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The John & Kathryn Zimmerman Center for Heritage provides a unique setting for Susquehanna National Heritage Area and is a lasting tribute to the civic leadership of its namesake donors. For half a century, John and Kathryn Zimmerman committed time and resources to improve the York community. In the late 1990’s, they saved this special place from decay and restored the home as a historic jewel on the riverfront. In 2007, the Zimmermans generously donated the home to the Susquehanna National Heritage Area to ensure its continued service as a site for preservation and heritage education.
The Zimmerman Center for Heritage operates as the headquarters of Susquehanna Heritage and as the Pennsylvania Official Visitor Contact and Passport Station for the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. Visitors to this historic riverfront home can become a Junior Ranger, enjoy a hike on the Native Lands County Park & Mason-Dixon Trail, launch a kayak or canoe on the Susquehanna River, see Susquehannock Indian artifacts, and more.
(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)
Historic Dritt Mansion and its river art and history exhibits are open to visitors on a seasonal schedule
An ADA compliant (wheelchair accessible) walk allows visitors with disabilities access to outdoor interpretive displays and a waterfront pavilion, boardwalk and dock.
This land was valued by Indians and early settlers alike, serving as a crossroads for land and water travel. One of the last known Susquehannock Indian settlements, dating to 1676, was located on the hilltop just behind the Zimmerman Center.
This site also played a significant role in the long-time border dispute between Maryland and Pennsylvania. England’s King Charles I granted the second Lord Baltimore a charter for Maryland in 1632, with an upper boundary at the 40th parallel, about two miles north of here. William Penn was granted a charter for Pennsylvania by King Charles II in 1681. Since the 40th parallel did not follow a natural feature, the true boundaries of the charters were difficult to define.
Disputes continued until until 1750, when the issue was heard before Britain’s High Court of Chancery, which decided in favor of Pennsylvania. From 1763 to 1767, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon surveyed Pennsylvania’s border with Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. Opposition by Native Indians delayed a final resolution until 1784. The new boundary, about 15 miles due south, ran 244 miles west from the Delaware River. It became known as the Mason-Dixon Line and is still marked by colonial boundary stones in some places. This line grew to symbolize the border between North and South and Free states and Slave states