The Octorara Area School District is a rural–urban fringe, public school district providing education to roughly 2,500 students, and serving the Pennsylvania communities of:
- West Sadsbury Township,
- Sadsbury Township (Lancaster County),
- West Fallowfield Township,
- Highland Township, and
- Londonderry Township.
The name “Octorara” was adopted in 1953 by the Board. This snippet, from Along The Octorara, provides a brief, historical background:
“Formed by several streams that join in the village of Christiana, the East Branch of the Octorara Creek provided a partial boundary between Pennsylvania’s Lancaster and Chester Counties as it winds south for some 20 miles. United with the West Branch near Oxford, it continues the boundary to the Mason-Dixon Line. The Octorara then flows through Cecil County, Maryland, joining the Susquehanna River near Conowingo.
“The name ‘Octorara’ has been the subject of historic dispute over both spelling and meaning. On old maps, deeds, and other documents it appears as ‘Octorara,’ ‘Octoraro,’ and several other variations. With the establishment of the Octorara Area School District in 1953, the ‘Octorara’ spelling became predominant. As to origin, it is agreed that ‘Octorara’ is a Native American word, probably Iroquois in origin. Its meaning is either ‘rising sun,’ ‘setting sun,’ or ‘rushing waters,’ with the latter meaning the most likely.”
~ Hery, James, and Dennis Simmons. Images of America: Along The
Octorara. Charleston SC, et al: Arcadia Publishing, 1997. Pg 7. Print.