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Rankin & Gregory Explores Our Town: Wright’s Ferry Mansion



Columbia PA Injury Law Firm: Obtaining Maximum Settlements and Verdicts for Personal Injury, Auto Accident, and Workers’ Compensation Cases

Rankin & Gregory Explores Our Town: Experiencing the Wright’s Ferry Mansion

Rankin & Gregory, LLC, in Columbia PA Amidst an Amazing Historical Record

Our law office in Columbia is surrounded by an incredibly rich history. Columbia was once home to Iroquoian-speaking Native Americans known as the Susquehannocks (called the Conestoga by English speakers) who lived and traded furs and food throughout the Susquehanna River region. The Native American population in this area declined dramatically because of the introduction of smallpox and other infectious disease epidemics after European settlers arrived. The historical record documents that Swedish settlers, who established New Sweden in the Delaware Valley near the coast around 1638, traded with the Susquehannock “Conestoga” people. In 1642, the English Province of Maryland declared war on the Conestoga. Because of their trade alliances, the Swedes and the Conestoga fought together to defeat the English in 1644. They continued intermittent battles with Maryland until a 1652 peace treaty was enacted. Fast forward through a nearly a century of history and you can find yourself at the Wright’s Ferry Mansion, which was built in 1738. The mansion is located on the east of the Susquehanna River in Columbia, Pennsylvania, at 38 S 2nd St, Columbia, PA 17512.

Since travel and trade were critical to the survival of all of the people who lived in the Susquehanna River region, Wright’s Ferry Mansion serves as a modern-day reminder that navigating the river to facilitate travel and trade was essential to sustaining life and population growth. John Wright is one such person. He was a Quaker and English businessman who emigrated to America in 1724 to explore the land and preach to local Native Americans. He (along with two others) was granted a patent in 1730 to operate a ferry  across the Susquehanna River known as Wright’s Ferry, an important historical location in Columbia, Pennsylvania. His animal-powered ferry enabled settlers to cross the wide Susquehanna River in a region known as Conejohela Valley nearly halfway between what we know as Lancaster County and York County, Pennsylvania. The ferry provided the only means to cross the Susquehanna River for settlers who needed to move cargo, making Columbia (formerly Wright’s Ferry) a vital region for both economic and population growth.

Now a museum, the mansion was owned by Susanna Wright, John Wright’s daughter and one of the first settlers to make the Columbia area her home. Arriving in America at just 16, Susanna Wright quickly proved herself a Renaissance woman as she lived in Wright’s Ferry Mansion 1738 until l 1750. She established the first silk industry in Pennsylvania after raising silkworms and creating the threads. She studied botany, law, Latin, and wrote poetry. Susana studied medical treatments and she preached to the local Indians. She was also well connected to influential colonists, including Benjamin Franklin.

Born in 1754, Samuel Wright (John Wright’s grandson) served as the town proprietor. He created a public grounds company to administer the land, the first water distribution system, the Washington Institute (the town’s first school of higher learning) and the Locust Street Park, located at present-day Locust Street and Route 462. In 1788, Samuel mapped 160 lots in the central region of the Borough. The town was once called Shawanna on the Susquehanna and later named Wright’s Ferry before becoming known as Columbia. Samuel Wright named the borough Columbia after Christopher Columbus. In 1789, Columbia lost becoming the nation’s capital by only a few votes. Columbia was also in the running to be the capital of Pennsylvania, but was ultimately decided that it’s location was not central enough.

Today, the Wright’s Ferry Mansion has been has been meticulously restored and furnished by The von Hess Foundation to reflect what the building would have looked like when Susanna Wright lived there in the 1700s. It is the sole Pennsylvania English Quaker house in the United States to showcase furnishings  from 1700 to 1750. Locals and tourists can experience the furnishings that include historic ceramics, glass, metals, and textiles. The house feels as though Susanna Wright could still be living there. Learn more about this home’s rich history in person or if you cannot visit, read, “Wright’s Ferry: A Glimpse into the Susquehanna Backcountry.”

Columbia offers such an amazing range of cultural, historical, entertainment, healthcare, educational, and shopping experiences like the Turkey Hill Experience, the National Watch and Clock Museum, the Northwest River Trail, the Columbia Market House, the Columbia Mural, and the Wright’s Ferry Mansion. We get to share in this incredible history as our Columbia office located on 357 Locust Street. Please feel free to schedule a time to meet our experienced auto accident, Workers Compensation and personal injury lawyers at our Locust Street Office right in the heart of Columbia.

Our legal team at Rankin & Gregory works every day to provide the best legal representation possible to protect people’s rights when accidents that cause injuries occur and you need help fighting the insurance company. We hope you or a loved one never face an injury incurred because of another person or organization. But, we are honored to be there for you if you ever suffer a serious injury following trip and fall because of negligence, a motor vehicle accident, nursing home neglect, an accident at your workplace while on the job, other devastating injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one. RG Injury Law’s experienced lawyers will be there to provide compassion, clarity, calm, and peace of mind from the moment you choose us to fight fiercely for your rights to get you the highest compensation from the insurance company.

Call 717.656.5000 or chat via our website 24/7. You will pay no fees to learn if you have a case. Clients pay no money up front. We only charge a fee if we win your case. 

We welcome Spanish-speaking clients and provide interpretation and translation when needed. Damos la bienvenida a los clientes de habla hispana y proporcionamos interpretación y traducción cuando sea necesario.

Rankin & Gregory Is Proud to Join the Columbia Pennsylvania Community to provide the best Personal Injury Lawyers for your Car Accident, Workers Compensation, and Personal Injury Cases
Attorneys Chad Rankin and Bill Gregory Outside of RG Injury Law office on Locust Street in Columbia PA
Rankin & Gregory LLC - RG Injury Law Office in Columbia Pennsylvania. Showing holiday window of 357 Locust Street, Suite 100.
Columbia PA Wright's Ferry - Experience Our Town with Rankin & Gregory Personal Injury Law
Columbia PA Susquehannock Fort
Susquehannock Artifacts PA State Museum {{PD-US}}

Talk with the RG Injury Law Team in Columbia PA. Email or call 717.656.5000.

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