“In September of 1733, the Lutherans took steps for the organization of a congregation, the first one of this denomination west of the Susquehanna,” wrote historian George Powell in Gibson’s 1886 History of York County. York City, Pennsylvania history began sometime before 1741 when two surveyors laid out a town on the banks of the Codorus Creek That town would become York. Baltzer Spengler and Ulrich Whisler are given credit for forming the first town west of the Susquehanna River. Both were surveyors with the William Penn family, the family that gave the state its name. “In 1744 the first log church was built in York, on the spot where the Christ Church stands.” The first roads constructed in 1739, was an old Indian trail from Wrightsville to Maryland and Virginia was called the Monocacy Road. It was the first road laid out in the present limits of York County, according to Gibson. The Quakers of Warrington and Newberry were responsible for the first road from the north into York. By 1777, most of the area residents were of either German or Scot-Irish descent.
In September of 1777 the Continental Congress, under threat of the advancing British, moved the location of the colonies’ central government from Philadelphia to Lancaster. Since the State of Pennsylvania’s Government was also located in Lancaster, officials decided that a move across the Susquehanna would separate the two sufficiently and the Continental Congress set up shop in the Town of York. It was in York that the Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, proclaimed the first National Day of Thanksgiving, and signed the French Treaty of Alliance. All of these events occurred in the nine months York remained Capital of the United States – until June 27, 1778. That is where The City of York made history for the United States.
The city has been called an “architectural museum,” because the downtown features numerous well-preserved historic structures, such as the 1741 Golden Plough Tavern, the 1751 General Horatio Gates House, and the 1766 York Meetinghouse.
Unlike most of Pennsylvania, York has a humid subtropical climate, it is located in the northernmost periphery of the classification zone. It is characterized by warm to hot, humid summers and moderately cold winters.
My 5x Great Grandfather, Martin Finter, was born in York on February 10, 1740. His parents had immigrated to York from Baden, Germany. He married Elizabeth Rothgab in 1770. The newlyweds moved to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and had one daughter. Martin served one year in the Virginia Militia in the Revolutionary War. Martin died in 1833 at the age of 93.
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