York Town Square

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York’s western gate: One image says so much

E.A. Wise acquired this classic view of York’s western entrance in a New York City antique shop in 1960.

E.A. Wise of York sent in a lithograph of York’s western entrance circa 1845. His image tells an interesting story.
The Centre Square courthouse is gone, moved to the East Market Street location occupied by its successor today. That suggests that agrarianism still ruled for the borough to keep a bustling market place at its center.
The market sheds came down in 1887 when the city’s powers believed the need to transport people and product, spawned by the Industrial Revolution, outweighed these venerable, but tottering sheds… .

The photo also suggests that government was decreasing in importance and such a prime location would be better used to spur the local market economy. When the courthouse was completed in 1756, government, particularly the long arm of the sheriff, was a priority so the location in the square made sense.
Notice the locomotive running on the tracks from Baltimore, punched through in 1838. What became the Northern Central Railway provided an efficient means for locally produced goods to reach the Maryland marketplace and finished goods to move northward from Baltimore.
One image. So much meaning.
And one more thing. This was roughly the view seen by the vanguard of the Confederate Army marching into undefended York in 1863.
A sampling of other York market posts:
York County farm vs. factory tension relieved in overnight raid .
Going to market a longtime York County pastime.
York’s Central Market sells steak … and sizzle.
The forgotten fifth York market house.
York Market House No. 1 – Penn Street Farmers Market.
York Market House No. 2 – The architecturally striking City Market.
York Market House No. 3 – The first Eastern Market.
Market House No. 4 – Central Market, York’s most popular.
York Market House No. 5 – Carlisle Avenue Market, revisited.