Recently, a project at my real job took me to York, Pennsylvania, and when I finished my task, I had a about 90 to spare before I wanted to get on the road to home. Since it was rainy, I opted to indoor exploring and made my way to the York County History Center in historic downtown.
The history center includes a variety of diverse exhibits, including a feature of the women’s suffrage movement and a timeline of Black History through the county’s decades. The main collections on display are an impressive set of artifacts from many different eras of the past. The household items from the 18th and 19th century are of particular interest to Civil War enthusiasts since this is exactly what would’ve been in the homes of soldiers from this region and also what the Confederates found in the houses when they made their way through the county. One area of the museum is designed like a village street, including a real log cabin from the early 19th century, shopkeepers’ signs, and plenty of artifacts visible through the windows.
One of the original stone markers for the Mason-Dixon line border is one display, too.
Two museum galleries were under renovation when I visited, and I suspect that some of the artifacts with direct Civil War ties might have been behind the barriers. A good reason to visit again!
The price of admission includes visits to the History Center, Colonial Complex, and Agricultural and Industrial Museum. Unfortunately, I was not able to tour the other sites, but based on the experience at history center, I would definitely recommend checking out all three sites.
For researchers… the library and archive room at the history center looks outstanding, and I’m sure there are many unpublished primary sources waiting to be read.
I do have plans to return to York, Pennsylvania and do some Civil War specific touring. Not sure exactly WHEN that will happen, but I did purchase some small, local guidebooks to help preparation!
York County History Center
250 E Market St, York, PA 17403
For more information, please visit: https://www.yorkhistorycenter.org/