Airville is a rural farming community in York County, Pennsylvania. Airville is located in the southeastern part of the county where Pennsylvania Route 74 and Pennsylvania Route 425 intersect and is about 4 miles outside Woodbine. Airville dates back to 1796 when it was called McSherrysville.
Airville has an estimated population of 3100 and includes residents from Lower Chanceford, Peach Bottom, and Fawn townships. The Susquehanna River separates Airville from Lancaster County on its eastern side. Travelers can cross the river via the Norman Wood Bridge along Pennsylvania Route 372, which connects to Quarryville in Lancaster County. Like Lancaster, there are many Amish people living in Airville. Amish buggies travel up and down Route 74 and across Rt. 372 daily on their way to and from their farms. Airville is a good town in which to shop for fresh produce, eggs, and raw milk at the local farms.
There aren’t many stores in the area. There are mostly farm markets and a couple auto repair shops. There is a unique leather repair shop along Route 74 in Airville. Many of the residents shop at Dorn’s Used Furniture store when they need furniture or household goods. Dorn’s Used Furniture has a great selection of vintage furniture made in the USA. You’ll find furniture made by Ethan Allen, Thomasville, Broyhill, and more. There’s a large variety of lamps, pictures, glassware, dishes, mirrors, figurines and other fine home décor items.
There’s a grocery store and Dollar General in Delta.
Attractions in Airville include the Otter Creek Campground and the historical Indian Steps Museum, which are located along Pennsylvania Route 425 and the Susquehanna River. Remnants of the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad are also scattered throughout Airville, along Muddy Creek.
Otter Creek Campground, bordering both the Susquehanna River and Otter Creek, offers campers primitive campsites on acres of beautiful woodland.
Along the Susquehanna River there are several Bald Eagle nests as well as Hawk nesting areas. It is a popular place for bird watchers to come see the birds of prey.
Indian Steps Museum
The story of Indian Steps Cabin begins over ten thousand years ago. The area gets its name from the “steps” carved in the nearby Susquehanna River’s rocks by early people of the region who used the footholds to fish for shad and gather food along the river. The arrows, spear heads, stone axes and other relics embedded in the building were the belongings of the first residents of York County.
Indian Steps Museum, built in 1912 by John Edward Vandersloot, is primarily a memorial to the Native Americans who lived along the Susquehanna River. The museum includes a round room or kiva and masonry walls that are embedded with 10,000 artifacts to form Indian patterns, birds, animals and reptiles. The original inhabitants of the area surrounding Indian Steps were the Algonquians, later succeeded by the Susquehannocks. The Susquehannocks remained in the vicinity of Indian Steps from around 1605-1680. The last Native American tribe who settled along the river was the Shawnee who departed to the west in 1765. Petroglyphs, arrowheads and axes have been unearthed at various points along both shores of the river.
Visit the Ma & Pa Railroad Heritage Village
Come visit the authentic circa 1900’s historic Ma & Pa Railroad Heritage Village at Muddy Creek Forks in York County, Pennsylvania. With train rides for all, restored buildings to explore, special events, and a museum full of antiques, railroad artifacts, and milling equipment, the Heritage Village at Muddy Creek Forks is alive.
You can tour the A.M. Grove general store and see how a nearly 100 year old elevator works.
You can also tour the old grain elevator, roller mill, and other out buildings: scale house, corn cribs, barn, and cannery ruins. There’s an original Ma & Pa caboose.
The Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad was established in 1901 by the merging of the Baltimore and Lehigh Railway with the York Southern. The Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad, popularly known as the Ma & Pa, connected Baltimore and York, Pennsylvania, over a 77 mile route.
The mainline traveled northeast from Baltimore through Towson, Bel Air and into Whiteford.
At Delta, Pa., the line followed the banks of Muddy Creek passing through Felton, Red Lion, and Dallastown on into York. The Ma & Pa served as an indispensable link between rural communities and the outside world in the days before modern highways and automobiles.
It hauled furniture from Red Lion, slate from Delta, and milk from farms in Airville, Delta, & Whiteford along the route, fostering the economic progress of the whole region. The railroad also took residents from their rural homes to the “big city” for jobs, shopping, and entertainment.
The Maryland Division from Whiteford south was abandoned in 1958, but the Pennsylvania portion survived into the 80’s. At that time, the Society stepped in to preserve a piece of this unique little railroad, which was so prominent in the history and development of the area.