Wolf of York, Pa., builds from deep foundation on banks of Susquehanna River


A. Wolf & Son grew along the river in New Holland, later Saginaw, by purchasing logs floating from points north on the Susquehanna and sawing them into lumber. It was typical of the lumber-related businesses flourishing along the river in the 1800s.The lumber mill later moved to a site, seen here, on the Northern Central Railroad, which became Mount Wolf. Also of interest: Also of interest: List of high state officials hailing from York County grows and Add Robert P. Kane to list of prominent York County politicos and Jeremiah S. Black among top government officials with York County ties.

The Wolf Organization, a major employer and philanthropic firm in York, has outside-the-family operators for the first time.
Until Friday, family members had operated the organization since 1843. With principal Tom Wolf’s departure to what would became state revenue secretary, day-to-day operations are in the hands of a nine-member senior management team, who also are investors.
(Update: In early 2009, Tom Wolf returned to his former organization after a serving as state revenue secretary and considering a bid for the Democratic nomination as Pennsylvania’s governor.)
One interesting note is that the company operates out of the former Wiest’s Department Store, which also traced its roots back to 1843… .


Successive entries, now edited to reflect the recent news, come from “Never to be Forgotten:”
1843: Dover
Store owner gets new start
Peter Wiest, an enterprising Dover merchant, loses everything as a fire devastates his downtown store one snowy evening. Wiest readies his goods for transport to a new location in York when the blaze starts. One story suggests Wiest, who is handicapped, escapes with his life by running in the 20-inch snow with the aid of crutches. Now without money or goods to sell, he moves to York, obtains credit and opens a small store. His shop grew into a department store that helped make York the county’s retail hub through the first 75 years of the 20th century.
1843: Mount Wolf
Lumber puts town on the map
Adam Wolf starts the lumber, hardware and building materials business of A. Wolf & Son in New Holland, later called Saginaw. Wolf purchases logs floating down the river in huge rafts from Williamsport and beyond to supply his lumber business. George H., a son, becomes postmaster of Day’s Landing and later Mount Campbell. George Wolf also becomes stationmaster of the stop on the steep rail grade. The town growing around the station and the relocated Wolf lumber business is called Mount Wolf. Wolf and his sons carry on his father Adam’s business dealing in lumber, feed and general merchandise. Wolf operates the successful business until retirement in 1891. The business survives a Confederate raid in June 1863. The rebels capture much of the store’s merchandise paying in largely worthless Confederate dollars. Today, Adam Wolf’s heirs remain on the board of the The Wolf Organization, operator of a regional group of lumberyards, building supply businesses and various other enterprises. The York company’s West Market Street headquarters are located in the former Wiest Department Store building. Peter Wiest, department store founder, also started his career in 1843.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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One Response to Wolf of York, Pa., builds from deep foundation on banks of Susquehanna River

  1. Marlene Hardester says:

    We just bought a beautiful old round wooden dining table from our local Restore in North Beach, MD. We could tell from the fittings that it is very old. It is missing the leaves, but we like it being round. When we turned it over we found a furniture tag that said it was a made by Mt. Wolf Furniture Co., Inc. and sent to City Furniture in Altoona, PA. I am originally from Osceola Mills, PA., not far from Altoona!
    Thought you’d like to know that it is still in use.

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