Colonial Courthouse

York Colonial Courthouse • Order A Print

The original York County Courthouse was constructed in 1756 and stood in what is now known as Continental Square (then called "Centre Square"). It was renovated in 1815 and torn down in 1841. A "clone" of this building was brought to life in 1976 by the York County Bicentennial Commission, and now stands at the intersection of West Market Street and the Codorus Creek. During the American Revolution, the Second Continental Congress found haven in York (then known as York Town), escaping the British Troops marching on their home base in Philadelphia. While in York they debated and adopted the document which came to be known as The Articles of Confederation, marking the first time the original thirteen colonies formally came together under one central government. They also declared the first national Thanksgiving in celebration on a Colonial Army victory in Saratoga, New York.

Notable "residents" during this nine-month period included:

Thomas Paine (see Cookes House)
Horatio Gates (see Gates House)
John Hancock
Sameul Adams
John Adams
John Witherspoon
Phillip Livingston (died in York; buried in Prospect Hill Cemetery)
Henry Laurens

The original structure is of the Georgian Period and features a gable roof, cupola, end chimneys, symmetrical faηade, and dentil course.

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© 2002 by Scott D. Butcher

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