York Town Square

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Colorful paintings highlighted York’s square in 1927 celebration

This panel of Mad Anthony Wayne celebrates his visit to York County during the Continental Congress’ visit in 1777-78. This colorful portrait, owned by the York County Heritage Trust, was posted outside (see below) during the 150th anniversary of the adoption of the Articles of Confederation in 1927. A program to celebrate the anniversary of the Articles is set for 2-4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 16, at the Colonial Courthouse replica, 157 W. Market St. Details: 848-1587. Background posts: Don’t know much about York County history? Part I, ‘The Commons’ plays host to wonderful vintage photos and When did York’s square change from Centre to Continental?

Sixteen colorful paintings, measuring about 3.5 feet by 6 feet, decorated downtown York during the 150th anniversary of the Articles of Confederation in 1927.
They were very much forerunners of the 18 Murals of York that today sprawl across the sides of buildings around York… .

Mad Anthony Wayne’s portrait hangs on a pole in York’s Continental Square. Notice Wiest’s Department Store in the background.
Local and state artists painted the 1927 portraits of American Revolution luminaries who had links to York.
Murals of York officials went a bit further in attracting painters from as far away as British Columbia in Canada.
The 1927 paintings are likely to last longer than the outdoor Murals of York. Between exhibitions, they are kept in climate-controlled quarters at the York County Heritage Trust.
The paintings from the 150th celebration hung outside, too. But they must have been unhooked from light poles during inclement weather, which plagued that celebration.
I’ll be talking about those depicted in the 16 paintings at an anniversary program on Sunday at the Colonial Courthouse.
Here’s how a 1927 newspaper special section story on the 16 portraits began:

“The Continental Square decorative scheme for the Sequi-Centennial celebration is the most artistic ever attempted here. The entire scheme in the square … is centered abut the sixteen portraits on the large light poles. The portraits are of men who made history on this spot during the Revolution. The scheme in the Square has therefore been planned to conform to this fact.”

That intro is slightly off.
A “Colonial Mother” painting celebrates contributions women made during Congress’ nine-month visit to York.
And I’ll spend time talking about her Sunday, too.