York Town Square

Part of the USAToday Network

In 2000, Harley-Davidson’s proposed relocation to Hellam Township’s Horn Farm tagged as ‘the project of the decade’

Paul McCleary holds Larry Gordon, who was a resident of the Hellam (Pa.) Township’s Horn Farm in the 1950s. Route 30 would later run between where he is standing and the barn and the house. A non-profit board is developing this working farm into an agricultural education center. Less than a decade ago, county officials were eyeing it for development. (See additional photo below.) Also of interest: ‘It’s so sad to see such a great piece of architecture fall down’ and All farm and field posts from the start.

Harley-Davidson, always a newsmaker in York County, sparked a green storm in 2000.
That came when the company was a contender to occupy the Horn Farm, a county-owned site in eastern York County’s Hellam Township.
The York County Industrial Development Corporation proposed in May 2000 what its exec David Carver called the “the project of the decade.”
The project called for a 300,000-square-foot Harley-Davidson plant that would be home to 1,400 employees… .

This undated photo provided by the York County Parks is of the Horn Farm barn. A fire destroyed the barn in 2006.
According to newspaper reports, that plan drew opposition from the quickly forming Eastern York County Smart Growth Coalition.
What grew from this controversy was a plan to continue the site as a working farm, a tribute to the area’s agricultural past, present and future.
And Harley built its Softtail bike plant at its current Springettsbury site.
A decade later, the farm remains green, and the plan to keep the agricultural site operating is in play today, even with the loss of its barn in 2006.
But all this makes one wonder.
Harley is staying in York, after flirting with Shelbyville, Ky., and other sites, with a reduced force that will largely work in the Softtail plant.
If Harley had built in Hellam Township, would its Springettsbury site face abandonment by the motorcycle maker today?
Or would have the “project of the decade” been such an investment that Harley would not have considered moving from York County in the first place?
Questions perhaps without answers, but a lot goes on in York County in a decade, eh?
To see all Harley-Davidson posts from the start, click here.
For details about the Horn Farm, visit: http://www.hornfarmcenter.org.

Background posts:
‘It’s so sad to see such a great piece of architecture fall down’, York County agrarianism vs. industrialization, Part I and Part II & III.