Universal York

Part of the USA Today Network

More on York County’s Eib’s Landing

G. Ilgenfritz later owned the Eib's Landing site, as shown on this portion of the 1876 Pomeroy, Whitman Atlas of York County
G. Ilgenfritz later owned the Eib’s Landing site, as shown on this portion of the 1876 Pomeroy, Whitman Atlas of York County

Eib's Landing site today as shown in Google Earth view
Eib’s Landing site today as shown in Google Earth view

One of my recent posts started with a Lewis Miller drawing of an 1835 covered bridge across the Gut, or “the Cud,” as he captioned it. It was an important bridge, paid for by the county, carried a road that ended a very short distance away at the Susquehanna shore at a place called Eib’s Landing.

Why was this area, as well as nearby Day’s Landing (later known as New Holland and now as Saginaw) booming in the first half of the 19th century? Answer: Lumber.

Here is what George R. Prowell, writing in Gibson’s 1886 History of York County had to say about Eib’s Landing:

“Among the early settlers west of the Susquehanna was Peter Eib, who took up the fertile land forming a delta between the mouths of the Conewago Creek. As the lumber interests up the river were developed, a section of his farm, now [1886] owned by George “W. Ilgenfritz, of York, became one of the most important landing places for this valuable product along the stream. There was a demand for pine timber, and from this landing place York, and a broad expanse of
country, were largely supplied for more than half a century. But the glory of Eib’s Landing declined when the steam saw-mills were built at York Haven and at Goldsboro, and when the Northern Central Railway was completed. Old citizens of the neighborhood recalled the time when as many as seventy-five teams were in waiting to load lumber in one day. For one mile along the bank were continuous piles of boards and building timber. The price, on account of the abundance, was very low in comparison with present prices [1886]. Excellent shaved shingles could be purchased at $6 per 1,000, and a fine quality of boards at $8 and $10 per 1,000 feet.

During the spring and early summer, business was most flourishing. For many years there were three hotels to accommodate teamsters and lumbermen — “Yankees,” as they were termed, who brought the rafts of lumber down the Susquehanna. At times ardent spirits flowed profusely, and occasions of boisterous hilarity were very frequent. Much sawed timber was conveyed in teams by merchants who owned lumber yards in York, Hanover, Abbottstown, East Berlin, and as far away as Frederick, Md. There is nothing now left to mark this, probably the most historic spot in Manchester Township, except the dilapidated remains of a few old buildings at a place where millions of feet of lumber were annually sold.”

The site today is located in East Manchester Township, formed as a separate township in 1887. Today it is occupied by Big Bass, Inc. a company that raises bass year round utilizing the warm water being discharged from the hydroelectric plant.