York Town Square

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The old iron York County bridge: Linked in with neat history stuff – June 19, 2010

This iron bridge on the Stewartstown Railroad, located along Route 851 just outside Stewartstown in Hopewell township, is a second-hand bridge. Stewartstown’s Doug Winemiller wrote that it was built in 1870 and originally located in Baltimore over the Jones Falls waterway. The railroad moved it to its present location in the 1890s. But even second-hand bridges have first-rate historical value. The bridge, built in the transitional period between wood and steel spans, is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Also of interest: Historic Stewartstown Railroad heading to the auction block? and Stewartstown Railroad: ‘Truly a unique entity in the state, and possibly, the nation’ and Changing Stewartstown ‘one of the most attractive boroughs’ and  Improved Order of Heptasophs of Stewartstown: Everything you ever wanted to know about this fraternal group.

A mixed bag of neat stuff …

I like it when a reader agrees with me.
Who doesn’t like to find a kindred spirit?
But York countian Bill Schmeer added insight to his kudos. The topic was my writing about the tendency of visiting journalists/historians to mischaracterize York County, admittedly as tough place to describe.
Here are Bill’s thoughtful observations, relating to a moment when York County opened its arms to victims of a Chinese human smuggling ring, passengers on the ship Golden Venture:

I agree totally with your criticism of Patrick Radden Keefe’s (why do novelists insist on dunning us with three names?) description of York as a “…rust belt town…” It shows disdain for an area where the author doesn’t reside. An AP writer described my hometown, Hazleton (Luzerne County), as “…hard scrabble..”, in a story about the mayor’s attempt to curb illegal aliens’ taking jobs and residence in the city. I have also seen it described as “…a gritty coal town in the heart of the mined-out coal fields…” I also bristle when, because the wire service has lifted the piece from the Philadelphia Inquirer, the location is identified as, “…100 miles north of Philadelphia…”, never as in northeastern Pennsylvania or “…30 miles southwest of Scranton…”.
I also have a problem with reporters writing, what I call, creative journalism stories. “Tears welled up in the eyes of Laura Schmutzer, as she picked up the limp and lifeless body of her pet Shih Tzu.” or “Larry Lumper coughed as acrid fumes seared his lungs as he attempted to save his beloved 1942 robin’s egg blue, six-passenger Chrysler Imperial with Corinthian leather seats from the burning building.” Some of them should be considered for the Edward Bulwer-Lytton award.

Recommended Web site: See where Americans are moving, including information on York County.
Recommended blog post: See what this is about, by Universal York’s June Lloyd: Philadelphia Merchant Offers 25,000 Lbs. of Feathers.
Recommended forum, The Exchange: Now that two parcels believed to cover the site of Camp Security are for sale, people are discussing: Do you have a better idea for saving Camp Security?