York Town Square

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Mechanical museum intrigues York County newcomers

A touch screen on a computer at the Agricultural and Industrial Museum linked eras of York County’s history with rings on May’s Oak, the giant tree that fell in Emigsville in 1997 (See here at the museum). The exhibit enthralled second-grade students during a recent visit to the museum.

I explained in a recent York Sunday News column that a group of second-graders from Lincoln Intermediate Unit’s migrant summer school were energized by the hands-on exhibits at York County Heritage Trust’s Agricultural and Industrial Museum.

Here, children of newcomers to York County met up with with the handiwork of generations of York countians. When these migrant children excitedly sit behind the wheel of a Pullman car, made by German craftsmen in 1917, it’s a celebration of the new mixing with the old.
As they grow older, the children might question some parts of the great county they’ve inherited. And descendants of these Pullman craftsmen might forget that their own forebears were new here at one time. Indeed, some of those craftsmen might have been fluent in Pennsylvania German.
But for now, the handshake between migrant children and York County’s icons is strong. May that grip only grow tighter.