Manheim Township was established as one of Lancaster County’s first Townships in 1729. In the early days, Pennsylvania Townships served only as convenient tax assessment units with no elected officials. However, this changed in 1834 with the first generation of laws establishing municipal governments their electoral and leadership structure and duties.
Manheim Township remained a Second Class Township from 1834 to 1952, when the community voted to elevate Manheim Township to a Township of the First Class as classified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Township remains the only First Class Township in Lancaster County.
General Location and Geography
The Township is located in central Lancaster County and occupies approximately 22.6 square miles and is roughly 7.5 miles wide and 3.2 miles long. The Township is situated immediately north of the City of Lancaster, which serves as the County seat of government. The Township’s east and west boundaries are generally determined by natural features, the Conestoga River and Little Conestoga Creek respectfully, whereas the northern and southern boundaries are man-made lines. Annexation of land by the City of Lancaster beginning in 1931 and ending in 1952 has resulted in a very irregular southern boundary that includes “islands” of Township land area completely surrounded by Lancaster City.
In addition to the City of Lancaster, Manheim Township is contiguous to Warwick Township to the north, West Earl Township to the northeast, Upper Leacock Township and East Lampeter Township to the east, Lancaster Township to the southeast and southwest, East Hempfield Township and East Petersburg Borough to the west, and Penn Township to the northwest.