Heritage: York & Cumberland Railroad, Northern Central Railway

CT 1000, 1945: Eastern Region, Central Pennsylvania Division, Philadelphia Division, Northern Central Railway

Maryland Division ETT, 1954: Eastern Region, Philadelphia Division, Northern Central Branch

Goldsboro has its roots in the site of "Hussey's Ferry", which crossed the Susquehanna beginning in 1738. On its western side, it met the York-Harrisburg Turnpike -- a profitable stage coach route between the two cities which hugged the edge of the river.


The stage's exchange stables were at Crull's Tavern, about a mile below the site of the town. An important stopping point for exchanging horses was also at Henry Etter's tavern, about a mile north of town. A post office was later established at the site of the latter, as well as Free's Distiller, in 1856. The distillery would later be torn down when the railroad expanded to four tracks in 1904. Photo is of Etter's Tavern.

During the construction of the York & Cumberland Railroad (1849-1850) over the line of the turnpike, the stage line left the turnpike route at Etter's Tavern and extended up the valley to Harrisburg. This route exists today, by the names of Still House Lane and Valley Road.

As of 1850, the site of Goldsboro existed of three or four houses and the "old Red Mill". When the railway was completed, in 1850, the station was named after J.M. Goldsboroough, the civil engineer of the line. Following establishment of rail services, the post office was moved to Goldsboro, but retained the name "Etters".

P. A. & S. Small purchased the "Red Mill" and soon afterward built a large brick mill in the town. Isaac Frazer was owner of the Goldsboro Sawmill, planing mill, sash and door factory, and the Atlantic Saw mill. The town quickly prospered via the milling and lumber industries, and soon contained several stores, two hotels, two churches, and a number of fine homes.

The first track of the Northern Central Railway (then the York & Cumberland Railroad) was laid in 1850 along the stage coach route. The second track was laid in 1893. The last two were added in 1904. A siding was made from below the railroad bridge north to the Shelley Hotel. Another siding ran along the old planing mill. There was one which ran from the upper side of the railroad bridge toward the town to the grist mill. Fron Shelley's Hotel there was a switch which ran up to the train station.

The laying of the last two tracks was called the "Kerbaugh Job". It took approximately two years to complete and foreigners came to the town to work on it.

The railroad station was located on the town's side of the tracks close to "Whitey's" store. There was a freight office and a waiting room with a ticket window between them. There was a small train called the "Toonerville" with just a coach and baggage car which came in the morning about 8 a.m. and returned about 4 p.m. to transport school students to New Cumberland and Harrisburg. The station was purchased and razed around 1960.

An 1856 article in the York Gazette reported the Atlantic Sawmill to "manufacture upwards of 3 millions of feet of sawed lumber, of various kinds, annually. It has two upright saws, one slitting saw, and a gang slitting saw for manufacturing sideing, and six circular saws, set in operation by an 80 horsepower steam engine." It also spoke of the Small mill as " 50 x 70 feet, five stories high, capable of manufacturing 100 barrels of four in 2-1/2 hours."

In 1880 the population of Goldsboro was 378 and it was the most important stop between York and Harrisburg. For one thing, it was the only water station on the line.

Valuation Maps

PRR.NC.v2.PA 036 1948 MP71 M011183

PRR.NC.v2.PA-036_1948_MP71 (PRRT&HS)

PRR.NC.v2.PA 036 1949 MP71 M001365

PRR.NC.v2.PA-036_1949_MP71 (PRRT&HS)

PRR.NC.v2.PA 037 1921 MP72 Dalmatia M001366

PRR.NC.v2.PA-037_1921_MP72_-_Dalmatia (PRRT&HS)

PRR.NC.v2.PA 037 1948 MP72 Dalmatia M011184

PRR.NC.v2.PA-037_1948_MP72_-_Dalmatia (PRRT&HS)


Sanborn Maps

Goldsboro 1913 sheet01 Goldsboro 1913 sheet02
goldsboro map goldsboro map2
goldsboro 190xAerial photo of Goldsboro. The caption reads that it was taken around 1900. It is more likely to have been taken from the 1910's based upon numerous factors such as 1) the Pure Feed Mill is present, placing after 1905; and 2) first manned flight was in 1903-4 and aerial photography did not become popular until a good decade after that.  


In Newberry Township, Charles Conley recalls, "There used to be a big R.N. Tower set right above the station, that was there yet in 1936. They had a signal tower there to switch trains."

Conley also noted that the P A & S Small mill was removed to make way for the last two tracks of the railroad. A new mill -- the Goldsboro Pure Feed Mill -- was constructed in 1905. They bought molasses and made feed there, run with a steam engine until electricity was available.

In Newberry Township, John Souders recalls [year of recollection unknown], "We had an accommodation train going to Harrisburg in the morning in time for the workers to go to the capital or where ever they worked. Now, I know it left York, came from Washington, but I don't know the time. Then we had anotehr came through about ten o'clock. Now that is the A.M., and we had one going toward York out of Harrisburg to Baltimore and Washington, and one around ten o'clock. In the afternoon, about 4:30 the train would get to Goldsboro at 5:00 going toward Washington -- stopped at all stations -- and they around midnight, again you could leave Harrisburg, and another train came north. So we had four trains a day each direction. ...And when my mother had to go to the hospital, when she got sick, they took her to the station and laid her on a baggage car, and the train stopped right at the hospital -- at the Harrisburg Hospital -- and lifted her out. And when she got back from there the train stopped at the hospital and brought her to Goldsboro at the station. Now, that was the service!"

Sounders continues, "...And they used to put while ballast along the track. It looked awefully pretty."

Order is south to north. Distance from Baltimore (passenger station)...

Zortman Feed Mill (MP 99.9)

Station (MP 100.2)

station2 goldsboro


Additional Sources:

Newberry Township: The Beginning, 1700-1900, Newberry Township Heritage Committee, 1988, Centre Square Press, Mechanicsburg PA.