Cabbage Hill, bordered by farmland with St. Joseph's Catholic Church at center, around 1900. (Historic Presdervation Trust Photo)
Cabbage Hill is one of only a few areas of the City of Lancaster that retains a traditional name. The origin of this name relates to the largely German population of the area in the 1900s, whose cabbage patches were a common household amenity of the period. Cabbage Hill was largely open country as late as the 1840s. Some of the land had been owned by the Bethel family, rich Quakers who commenced selling a few lots in the 1700s. The core section of the area, now bounded by Strawberry, West Vine, Poplar and Laurel Streets, was first developed in the 1850s. Click here to see What's New and What's Here
In 1864, the houses in this defined area were scattered with considerable open space. By 1886, about 60% of the building lots were occupied by residences; approximately one third of these houses were frame. The 1899 Atlas revealed a development of the area that was both extensive and intensive; even then, about 20% of the lots remained vacant. Homes were built on most of these remaining sites during the first three decades of the twentieth century.