York Town Square

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Part 6: Conewago Creek crossing near Manchester, Pa., hot spot for years

Only ducks were enjoying the old Elm Beach swimming hole in the Conewago Creek on Sunday. The lighter, flatter area on the far side of the creek is what’s left of the concrete slab that made up the diving area of Elm Creek. The former Elm Beach building is atop the hill.  Also of interest: Part V: Conewago Creek crossing near Manchester, Pa., hot spot for years and Mount Wolf resident answers call for photos of Elm Beach, old York County swimming hole.

Give or take a couple of decades of either side of the 1930s, Elm Beach, with associated Cold Springs Park, was the place to go for a cool dip  in northeastern York County on Sunday afternoons.

That is, unless you went right to the Susquehanna River, Conewago’s destination.

The trolley line (see below) that carried people to Cold Springs Park and Elm Beach ended in the 1930s, swimmers started finding other options.

Meadowbrook Pool, now on private property in Saginaw, was once such popular spot.

This week, on Sunday afternoon, lawn chairs were the only thing sitting on what’s left of the concrete slab that was the focal point of Elm Beach.

And hungry ducks were the only swimmers in that stretch of the creek.

What a contrast to the days shown in this  photo:

A sunny day at Elm Beach, in this undated photo. For more, check out: Elm Beach/Cold Springs Park.


No, this is not a beaver dam behind this old trolley pier, part of the bridge that transported swimmers to Elm Beach and passengers to and from York Haven. This pier, just upstream from Elm Beach, caught debris from high waters.  For details, see trolleys.

This file photo shows the trolley bridge, with the old highway span carrying the road from Manchester to York Haven, in the background. Elm Beach can be seen protruding a bit, to the left, downstream from the bridge.

Also of interest:

Part of Conewago Creek’s Elm Beach still visible
Big Conewago serves as physical, symbolic divider of York County culture
Growing off-peak trolley ridership in York County: Build a park.