The River: a Corridor and a Barrier

The River: a Corridor and a Barrier (HML9T)

Location: Wrightsville, PA 17368 York County
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Country: United States of America
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N 40° 1.72', W 76° 31.689'

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Inscription

Lancaster-York Heritage Region

— Susquehanna River Water Trail —

Although the Susquehanna has long been a north-south transportation corridor, it was an impediment to east-west traffic. As early as the seventeenth century,ferries emerged at various points along the river to overcome this barrier. John Wright, an enterprising Quaker, began operating a ferry in this area in 1730.

During the Revolutionary War, Patriot forces put this east-west barrier to good use. With British troops occupying Philadelphia in late 1777, the Continental Congress retreated westward, crossed the Susquehanna on Wright's Ferry, and established a capital in nearby York City for nine months. The river helped protect the fledgling American government from hostile British troops.

In 1814, the first bridge connecting Wrightsville and Columbia was completed. It was the longest covered bridge in the world (5,690 feet). Since then, five additional bridges have spanned the Susquehanna at this site. Of the six, two were destroyed by natural forces, and one was burned in 1863 by Union militiamen and townspeople to prevent Confederate forces from invading Lancaster County and reaching Harrisburg.

In the decades before the Civil War, the Susquehanna served as a south-north escape route for fugitive slaves who traveled the clandestine Underground Railroad in their quest for freedom.
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HM NumberHML9T
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Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, October 4th, 2014 at 6:50pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 369609 N 4432057
Decimal Degrees40.02866667, -76.52815000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 1.72', W 76° 31.689'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 1' 43.20" N, 76° 31' 41.34" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)717
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 114 Walnut St, Wrightsville PA 17368, US
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