Olde Square Inn


December 8, 2023

Ever Wonder Why We’re Named Mount Joy?

Ever Wonder Why We’re Named Mount Joy?, Olde Square Inn

Our guests at Olde Square Inn often ask why our town is named Mount Joy. It’s a story about King James II and his back-stabbing kids….

Why We’re Named Mount Joy

Back in the day in 1685, King James II (a Catholic) ruled England. His Parliament, being made up of Protestants, didn’t really like him.

After of few years of cat fights and insults between the two, Parliament said, “We’re sick of you, James!” and they invited his Protestant daughter Mary and her husband William to come and rule.  William and Mary were all about it. The King was like, “I’m outta here!” and fled to France.

France’s King Louis XIV, said, “I got you, bro! Here’s some money!”

“Let’s carry on this fight for absolute power and total Catholicism!” With his support, James marched into Ireland. The exiled King James took Dublin, then kept marching into Northern Ireland.

He ended up in Londonderry. Well, the folks there were not Catholic, but rather Scottish Presbyterians whose slogan was “No Surrender.” This didn’t sit well with James, so he decided that his army would just surround the area and cut them off from reinforcements and food for as long as it took for them to give in.

“Yes,” said James.  “Siege warfare. I like it! I’ll build a barrier at the port of tree trunks, chains, and floating debris! No ship will ever get in to help.  Bwahahahaha!”

So, the Scottish Presbyterians were TRAPPED inside the walled city for 105 days – so hungry!

Then help arrived via a ship sent by William and Mary.

(They were King James’ Protestant, back-stabbing kids who were now ruling England, remember?). The ship SMASHED through the blockade on July 28, 1689, and King James ran away. The name of that ship?  Wait for it…it was the armed merchant ship, the Mountjoy!!! Filled with provisions for the starving Scotts! Hurray!


Now, that doesn’t really tell you how our town became named after a ship, but here’s what happened next.

Over the following three decades the Scottish-Presbys left Ireland and came to America looking for religious freedom. The largest of their settlements was in Lancaster County, right here in what is now Donegal township.  See, they liked to honor important events and individuals and their former home towns by naming their new towns and villages after those great things.


As you can imagine, they were totally in love with the good ship Mountjoy for finally breaking them free. I’m sure you can guess how this unfolded, right? Yes, here we are, more than 300 years later, a town named after a saving ship. Welcome to Mount Joy!



127 E Main St, Mount Joy, PA 17552, United States | P: (717) 653-4525nancy@oldesquareinn.com

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