York Town Square

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York County: It’s shaped like a horse’s ….

This map showing the early stages of the Confederate invasion in June 1863 also shows the roughly triangular shape of York County. In the next five days, the Confederates crossing all of York County except for the southeastern angle – the Delta-Peach Bottom area. (See additional image below.) Background posts: Rebs’ short visit creates long memories, A square courthouse in the middle of York’s Centre Square, 20 questions and answers prove your York smarts.

The Yellow Breeches Creek carves a ragged northwest border for York County. And Beaver Creek forms part of its western border. The Susquehanna River creates the eastern border and the legendary Mason-Dixon Line its southern.
So, what shape is York County as a result of these geographical influences?
My shorthand version is to call it triangular. In times when its decision-makers have been less than astute, I’ve also called it triangular with the northern part, its head, sleepily nodding off… .

Jere Sechrist and his mother, Esther, pose in front of a historical map of York County in 2004. The Sechrists found the map in an attic, and it’s now on display at the Southern York County Library. Notice that the county has a rough triangular shape.
It’s interesting that if one buys the triangular notion, that the market center of York is suitably located somewhere near its center, actually a little south of center.
But a recent conversation among several students of York County history revealed a different description of the county’s shape.
It’s like a horse’s hoof. The horseshoe sits on the Mason-Dixon Line.
Then someone suggested the county resembles another part of the horse’s anatomy.
Look at the map and you’ll see it looks like a horse sitting down, the Yellow Breeches forming its head and the Mason-Dixon Line its seat.