I recently —came into possession of a 1951 Safe Harbor/Holtwood’s visitor’s guide. Inside the brochure is a 16″x18″ detailed map of the lower Susquehanna with areas of historic interest highlighted. Being a firm believer that “information wants to be free,” I have transcribed the document’s text and scanned the images. Both are included below.
If you would prefer to read the brochure in its original form, here’s the PDF.
Visitors are Welcome at Holtwood & Safe Harbor
Two of America’s great hydroelectric developments harness the Susquehanna River as it flows between York and Lancaster Counties, Pa.
These hydroelectric plants, using the waters twice within eight miles, form one of the largest sources of business-managed hydroelectric power in the Eastern United States.
Visitors are welcome at the Safe Harbor and Holtwood plants, which are located on the Lancaster County side of the river. Each of these hydroelectric developments is accessible by good roads which present entrancing vistas of the river and its lakes. All are within a short distance of Lancaster, Columbia, York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Above the Safe Harbor dam is Lake Clarke. Here, covering ten square miles, the waters impounded by the Safe Harbor dam have created one of the largest bodies of water in Pennsylvania.
Framed by the high hills of the gorge through which the river passes on its way to the sea, the waters of Lake Clarke provide fine fishing and aquatic sports in a country of rare scenic beauty and historic interest. This lake may be viewed from the observation site which the Company has provided for public use at Safe Harbor or from motorboats, which may be hired at a reasonable cost in the Long Level area along the York County shore.
The Susquehanna, whose origin is Lake Otsego in New York, winds its way for 448 miles through Pennsylvania and Maryland to tidewater. This river drains a watershed of 27,500 square miles, the largest basin of any of the rivers of North America flowing into the Atlantic Ocean south of the St. Lawrence. In the river’s fall of 227 feet in the 43 miles from Columbia, Pa. to the Chesapeake Bay, the Susquehanna is dammed thrice for the operation of hydroelectric plants. These three tax-paying developments are engineering enterprises of the first magnitude. Besides the economic advantages derived from these developments, the damming of the river has created a new “lake country” between the Pennsylvania and Maryland hills that is of unsurpassed beauty and charm.
Below Safe Harbor for eight miles extends Lake Aldred, formed by the backwater behind the half-mile dam of the Pennsylvania Water & Power Company at Holtwood, Pa. This lake also provides rare scenery, fine fishing, and boating.
The hydroelectric developments at Safe Harbor and Holtwood are supplemented by the generation of electricity by steam. The steam-electric station adjoining the hydroelectric station at Holtwood burns “river coal,” anthracite dredged from the river bottom. The dredging of coal, which has been washed downstream by the river in its passage through the anthracite region, is a never-ending source of interest to visitors who witness the coordinated operation of hydro and steam generation of electricity from energy obtained from both water power and coal provided by the same river.
In 1916 the Companies began a program of reforestation, and since that time has planted approximately a million trees. Some of these plantings, which cover about acres, may be seen from the highways near Lake 600 Clarke and Lake Aldred. Visitors and fishermen are requested to exercise care to avoid damage to plantings by cutting, trampling, or fire.
Safe Harbor Hydroelectric Plant
The Safe Harbor Hydroelectric Plan was built after twenty years’ experience in the coordinated operation of the development of the Pennsylvania Water & Power Company at Holtwood with the steam stations of the Consolidated Gas Electric Light and Power Company of Baltimore. These Companies, which are shareholder-owned, business-managed, and tax-paying electric companies, own the Safe Harbor Water Power Corporation. The Holtwood and Safe Harbor plants are operated as a single development.
Over the regional high tension .transmission system of the Pennsylvania Water & Power Company, these large sources of electrical energy supply services to the public utilities which serve the Lancaster, York, and Coatesville areas in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Baltimore, Maryland, and surrounding territory. The system is interconnected with the utility supplying Washington, D. C., and environs.
Through interconnection, this regional transmission network links the Atlantic Seaboard power systems of the North with those of the South.
Electrical service is also supplied on a regional basis for the electrified lines of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
Indian Exploration at Safe Harbor
Prior to the flooding of the islands and shores of the Susquehanna behind the Safe Harbor Dam, an Indian Exploration was made. It was carried out by the Pennsylvania Historical Commission with the cooperation of the Safe Harbor Water Power Corporation.
Some 28,000 cataloged specimens were recovered. These relics of earlier civilizations have been preserved for future generations in the State Museum at Harrisburg. A few of the objects recovered are displayed in the hydroelectric plant at Safe Harbor.
The Lower Susquehanna’s Historic Region
The historic region in which are located the hydroelectric developments on the Lower Susquehanna. Numerous areas of historical interest are highlighted on the map. Click here for a full-size PDF for the 1951 map of the historic region surrounding the Lower Susquehanna.