Zion View gets the Susquehanna Trail; Intersection with North George Street

Story of the Susquehanna Trail in the Good Roads Movement: Part 10

Bing.com Birds Eye View of Northgate Shopping Center, north of York, along Route 30 (The 1918 locations of Routes 333 and 250 are annotations by S. H. Smith, 2014)

Bing.com Birds Eye View of Northgate Shopping Center, north of York, along Route 30 (The 1918 locations of Routes 333 and 250 are annotations by S. H. Smith, 2014)

During 1917, the Board of Governors of the Susquehanna Trail Association had selected the road segments they would champion as the Susquehanna Trail between Harrisburg and the New York state line. The spring of 1918 saw a competition between Gettysburg and York for being the next city on the Susquehanna Trail, as it extended southward to connect with the Lincoln Highway.

Notification that York was officially selected to be on the Susquehanna Trail appears in the July 2nd, 1918, issue of The Gazette and Daily. York was also invited to nominate two members to the Board of Governors of the Susquehanna Trail Association. The York Committee selected State Senator Henry Wasbers and William Ilgenfritz; they were elected as voting members at the full Board of Governors’ meeting in Sunbury on July 17th, 1918.

Following the election of new members, at the Sunbury meeting, the Board of Governors debated several routes between York and Harrisburg; all utilized Route 333, Route 250 or a combination of parts of these routes. At the beginning of this post, I’ve marked the intersection of Route 250 (North George Street) with Route 333, as they existed in 1918, on the Bing.com Birds Eye View of Northgate Shopping Center north of York.

It was the whole Board of Governors that had the final say on the Susquehanna Trail route through Northern York County. The York Committee consistently favored Route 250, which went through Emigsville, Manchester Boro and York Haven Boro; therefore it is assumed Wasbers and Ilgenfritz likely voted for Route 250. However they were only two votes, out of many others on the full Board of Governors of the Susquehanna Trail Association. The favored route selection, at the Sunbury meeting, went with Route 333; the most direct route from York to New Cumberland; through Newberrytown and Zion View. This is the Susquehanna Trail route we know today in northern York County.

Map showing Initial Routes and the Final Route during the Establishment of the Susquehanna Trail in York County, Pennsylvania during 1918 (S. H. Smith, 2014)

Map showing Initial Routes and the Final Route during the Establishment of the Susquehanna Trail in York County, Pennsylvania during 1918 (S. H. Smith, 2014)

Once a Susquehanna Trail route was selected, the Association championed improvements to the road; by fund raising or lobbying for governmental funds. Many times they suggested minor changes to the route, to allow for a better driving experience; mainly by straightening of curvy sections or improvements to intersections.

The following September 18, 1937 aerial photo is from Penn Pilot. I’ve added the road names. It shows the North George Street area north of North York; comparable to the 2014 Bing.com Birds Eye View at the beginning of this post.

September 18, 1937 Aerial Photo of the North George Street area north of North York (Source is Penn Pilot web site; Street Names added by S. H. Smith, 2013)

September 18, 1937 Aerial Photo of the North George Street area north of North York (Source is Penn Pilot web site; Street Names added by S. H. Smith, 2013)

A 1915 Highway Map, within my post Arsenal Road evolved from a Crooked Road that had an Iron Bridge that Shivered and Shaked, shows that the main east-west intersection crossing North George Street was originally at 11th Avenue. Route 333 veered off to the northwest from this intersection with North George Street (Route 250) and 11th Avenue headed east towards the bridge crossing the Codorus Creek into Springettsbury Township.

It is likely that the Susquehanna Trail Association decided the intersection of the Susquehanna Trail with North George Street needed to be widened, thus a new Trail entrance was moved into fields a short distance north, as can be seen in this 1937 aerial photo. I suspect this, because 1915 and 1926 highway maps confirm this intersection improvement occurred between 1915 and 1926. The Susquehanna Trail spanned 1917 to 1924; conceived in 1917 and all improvements made by its official opening in 1924.

From this intersection to Centre Square in York, the North George Street also became the Susquehanna Trail. After the selection of these routes by the Board of Governors, the Susquehanna Trail was initially designated State Route 4 and afterwards Route 111 in York County.

Around this intersection, in the 1937 aerial photo, one can see the large plant nursery that existed in fields on both sides of North George Street, just north of North York. The original Route 333 entrance to the Susquehanna Trail was renamed as the continuum of 11th Avenue.

With the Susquehanna Trail foothold established to Centre Square in York, quickly the Board of Governors of the Susquehanna Trail Association took up the task of selecting the route that they would champion southward from York to the Maryland line. That will be my post next Friday in my continuing series on the Story of the Susquehanna Trail in the Good Roads Movement.

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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