York Town Square

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Going to market a longtime York County pastime – 3 of 20 iconic images

York County was blessed with engraver William Wagner, who drew the left part of this scene, and fellow artist Lewis Miller, who left a legacy of 19th-century scenes that tell us much about how people lived. (The right part is a circa 2000 drawing by York Daily Record artist Tracey Bisher Cullen.) The York County Heritage Trust, which owns many pieces by both artists, has published two books on their respective work. Background posts: Late June marks pivotal moments in York history, Striking architecture lined York’s South Duke Street and York’s western gate: One image says so much.

Continuing, our series of images that say a lot about York County’s past, posted in observance of the 400th anniversary of Jamestown’s John Smith, first English visitor to this region: …

In clear view: Market goers crowded York’s Centre Square market sheds as they had since shortly after the county’s founding. The market sheds joined the York County Courthouse and, later, another county building, the State House, in the square until 1841. In those years, the two buildings were demolished and a new courthouse built along East Market Street. But the market remained for about 50 more years.
Behind the scene: The presence of the market in the center of York, which is about in the center of triangle-shaped York County, shows the importance of agriculture to the county’s development. There, farmers could sell excess goods to a growing population. That the market sheds survived the courthouse in the heart of York shows the muscle of agrarianism and the decline in the importance of centralized government in the hearts of York countians.
Further details: Artist/engraver William Wagner drew this and other colorful scenes of York in 1830. His work has been compiled into “Views in The Borough of York & Vicinity” (York: York County Heritage Trust, 1996).
Posts in this series:
400 years ago, John Smith explored Chesapeake Bay – 1/31 iconic images
Declaration signer James Smith tops York County patriot list – 2/31 iconic images
Going to market a longtime York County pastime – 3/31 iconic images
William C. Goodridge: From slavery to success story – 4/31 iconic images

Rebs’ short York visit creates long memories – 5/31 iconic images
Artist Horace Bonham captured everyday life – 6/31 iconic images
York County farm vs. factory tension relieved in overnight raid – 7/31 iconic images
York County stood firmly behind Allies on all fronts in WW II – 8/31 iconic images
Downtown thrived in post-WW II York – 9/31 iconic images
After WWII success, Farquhar sells assets to out-of-town outfit – 10/31 iconic images.
Sears, York County Shopping Center in the middle of things – 11/31 iconic images
Three Mile Island emergency indelibly written into memories – 12/2 iconic images.
People of varying religious groups founded York County – 13/31 iconic images
President Reagan: ‘Harley is back and standing tall’ – 14/31 iconic images
York’s mayor: ‘We are no longer unprotected’ – 15/31 iconic images
Grange Hall represented past way of York County life – 16/31 iconic images.
York County Honors Choir product of proud moment – 17/31 iconic images.
Meeting of riot victims brought hope for racial accord – 18/31 iconic images.
Property rights foundational factor in Lauxmont dispute – 19/31 iconic images.
New baseball diamond serves as York cornerstone – 20/31 iconic images
Season 2 of York’s campaign to come back – 21-23 of 31 iconic images
York on knees as its men storm Normandy beaches – 24-25 of 31 iconic images
One image illustrates two long-neglected subjects in York area – 26-27 of 31 iconic images
Images explain changes in York County factories, farms – 28-29 of 31 iconic images
York County still home to unvarnished beauty – 30/31 iconic images
Latinos most recent migrant group to call York County home – 31/31 iconic images

To see the full series of iconic photos in a special York Daily Record/Sunday News publication, click here.