose mission is to foster knowledge and appreciation of the decorative arts; celebrate the architecture and heritage of the Reese-Peters House; and enhance the vitality and integrity of historic Lancaster. The Center provides exhibitions, public programs, art classes and workshops for all ages, and a focus for research and communication about the decorative arts of Ohio.[17]

Ohio Glass Museum

Opened in 2002, the Ohio Glass Museum is located in historic downtown Lancaster and dedicated to recording the history of the glass industry, which for over 100 years has been one of the mainstays of the economy of Fairfield County.[18]

Sherman House

Lancaster was the birthplace of Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman and his brother, Senator John Sherman. The house in which they were born has been converted into a museum, housing both articles related to the life of General Sherman and Civil War artifacts. Originally built in 1811, this frame house was expanded by the Sherman family in 1816 and again with an additional brick front in 1870.[19]


The city's main shopping district is centered around River Valley Mall.


Lancaster City School District operates Lancaster High School.[20] Lancaster has a public library, a branch of the Fairfield County District Library.[21]


Lancaster has a daily newspaper, the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette.

Notable people

Lancaster is the birthplace and/or hometown of:


  1. "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  2. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  3. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  4. "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  6. Woodward, Susan L., and McDonald, Jerry N., Indian mounds of the middle Ohio Valley : a guide to mounds and earthworks of the Adena, Hopewell, Cole, and Fort Ancient people, University of Nebraska Press, 2002
  7. Garbarino, William M. Indian Wars along the Upper Ohio: a history of the Indian Wars and related events along the Upper Ohio and its tributaries Midway, Pennsylvania : Midway Pub., c2001.
  8. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  9. "Number of Inhabitants: Ohio" (PDF). 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  10. "Ohio: Population and Housing Unit Counts" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  11. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  12. "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  13. City of Lancaster CAFR
  14. "The 168th Fairfield County Fair -- October 7-13, 2018". Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  15. "AHA! A Hands-On Adventure". Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  16. "The Georgian Museum". Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  17. "The Decorative Arts Center of Ohio". Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  18. "Ohio Glass Museum". Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  19. "Sherman House Museum". Archived from the original on 2002-01-23. Retrieved 2011-03-05.
  20. "Homepage". Lancaster City School District. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  21. "Hours & Locations". Fairfield County District Library. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  22. Inc., Baseball Almanac. "Allan Anderson Baseball Stats by Baseball Almanac". Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  23. "Esther H. Brocker - Capital University Law School". Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  25. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-16. Retrieved 2011-11-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

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