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  2092 Long Level Road Wrightsville, PA  17368

Dine & Learn

Susquehanna Stories

Shank’s Mare’s Dining & Learning programs feature guest speakers offering a range of subjects mostly geared to the Susquehanna River’s ecological features, historic places, cultural features, and the interesting people who have made their homes here for centuries. The programs begin with a delicious dinner in The Rookery, followed by the presentation during dessert and coffee. Reserve a table for friends or family, or come on your own. There’s always something interesting to hear during our Dining and Learning series as we unfold the wealth of Susquehanna Stories. All programs require Pre-Registration and Pre-Payment. To register online simply click on the program title or register by phone at

Our Theme for 2017-18 – “Building & Moving on the Susquehanna River”

Shank’s Mare is pleased to present our Dining & Learning Series for the 2017-18 fall and winter season. Our guest speakers will present interesting and varied stories about our the important role the Susquehanna served in building our region and moving the people and goods that required. The Dining & Learning Series takes place in Shank’s Mare’s banquet room, The Rookery, and includes a delicious dinner with the program presented over dessert and coffee. BYOB is welcome. Reservations are required by calling 717-252-1616.

The 1801 Mapping of the Wild & Raging Susquehanna

Guest Speaker – June Lloyd

Friday, October 20, 2017, 6pm

Local historian and archivist June Lloyd will introduce us to the amazing Benjamin Henry Latrobe. While he is best known as one of the fathers of American architecture, his work surveying the Lower Susquehanna in 1801 has more impact on area residents today. Latrobe described the Turkey Hill rapids or falls as “most formidable”. June will tell us about the trials and tribulations of this daunting job of mapping the steep banks and rocky spillways of the Susquehanna before the building of the dams that now form Lake Clarke, Lake Aldred and Conowingo Pond. June will treat us to pictures of the early maps and a variety of information from the York County Historical Trust archives.

Program fee – includes presentation and dinner – $42/Person
(BYOB permissible to enjoy with meal).

Welsh Immigrants & Quarrying Peach Bottom Slate

Guest Speaker – Don Robinson

Fri., November 3, 2017, 6:00pm

Beginning in the 1840s, slate quarrymen from the north of Wales emigrated in large numbers to work in the quarries of Delta, PA, and Cardiff, MD, the home of Peach Bottom Slate. Welcome Don Robinson as he presents his program on these experienced slate workers and the process of quarrying Peach Bottom Slate which proved to be exceptionally hard making it arguably the best roofing slate in the world. And, over 100 years later, see evidence of this in the roof of Shank’s Mare which is covered in Peach Bottom Slate. Enjoy Don’s program following a delicious dinner in The Rookery.

Program fee – includes presentation and dinner – $42/Person
(BYOB permissible to enjoy with meal).

Rebuilding Pennsylvania Forests and Public Land

Guest Speaker – Marci Mowery

Fri., November 17, 2017, 6:00pm

In response to the natural disasters attributed to the deforesting of Pennsylvania in the late 1800’s, a public outcry resulted in the state designating public lands and the rebuilding of our forests. Groups including the Civilian Conservation Corps worked to refurbish lands for the beginning of our State Park System. Marci Mowery, President of Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation, will present this program dealing with the rich history of conservation efforts in our state and along the Susquehanna River corridor. Enjoy dinner followed by Marci’s program over coffee and dessert.

Program fee – includes presentation and dinner – $42/Person
(BYOB permissible to enjoy with meal).

Susquehanna Trade Routes of the Native Americans and Early Europeans

Guest Speaker – Stephen Runkle

Fri., Decenber 1, 2017, 6:00pm

As Native Americans came in to contact with the early Europeans during the 17th century, trade routes were established along the length of the Susquehanna. These first Europeans including Capt. John Smith, recognized the wealth of goods from our region and the need to get them to the early American settlements and European markets. Welcome Stephen Runkle as he presents a fascinating program on modes of travel, goods transported, and the early traders along our area’s first “highway”, the Susquehanna. Begin your evening with a delicious dinner in The Rookery with Steve’s presentation following.

Program fee – includes presentation and dinner – $42/Person
(BYOB permissible to enjoy with meal).

The Underground Railroad – Highway of Freedom on the Susquehanna

Guest Speaker – Scott Mingus, Sr.

Fri., December 8, 2017, 6:00pm

The Susquehanna River corridor provided several means of transportation to slaves striving for freedom with the help of abolitionist groups in York and Lancaster counties. Join Scott Mingus Sr. as he explores this topic with lots of references from his recently published book on the Underground Railroad titled, “The Ground Swallowed Them Up”. We will learn about the various modes of transportation and the trials and tribulations of those seeking freedom in the North during the 19th century. A delicious dinner in The Rookery precedes Scott’s fascinating presentation.

Program fee – includes presentation and dinner – $42/Person
(BYOB permissible to enjoy with meal).

Bridges on the Lower Susquehanna – Gateway to the West

Guest Speaker – Christopher Vera

Fri. January 5, 2018, 6:00pm

In 1811, the Columbia Bank & Bridge Co. began construction on the first of several bridges across the Susquehanna between Columbia and Wrightsville. This crossing, originally a ferry operated by John Wright, connected the Conestoga Trail between the east and west sides of the Susquehanna and became known as the Gateway to the West. Join our guest speaker, Christopher Vera, from the Columbia Historic Preservation Society as he traces the building of the bridges all the way up to the current concrete arch structure known as Veteran’s Memorial Bridge. Presentation follows dinner in The Rookery. Call now for reservations!

Program fee – includes presentation and dinner – $42/Person
(BYOB permissible to enjoy with meal).

Before the Bridges – Ferry Travel Across the Lower Susquehanna

Guest Speaker – Michael Maloney

Fri. January 12, 2018, 6:00pm

During the 1700’s and the early settlement of our area, the only way across the mighty Susquehanna was by ferry. Place names still exist that are derived from the ferry crossings including Accomac, Wright, Blue Rock, Shenk’s and more. We welcome Michael Maloney, author of “Across the River – Murder at Accomac”, as he explores the various modes of transportation surrounding the ferries, the purposes of travel for those using them, and stories surrounding his most studied ferry, The Accomac. Enjoy Michael’s presentation following dinner in The Rookery.

Program fee – includes presentation and dinner – $42/Person
(BYOB permissible to enjoy with meal).