York Town Square

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York County boasts of agricultural prowess

The burning of a York County barn scheduled to be part of an agricultural museum might slow down the heritage project. http://www.ydr.com/history/
But it gives good reason to ruminate a bit on the county’s vaunted agricultural past.
Throughout York County’s history, its farmland has been among the most productive in the nation. For example, York has been among the country’s 100 leading counties in value of farm products sold and remains near the top in Pennsylvania in number of farms.
When did agriculture officially lose the majority in York County? …

In about 1983, more county land was used for purposes other than farming for the first time. Just seven years before, 57 percent of the county’s land was used for farming. In 1987, 47 percent was in agricultural use. The “break-even” year, thus, came about 1983.
An agricultural heritage brings with it a bunch of farm yarns.
Take the 19-century story of Shrewsbury-area farmer John Dutte’s visit to Baltimore with a fine team of horses and a covered wagon containing more than 1,000 pounds of flower.
He left his team to visit a pub, and when he came out his horses and wagon were gone.
Later that day, police discovered the wagon.
The horses were walking up the street, sans driver.
Nothing was lost.
“The owner will doubtless profit by this piece of experience,” a newspaper reported.