Ephrata Cloister, the place Where Ephrata began, and The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC), will celebrate the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s 342nd birthday on Sunday, March 12 by offering free admission.
This special day marks the granting of the Charter for Pennsylvania to William Penn in 1681. Fifty-one years later, in 1732, Conrad Beissel a German immigrant would establish the Ephrata Cloister along the banks of the Cocalico in Lancaster County. This unique religious community epitomized William Penn’s ”Holy Experiment” as an example of religious toleration, creative expression, and intellectual freedom.
The original buildings of this once-thriving community hold many objects made and used here in the 1700s, and experienced interpreters will help visitors explore the rich history of Ephrata at their own pace during this program. Visitors are encouraged to start their visit in the Visitor Center with a short video that will help set the stage for their visit.
Ephrata Cloister was home to the first documented female music composers in North America and the Ephrata Cloister Chorus will highlight some of their hymns during performances at 2:00 and 3:00 in the 1743 Meetinghouse.
No trip to Ephrata Cloister is complete without a stop by the Museum Store which offers a fine quality of locally made hand-crafted items, books, ceramics, and other treasures.
Ephrata Cloister is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission with assistance from the Ephrata Cloister Associates, a non-profit group supporting this National Historic Landmark