York Town Square

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York, Pa., hardly a hardscrabble river town?

A Hollywood.com story has referred to actor Craig Sheffer as coming from a Pennsylvania steel town. (See more about Sheffer at: Prominent actor Craig Sheffer hails from overlooked Windsor Park .

That brings to mind the various ways outside media have referred to York over the years. One adjective often associated with the town and county is “hardscrabble,” meaning barren or producing only a small amount.

That doesn’t work… .

York County has been among the top 50 counties nationally in agricultural output for most of its history, and its manufacturing production has been known for decades. The York Plan served as a national model to enhance industrial output during World War II.
Outside media also have called York a “red-brick, Mason-Dixon-line factory town” and a “hard-knock river town.”
The river town label is almost as curious as hardscrabble, particularly so because York is 12 miles from a river. As someone wrote years ago, that descriptor is extremely generous to the Codorus Creek, York’s main waterway.
For those who have never seen the county, bucolic images from the films “Gettysburg” and “Witness” — filmed in sister counties Adams and Lancaster, respectively — also aptly show York County.
And York City holds up pretty well against fellow cities Lancaster and Harrisburg. So much for hardscrabble.