William C. Goodridge
Born into slavery in 1805, William C. Goodridge was sent to York at age six to apprentice as a tanner. At age 16, Goodridge was given his freedom, left York and was trained as a barber. He returned to York in the 1820s. After opening a barber shop on Centre Square, Goodridge rose to prominence as one of York's most successful businessmen. He expanded his store to include imported toys, candies, perfumes, hair remedies, and much more. He also became a property owner and developer, constructing York's first 4.5 story building and owning up to twelve properties at one time. Goodridge began the Reliance Line of railcars, eventually providing service between York and Philadelphia.
In addition to his business ventures, he also became prominent on the Underground Railroad. His properties, including this house as well as Centre Hall on the Square, served as stations. Runaway slaves were hidden in the root cellar of this home, which was accessible via a hidden door in the kitchen floor. The Goodridge railcars were also used to transport runaway slaves to safety. Goodridge was a notable York resident until the mid-1860s, when he left to join family members in Minnesota and thereafter Michigan.
[Photo captions, from left to right, read]:
Photograph of William Goodridge's business - building on left.
William C. Goodridge
Ad advertisement for William Goodridge's building on Centre Square, York
[All images] Courtesy of the York County Heritage Trust
Erected by Pennsylvania Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Pennsylvania Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 57.879′ N, 76° 43.545′ W. Marker is in York, Pennsylvania, in York County. Marker is on Philadelphia Street (Pennsylvania Route 74/462) west of Howard Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 123 East Philadelphia Street, York PA 17401, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named William C. Goodridge (a few steps from this marker); 148 East Philadelphia Street (within shouting distance of this marker); The York Water Company (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); The First National Thanksgiving (about 700 feet away); "York House" (about 800 feet away); James Smith (about 800 feet away); "Men who don't often weep wept then" (about 800 feet away); The First Court House of York County (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in York.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . .
1. William Goodridge, Businessman, Abolitionist. (Submitted on January 1, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. William Goodridge. (Submitted on January 1, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. William C. Goodridge's story. (Submitted on January 1, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 1, 2017. This page originally submitted on January 1, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 176 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 1, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.