At Chiques Creek, we’re proud to be a part of the revival of hemp in Lancaster County. Once a thriving industry and important to early Pennsylvania trade and commerce, the hemp plant shaped Pennsylvania in untold ways over the past 300+ years.
The History of Hemp in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
One of the first laws passed by the PA General assembly encouraged farmers to grow hemp.
William Penn was pleased by the great quantities of hemp growing in his province and proposed hemp as one of the four staples of trade.
The first permanent settlers of what became known as Lancaster County, began planting hemp.
Among the first to cultivate and mill hemp in Lancaster County, PA, The Hershey family (ancestors to the Kreiders of Kreider Farms) purchased 400 acres of land to establish hemp fields throughout their homesteads.
Hempfield township was settled and farmers began filling the high demand for hemp from local manufacturers. The hemp was primarily used for cordage and canvas on Conestoga wagons.
The earliest known hemp mill was established at the junction between Chiques and Donegal creeks. The Hershey family name appears on maps and deeds for mills in the area, and were owners and operators of at least 17 of the earliest mill locations in Lancaster County.
Lancaster County was established to include Hempfield Township, named for the vast quantities of hemp raised by local farmers in the area.