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‘Columbia, Marietta, Wrightsville’ book feeds your sense of discovery

Visitors pose at York County, Pa.’s Wildcat Falls, an unsung landmark on the west bank of the Susquehanna River. Frederic H. Abendschein, in the recently published “Columbia, Marietta, and Wrightsville,” wrote: “A popular summertime destination, both local and out-of-town tourists would take a ferry from Marietta to cross the Susquehanna River over to the York County side to reach the falls and the nearby hotel.” This photo came from that work, from the presses of Arcadia Publishing. (See additional photos below.) Also of interest: The things you learn from reading local history and Opportunities in York County to feed your sense of discovery and Absorbing photo and overlay shows locations of six Susquehanna bridges and Wildcat Falls former popular York County picnic venue.
For years, York County’s Wildcat Falls, north of Wrightsville, was a getaway for people on both sides of the Susquehanna River.
People would arrive at the falls via ferry, crossing the river from Marietta. They would cross over the stream near the falls on a narrow wooden bridge and use stairs and handrails going up the hillside parallel to the falls.
They would dine on a nearby deck and enjoy the cool breezes… .

Visitors dine near Wildcat Falls. Cleon G. Bernteizel contributed this photo for use in the book.
The Lancaster County town of Marietta and the section of York County across the river from it always had a kinship that went beyond the falls. For example, the Marietta Gravity Water Company gathered water from the west bank hills and piped it under the river for use in Marietta.
This rich information and absorbing photographs of the Columbia, Marietta and Wrightsville region comes from Frederic H. Abendschein’s book whose title bears the name of those river towns.
Abendschein and Arcadia Publishing do a good job of bringing back memories in this photo-laden book. But the work also informs those who have never spent much time near the river.
In short, Arcadia and other such publishers are doing a good job of creating and re-creating a sense a community – a sense of place – via their series of books.
In York County, for example, Arcadia titles explore Shrewsbury, New Freedom, Glen Rock, Hanover, York College, and a bunch of other York County sites. To see the titles, click here.
These books aren’t in-depth treatments of their subject but effectively feed a sense of discovery – a desire to know more about our history-rich area.
They bring a sense of serendipity. Will they reveal landmarks that are new or yet unexplored by the reader?
Wildcat Falls fell into the unexplored category for me, a challenge I plan to address.

The book’s cover features Columbia Malleable Casting Corporation workers at Second and Linden streets in Columbia. Molds they will use to produce iron castings are in the foreground of this Columbia Historic Preservation Society photo.