First National Bank - Columbia, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 40° 01.847 W 076° 30.241
18T E 371672 N 4432257
Quick Description: This wonderful interpretive is part of the PA Civil War Trails found especially in Columbia, Wrightsville and York. This structure, a former bank, was active during the Civil War and played a significant role during Columbia's part in the War.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 8/3/2010 9:01:47 PM
Waymark Code: WM9D7H
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Turtle3863
Views: 1

Long Description:

The First National Bank Museum is a wonderful place to visit. You can see what an authentic early 19th century bank looks and feels like. There is a PA Civil War Trails historic interpretive out front to tell all about this important site.

In 1814, James Wright Jr. and James Mifflin built the 3-story federal townhouse which eventually became the First National Bank of Columbia. The bank occupies the two front corner rooms of the 1814 Federal-style townhouse originally built as an elegant home for wealthy merchant, James Wright, Jr. During its almost 200 year past, the building served as several private residences, hotels, a tavern, and the town's first public library.

From the attraction's website cited below: "Enjoy a guided tour of the First National Bank Museum and discover one of the few banks still preserved in its original setting in the United States. The First National Bank of Columbia was chartered in 1864 and played a key role in the growth and development of Columbia. Marvelous details from the bank's working years survive, such as the walnut paying and receiving teller cages, the furnishings of the President's office, the massive walk-in vault, and the original check canceller consisting of a tree stump and a specially designed hammer. View the bullet hole where the only known attempted robbery was foiled!"

The Civil War Interpretive out front reads:

The Columbia Bridge Company was formed in 1811 and began to raise money for a bridge between Columbia and Wrightsville. This business served as the first bank in the community, and by 1814 had used its profits to build the first Columbia-Wrightville Bridge. By the time a flood destroyed it is 1832, the bridge gas grown all but indispensable and was quickly replaced by the long wooden covered bridge in the world, financed by the Columbia National Bank.

As the only bridge crossing the Susquehanna between Harrisburg and the Mason-Dixon Line, it attracted canals and railroad lines to Columbia, It also drew the attention of the Confederate Army, which invaded Pennsylvania in June 1863. As the Rebels approached the bridge on June 28, Union Troops torched it.

A newspaper published the following statement: "The burning of the bridge...has given rise to a rumor that its loss would have to effect of impairing the credit of Columbia Bank. This now seems will not be the case, as the structure was destroyed by order of military authorities, thus making the Government responsible for all loss." The bank was never reimbursed for its claim of $100,000.

Address
170 Locust St
Columbia, PA 17512

Related Website: [Web Link]

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