Is the 10th anniversary of York County’s 250th anniversary significant?
The Murals of York program was well under way at the time of the 250th anniversary of York County (Pa.) in 1999. So the Murals of York committee commissioned its painting as a summary of the main events that made up the celebration. Background posts: York vs. Lancaster, Pa: The American War of the Roses still rages and The day west bankers looked forward to tax time and York, Cumberland counties longtime companions.
“The 10th anniversary of York County’s 250th anniversary”? Isn’t that like saying the 48th anniversary of my 1st birthday?”
So wrote a commenter on a recent York Daily Record/Sunday News story on the 260th anniversary of York County – and the 10th anniversary of the mammoth 250th celebration in 1999.
The commenter is right that it’s a bit like a celebration about a celebration.
But the 1999 celebration is still remembered by many. Even if the 10th anniversary isn’t significant, the 250th was, indeed… .
For example, the celebration’s publications committee produced four or more books, including my own “Never to be Forgotten.”
As part of this, it became apparent that many other historians, with piles of research in hand, could get their books published.
As we’ve pointed out here before, more than a dozen books on York County and the Civil War have come off presses since the celebration.
The York Daily Record story (8/17/09) lists the lasting impact of the celebration, and it bears repeating today, the county’s 260th anniversary:
On Wednesday, York County marks an anniversary. Or, as Karen Hostetter characterizes it, more an anniversary of an anniversary.
Aug. 19 marks 260 years since York County officially broke off from Lancaster County to become the fifth county in Pennsylvania. And it marks a decade since the county conducted a yearlong celebration of its 250th anniversary.
Hostetter was right in the middle of those celebrations, managing the 250th Anniversary Headquarters on North George Street. Now she works for the York County Library System, which is setting up displays on local history books and other resources to mark the occasion.
Some of them were created specifically for the anniversary. That includes “The 250th Chronicles,” a searchable CD-ROM that features three books:
— “Never to be Forgotten” by York Daily Record/Sunday News Editor James McClure
— “Patterns: Past and Future,” compiled from works by Thomas Schaefer, Paul S. Wolfgang and local leaders
— “Builders and Heroes,” compiled from articles in The York Dispatch, the York Sunday News and the York Daily Record.
“That’s a treasure that kind of got buried after the 250th,” Hostetter said.
But that’s not the only thing remaining from the 10 years ago. Here are some of the things created for the 250th anniversary that are still in existence:
York County Honors Choir: Established for the celebrations a decade ago, the choir includes singers from high schools across York County.
Hostetter said it’s actually grown in the past decade, expanding to three levels — elementary, junior and senior.
Trees: Schools and community organizations planted 250 trees at sites around the county, including at all of the elementary schools.
Plant tours: Among special events for the 250th anniversary was “Manufacturers Day,” featuring a tour of 31 factories and businesses. In the years since, tours of manufacturing plants have become a key element of the tourism industry in York County.
The 250th Anniversary Quilt: The 10-foot-by-6-foot quilt features more than 100 symbols of York County life and history. It’s now housed at the York County Heritage Trust.
A mural: The 250th anniversary mural on West Market Street pictures the separation of York County from Lancaster County in 1749.
In an e-mail, Hostetter listed the existence of a time capsule at York County Archives and a huge gateway that was designed for the reenactment at Penn Park. Boy Scouts at Wizard Ranch also used the gateway, she said, but wrote that she doesn’t think it’s been used since.
Wonder where it is?