Born into enslavement in 1805, William C. Goodridge was sent to York at age six to apprentice as a tanner. At age 16 he was given his freedom. Goodridge left York and was trained as a barber. He returned to York in the 1820s. After opening a barbershop on Centre Square, Goodridge rose to prominence as one of York’s most successful businessmen. He expanded his store to include imported toys, candies, perfumes, hair remedies, and much more. He also became a property owner and developer, constructing York’s first 4.5 story building and owning up to twenty properties at one time. Goodridge began the Reliance Line of railcars, eventually providing service between York and Philadelphia. In addition to his business ventures, he also became prominent on the Underground Railroad. His properties, including his house as well as Centre Hall on the Square, served as stations. Freedom seekers were hidden in the root cellar of this home, which was accessible via a hidden door in the kitchen floor. The Goodridge railcars were also used to transport freedom seekers to safety. Goodridge was a notable York resident until the mid-1860s, when he left to join family members in Minnesota and thereafter Michigan.
Kelly Summerford, who portrays William C. Goodridge, will narrate on the train and give the riders a first hand account of the experiences he went through being a prominent business owner during that time period.
Outside your window is the beautiful York County Heritage Rail Trail, while you enjoy this one-hour ride to Glen Rock, PA. We will take you back in time to the 1860s, when President Lincoln rode the same line on his way to Gettysburg to deliver his now-famous Gettysburg Address. ALL ABOARD!
The cars are pulled and pushed by the steam locomotive.
This excursion is one hour.
Tickets will be available to be picked up at the ticket booth in the back of the gift shop on the day of the trip.