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

Wildwood Lake Sanctuary

 
 
Wildwood Lake Sanctuary Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, April 12, 2008
1. Wildwood Lake Sanctuary Marker
Inscription. Here at the base of Blue Mountain and within the City of Harrisburg's northern tier lies the 212-acre Wildwood Lake Sanctuary, the last vestige and magnificent preserve of the Susquehanna flood-plain wetlands which at one time were common prior to the filling of land for the development of Harrisburg. As early as 1901, the emerging plans of Harrisburg's City Beautiful Movement called for the establishment of a great park at what had been traditionally known as Wetzel's Swamp, a park that would become a principal destination for hiking, outings and lake oriented water and boating activities. By 1904, the first in a series of land acquisitions was undertaken by the Harrisburg Park Commission, which would continue until 1913 when the entire Park was assembled. In 1908, noted landscape architect Warren Manning was retained to plan park improvement including the construction of a dam to raise a portion of the swamp's water level for recreational and boating use. hiking trails and boardwalks were created adding further dimension to the park, which also became popular for horseback riding and bird watching. By 1929, a zoo had been established featuring an assortment of animals including lions and elephants. Although the zoo closed during World War II and portions of the park were deeded for other uses, such as the campus of Pennsylvania's first
Portion of the Lake at the park entrance. image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, April 12, 2008
2. Portion of the Lake at the park entrance.
community college, Harrisburg Area Community College which opened in 1964, the preserve took on new life as furthered by the environmentally "green," $4.3 million Olewine Nature Center completed in 1999. Home of the Great Egret and a variety of heron as well as to such flora as water lilies and the American lotus, the Wildwood Lake Sanctuary has survived the pressure of surrounding development and beckons enthusiasts of nature and the outdoors as one of the most unique natural setting within any American City.
Top Photo
Boating activities at Wildwood Lake in 1915.
Bottom Photo
1915 postcard view of serene Wildwood Lake.

 
Erected by The Harrisburg History Project Commissioned by Mayor Stephen R. Reed.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Pennsylvania, The Harrisburg History Project marker series.
 
Location. 40° 18.404′ N, 76° 52.99′ W. Marker is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in Dauphin County. Marker can be reached from Wildwood Way near Industrial Road. Touch for map. Marker is inside the park near the Olewine Nature Center. Marker is in this post office area: Harrisburg PA 17110, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Wildwood Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); Harrisburg
Benjamin Olewine III, Nature Center image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, April 12, 2008
3. Benjamin Olewine III, Nature Center
(approx. 1.1 miles away); Italian Lake (approx. 1.4 miles away); Zembo Shrine Temple (approx. 1.4 miles away); Old Harrisburg Academy/Dixon University Center (approx. 1.5 miles away); Harrisburg State Hospital (approx. 1.5 miles away); Pennsylvania Farm Show (approx. 1.7 miles away); Camp Curtin (approx. 1.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harrisburg.
 
Categories. 20th CenturyEntertainmentEnvironmentMan-Made FeaturesNatural Features
 
Benjamin Olewine III, Nature Center image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, April 12, 2008
4. Benjamin Olewine III, Nature Center
One of many interpretative markers throughout the park. image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, April 12, 2008
5. One of many interpretative markers throughout the park.
Trailhead Map of Wildwood Sanctuary image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, April 12, 2008
6. Trailhead Map of Wildwood Sanctuary
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 14, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,213 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on April 14, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
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