New Providence is a quiet village in southern Lancaster County that used to be one of the county’s busy towns. Today, its historic charm, Amish farm surroundings and proximity to the popular village of historic Strasburg make it a good choice for visitors interested in Lancaster County history and Pennsylvania Dutch culture.
New Providence was better known in the days when the train and trolley ran through it. There was a fish hatchery here that was the biggest fish hatchery in the world. Gold carp and other kinds of fish were raised in its ponds and lily pads and flowers grow in them, but the biggest fish hatchery in the world is now somewhere else. A long time ago there was a big train wreck in New Providence, and maybe as a result, the train no longer comes through the town. Some of the old train station’s buildings are still standing though, and the train’s tracks still run through some back yards. A woolen mill produced a lot of wool in the town before it burned down many years ago. There is a Mennonite church and an old tavern. The church is still used for Sunday morning meetings, but the old tavern became a private home.
New Providence used to have two general stores, the Bair Store and the Peoples’ Store. The post office was in the brick Peoples’ Store only as long as Republicans were in office. When Democrats had the majority, the post office moved up the street to the wooden Bair Store. New Providence doesn’t have any general store now, and the post office got its own building where it stays whether Democrats win or lose.
Behind the houses that line Main Street are (and always have been) acres of Amish farmland where hilly fields of corn grow in the summer and where Amish children sled in the winter. The Little Beaver Creek runs parallel to Main Street through the town.