Susquehanna Trail Association switches in favor of a York Haven route; should York get the Trail

Story of the Susquehanna Trail in the Good Roads Movement: Part 8

North East section of York County, PA on 1915 State Highway Department Map (Annotations by S. H. Smith, 2014)

North East section of York County, PA on 1915 State Highway Department Map (Annotations by S. H. Smith, 2014)

Route 250, through York Haven, is highlighted on this State Highway Department map from 1915. In 1918, Route 250 is North George Street in York that heads through Emigsville, Manchester Boro, York Haven Boro, Newberrytown, Lewisberry Boro, Bunches, and New Cumberland prior to entering Harrisburg.

In 1918, the Board of Governors of the Susquehanna Trail Association visited York on June 12th and Gettysburg on June 13th; to help them decide which city would be the terminus of the southern extension of the Susquehanna Trail. During the York visit, the Board of Governors favored the Dillsburg, Wellsville and Dover route of the Susquehanna Trail, should York get the Trail; although the York Committee was able to convince the Board of Governors to take a peek at their suggested route through York Haven.

Following the visit by the Board, a Harrisburg newspaper was first to reveal the Board of Governors of the Susquehanna Trail Association had switched in favor of a York Haven route; if York is selected over Gettysburg to get the Trail. This news was reported in the June 17th, 1918, issue of the Harrisburg Telegraph:

Trail Decision Goes Over

Final decision as to the route for the Susquehanna Trail link between York and Harrisburg must wait for a meeting of the Susquehanna Trail Association.

It is certain the Dillsburg-Wellsville, Dover route will not be adopted but indications point to Route No. 250, which takes in Emigsville, Manchester, York Haven, skirts Lewisberry, and then passes through New Cumberland and Lemoyne.

Two days later, the York Daily would have more details; continue reading.

 

In Part 1 of the Story of the Susquehanna Trail in the Good Roads Movement, I asked my readers to solve the mystery location of a Susquehanna Trail road sign in York County by identifying the full name of the intersecting road. It took seven clues, before Sam Myers correctly commented last week; identifying the mystery road; Old Mill Inn Road:

OldMillInnRd

The mystery road is just inside Manchester Township and also near Zion View in Conewago Township. The pictured mill at this location was most commonly known as Frey’s Mill. John Updegraff built this mill along the Little Conewago Creek, in the 1780s. The old mill operated until 1922 and thereafter was converted to an Inn; hence the name of the road: Old Mill Inn Road. In more recent times, the old mill structure has housed apartments.

We have the Susquehanna Trail road name in York County as a result of the Good Roads Movement in Pennsylvania. The Susquehanna Trail Association was established in Williamsport on February 2nd, 1917; it was modeled after the successful nationwide Lincoln Highway Association, founded four years earlier.

Just as with the Lincoln Highway, the Board of Governors of The Susquehanna Trail Association deliberated and made site visits to select the existing road segments that would be part of the Susquehanna Trail. In February 1917, the Board of Governors immediately selected State Route 4, which had existed for several years between Harrisburg and Williamsport, as their first road segment of the Susquehanna Trail; see Part 1. By the fall of 1917, the Board of Governors of The Susquehanna Trail Association selected the route they would champion north from Williamsport to the New York State line; see Part 2.

Running north out of Harrisburg, the Susquehanna Trail (State Route 4) followed the already established William Penn Highway (State Route 3) until it reached Amity Hall, where it branched off, on its own, and followed the Susquehanna River to Williamsport; see Part 3. I explained how PA Route 1 became Route 30 and PA Route 4 became Route 111 over all but the Harrisburg to Sunbury part of the Susquehanna Trail, which became Route 11; see Part 4.

Williamsport favored placing the Susquehanna Trail through Gettysburg over a York Route, however the full Board of Governors would ultimately decide if Gettysburg or York would get the Susquehanna Trail; see Part 5. Yorkers sprung into action to attract the Susquehanna Trail. They planned for the visit by the Board of Governors of the Susquehanna Trail Association, who favored a York County route through Dillsburg, Wellsville, and Dover. The York Committee planned to propose a better route through Emigsville, Manchester Boro, York Haven Boro, and Newberrytown; see Part 6. For those familiar with the Susquehanna Trail, north of York, you realize that neither of these routes ultimately became the final route of The Trail. On June 12th, 1918 the Board of Governors of the Susquehanna Trail Association visited York, still favoring the Dillsburg, Wellsville and Dover route of the Susquehanna Trail, although the York Committee was able to convince the Board of Governors to take a peek at their suggested route through York Haven; see Part 7.

We’ve seen that the June 17th article in the Harrisburg Telegraph revealed the Board of Governors switched in favor of a route through York Haven. Additional details were reported in the June 19th, 1918, issue of The York Daily:

York Pretty Sure Of Susquehanna Trail

That York is almost sure to be made a terminus on the Susquehanna Trail is indicated in a letter received today by the York Chamber of Commerce, which, with other organizations, has been active in having the city connected with the highway. A definite decision will be announced by the trail association officers within the next week or 10 days. Secretary Max Lindheimer writes. The letter follows:

Mr. Eugene F. Weiser, Secretary Chamber of Commerce, York, Pa.

Dear Sir:—The Board of Governors has instructed me to write to you and express its appreciation for your kind reception and hospitality while the members were your guests in York; also to apprise you of the fact that within the next week or 10 days, they will cast their ballot by mail as to whether they decide on York or Gettysburg, and as soon as this decision has been made and the vote cast, and should it be in favor of York, I will immediately notify you to place in nomination two men from your county to be elected on the board. The two men you select will no doubt be elected by our Board of Governors.

In the meantime, would ask you kindly to get your enrollment of memberships, so that when your members attend the meeting, which will take place some time after the Fourth of July, they can bring same along.

At this meeting it will be decided what route we will take from Harrisburg to York should York be selected as a terminus, which I feel satisfied in my own mind, it will be.

Again thanking you for your interest in this matter, I am, with kind, personal regards, very truly yours,

Max Lindheimer,

Secretary Susquehanna Trail Association.

Next Friday, in Part 9, I’ll post the final Trail decision by the Board of Governors of the Susquehanna Trail Association as reported in the July 2nd, 1918 issue of The Gazette & Daily.

Related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

About Stephen H. Smith

Stephen H. Smith is a design engineer who worked at York International Corp. for 33 years before retiring several years ago to research and write books full time; his second career. The initial emphasis was on family history when he won a national award during 2002 for his first book “Barshingers in America.” Positive feedback and that award were influential in his decision to retire early from engineering and start a retirement career.

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