In the 1720s, the area now known as Long Level was the center of a bitter boundary dispute between Pennsylvania and Maryland.Now a marker in honor of one
In the 1720s, the area now known as Long Level was the center of a bitter boundary dispute between Pennsylvania and Maryland. Now a marker in honor of one of the dispute's participants has been moved to a more historically accurate spot — the John & Kathryn Zimmerman Center for Heritage at 1706 Long Level Road in Lower Windsor Township. April 2, 2014. Bil Bowden photos

The area now known as Long Level was once the center of a bitter boundary dispute between Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Now, a marker in honor of one of the dispute's participants has been moved to a more historically accurate spot — the John & Kathryn Zimmerman Center for Heritage at 1706 Long Level Road in Lower Windsor Township.

The center received the stone and bronze marker recognizing Capt. Thomas Cresap, who clashed with Pennsylvanians after settling in the now Long Level area in 1729 as guardian of Maryland's interest in the territory, said Betsy Buckingham, development and outreach director with Susquehanna Gateway Heritage Area, based at the center.

At the time, the area was known as Pleasant Garden and Cresap's Fort.

While Cresap might not have been popular with Pennsylvanians in his time, he is still part of the state's early settlement history and a part of Long Level's history, Buckingham said.

Marker details: Cresap's marker is more than eight feet tall and weighs about 5 tons, Buckingham said. In 1924, it was installed at the intersection of Long Level and Bank Hill roads — about a half mile north of the center — by the then-Pennsylvania Historical Commission and the Historical Society of York County.

Recent historical research revealed Cresap settled on or near where the Zimmerman Center is situated, she said.

The marker was moved last month and placed adjacent to the historic Dritt Mansion at the center by Kingsley Construction, which donated equipment and labor, Buckingham said.


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"This is just one more piece of history associated with the center's property," Buckingham said. "The importance of moving (the marker) here is having it in a spot that is historically accurate and (making) it much more accessible to the public."

Cresap history: During the 18th century, the area was the topic of a dispute between William Penn, who founded Pennsylvania, and Lord Baltimore. Cresap, the lord's agent, stayed in the area for close to seven years, clashing with local residents and authorities who claimed the area belonged to Pennsylvania.

Cresap, who also ran the Blew Rock Ferry while in Long Level, left the area in 1736, after he was burned out of his log house and taken prisoner to Philadelphia, according to the historical marker.

He moved his family to western Maryland, Buckingham said.

He also is known as the founder of Oldtown, Md.; Maryland also has a historical marker for Cresap, she said.

To relocate Cresap's marker in Long Level, Susquehanna Gateway also worked with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Buckingham said.

Center project: The marker adds another feature to Susquehanna Gateway's $1.5 million enhancement project at Zimmerman Center, positioned between the Susquehanna River and the 187-acre Native Lands County Park.

The project includes a new parking lot, the addition of a riverside pavilion, and better access to the center area and to the adjacent Native Lands County Park, especially for people with disabilities.

The pavilion and walkways are near completion, while work on the parking lot is in the beginning stage. The project is scheduled for completion in June, Buckingham said.

—Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmillan@yorkdispatch.com.