Treason. Town erasing ice jam. History altering fire. 1,000-year-old rock art. Headline news in most places but just another day on the Susquehanna. Join me on September 1 at 7 pm at the York County History Center as I share some of my favorite stories involving the world’s oldest river. Here are some highlights.
TOWN ERASING ICE JAM
Learn about the brutally cold winter of 1904 that froze the Susquehanna solid in two-foot thick ice. When the enormous ice sheet started to break up in March, it became snagged on the landscape, instantly damming the river. In some places, the river level rose 10 feet in five minutes. The ice and water destroyed the York Haven power plant and a paper mill. It also erased the town of Collins near Falmouth from the map.
HISTORY ALTERING FIRE
Discover how an often overlooked bridge fire on June 28, 1863, changed the course of the Civil War. On that day, Union forces burned the Wrightsville Bridge to stop the advancing Confederate Army. Rebel forces had planned to take the state capital, Harrisburg, and possibly even Philadelphia. This action saved undoubtedly saved Lancaster County and set the stage for the three-day Battle of Gettysburg, which was the high water mark for the South.
1,000-YEAR-OLD ROCK ART
The main focus of my presentation will be the 1,000-year-old petroglyphs of Little Indian Rock and Big Indian Rock. Located a half mile downstream from Safe Harbor, they are one of Pennsylvania’s most significant archaeological sites.
These two boulders represent one of the two largest remaining concentrations of rock art in the northeast United States. Furthermore, Little Indian Rock has arguably the best panels of petroglyphs east of the Mississippi. Accessible only by water, they depict animal tracks, human figures, and mystical thunderbirds.
YORK COUNTY WRITERS’ ROUNDTABLE EVENT DESCRIPTION
The mile-wide Susquehanna River has done more than carve out a significant boundary for York and Lancaster counties. It has unduly separated the histories of these two early Pennsylvania counties – lands that share a story that goes back centuries. In recent years, historians from both counties have been crossing over the Susquehanna to explore common ground. Lancaster County’s Adam Zurn, founder of Uncharted Lancaster, is one of those researchers, and he will present at the York County Writers Roundtable about obscure and well-known stories that York and Lancaster share.
He will present at the York County Writers Roundtable at 7 pm Thursday, September 1, at the York County History Center, 250 E. Market Street. His presentation is free and open to the public and will be streamed on the York County History Center’s Facebook page.
WHERE TO GO
York County History Center at 250 E Market St, York, PA 17403.