Thursday’s news items, part 2 [Veterans; what will news look like?; the underground railroad & more] – 2/13/2020

Attention: veterans and family members | “Pennsylvania offers its veterans six extended care facilities throughout the state and the level of care provided includes personal and skilled nursing care. These facilities offer qualified veterans and their spouses dedicated, superior care.”

Volunteer Drivers Needed For Local Veterans | Lancaster County Department of Veteran Affairs is looking for volunteer drivers to take veterans from Lancaster county to the Lebanon VA Medical Center. For more information please contact Jodi C. Barone, Veterans Service Officer (VSO) at 717-299-7920.”

“But what law is any good if it’s not enforced?” | This is a oft-asked question at local level government. In this scenario, it’s taken from a letter-to-the-editor in today’s LNP – Always Lancaster. The writer notes the number of vehicles seen driving without headlights despite the state’s “Headlights on if the wiper is on” law and wonders why there’s no enforcement. At a recent council meeting, Council President Heather Zink asked that same question about Columbia’s laws, codes, ordinances.

Another writer questions | “What are developers doing? | Why are new hotels planned for Lincoln Highway East when it was reported in the Feb. 4 LNP | LancasterOnline (“Tough year for hotel industry”) that the hotel usage rate is in decline? Are these the same developers who continue to build shopping centers when existing centers are becoming vacant?” – John Wise, West Lampeter Township

From the April 27, 1853 issue of the Columbia Spy.

Without newspapers … | Where will the news come from? Government? Social media? Gulp.

Return to yesteryear? | Maybe, just maybe, newspaper models will “slowly travel back in time to recover the subscription-first model that dominated the industry before the 1830s.” – The Atlantic


Did Harriet Tubman stay in York County? | “I had crossed the line. I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land; and my home after all, was down in Maryland; because my father, my mother, my brothers, and sisters, and friends were there. But I was free, and they should be free.” During Harriet Tubman’s dozen or more crossings from the northern states to Maryland, “Some accounts say she twice visited York County, Pa.”

Underground railroad vignettes | about Columbia

  • William Goodridge was a free black who worked for the Underground in York, Pennsylvania. He was a successful merchant and businessman whose home was adjacent to a real railroad line in York City. Goodrich usually sent fugitives straight through to his contacts in Columbia, ensuring that notification that they were coming arrived in advance of their actual arrival.
  • Stephen Smith was a black lumber merchant in Columbia, Pennsylvania who assisted the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee in helping fugitive slaves escape. Smith and his cohort William Whipper owned a box car with a false end in which fugitives could hide safely even as the train carried them to freedom. Smith and Whipper also frequently employed their teamsters to drive fugitives, via turnpike, to freedom in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh.
  • William Whipper was a conductor and merchant in Columbia, Pennsylvania who partnered with Stephen Smith to speed the escape of fugitives by concealing them in hidden freight car compartments. Certainly, the railcar expedited fugitive flight, which used to go mostly by foot. Whipper was also an important national figure in the abolitionist movement.
  • William Wright was a Pennsylvania Quaker who is considered the impetus behind the organization of the Underground Railroad in Lancaster County. His home in Lancaster County, Columbia served as a temporary sanctuary for freed and fugitive slaves.

“In April 1858 | Tubman was introduced to the abolitionist John Brown.” 



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