York Town Square

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Bridge lanterns along York County’s Susquehanna Trail: ‘We get a lot of questions about them’

What appears to be a lamp or lantern stands in a stately way outside Wagman Companies Inc. building on the Susquehanna Trail, north of York. A sister lantern is around the corner on Canal Road near the trail. (See photo below.) Do you know where they came from? Also of interest: The Susquehanna Trail: Greatest highway in Eastern America.

The name Wagman is synonymous with bridge-building and transportation infrastructure.

So it’s appropriate that an attractive bridge fixture greets visitors to the company’s Susquehanna Trail building.

The light – and a sister lamp around the corner – come from a bridge. When the lanterns are dismounted from the span, their immensity is more apparent. They’re taller than you are, maybe 8 feet tall.

We know similar lanterns from Veterans Memorial Bridge are along East Prospect Road. (See photo: When you had to pay a toll to cross the Susquehanna River.)

Where did the lanterns at Wagman’s and Canal Road come from?

Lisa Wagman Glezer provides the answer:

“The lanterns are from Market Street Bridge mid 1960s removed during bridge renovation. We get a lot of questions about them and they certainly generate a lot of interest. My dad, Rich Wagman was working on the bridge while on summer break from school. Not sure how Canal got them. Harrisburg attempted to track down the original lanterns but couldn’t so they had replicas made when they renovated the bridge a few years ago.”

As I said, think of Wagman’s and you think of bridges.

Other people must feel that way, too.

They bring bridge artifacts to Wagman’s.

“There is a lot of history and heritage in York County,” Lisa said in an email. “After being around for 110 years, we get people returning Wagman plaques from bridges which are being demolished (due to age, not construction, of course). We even have one from before Wagman was around, one of the first bridges my great grandfather worked on before he started his own business.”

So another history mystery solved.

To find out more about that business, check out this history from Wagman’s website.

This lantern is around the corner from Wagman’s, along Canal Road. It sits in the yard of a private residence. Also of interest: How did Canal Road get its name?