York Town Square

Part of the USAToday Network

Once popular Ganoga Bridge now lightly used York County landmark

This is a creekside view of Ganoga Bridge over the Conewago Creek, near Strinestown. The once-stately bridge connects Newberry and Conewago townships and carries the old Susquehanna Trail over the creek. The name Ganoga, according to local history book, comes from the Indian words “By the water.” Update: The old bridge came down in 2012 and was replaced by a new span. Background posts: Big Conewago serves as physical, symbolic divider of York County culture, York County still home to unvarnished beauty and Wago Club prez: ‘You’ve gotta respect the (snapping) turtles’.

The worn, lightly traveled Ganoga Bridge today is far from the crisp cement structure of the 1920s to 1950s that carried thousands of vehicles daily over the Conewago Creek.
In fact, sometimes the bridge failed to carry Susquehanna Trail traffic all the way across. Its approaches are oddly banked leading to accidents those living near the Strinestown-area structure remember years later. One resident remembers a crash on or near the bridge involved a large Greyhound Bus.
A Greyhound Bus out there in the middle of nowhere?… .

This photo shows one of two plaques, originally installed on either end of the Ganoga bridge across the Codorus Creek. Prominent York artist Charles Rudy designed the plaques. One is now at Boy Scout Camp Tuckahoe. The other is with the York County Heritage Trust. (Photo courtesy of York County Heritage Trust.)
The road was once part of the Susquehanna Trail, touted as a smooth connector between Harrisburg and Baltimore and even between Niagara Falls, N.Y., and Washington D.C.
When it opened in 1926, it split Boy Scout Camp Ganoga into two.
The book “On My Honor” says the bridge bore bronze plaques of an Indian profile, later moved to Camp Tuckahoe.
It contained 12 light standards representing the 12 Scout laws.
Interstate 83 replaced it as the main north-south thoroughfare through the county, and the bridge appears largely deserted today.
About a third of those light fixtures remain, and they’re broken almost beyond recognition.
The scouts outgrew the camp, and it closed in 1945.
A private residence covers at least part of the camp’s former 84-acre expanse.
A motorist can try to enter the old camp by passing under the old bridge.
But a sign warns visitors against venturing very far onto the ground where the Scouts once roamed.
Also of interest:
Check out Yorkblogger’s Stephen H. Smith’s post on Good Roads, of which the Susquehanna Trail was one!

Edited, 2/8/15.