Once popular Ganoga Bridge now lightly used York County landmark

gabgabridgeX00203_9.jpeg
This is a creekside view of Ganoga Bridge over the Conewago Creek, near Strinestown. The once-stately bridge connects Newberry and Conewago townships and carries the old Susquehanna Trail over the creek. The name Ganoga, according to local history book, comes from the Indian words “By the water.” Background posts: Big Conewago serves as physical, symbolic divider of York County culture, York County still home to unvarnished beauty and Wago Club prez: ‘You’ve gotta respect the (snapping) turtles’.

The worn, lightly traveled Ganoga Bridge today is far from the crisp cement structure of the 1920s to 1950s that carried thousands of vehicles daily over the Conewago Creek.
In fact, sometimes the bridge failed to carry Susquehanna Trail traffic all the way across. Its approaches are oddly banked leading to accidents those living near the Strinestown-area structure remember years later. One resident remembers a crash on or near the bridge involved a large Greyhound Bus.
A Greyhound Bus out there in the middle of nowhere?… .


Plaque.jpg
This photo shows one of two plaques, originally installed on either end of the Ganoga bridge across the Codorus Creek. Prominent York artist Charles Rudy designed the plaques. They are now at Boy Scout Camp Tuckahoe. (Photo courtesy of York County Heritage Trust.)
The road was once part of the Susquehanna Trail, touted as a smooth connector between Harrisburg and Baltimore and even between Niagara Falls, N.Y., and Washington D.C.
When it opened in 1926, it split Boy Scout Camp Ganoga into two.
The book “On My Honor” says the bridge bore bronze plaques of an Indian profile, later moved to Camp Tuckahoe.
It contained 12 light standards representing the 12 Scout laws.
Interstate 83 replaced it as the main north-south thoroughfare through the county, and the bridge appears largely deserted today.
About a third of those light fixtures remain, and they’re broken almost beyond recognition.
The scouts outgrew the camp, and it closed in 1945.
A private residence covers at least part of the camp’s former 84-acre expanse.
A motorist can try to enter the old camp by passing under the old bridge.
But a sign warns visitors against venturing very far onto the ground where the Scouts once roamed.
Also of interest:
Check out Yorkblogger’s Stephen H. Smith’s post on Good Roads, of which the Susquehanna Trail was one!

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.
This entry was posted in Archives, all posts, Books & reading, Explanations/controversy, For photo fans, Genealogy/research, Local journalism & Web, Local landmarks, Nostalgia & memories, Small-town life, Unsung/obscure sites, Wheels of York. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Once popular Ganoga Bridge now lightly used York County landmark

  1. Phil Grosh says:

    The Ganoga bridge is slated for replacement in the upcoming year. After years of neglect by Penn DOT they made a decision to replace it rather than make any attempt at repair. They have completed the plans and have taken the landthat included the remaining original foundations from Camp Ganoga’s first buildings. Work was slated to begin this fall but so far nothing has been done other than test borings and surveys.
    The replacement of course has no features that will ever inspire anyone to take a picture or write a piece.
    Your piece was well done. As the current resident of the camp I have researched all that I can and found all your facts to be in order.
    Thanks
    Phil Grosh

  2. Ed Suggs says:

    I hate to see history lost forever. It is too bad the BSA couldnt of kept that property. I know the Sea Scouts did a canoe race that ended at Ganoga. I am sure we could of put it to more use~

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>