York County and regional history resources

The rich history of York County, Pa., is preserved and documented by numerous local organizations and websites. If you have a historical group or website you’d like us to list in this directory, e-mail the York Daily Record/Sunday News at news@ydr.com.

Our history and local culture blogs

· York Town Square – Noted local historian and author and Daily Record/Sunday News Editor James McClure blogs daily on York County’s past and its connections to the news of the day.

· Universal York – York County Heritage Trust librarian emerita June Lloyd looks at how events have converged on our hometown, past and present, and how York really is the center of the universe.

· YorksPast – Lifelong Yorker Stephen H. Smith caught the local history bug early in life and recently has used this interest to enhance his family histories and in the development of talks on various aspects of local history.

· Cannonball! – Community historian Scott Mingus, the author of several books on the Civil War, explores York County’s rich Civil War heritage and makes note of present-day events having to do with the war.

· Only in York County – Community news editor Joan Concilio is a lifelong Yorker who examines the things we say and do in York County and invites you to read her blog awhile, sharing your memories of your favorite York County places past and present. Just don’t forget to outen the light when you’re done.

Our local history resources

· Local history home page – Starting point for news, video and special projects relating to York County history online.

· Local history news archive – Coverage of stories and columns of historical interest from the York Daily Record/Sunday News.

· Remember – This multi-year oral history series allows you to hear readers’ memories of notable events and time periods in their own words.

· Murals of York – This interactive tour of York’s downtown murals includes background on the artists and detailed information on what is depicted in each.

· York’s role in the Revolution – This section, a look
at York’s place in the Revolutionary War, includes a primer on the “first capital” debate.

· Portraits of the Past – The 150th anniversary celebration in 1927 of Continental Congress’ visit to York featured the commissioning of several large-scale paintings on notable figures of the Revolutionary War period. This section shows the panels in detail and tells about the lives of those depicted.

· Nine Months in York Town – Month by Month – Originally developed as part of a school curriculum program, this collection of posters examines each of the “nine months” of the Revolutionary War in York County.

· The Pen is Mightier… – This interactive exhibit, designed for the York County Heritage Trust Museum, examines original documents from the Revolutionary War, given context by historian James McClure’s “Nine Months in York Town” book.

· Gettysburgh 150th – 2013 marked the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War, and our coverage at that time and since focuses on the area’s role and rich Civil War history.

· The Civil War Comes to York County – The permanent exhibit, “The Civil War Comes to York County,” is open to the public at the York County Heritage Trust’s Historical Society Museum, 250 E. Market St., York. Here, view the interactive version, with video and book excerpts.

· Black history and race relations – In addition to “Profiles in Heritage,” a tribute to local African-Americans of note, this section features a retrospective on “75 Years of Crispus Attucks.”

· Women’s history – This special section, published in March 2009 as part of Women’s History Month, notes the contributions of many important women in York County, both past and present.

History of the York Daily Record/Sunday News and its predecessors

· A chronology of the York Daily Record and its predecessors from 1796 to 1996.

· The Public and Private Art of Walt Partymiller – Walt Partymiller, a noted watercolor artist, was also an editorial cartoonist for Daily Record/Sunday News predecessor The Gazette & Daily. See a gallery of his work in both mediums.

· Q&A about the Daily Record’s past – This item from Editor Jim McClure’s York Town Square blog discusses Solomon Meyer, who started Die York Gazette in 1796, a German-language newspaper that the Daily Record lists as its earliest ancester.

· Key dates in the York Daily Record’s history – This piece, also from the York Town Square blog, goes as far back as 1795 and includes the incarnations of the paper from then until present day.

· 9 publishers in 97 years for YDR – This look at the heads of the Daily Record for many years was created in April 2012 upon the retirement of outgoing publisher Fred Uffelman and the start of the work of current publisher Sara Glines.

· All about J.W. Gitt, a colorful character – Read about this former owner and publisher of The Gazette and Daily, another YDR predecessor, on York Town Square.

Town historical societies

· Northern York County Historical and Preservation Society – Serves the Northern York School District, including Carroll Township, Dillsburg, Franklintown, Franklin Township, Monaghan Township, Warrington Township and Wellsville; operates the Dill Tavern and the Maple Shade Barn.

· Wellsville Area Historical Society – Serves Wellsville and the surrounding area, and is working to restore the Little Red Schoolhouse.

· Greater Dover Historical Society – Serves the Dover and Dover Township community and operates the Dover Blacksmith Shop.

· West Manchester Township Historical Society – Serves West Manchester Township.

· Codorus Valley Area Historical Society – Serving Jefferson and the surrounding Codorus area, the group publishes the Codorus Valley Chronicles monthly and meets in the Jefferson Borough Building, 48 Baltimore St.

· Spring Grove Area Historical & Preservation Society – Serves Spring Grove and the surrounding areas of the Pigeon Hills, and publishes the Ripplet, a newsletter, six times a year, as well as operating a museum in the community center.

· Ye Olde Sulphur Spa Historical Society – Serves York Springs and surrounding areas of Adams County; is named for the famous York Sulphur Spring in the area.

· Hanover Area Historical Society – Serves Hanover and the surrounding area, and owns the Neas House and the Warehime-Myers Mansion.

· East Berlin Historical Preservation Society – Serves East Berlin in Adams County, once known as Berlin and once part of York County before Adams was subdivided.

· Miller Carriage and Wagon Museum – This Codorus Township museum, formed from Jim Miller’s personal collection of historic wagons, buggies and carriages, is open by appointment; call 717-235-3673.

· Emigsville Heritage Project – Serves the village of Emigsville in Manchester Township.

· Historic Wrightsville – Serves Wrightsville borough; also operates the “Burning of the Bridge” diorama and the Historic Wrightsville Museum.

· Rivertownes PA USA – Serves the towns of Wrightsville in York County and Columbia and Marietta in Lancaster County, bordering the Susquehanna River.

· Stevens & Smith Historic Site – Dedicated to the preservation of the properties of Thaddeus Stevens and Lydia Hamilton Smith in downtown Lancaster, which served as stops on the Underground Railroad.

· Susquehanna Gateway Heritage Area – Operated by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the region comprises York and Lancaster counties and is dedicated to natural and historic preservation efforts along the Susquehanna River.

· Red Lion Area Historical Society – Serves Red Lion borough and the surrounding areas; the group is working to restore the Ma & Pa Train Station on North Main Street and operates the Center Square Museum.

· Lower Windsor Area Historical Society – Serves Lower Windsor Township and the boroughs of East Prospect and Yorkana, as well as the five unincorporated villages of Bittersville, Craley, Delroy, Martinsville and Long Level; the group is affiliated with the Friends of the Martinsville Schoolhouse as well.

· Kreutz Creek Valley Preservation Society – Serves Hallam borough and Hellam Township and owns Rudy’s Schoolhouse on the Lincoln Highway, which it operates as a museum.

· Ma & Pa Railroad Preservation Society – The society is involved in track and train preservation and also operates a living history presentation in the village of Muddy Creek Forks in East Hopewell Township.

· New Freedom Heritage – In addition to efforts to preserve New Freedom’s past, this group organizes the annual New Freedom Fest and has been instrumental in the creation of several murals in the borough.

· Stewartstown Historical Society – Serving Stewartstown borough, the society operates a museum on Mill Street.

· Friends of the Stewartstown Railroad – This group is interested in preserving the history of the rail line that ran through Stewartstown as well as the town’s rail station and other buildings along the train line.

· Glen Rock Historic Preservation Society – This group has a museum in the PeoplesBank building, 1 Manchester St., Glen Rock; for details and hours, call society president John Hufnagel at 717-235-1528.

· Delta Welsh Heritage – Serves Delta and the surrounding villages of Coulsontown and Slateville; operates the Rehoboth Welsh Chapel and the Coulsontown Cottages and is interested in preserving both the Welsh culture and the history of slate-quarrying operations in the region.

· Susquehanna Trail Genealogy Club – Meets at 7 p.m. the fourth Thursday of each month in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2100 Hollywood Drive, York Township. Call club president Jack Sonneborn at 757-2331 for details.

Historic farmers’ markets

· Central Market House – This market on West Philadelphia Street, started in 1888, is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

· Market & Penn Farmers’ Market – Started in 1866, this market is still farmer-owned and operated and is open Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

York County past and present

· York County Heritage Trust – The Trust operates its archives and flagship museum on East Market Street, and also maintains the Golden Plough Tavern & Gates House, the Barnett Bobb Log House, the Agricultural and Industrial Museum, the Fire Museum, the Bonham House and the Colonial Courthouse, all in York.

· PA Civil War Civilian Damage Claims database – This searchable database, offered through the York County Heritage Trust and compiled by historian Scott L. Mingus Sr., shows claims filed by Pennsylvania residents who lost horses or material goods during the Civil War. Valid claims allowed for reimbursement by the state for damages caused by Confederate troops or the state militia.

· Historic York – In addition to its efforts to preserve many York County buildings, including the Haines Shoe House, Historic York operates the Architectural Warehouse on Prospect Street in York.

· Virtual York – This site operated by historian Scott Butcher gives a virtual tour of the geography and architecture of downtown York.

· Police Heritage Museum – This museum, opened in 1999, is at 54 W. Market St. and offers a look at the county’s police history, including the town jails of the past.

· York County genealogy – Part of the USGenWeb genealogy project, this site includes various research material, such as searchable historic Census data.

· York County government – The official Web site of York County’s commissioners and various departments.

· York County Archives – An arm of the county government operation at Pleasant Acres in Springettsbury Township, the archives feature records from 40 county agencies, including births, marriage applications, deeds and tax records.

· York County Convention & Visitors’ Bureau – The regional tourism board site gives details on the variety of factory tours available in the region.

· Rob Evans Art – Artist and independent curator Rob Evans lives and works near Wrightsville; most recently, he has been curator of the “Visions of the Susquehanna” traveling art exhibit, which explores 250 years of the river’s past.

· Preserving York – Historian Blake Stough shares all he knows — and what he learns — about York County no matter how ordinary or bizarre. He also welcomes suggestions on what topics he should learn and write about. Interact with Stough (and others) at the Preserving York Facebook page.

· York County Library System – The library system operates Martin Library in York as well as 12 community library branches and various satellite sites.

· York County Parks – In addition to its eight “traditional” park locations, the department also operates the Wallace-Cross Mill site in East Hopewell Township and the Heritage Rail Trail County Park, which features the Hanover Junction and New Freedom train stations and the Howard Tunnel historic site.

Pennsylvania Dutch/Pennsylvania German culture

· The Pennsylvania Dutch Heritage Group meets monthly at Providence Place, 3377 Fox Run Road, Dover Township. For details, call David Sipe at 764-0960.

· Pennsylvania German Dialect Conversation Group meets regularly at Muddy Creek Library in the Fairmont Nursing Home in Ephrata. For details, call Keith “Butch” Reigart at 318-6420 or e-mail butch.reigart@comcast.net.

· The Pennsylvania German Society – Founded in 1891, the Pennsylvania German Society is a nonprofit, educational organization devoted to the study of the Pennsylvania German people and their 300-year history in America.

· The Kutztown Folk Festival – This event is held each year to celebrate “Pennsylvania Dutch Folklife and Fun.”

· Kutztown University’s Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center – Perhaps the only American educational institution to focus on the studies of this dialect.

· Hiwwe-Wie-Driwwe – Written 99 percent in Pennsylvania Dutch, this site offers audio lessons in the language. (Check them out on the right under “Webclass.”)

· German-Pennsylvanian Association – This site can be viewed in English or “Dutch.”

· Pioneers and Patriarchs – This site focuses on Pennsylvania Dutch history, genealogy and culture.

· Pennsylvania German Board – This is a message board in and about “Dutch.”

· “Nau loss mich yuscht eppes saage! En Blog uff Deitsch” – This blog is written entirely in Pennsylvania Dutch.

Around the region and state

· Lancaster County’s Historical Society and President James Buchanan’s Wheatland – This site serves as home to a wealth of information about Lancaster County, our neighbor to the east.

· ExplorePAHistory.com – This site is produced by WITF and designed to meet three needs through its portals of “Stories from PA History,” “Visit PA Regions” and “Teach PA History.”