Revolutionary Walking Tour
Imagine that you are an inmate being brought into justice for a petty crime that you have committed against the county of York. You are lined up with several other hard-looking men who have been sentenced to time in prison for murder, corruption, and contempt. As you take in your surroundings, you notice the building made of stone in front of you. The building looks as if it is just a regular house that someone is going to come out and welcome you inside, but it has a feeling of foreboding surrounding it. In a raspy deep voice, one of the guards yells “We are here.” The cozy looking two story stone house, which you have presumed it to be, is not so hospitable, it is the first York County Prison. The prison might be remembered as a welcoming house to all, but the prison only welcomes those who have disobeyed the law. Even though in present day, the prison may no longer be standing, it has much history in how it contributed to the community of York. The York County Jail has affected the community through detaining prisoners, keeping the law, and isolating the prisoners in a facility that is separated from the general public. The First York County Jail was built in the year 1755. The building was exceedingly small and contained two large rooms to hold prisoners. There were no individual cells. There were many windows that had bars on them to keep the inmates from escaping. An addition was added in the early 1800s. By 1854, the building had deteriorated so much that it was torn down in 1854.
Built in 1976, this building is a replica of York's provincial courthouse. The original was located in the center of York's town square from 1754-1841. Continental Congress convened in York from September 30, 1777 to June 27, 1778, running the affairs of the American Revolution and adopting the Articles of Confederation.