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
[Photo captions, from left to right, read]:
Photograph of William Goodridge's business - building on left.
William C. Goodridge
Inset of map of downtown York showing Goodridge's property on the Square in the lower left side
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.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans • Industry & Commerce. In addition, it is included in the Pennsylvania Civil War Trails series list.
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. Touch for directions.
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
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.)
Credits. This page was last revised on January 1, 2017. It was originally submitted on January 1, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 253 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 1, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.