An 1830 Conestoga wagon travels through York to its new home at the York History Center from the Ag Museum


The Conestoga wagon, built around 1830, moved south on Pershing Street in York on Thursday, February 8 on its way to the New York County History Center, leaving the Agricultural and Industrial Museum.

The Conestoga “was the freight truck of the early 1800s,” Dan Fink, the center’s vice president of marketing and public relations, said during the move.

The Conestoga Trolley passes the Golden Plow Tavern at Market and Pershing.

The Conestoga Trolley passes the Golden Plow Tavern at Market and Pershing.

This wagon was owned by the Greist family of York Springs and was manufactured in Lancaster County. It was later acquired by Mahlon Hines, famous for the shoes, who used it to carry people in it. In the late 1950s, Haines donated it to what is now the York County History Center, Fink said.

Once dressed in brighter blues and reds, Conestogas like this one carried goods from Philadelphia, Baltimore, and throughout York County. They were pulled by six horses until rail transport became the preferred long-distance carrier in the 19th century. Its curved shape is designed to keep the barrels in and centered, Fink added. They were not designed to transport people as they serve the purpose of a trailer on a modern range of tractors and trailers.

Using four dollies for the roll and a forklift for the elevation, Kinsley builders used a steel brace under the axles so the nearly two-century-old mechanical parts wouldn’t roll off the car.

The complete unit was moved along Pershing Street by flatbed trailer pulled by a pickup truck to the new location where the process was reversed.

The new 52,000-square-foot museum in the former Met-Ed steam station will open to the public in the summer of 2024. The History Center has been moved from its current home on East Market Street, where it has been since 1955. The exhibits will be integrated into The new building has multiple locations.

More inside: York County History Center where construction begins in summer 2023.

This article originally appeared in the York Daily Record: A two-century-old Conestoga Wagon is traveling through York, Pennsylvania, to its new home

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