York Town Square

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How a compelling York County, Pa., story is told – and re-told

French Nobleman Marquis de Lafayette was one of the most prominent visitors to York County in the Continental Congress’ nine-month visit here in 1777-78. A York College of Pennsylvania education student noted his visit to York, then York Town, in a recent presentation. This painting hangs in the Lafayette Club in York. Also of interest: York’s Lafayette Club: ‘It’s not your father’s club … It’s historic. But it’s not prehistoric’ and French toast again tasty in York County and York College of Pennsylvania book provides insight into school, community.

This is a story about an important York County story.
Or rather, how that story is told – and re-told.
For a second year, Rebecca Speelman’s EDU450 education students at York College were presenting the curriculum they had developed. Their research had included visits to York County Heritage Trust sites.
The curriculum tied into American themes – the “Evolution of the Automobile,” “Influential Black Women of America: Their Struggles” and “A Comparison in Education: The 19th Century and Today.”
The presentations often pulled in local elements and artifacts uncovered in their research. A knot from a tree that American Indians used as a kind of utensil to prepare food was one such local artifact. The Underground Railroad in York County was an example of a local theme… .

The students were positioned around the Agricultural and Industrial Museum with their curriculum, artifacts and presentation boards sitting on tables.
So a curriculum dealing with trains and railroads, for example, was near the switcher in the transportation gallery.
Lamanda Sullivan’s presentation, “Revolutionary York, Pa.: Focus on Prominent Personalities,” particularly caught my eye.
She had placed several publications that grew from the “Nine Months in York Town” community celebration in 2002. That observance, led by York County businessman Tom Norris, marked the 225th anniversary of the adoption of the Articles of Confederation in York Town.
Her board included the prominent personality of the Marquis de Lafayette, the flamboyant and influential nobleman and George Washington ally who visited York Town early in 1778. And her curriculum packet covered Continental Congress Presidents John Hancock and Henry Laurens, Board of War head Gen. Horatio Gates. And, yes, York lawyer and congressional delegate James Smith was in there, too.
She pointed to the brightly colored children’s book produced at the 225th – Kathleen Donahue’s “Road to Independence: A Story at York Town” – as particularly useful for the elementary school children her curriculum was designed for.
Where had she gathered that book and other books on the Articles of Confederation and York Town?
The Spring Grove public library, Glatfelter Memorial Library.
So Lamanda’s curriculum pays forward and multiplies books, a video, curriculum and other documentation produced by the 225th community observance in 2002.
She’ll use her “Revolutionary York, Pa.” material someday in her elementary classroom. And her curriculum – and those of others from the EDU450 class – will be posted on the York County Heritage Trust website for teachers all over York County – and the world – to access.
And one other thing.
A York County Heritage Trust board member visiting the EDU450 exhibits had a major hand in the distribution of the 225th materials.
Nancy Ahalt, a present York County Heritage Trust board officer and an assistant superintendent of Spring Grove schools in 2002, provided an energetic link between the 225th committee and the schools.
Part of that work placed material in public libraries throughout the region.
That included the Spring Grove library, where Lamanda found them.
– You can always search for York Town Square posts on Google. For example, when you search for yorktownsquare and Marquis de Lafayette, you get this.