Springettsbury Township now owns site of British POW camp

Written by The Associated Press | Dec 6, 2013 1:43 PM
Revolutionary War.jpg

(Harrisburg) -- The new owner of a 47-acre parcel where the young American government held British prisoners during the 18th century Revolutionary War is now Springettsbury Township.

The York County community has received the deed from the Conservation Fund to the land that once held Camp Security.

“Springettsbury Township is proud to have been a leading partner in the process of preserving this property for community use and allowing it to remain as open space.  We look forward to working with all of our partners and citizens in continuing the preservation efforts for this historic property” says John Holman, Springettsbury Township Manager.

Plans include preservation, archaeological research and public parkland.

 “After more than a decade of effort, Friends of Camp Security is thrilled to see the preservation of this important historic site come to fruition. We are proud to contribute to this purchase the many donations from our York County members and from people across the United States who gave to support the vital task of preserving our nation's history,” said Carol Tanzola, President of the Friends of Camp Security.  “We are committed to continue working with Springettsbury Township to insure that the interpretation of the site goes on until its place in the early history of the USA is clearly established and commemorated.”

The prison operated during the waning years of the revolution, with the first prisoners arriving in 1781.

The camp shut down about two years later. “We are delighted to complete the transfer of this historic property to the Township and secure one of only a few Revolutionary War POW camp sites not lost to development,” said Todd McNew, Pennsylvania State Director of The Conservation Fund.  “This completes a four-year, multi-phase project that has preserved what remains of one of our nation’s important historic assets, while providing much needed recreation space in what has been a fast-growing portion of York County.”

“The preservation of this historic property is a testament to the results of hard work, commitment and teamwork,” says York County Commissioner Doug Hoke. “This accomplishment stands to benefit not only York County, but the entire nation, through the preservation of a piece of our collective history.”

A 1979 study of the property found numerous artifacts that confirmed stories about where the camp was located.

Experts say the soil probably contains many other items that will reveal more about what occurred there.

The farm property will be turned into grassland next year.

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