Universal York

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Problems in York’s Center Square

From William Wagner's Views in the Borough of York & Vicinity, 1830
From William Wagner’s Views in the Borough of York & Vicinity, 1830

I have read that one reason for tearing down the two later market sheds in York’s Center Square in the 1880s was that they were unsanitary. Evidently, there were some problems with the single market shed that stood east to the courthouse in the square much earlier.

It looks so nice in William Wagner’s 1830 drawing above, but this item from the York Recorder newspaper of August 25, 1829 tells of some problems not too long before.

“REFORM—The town authorities have forbidden the use of the markethouse, and of the open space thereabout, to hucksters and others. This reformation was necessary, as that place was rapidly becoming a repository for filth and a rendezvous for vice—a public nuisance and a reproach to the town.”

Often the good old days weren’t all that good–they only look better from a distance.