Wrightsville - Wrightsville, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 40° 01.534 W 076° 31.750
18T E 369516 N 4431714
Quick Description: This important sign of history marks the furthest spot north the Confederate army pushed during the Civil War. This sign greets all visitors, either pedestrian or motorists who travel across the Civil War era Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 6/1/2010 9:57:59 PM
Waymark Code: WM8YYZ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Turtle3863
Views: 1

Long Description:

In 1812 a huge covered bridge was built spanning the Susquehanna River and connecting what is today Wrightsville and Columbia. As the Confederate army approached, Union forces burnt the bridge to the ground rather have them advance to York County. This marker recounts that event. There are also a few other markers which tell this tale and the connection COlumbia and Wrightsville have to the Civil War.

This marker is in Wrightsville, Pennsylvania, in York County. Marker is at the intersection of Lincoln Highway (Pennsylvania Route 462) and Hellam Street, on the right when traveling east on Lincoln Highway. This road, although named Hellam, is part of the original Lincoln Highway first established in this area in 1925.

The marker was erected by Civil War Trails. This marker is included in the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal marker series. The sign is a large, beautiful marker set in a small, triangular, grassy area, next to a sidewalk at the end of the bridge. While visiting the bridge, I investigated both sides and around the bridge as well and found a slew of markers including this one. There is a companion marker on the other side of the bridge for Colombia, PA.

The marker reads:

Gateway to the West - Wrightsville was settled in the 1720s by Quakers, including the John Wright family. Wright established a ferry and Wrightsville became a major point of crossing the Susquehanna River by pioneers traveling west. In 1811 Jacob Kline laid out the original 101 lots. The following year 96 lots known as "Westphalia" were laid out by Susannah Wright Houston. By 1814 the first wooden covered bridge was completed. Wrightsville and "Westphalia" joined to form Wrightsville Boro in 1834.

With the advent of railroads and The Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal in the 1840s, Wrightsville's growth continued. Industries began to flourish. Quarries supplied stone for building and for making lime. Brickyards, lumberyards, sawmills, iron foundries, cigar factories, a silk mill and sewing factories provided employment. Several operated well into the 20tgh century.

In the mid 19th century, slaves on the Underground Railroad reached freedom as they passed thru Wrightsville. On June 28, 1863, a Civil War skirmish between Confederate and Union forces culminated with the destruction, by fire of the world's longest covered bridge forcing the Confederates westward into the fateful battles at Gettysburg.

While Wrightsville no longer has railroads, trolleys, ferry boats and canal boats, the Wright's Ferry Bridge (Rt.30) and Veteran's Memorial Bridge (Rt 462) continue to make Wrightsville a busy east/west crossing of the Susquehanna River.

Related Website: [Web Link]

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