York Town Square

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York County farm vs. factory tension relieved in overnight raid – 7/31 iconic images

The market sheds in York, Pa.’s Centre Square are a pile of rubble after they are pulled down in the middle of the night in late June 1887. The sheds had been in the square since the county’s earliest days and would never be replaced at that location, nor would any other building gain a permanent site in the middle of the square. Background posts: There were 5, count ’em, 5 York markets, A square courthouse in middle of York’s Centre Square? and Late June marks pivotal moments in York history.
Continuing the series of iconic photos – photos that capture layered moments – from York County, Pa.:

In plain view: The market sheds, standing when people went to bed on a summer evening, were no more when they woke up. People would buy their goods directly from farmers in covered markets. For example, Central Market, not far from the square, would soon go up. Notice the wooden flag pole, that held the town’s banner removed by the invading Confederates 24 years before, stands. It, too, would later come down.
Behind the scene: The sheds represented York County’s agricultural prowess for years, but many in York, which had warmly embraced the Industrial Revolution, felt the rickety, smelly structures dated the newly minted city. Further, they were in the way of the new trolleys that needed to run through this crossroads transporting people to factories. They clogged up the square where the main road from Philadelphia crossed the main way from Baltimore. Goods from newly built factories must get through. So to thwart growing controversy about whether they should remain up or be torn down, middle-of-the-night ropes around support poles decided the question. This moment, focused in the heart of York, underscored the agriculture versus development battle that continues to this day.
Further details
The book “Never to be Forgotten” (York Daily Record/York County Heritage Trust, 2002) describes the Centre Square sheds and the five covered market houses that replaced them. This image comes from York County Heritage Trust files.
Posts in this series:
400 years ago, John Smith explored Chesapeake Bay – 1/31 iconic images
Declaration signer James Smith tops York County patriot list – 2/31 iconic images
Going to market a longtime York County pastime – 3/31 iconic images
William C. Goodridge: From slavery to success story – 4/31 iconic images

Rebs’ short York visit creates long memories – 5/31 iconic images
Artist Horace Bonham captured everyday life – 6/31 iconic images
York County farm vs. factory tension relieved in overnight raid – 7/31 iconic images
York County stood firmly behind Allies on all fronts in WW II – 8/31 iconic images
Downtown thrived in post-WW II York – 9/31 iconic images
After WWII success, Farquhar sells assets to out-of-town outfit – 10/31 iconic images.
Sears, York County Shopping Center in the middle of things – 11/31 iconic images
Three Mile Island emergency indelibly written into memories – 12/2 iconic images.
People of varying religious groups founded York County – 13/31 iconic images
President Reagan: ‘Harley is back and standing tall’ – 14/31 iconic images
York’s mayor: ‘We are no longer unprotected’ – 15/31 iconic images
Grange Hall represented past way of York County life – 16/31 iconic images.
York County Honors Choir product of proud moment – 17/31 iconic images.
Meeting of riot victims brought hope for racial accord – 18/31 iconic images.
Property rights foundational factor in Lauxmont dispute – 19/31 iconic images.
New baseball diamond serves as York cornerstone – 20/31 iconic images
Season 2 of York’s campaign to come back – 21-23 of 31 iconic images
York on knees as its men storm Normandy beaches – 24-25 of 31 iconic images
One image illustrates two long-neglected subjects in York area – 26-27 of 31 iconic images
Images explain changes in York County factories, farms – 28-29 of 31 iconic images
York County still home to unvarnished beauty – 30/31 iconic images
Latinos most recent migrant group to call York County home – 31/31 iconic images
For additional iconic photos of York County, see this blog’s iconic photo category.
To see the full series of iconic photos in a special York Daily Record/Sunday News publication, click here.