The Dr. Frederick Otto House


The first drug store in Lancaster County was in the Dr. Frederick Otto house at the northwest corner of Main and Cedar Streets in Lititz. Erected in 1757 this stone house is still standing but is hidden by the addition of a second story and adjoining buildings. Half of the cellar beneath the house is solid rock and the other half was reached by steps cut from solid limestone. The entrance to the doctor’s office and the apothecary were at the west end of the building.

In 1760 Dr. Otto was asked to come to Lititz from Bethlehem where he had opened a drugstore in 1743. When he arrived here with his apothecary supplies he had to take up temporary quarters in the log house which is now part of the Mueller House. His wife, Sister Otto, was unaccustomed to cooking and washing and Brother Hehl who lived nearby in the Pilgerhouse made arrangements for this.

When Dr. Otto returned to Bethlehem in 1763, he was replaced by Dr. Francke. The house was purchased by Valentine Grosh about 1771, then by Christian Christ in 1810 and in 1837 by Daniel Kreider who was a saddler. In 1967 it was known as the Mentzer house.


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