The Borough of Palmyra PA is a community consisting of approximately two (2) square miles and having a population of 7,796 as determined by the 2020 census. It is surrounded on the north, east, and south sides by North Londonderry Township, Lebanon County, and on the west side by Derry Township, Dauphin County.
Dr. Johannes (John) Palm is considered the Founder of Palmyra in 1760, but he was not the first pioneer in the area. Scotch-Irish entered the area in the early 1700’s followed by German settlers suffering from persecution for their religious beliefs. They were attracted by William Penn’s promise of religious freedom. John Palm was a later addition to this influx of settlers.
The settlement’s Post Office was established on April 1, 1804 and the name of the town submitted to the Postal Service was “Palmstown”, in honor of Johannes Palm. Yet in 1806, there are records of a tract of land located on both sides of Main Street purchased by John Kean with the settlement being referred to as “Palmyra”, most likely referencing the Roman outpost of Palmyra in Syria. Although both names were used for a time, the popularity of “Palmyra” had spread and became the official name of the settlement by 1810.
Palmyra was incorporated into a Borough on November 10, 1913 and serves as a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.