Borough Of Columbia308 Locust St, Columbia, PA 17512
History The history of Columbia, Pennsylvania can be traced to pre-historic Native Americans occupied the land area of the Susquehanna River around what is today Columbia. The first European settlers in the area arrived in 1726. The families of three men, John Wright, Robert Barber and Samuel Blunston, acquired tracts of land and established permanent homes. John Wright developed a ferry business in 1730, carrying goods and people across the Susquehanna River. Because the ferry was located here, the name Wright's Ferry was given to the settlement. Wright's Ferry became well known throughout the middle Colonies. In 1788, Samuel Wright, grandson of Wright's Ferry founder, John Wright, laid out 160 lots in what is now the central section of the Borough. Samuel Wright called the Borough Columbia, naming it after Christopher Columbus. The growing importance of Columbia became evident in 1789 when the town narrowly missed being selected as the site of the nation's capital by no more than a few votes. Later, Columbia was considered as the site for the capital of Pennsylvania, however, Harrisburg was chosen for the site of the capital because it was closer to the center of the State. The 1800's was a period of rapid growth and prosperity for Columbia. In 1814 the first bridge across the Susquehanna River, linking Columbia and Lancaster County to York County was completed. In 1833, the Borough became the terminal of the first link of the Pennsylvania Canal system. The first railroad officially opened in Columbia in 1834. By 1852 there was regular rail transportation from Columbia to Baltimore, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Harrisburg. Columbia was the commercial center for the area situated halfway between the county seats of Lancaster and York.