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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 717-252-1616.

Our Theme for 2019-2020 – “Before we were a Country, the Susquehanna was Here.”

Shank’s Mare is pleased to present our Dining & Learning Series for the 2019-20 fall and winter season. Our guest speakers will present interesting and varied stories centered on the Susquehanna.  This year's theme explores river history from its formation up to the birth of our Nation.  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.

Rocks, Ridges, Caves & Curiosities on the Susquehanna

Guest Speaker – Jeri Jones, Geologist & Author

Friday, November 1, 2019, 6pm

Mysteries still exist regarding the formation of the Lower Susquehanna River gorge.  With the help of visual aids, local geologist Jeri Jones will take us on an exploration of our unique area and give us a new appreciation of this river we explore each season.  He may even help us solve some geological mysteries.
Program fee – includes presentation and dinner – $43/Person
(BYOB permissible to enjoy with meal).


Early River Dwellers Leave their Mark - Native American Rock Art

Guest Speaker – Paul Nevin, Author & Anthropologist

Fri., November 8, 2019, 6:00pm

For many years Shank's Mare has worked with Paul Nevin leading a paddle tour to Little and Big Indian Rocks on Lake Aldred of the Susquehanna.  Paul's presentation will bring this area alive with pictures of the rock art and his studies surrounding how these unique drawings came about and the meanings they hold to the Native people.
Program fee – includes presentation and dinner – $43/Person
(BYOB permissible to enjoy with meal).

Native Americans Meet the Early Europeans
Guest Speaker - Stephen Runkle, Susquehanna River Basin Commission Speakers Bureau
Friday, November 22, 2019, 6:00pm
The Susquehanna River is now designated as a national water trail and named The Capt. John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Water Trail.  Learn about the history surrounding the first meetings of the Native American river dwellers and the early explorers including Capt. Smith over 150 years before the birth of our nation.
Program fee - includes presentation and dinner - $43/Person
(BYOB permissible to enjoy with meal).

Never Built - The Town of Pleasant Garden and other Curiosities
Guest Speaker – Stephen Smith
Fri., December 6, 2019, 6:00pm
Never Built?  The Town of Pleasant Garden and other Curiosities
 The files of the York County Heritage Trust contain an old hand-drawn plan of the Town of Pleasant Garden.  The town has named streets and contained 175-lots, however it is not dated.  This town was never built, and until recently, the planned location was unknown.  We'll explore if the town was ever started. This presentation focuses on the discovery of the planned location for the Town of Pleasant Garden.  The other curiosities deal with a bridge and a railroad; both planned, but never built.  The bridge may have been the reason the Town of Pleasant Garden as drawn up in the first place. Within eastern York County in January 1865, four months prior to the end of the Civil War, a new railroad was surveyed.  This railroad was to parallel the canal south from Wrightsville, passing through Long Level.  If that railroad were built, maybe we’d have the Town of Pleasant Garden today.
Program fee – includes presentation and dinner – $43/Person
(BYOB permissible to enjoy with meal).

The Roots of Slavery on the Susquehanna and the Path to the Civil War

Guest Speaker – Scott Mingus, Sr., Author & Historian

Fri., December 13, 2019, 6:00pm

Our founding fathers experienced much controversy between writing the Declaration of Independence "all men are created equal" while at the same time holding slaves.  Scott will share with us how slavery and the seeds for the Civil War could be traced back many decades before the war actually took place.
Program fee – includes presentation and dinner – $43/Person
(BYOB permissible to enjoy with meal).


The Susquehanna Plays a Role in the Birth of our Nation

Guest Speaker – James McClure, Author & Editor

Fri., January 10, 2020, 6:00pm

The Continental Congress was hard at work drafting the framework of our new nation.  At the same time, the British were threatening the area.  Jim McClure, retired newspaper editor and history blogger, will set the stage for the founding father's
hasty exit from Philadelphia and how they used the Susquehanna River for protection while they drafted the Articles of Confederation.
Program fee – includes presentation and dinner – $43/Person
(BYOB permissible to enjoy with meal).