“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Wrightsville in York County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)


Wrightsville Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Beverly Pfingsten, January 26, 2008
1. Wrightsville Marker
Inscription.  Gateway to the West - Wrightsville was settled in the 1720s by Quakers, including the John Wright family. Wright established a ferry and Wrightsville became a major point of crossing the Susquehanna River by pioneers traveling west. In 1811 Jacob Kline laid out the original 101 lots. The following year 96 lots known as "Westphalia" were laid out by Susannah Wright Houston. By 1814 the first wooden covered bridge was completed. Wrightsville and "Westphalia" joined to form Wrightsville Boro in 1834.

With the advent of railroads and The Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal in the 1840s, Wrightsville's growth continued. Industries began to flourish. Quarries supplied stone for building and for making lime. Brickyards, lumberyards, sawmills, iron foundries, cigar factories, a silk mill and sewing factories provided employment. Several operated well into the 20th century.

Wrightsville [sketch]
Wrightsville Hardware Company
Lancaster Company Billmyer & Small
Susquehanna & Tidewater Canal
Public School
Fire House Building
Kerr Bros. Snow Flake Lime Quarry
York County Pennsylvania.

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the mid 19th century, slaves on the Underground Railroad reached freedom as they passed thru Wrightsville. On June 28, 1863, a Civil War skirmish between Confederate and Union forces culminated with the destruction, by fire, of the world's longest covered bridge forcing the Confederates westward into the fateful battles at Gettysburg.

While Wrightsville no longer has railroads, trolleys, ferry boats and canal boats, the Wright's Ferry Bridge (Rt. 30) and Veteran's Memorial Bridge (Rt. 462) continue to make Wrightsville a busy east/west crossing of the Susquehanna River.

Iron Bridge [arrow points to photo which includes it]
Wrightsville ca. 1930 -- Courtesy Historic Wrightsville, Inc.

The Wrightsville entrance to Veteran's Memorial Bridge showing toll booths. Dedicated on November 11, 1930, tolls were collected until midnight January 31, 1943 when the bridge became debt free. When completed, this span was the world's longest multiple-arch reinforced concrete highway bridge.

The iron bridge in the background was built in about 21 working days in 1897. It became part of the Lincoln Highway in 1913 and was dismantled in 1963-1964.

In the center of the photo is a local landmark -- Hotel Wilson. The large three-story building, which housed bridge workers, was torn down circa 1933.

Wrightsville ca. 1900 -- Courtesy
Wrightsville Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Carl Gordon Moore Jr., April 5, 2021
2. Wrightsville Marker
The "Civil War Trails" text and emblem are missing, but "Eater Family Foundation" is found near bottom.
Historic Wrightsville, Inc.

Courtesy Historic Wrightsville, Inc.
Cannons on Fourth Street, Wrightsville, Pa.
These were the original cannons placed at Constitution Square on July 4, 1900. They commemorate Wrightsville as the farthest point east that Confederate Troops advanced during the Civil War -- June 28, 1863.

Area map showing Columbia, Marietta and Wrightsville. The red dot indicates the approximate location of this panel.

Map: Copyright 1964-2004 Microsoft Corp. and/or its suppliers. All rights reserved.

Rivertownes PA USA

The Rivertownes PA USA interpretive panels are made possible through a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
Civil War Trails

Experience America's towns & countryside through our eyes. TM
Susquehanna Heritage
Erected by Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraNotable Places. In addition, it is included in the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1811.
Location. 40° 1.535′ N, 76° 31.751′ W. Marker is in Wrightsville, Pennsylvania, in York County. Marker is at the intersection of Lincoln Highway (Pennsylvania
Wrightsville Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, March 27, 2010
3. Wrightsville Marker
Behind the marker are two World War II-era field pieces on the grounds of the American Legion. The guns are 57-mm anti-tank guns.
Route 462) and Hellam Street, on the right when traveling east on Lincoln Highway. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Wrightsville PA 17368, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. American Legion Monument (a few steps from this marker); Gettysburg Campaign (a few steps from this marker); The Old Post Office Building (within shouting distance of this marker); The Union Cemetery (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Veterans Memorial Bridge (about 500 feet away); Susquehanna Canal (about 700 feet away); Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ham, Eggs, and Confederates (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wrightsville.
Also see . . .
1. Wrightsville Facts and Figures from Wikipedia. (Submitted on January 30, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
2. Welcome to Wrightsville Borough. Official Website (Submitted on July 21, 2011, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.) 
Additional commentary.
1. Wrightsville
This marker incorrectly states that Jacob Kline laid out original lots in Wrightsville. — Lisa Burk, Historic Wrightsville Inc.
    — Submitted April 10, 2021, by Lisa Young Burk of York, Pennsylvania.
Diorama - Burning of the Bridge June 28, 1863 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Beverly Pfingsten, January 26, 2008
4. Diorama - Burning of the Bridge June 28, 1863
Museum building is located on Hellam Street. It is open Sundays and on other special occasions.
John Wright, Jr. Tavern image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dianne Bowders, August 2, 2007
5. John Wright, Jr. Tavern
Wrightsville, Veterans Memorial Bridge image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dianne Bowders, February 7, 2008
6. Wrightsville, Veterans Memorial Bridge
This continuous arch cement bridge once held the honor for being the longest of its kind.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 20, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 29, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,759 times since then and 81 times this year. Last updated on April 18, 2021, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos:   1. submitted on January 29, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   2. submitted on April 10, 2021, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland.   3. submitted on June 12, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   4. submitted on January 29, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   5, 6. submitted on February 25, 2010, by Dianne Bowders of York, PA. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 14, 2024