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Gardens of The Herb Society of America

Mason-Dixon Unit

Mason-Dixon Unit

The Colonial Kitchen Garden at the Golden Plough Tavern Courtyard
157 W. Market Street, York, PA 17403    Website:

Political intrigue, tavern life and the 18th century culture – all available in a single visit on the corner of West Market Street and North Pershing Avenue in Downtown York.

Four buildings reflect both private and public lives in early York. The Pennsylvania German Golden Plough Tavern, built in 1741, presents a significant role a tavern played in a community as a hotel, restaurant and source for news. The General Gates House (c. 1751) reflects the year 1778 when General Horatio Gates occupied the house while the Continental Congress met in York. You can visit a reconstruction of the Colonial Court House where the second Continental Congress met during York’s nine month tenure as the capital of the United States, just across the street from the Plough Tavern. The Barnett Bobb Log House, built with squared timbers, in 1812 and relocated to the site, highlights an average Pennsylvania German home in the early 19th century.    READ MORE…

Available year round for walk-through viewing or viewing from the street, this project began in 2010 with our partnership with York County Heritage Trust (YCHT). With a membership of 18 and a garden committee of 4–5 headed by Kim Hollens, we maintain this wonderful space.

The garden, located in growing zone 6 with a fairly shady microclimate, has a layout that is four square raised beds with smaller beds lining the perimeter. There are vegetables in two squares, medicinal plants in the third square and household plants in the fourth square. Herbs are grown in the outer beds. The garden is fenced with a front and back gate, but has no other permanent structures inside the fence. The historical tavern and kitchen provide a lovely backdrop. The Heritage Trust staff uses plants from the garden in their kitchen and squirrel oven for demonstrations. The weeds are kept under control by throwing the oyster shells in the paths and straw is used around the plants.

The Heritage Trust holds two educational program days for children and there is one general public festival in May and another in late summer. Our Unit Public Garden Chair ensures that several of our members are present to educate the public by offering information and answering questions. Our main fundraiser is our unit’s annual herb plant sale.

Our volunteers logged ninety-five hours were documented from Sept 2013 – Aug 2014. These hours included care of the garden, the sale of basic herb kitchen herbs at the Heritage Trust spring event while dressing in colonial period clothes (owned by the YCHT), and educating about the plants on display and showing children how to plant, water, and label plants.

Visit our unit Facebook page: We Grow Herbs – Mason Dixon Unit, HSA which highlights a number of pictures of the public colonial garden since we have taken responsibility of its ongoing maintenance.