York Town Square

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York County history and journalism: a perfect overlap

Often, the work of a writer doing journalism overlaps with that of the researcher doing history.
It has been said journalists write the first draft of history. As time passes, historians take the long view of that draft, often adding perspective and context.
A fun part of my job comes when both journalism and history synch up… .

Such was the case with the York Daily Record/York Sunday News editorial that I wrote Aug. 29. The three topics touched on York County history, and it was rewarding to draw on some facts floating around somewhere in my mind, taken from my own research or both.
Hello, Hanover: Plans to extend the Heritage Rail Trail County Park are moving head — both north and west.
The rail trail authority could launch a capital campaign to garner $2.5 million for extensions which will eventually reach John C. Rudy County Park in East Manchester Township and borough limits of Hanover.
A useful byproduct of the growing rail trail system in York County is that it connects people with places that they wouldn’t otherwise visit.
This is particularly rewarding in a large county like York — 900-plus square miles — that is lacking easy east-west access.
Indeed, some lifelong residents of the York-area have never been to Hanover.
And vice versa.
A life well lived: During her lifetime, Helen H. Hobaugh single-handedly did much to preserve York County’s past.
Her impact went beyond service on numerous heritage boards.
The late owner of an antiques business in Farmers along Route 30, west of the York Airport, collected so many artifacts that it will take 10 separate auctions to distribute her treasures.
This lifetime of collecting meant the preservation of scores of valuable items that otherwise would have been uncatalogued, lost or tacked to restaurant walls.
A common fate: A $7.5 million project to revitalize Columbia’s riverfront will have an impact on York County residents.
For one thing, county residents will use the boat launches, docks, marina and other amenities planned along the Lancaster County side of the Susquehanna River.
For another, the view from this side of the mile-wide river will be enhanced. Imagine the view, for example, from the proposed Susquehanna Riverlands Preservation Project, the controversial proposal involving Lauxmont Farms.
The point is that the fortunes of Columbia and Wrightsville have been joined since John Wright began operating his ferry between the two settlements in 1730. Anything that benefits one community will reap benefits for the other.
Further, people are increasingly discovering the beautiful Susquehanna as a place for recreation.
Now, what does Wrightsville have in mind for its riverfront?