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All about Mount Wolf. Home of Pennsylvania’s next governor? – The boroughs of York County series, No. 13

tonyTony Jordan provided this rare and interesting photo of Wolf Supply in Mount Wolf to the ‘I grew up in Manchester/Mount Wolf’ Facebook page. I couldn’t resist getting permission to run it here, to tie together Mount Wolf and Wolf Supply and all that Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf’s family has meant to that borough and its surrounding area. Since 1843. Also of interest: Wolf of York County, Pa., builds on deep foundation on banks of the Susquehanna, Part II.

As with many York County towns, transportation helped place Mount Wolf on the map.

First, it was the moving of logs down the Susquehanna River, and then the Northern Central Railway stopped there. And the borough was just a two-by-four’s length away from the old road that connected York and Harrisburg.

You could say that Mount Wolf had the railroad and Manchester had the highway. So the two communities grew up together.

wolfX00059_9The main building in this drawing of Wolf’s lumber yard stands today. Also of interest: Wolf builds from deep foundation, Part I.

Mount Wolf’s makeup: Population: 1,393. See the YDR’s U.S. Census map and database for all the facts.

It all started in 1843: Mount Wolf can trace its origin to 1843, back to the day of Adam Wolf, Tom Wolf’s ancestor.

As I wrote in my “Never to be Forgotten” for that year:

“Adam Wolf starts the lumber, hardware and building materials business of A. Wolf & Son in New Holland, later called Saginaw.

“Wolf purchases logs floating down the river in huge rafts from Williamsport and beyond to supply his lumber business. George H., a son, becomes postmaster of Day’s Landing and later Mount Campbell. George Wolf also becomes stationmaster of the stop on the steep rail grade. The town growing around the station and the relocated Wolf lumber business is called Mount Wolf.”

Prowell’s view: George Prowell wrote this in his 1907 history: “The village of Mount Wolf, nestled in a little valley, a half mile northeast of Manchester Borough, has become a centre of trade and industry. Being situated in a fertile agricultural region and having recently received an industrial boom, the future of Mount Wolf is assured.” (The Mount in Mount Wolf comes from the fact it’s on the upper part of the railroad grade.)

Incorporation: Mount Wolf became a borough in 1910, formed out of East Manchester Township.

Capturing the scene: Bradley Rentzel wrote a compelling history of the borough: ‘A History of Mount Wolf.’ Here’s one borough scene painted in that book from the 1910s: “At seven o’clock the mail train stops and people who work at the Capital and at Harrisburg board it. These people are commuters and usually arrive at the depot just a minute or two before train time. One young fellow is usually seen running with his coat in one hand and necktie in the other; he seems to like getting on a moving train; he makes it. The trolley car for York sounds its whistle at Walnut Street to notify students and workers of its arrival; this 7:20 a.m. car usually picks up a dozen or more passengers in Mount Wolf.”

Merger talk: The twin boroughs of Mount Wolf and Manchester, with East Manchester stirred in, have looked at merging over the years. Part of the reason that hasn’t happened? What do you call the new entity? Wolfchester?

Still in York County: Mount Wolf is south of the Conewago Creek, often seen as the dividing line between those with a Harrisburg/Philadelphia orientation (the north bank) and those who favor York and Baltimore (south bank.)

Fielding a team: Mount Wolf students go to Northeastern High School, which, among other things, is known as the last public school in York County to field a football team.

Sweet fact: Mount Wolf is home to a candymaker, Naylor Candies, specifically Naylor’s Buttermints.

Famous visitors: Anyone traveling from York to Harrisburg – say Charles Dickens or Marquis de Lafayette – passed on the road near Mount Wolf. Confederate raiders in 1863 visited the community, leaving behind worthless Confederate money put down for goods from Wolf’s store. As for the railroad, the funeral train of Abraham Lincoln passed through there without stopping.

Also of interest:
Check out these other Mount Wolf-related stories and photos.
Other towns in this series, see: Boroughs of York County

A community talking: On the Manchester/Mount Wolf-area Facebook page, the community comes together to discuss the old Wolf Supply Company.