Celebrate 150 years of American pretzel baking when you visit the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery in Lititz, PA. Just outside of Ephrata, Lititz of Lancaster County has been dubbed “America’s coolest small town” and features a variety of unique, local shops and attractions along Main Street. One of these is the historic Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery! You can tour the original bakery and get a soft pretzel twisting lesson before enjoying your handmade salty treats. Discover the rich past of the very first commercial pretzel bakery in America.
For more information on unique attractions in Lancaster, download our free Vacation Guide. It is full of wonderful suggestions on how to build your itinerary during your stay at the Historic Smithton Inn! The Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery is just one of many worthwhile sights in the heart of Amish Country.
Julius Sturgis Biography
This history of the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery begins with its namesake founder. Julius Sturgis was originally a bread bakery owner in Lititz in 1850. However, an unusual legend led him into the pretzel baking industry. The legend says that a hobo who hitched a ride on the train behind the bakery followed the smell of freshly baked bread. He ended up sitting down for a bite to eat and a job. In exchange for both, he gave Sturgis a pretzel recipe. Whether this tale is true or not, in 1861, Sturgis stopped making bread and established the very first commercial pretzel bakery in America!
The History of the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery Continues
Not only is this accomplished history of Julius Sturgis something that sets this pretzel bakery apart. The building itself still stands after first being constructed in 1784. Its history goes back past its pretzel bakery days to a past as one of the original structured in Lititz. The sturdy stone house was made of stones dug from the street itself and timber hewed among the surrounding forest. The the 1700s, it featured musket firing windows in the cellar, while the interior featured intricately carved wooden panels on the staircase and heavy wooden doors on iron strap hinges. Plank pegged wood floor were also included in the architecture. Today, the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Baker is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Tour the Pretzel Factory in Lancaster
Engage in the historic pretzel making process when you visit the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery during your Lancaster adventure. You will start by entering the original 19th-century bakery and then dive right in by learning how to twist your own old-fashioned soft pretzel. You will also get to gaze upon the original ovens built by Julius Sturgis as you learn about the history of American pretzel baking. Admission to this insightful tour is just $3.50, which includes the delicious treat that you twist yourself! The same recipe and methods originally used by Sturgis are still used today, so you will be creating a piece of history yourself.
Another Historic Piece of Lancaster: The Historic Smithton Inn
Follow up your salty pretzel with a sweet treat with a Wilbur Chocolate Factory tour. Also in Lititz, this chocolate factory is another favorite destination for something delicious with a splash of history on the side. Then, after your culinary adventures, retreat to the Historic Smithton Inn in Ephrata. Our historic bed and breakfast, like the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, goes back to the 1700s. Built in 1763, our boutique hotel has a very rich history waiting to be explored. Discover its unique, historic architectural features among modern amenities that you will love!