Newberry Township, Pennsylvania

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Newberry Township is a township in York County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 14,332 at the 2000 census.

Contents

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 30.7 square miles (79.6 km²), of which, 30.4 square miles (78.8 km²) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.7 km²) of it (0.91%) is water.

History

Prior to the coming of the first settlers in 1736, Newberry Township was inhabited by the Susquehannock Indians. Before 1736, all settlement was kept east of the Susquehanna River, but the Indian Treaty of 1736 extended Lancaster County’s boundary westward indefinitely. Quaker families from Lancaster and Chester Counties immediately set out across the Susquehanna to find new land. These settlers utilized the Middletown Ferry to access the west bank of the River, and once they reached what is now Newberry Township, settled throughout the Fishing Creek and Bennett’s Run Valleys. Newberry Township was organized in 1742 and included what is now Fairview Township.

Prior to the start of the Revolutionary War, the early Quaker settlers became dissatisfied with the quality of the farmland within Newberry Township and began moving out of the Township. German families from central York County, and Berks and Lancaster Counties, soon arrived to take over the vacant farmland.

By the late 18th century, several towns had sprung up throughout the Township. Both Lewisberry and Newberrytown were early Quaker settlements. Newberrytown began as a 42-acre (170,000 m2) tract of Quaker meeting land, with a log meetinghouse built in 1745. Later, a new meetinghouse was built halfway between Lewisberry and the Newberrytown meeting land; and the tract was developed as a town in 1791. Newberrytown was situated on the road from Lancaster to Carlisle (which crossed the Susquehanna River at the York Haven Ferry) and became an important stopping place along the way. Lewisberry was also surveyed and platted in the 1790s. Its stores became busy and prosperous. Schools were operated in both communities.

Early settlers were also attracted to the vicinity of Yocumtown because of the water power of Fishing Creek. Along its banks they built fulling mills that carded wool for area farmers, woolen cloth mills, and grist mills. By the mid-1820s, the village of Yocumtown had established itself with a log schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, and a tannery.

Goldboro and York Haven prospered due to their location on the Susquehanna River and adjoining canal route. A ferry was also established at the site of Goldsboro in 1738. Both Goldsboro and the village of Cly were located along the important stagecoach route between York and Harrisburg, where a turnpike was completed between the two towns in 1816. The railroad, built in the late 1830s, also ran through Goldsboro. However, the village remained small through the first half of the 19th century.

York Haven, also a ferry point, began as a flour milling town. In 1814, the York Haven Company, which built four large mills, prepared the town plan. Large hotels, dry goods and hardware stores, copper shops that manufactured flour barrels, and a sawmill all became part of the town’s healthy economy. Large keel boats of wheat were brought down the River to the mills in York Haven, then the flour was sent by wagon or canal to Baltimore. The town became a popular resort, with city boarders in the summer and gambling at the hotel. Early prosperity began to decline during the 1830s, when the Codorus Canal was completed into the town of York, luring business away from York Haven. The flour mills closed down but were later replaced with a paper mill.

In 1803, Fairview Township was formed from the northern half of the original Newberry Township. Lewisberry incorporated as a separate borough in 1832, as did Goldsboro in 1864 and York Haven in 1892. With these losses of population and area, Newberry Township reached the beginning of the 20th century with a population of just over 2,000 (only 296 more people than in 1783).

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