In the southernmost portion of York County, just north of the Maryland border, you’ll find a small Pennsylvania town that’s packed with history. Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, is a city of just about 2,000 people that makes a wonderful place to live, one that holds many stories and a rich history. Here’s a look at the history of Stewartstown, Pennsylvania.
The Surveying of the Mason-Dixon Line
Lord Baltimore chartered the Maryland colony in 1632. William Penn chartered the Pennsylvania colony in 1681. As you can imagine, America was a vast and unsettled wilderness in those days. For that reason, the borders of each colony weren’t particularly well defined. As these colonies grew, border disputes occasionally emerged, too.
York County’s southern half was part of a dispute between the Maryland and Pennsylvania colonies. By the 1700s, both claimed it as their own. Settlers arrived in modern-day Stewartstown in about 1750 at a time when both Maryland and Pennsylvania considered the area their own territory. Only the work of Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon settled the dispute. In 1767, the two surveyors’ eponymous line determined that all of York County belonged to Pennsylvania.
Naming a Town
By the time of the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War, a road had developed between York and Baltimore. Along that road developed a number of establishments, including a small settlement that at first was known as Meadstown — after Benjamin Mead, who owned the local tavern and store. The settlement also included Anthony Stewart’s furniture and wheel workshop.
Meadstown soon became known as Mechanicsburg due to the many tradesmen who lived in the settlement. By 1828, the settlement had its own post office, and Anthony Stewart became the postmaster. However, because Pennsylvania already had a town called Mechanicsburg, this settlement needed a new name. On March 24, 1832, the town officially became known as Stewartstown.
The Railroad Arrives in Stewartstown
Later in the 19th century, the railroad became an important part of Stewartstown and its identity. In fact, the Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, railroad station — as well as the Stewartstown Engine House — are now listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Life in Stewartstown
Because of its geography and attractive location between York and Baltimore, Stewartstown is a great place to work and live. Are you interested in life in Stewartstown? This small town with a rich history offers a slower pace of life in an idyllic setting.
At CENTURY 21 Core Partners we work in communities throughout York County, helping our clients buy and sell homes. You won’t find a real estate agency with a better understanding and knowledge of Stewartstown and all it has to offer. If you’re interested in life in Stewartstown, let us provide expert real estate guidance.