The Susquehanna Trail lands York, PA at the Crossroads of PA Routes 1 & 4
Story of the Susquehanna Trail in the Good Roads Movement: Part 4
In Part 1 of the Story of the Susquehanna Trail in the Good Roads Movement, I asked my readers to solve the mystery location of a Susquehanna Trail road sign in York County by identifying the full name of the intersecting road. Nobody commented with the correct answer following the Manchester Township and the sign is at a “Y” intersection clues, therefore here is your next clue: the “Inn is in the Y.”
Pennsylvania’s 1911 Sproul Highway Act authorized the state to purchase and convert selected county and private toll roads into state-owned highways. In many counties, the responsibility for maintenance and upkeep of these roads was quickly turned over to the state. In a few counties, including York County, the roads were not sold to the state for a few more years. Pennsylvania immediately identified their major state roads by route numbers; with east-west highways generally odd numbers and north-south highways generally even numbers.
We have the Susquehanna Trail road name in York County as a result of the Good Roads Movement in Pennsylvania. The Susquehanna Trail Association was established in Williamsport on February 2nd, 1917; it was modeled after the successful nationwide Lincoln Highway Association, founded four years earlier.
Just as with the Lincoln Highway, the Board of Governors of The Susquehanna Trail Association deliberated and made site visits to select the existing road segments that would be part of the Susquehanna Trail. In February 1917, Board of Governors immediately selected State Route 4, which had existed for several years between Harrisburg and Williamsport, as their first road segment of the Susquehanna Trail; see Part 1. By the fall of 1917, the Board of Governors of The Susquehanna Trail Association selected the route they would champion north from Williamsport to the New York State line; see Part 2. Besides having the Susquehanna Trail label, Pennsylvania’s Department of Highways also extended their State Route 4 designation along the association’s chosen route to the New York State line.
The following is an enlarged section of the 1925 Pennsylvania Road Map shown at the beginning of this post. This Map of Major Pennsylvania Route Numbers is from the booklet Pennsylvania Facts Motorists Should Know, published by Department of Highways, Harrisburg PA in 1925.
Running north out of Harrisburg, the Susquehanna Trail followed the already established William Penn Highway (State Route 3) until it reached Amity Hall, where it branched off, on its own, and followed the Susquehanna River to Williamsport; see Part 3. During the spring and summer of 1918, the competition was on between Adams County and York County as they advocated for the southern extension route of the Susquehanna Trail to pass through their respective territories.
The remaining posts in this series will examine details of that competition; however jumping forward to the fall of 1918, the Board of Governors of The Susquehanna Trail Association selected a York County route they would champion south from Harrisburg to the Maryland line. Besides having the Susquehanna Trail label, Pennsylvania’s Department of Highways also extended their State Route 4 designation along the association’s chosen route to the Maryland line, thus landing York, PA at the Crossroads of PA Routes 1 & 4; as seen on the 1925 map.
Pennsylvania Routes 1 & 4 did not cross in York’s Continental Square much longer, since over the years 1925 to 1928 the “modern” state route numbering system was implemented throughout the states. Pennsylvania was in the minority during the nationwide implementation and converted to the “modern” system of identifying major state roads with east-west highways generally with even numbers and north-south highways generally with odd numbers. Thus PA Route 1 became Route 30 and PA Route 4 became Route 111 over all but the Harrisburg to Sunbury part of the Susquehanna Trail, which became Route 11.
Related posts include:
- Story of the Susquehanna Trail in the Good Roads Movement: Part 1
- The Wellsboro Agitator campaigns for the Susquehanna Trail
- The Susquehanna Trail forks at Amity Hall
- Susquehanna Trail to Tap the Lincoln Highway at either Gettysburg or York; with Dover route Considered
- Yorkers spring into action To Attract the Susquehanna Trail
- Board of Governors of the Susquehanna Trail Association visit to York in 1918
- Susquehanna Trail Association switches in favor of a York Haven route; should York get the Trail
- Establishment of the Susquehanna Trail in York County during 1918
- Zion View gets the Susquehanna Trail; Intersection with North George Street
- Susquehanna Trail extends from York to the Maryland line
- The Road to JOPPA; origins of Susquehanna Trail in Southern York County
- Susquehanna Trail incites a Halloween Jubilee
- The Susquehanna Trail as a Ribbon of Concrete
- York is In Danger of Losing the Susquehanna Trail during 1923
- Newly Completed Susquehanna Trail teems with Historical Scenes
- Agitating for a Susquehanna Trail Celebration
- High Jinks on the Susquehanna Trail
- History of The Susquehanna Trail—Route Numbers
- Susquehanna Trail through York County; Wrap-Up
- Remembering Besser’s on the Susquehanna Trail
- Susquehanna Trail WWI Memorial Sycamores
- The Susquehanna Trail: Greatest highway in Eastern America
- Walking the Lincoln Highway from Coast-to-Coast