York City murals preserved through virtual exhibit

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
Cindy Edmonds of Dover walks past the "From Farm to Market" mural by artist Marion Kendall Stephenson on Beaver Street after meeting with friends in downtown York Monday, July 8, 2019. York County History Center recently launched an interactive virtual tour on its website featuring 35 historical York City murals. Bill Kalina photo

People can get up close and personal with York City's murals without leaving their homes.

The York County History Center recently launched an interactive virtual tour on its website featuring 35 historical York City murals. 

At www.yorkhistorycenter.org/york-pa-museums/murals-of-york, visitors can click through an interactive map of York City that shows the location of each mural, with a photo and detailed description that provides historical context for the piece.

The virtual exhibit was created to help preserve both the artistic and historic significance of each mural.

“It's our hope that as technology becomes more widely accessible, the York County History Center will continue to explore alternative methods to further advance and preserve the history of this community,” said Joan Mummert, the organization's president.

The Murals of York project was first launched in 1996 as an effort to generate tourism in York County. Each mural represents a different aspect of the county.

The fourth painting on the virtual tour, titled "William C. Goodridge," illustrates the story of Goodridge, who was born a slave and indentured to a York tanner.

After Goodridge was freed in 1822, he was trained as a barber and would later build York's first five-story building on Center Square, according to the virtual tour.

Another mural included in the tour, titled "Farm To Market," shows the open-air markets held twice a week for York County farmers to trade and sell items.

This painting, the 12th mural on the interactive tour, was painted by artist Marion Stephenson.

Hoping to further utilize technology for future projects, the York County History Center plans to create an interactive guide that will map out former buildings and industries that supported World War II efforts, dubbed the York Plan. 

“We are very excited to be able to preserve and share York County’s greatest histories and stories,” Mummert said. 

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.