The Seitzland Story

Seitzland Map (Old B&W) 2-1-17.jpg

Seitzland Village is located in Pennsylvania’s Southern York County, just over the Mason Dixon Line, less than an hour’s drive from Baltimore, Harrisburg, Lancaster, and Gettysburg.

The Village of Seitzland evolved in the mid-1800s, after Nicholas Seitz established a mill adjacent to the new North Central Railway on the outskirts of the established town of Glen Rock. The rail service stopped to pick up the goods produced at the mill, and housing and services quickly flourished around the new facility.

During the Civil War, Seitzland was on a key rail line for the Union Army defending Washington; a heavy volume of rail traffic passed continuously through the town. After the war, train traffic increased substantially, as large amounts of coal and other commodities were transported over the Maryland line. In 1881, for example, 79 trains passed through Seitzland in a single 24-hour period—a train every 18 minutes.* Records show that by 1892 an assortment of at least a dozen businesses had sprouted to support the Village.

“In June 1903, Teddy Roosevelt passed through on his way back to Washington, D.C., from Cleveland, Ohio. The funeral train carrying the body of the fourth President to die in office, Warren G. Harding, the 29th President of the United States, passed through in 1923, heading for Marion, Ohio, for his burial, and the late 1930s saw King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England pass through on their tour of the American continent.”

In 1915, Edwin K. Krebs, the owner of the Seitzland Store, filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent Office for an improved train coupling designed “to compensate for vertical and transverse movement” in a moving train, while keeping rail cars “in tight engagement.”

Like all towns along the rail line, Seitzland had a hundred-year run of prosperity before trains were replaced by alternative modes of transportation of goods, raw materials, and people. After the demise of the rail line in 1972, Seitzland lost the diversity of businesses that had fueled the small town, and it became a residential community.

With the foresight of a few individuals and the cooperation of York County government, the rail line remained intact; the York County Heritage Rail Trail was established; and the communities along its corridors once again began to develop services.