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Charles Dickens on northern York County: ‘The gloom of evening gave … air of mystery’

Tubers take a leisurely ride recently near the covered bridge spanning the Yellow Breeches on Messiah College’s campus. The beauty of the countryside is similar to that witnessed by Charles Dickens in his visit to northern York County in 1842. Dickens’ coach would have crossed the Yellow Breeches downstream close to the point that it spills into the Susquehanna River. Background posts: Big Conewago serves as divider, York County: ‘It’s shaped like a horse’s… ‘ and Scenic Yellow Breeches snakes along York County’s northern boundary.

Charles Dickens and 11 others filled a large coach that traveled along York County’s eastern edge in his visit to America in 1842.
He arrived in York via railroad. He traveled to Harrisburg via coach. And traveled to Pittsburgh from Harrisburg via canal.
Dickens noted the uncomfortable coach ride and took time to observe – and later write about – the foibles of York countians… .

But also Dickens noticed the beauty of the county’s northern end, as he describes in his “American Notes:”

The scenery, which had been tame enough at first, was, for the last ten or twelve miles, beautiful. Our road wound through the pleasant valley of the Susquehanna; the river, dotted with innumerable green islands, lay upon our right; and on the left, a steep ascent, craggy with broken rock, and dark with pine trees. The mist, wreathing itself into a hundred fantastic shapes, moved solemnly upon the water; and the gloom of evening gave to all an air of mystery and silence which greatly enhanced its natural interest.

Also of interest: For more links and photos on the covered bridge pictured above – aka the Stoner Bridge – check out: Bowmansdale Bridge.