Wrightsville, Westphalia, and the First River Bridge
York County was formed from Lancaster County in 1749; at that time it was reasonable to look at Lancaster County Maps for York County Information. However 75-years later the best map details available for Wrightsville, with adjoining town Westphalia, and the first bridge, crossing the Susquehanna River to Columbia, comes from an 1824 Map of Lancaster County, PA by Joshua Scott. This map section comes from an original on the Library of Congress web site.
For my post Lancaster County Maps have York County Information, I initially discovered a copy of this map on the campus of LancasterHistory.org. This is the map detail I used for that 2012 post.
The town of Westphalia was absorbed into Wrightsville when the Borough of Wrightsville was incorporated in 1834. This is the best detail, on a period map, that I have seen on the location of the first Susquehanna River Bridge between Wrightsville, York County and Columbia, Lancaster County. The horizontal line across the center of the map sections is one of the map grid lines.
At the time of the 2012 post, I got several comments agreeing, they had never seen the Wrightsville side of a map showing the first river bridge. I got a request yesterday, if I had an enlarged view of this map; a request which resulted in the discovery that the Library of Congress now has an original of this map on their web site.
This first bridge between Wrightsville and Columbia was completed December 5, 1814; however it only existed for slightly over 17-years before this wooden covered bridge was destroyed by an ice flow February 5, 1832. If one counts the major streets (not avenues or alleys) in Wrightsville, starting at Hellam Street (Route 462), and going north one has Locust Street, Walnut Street, Cherry Street and Vine Street. The next major street, on the 1824 map, is the street in line with the first bridge to Columbia and then there is one more street further north. I’ve placed those streets as dashed lines on the following Bing.com aerial view.
If one looks closely at the heavy “Bridge Street” dashed-line, projected out into the river, one sees that the remains of the piers from that first bridge continue to churn up the river water; as picked up on the aerial photo. With all the quarrying along “Bridge Street”, the five houses that existed along this street during 1824, are long since gone.
Related posts include:
- Lancaster County Maps have York County Information
- How a mile long river bridge was built in 21 days
- Guess the Time Required to Paint an INCREDIBLY Long Bridge
- Why the Discrepancies in Civil War Records? SUMMARY & Part 4: Wrightsville Star article on Burning of The Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge
- A Personal Connection to the Burning of The Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge 150-Years-Ago