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Underground Railroad Archives

You could say they don’t make bridges like they used to. Spans like the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge, built in 1930 and christened the Veterans Memorial Bridge, are architectural showpieces. Their replacement spans often are, well, just boring. Consider this photo of the Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Susquehanna River, for example. The York, Pa., Daily Record’s Chris Dunn gathered in this scene, and look at the engagement: 350 plus likes. It’s now atop the YDR’s Facebook page. How often do you see the Wright’s Ferry Bridge, constructed 40 years later, in photos? OK, it’s just a one-bridge sample, but quality-of-life advocates would say that infrastructure should add to experience, not detract from it.

This plaque comes from the old Ganoga Bridge that carried the Susquehanna Trail across the Conewago Creek near Strinestown, York County, Pa. The beautiful bridge is gone, replaced by a new kind of sterile modern structure. The old bridge displayed plaque on each end and 12 light standards representing the 12 Boy Scout laws as a tie-in to the nearby Boy Scout camp of the same name. One of the plaques is the property of Boy Scout Camp Tuckahoe. The other, pictured here, is part of the York County Heritage Trust’s collection. It’s also one of six questions that are part of a quiz of such items under Heritage Trust ownership. So we’ve given you one answer. See how you do on the other five!

The National Park Service’s Underground Railroad Network to Freedom has added another Lancaster County site to its roster. The remains of the Columbia/Wrightsville Bridge, seen upriver from the Veterans Memorial Bridge in this photo, are part of this approved list. Ruins of the locks and dam of the Pennsylvania Canal, on Columbia Borough-owned land north of the Rt. 462 bridge, are also part of the list, according to historical consultant Randy Harris.

Actress Monika Ross is seen in the character of York County’s Amanda Berry in the play ‘Susquehanna to Freedom: The Role of the Susquehanna River in the Underground Railroad.’ Dr. Dorothy King, a York native, will present about PennOwl Production’s play on Sept. 6. A news release says the drama tells the story of three slaves who traveled northward on the Susquehanna from Havre de Grace, Md. – where the Susquehanna River enters the Chesapeake Bay.

Steam from TMI Unit 1’s cooling tower is seen in this York, Pa., Daily Record/Sunday News file photo. That scene has remained unchanged since the partial meltdown of Unit 2’s reactor in 1979. In 40 years, those cooling towers, worldwide symbols of nuclear energy and its downside will be no more. TMI Unit 2 is slated to be dismantled and demolished alongside TMI Unit 1 starting in 2044, according to a YDR story. TMI Unit 1’s operating license extends to 2034. So what are now internationally known symbols will pass into history within the lifetimes of many York countians.