Northern York County, Pa.’s, Redlands Meetinghouse is not usually open, but a stroll around the grounds takes you back to another time. You’ll see strange stonework that allowed church-goers to step up onto horses and wagons and an old cemetery to walk through. Here, descendants of the noted Lewisberry-area Garretson family play on the grounds at a 2011 open house. Garretson family members are buried in that nearby cemetery. Location and details: Redlands Meetinghouse. More: Redlands Quaker Meetinghouse: ‘Walking into this building is like walking back in time.’
York County is a big place.
At 900 square miles, it is in the upper tier of Pennsylvania’s largest counties. And it has always been among the state’s most populated counties.
And it’s one of Pa.’s oldest, going back to 1749.
So there’s a lot that has happened here, awaiting your discovery.
You’ve seen the Redlands Meetinghouse. That’s in the northern part of the county just outside Lewisberry.
So now we’ll head south to visit 5 more unsung sites, starting with a piece of York City.
These flower sculptures stand at Foundry Plaza in York, near West Philadelphia Street. They are among many pieces of street art around York, Pa.’s, downtown. The art, made of old factory machinery, combines the craftsmanship of York’s industrial past with the artisanship that is fueling the city’s rebirth today. For maps, quizzes and guides to these sculptures, check out: York Street Art.
You kind of have to walk or ride a bike to explore this site – or ride a horse. It’s the Howard Tunnel between Glafelter’s and Brillhart stations on the York County Heritage Rail Trail. Some tunnels are scary and uninviting. This one was, too, when the rail trail first went through about 15 years ago. But an alcove was fenced off to keep kids from jumping out at you, and, as this picture shows, you can see through this short tube. See this map and other information about the tunnel: Rail trail. And to find the ID of the rider atop this horse, check out: Howard Tunnel.
The Glen Theatre is within walking distance of the rail trail as it passes through the southern York County town of Glen Rock. The Glen was built as a community band hall and still shows movies on weekends. Theaters like this dotted small towns throughout York County, and this is the last one still in operation as a moviehouse. Check out what’s showing: Glen Theatre. Also: 10 stories about Glen Rock’s ‘splendid little opera house.’
And on the topic of taking you back in time, this is a mining town – Coulsontown – in Peach Bottom Township. Welshmen, working nearby slate quarries in the mid-1800s, lived here. One of the restored cottages is open for tours, and you can find out details at Old Line Museum in Delta. And for a host of stories and photos about this village and slate mining in southeastern York County, check out: Delta/Peach Bottom quarryman.
When you’re driving around to all these unsung places, you have to stop for ice cream. York countians love ice cream. In fact, early American ice cream was made commercially in Seven Valleys, not far from York Township’s Perrydell Farm Dairy, seen here. Perrydell’s owner is generous with access for those who want to see a working dairy farm, permitting people to walk around its grounds. But some people in York County might not be aware of one fact about Perrydell: The dairy serves the best ice cream in the county. So this is one cool place. More: Perrydell homemade ice cream.
*Coulsontown photo by Dianne Bowders; other photos from York Daily Record