Ongoing Project to Unearth M-DTS History

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The fortieth anniversary of the Mason Dixon Trail System is in 2019. So back in August, 2016 we began a project to bring the history of the M-DTS out from
February, 1980 M-DT Minutes/Newsletter
  February, 1980 M-DT Minutes/Newsletter
dusty old binders and make it available for all to see. Thanks to Jim Hooper and Ron Gray, who have kept meticulous records of M-DTS meetings and gatherings since 1979, we are in the process of doing just that.

As of 10-15-2016 we are about 25% of the way towards making all meeting minutes and selected early documents of the club digitally available on our web site for all to see as well as on a Google drive for members only. The way that we have done this is to scan the documents, print out a copy and save the original to our Google drive. We then redact certain items from these printed documents such as the names of people outside of the organization, any signup sheets or the addresses and phone numbers of members. These redacted copies are then re-scanned and placed on the M-DTS web site.

Some of the more interesting facts that we have discovered so far while processing these documents include:
  • This trail was originally going to be called the Brandywine-Susquehanna Trail. Either the name was awkward or they didn't like the abbreviated name of 'B-S Trail' so it was changed to the Mason-Dixon Trail in the fall of 1979.

  • The first lifetime member of the M-DTS was Lilia Yost, spouse of M-DT founder Robert Yost, in 1979.

    March, 1985 M-DT Minutes/Newsletter
      March, 1985 M-DT Minutes/Newsletter
  • One of the reasons that the club incorporated in the early 1980's was that some of the large land owners that the trail would later cross their land on insisted on it for liability reasons.

  • The original eastern terminus of the trail was where the Brandywine Trail and the Horseshoe Trail intersect today north of Ludwig's Corner, PA. It was changed to Chadds Ford, PA in the early 1990's.

  • The official dedication ceremony for the completed Mason-Dixon Trail was held on Sunday, October 27, 1985 at 1:00PM at the old mill within Susquehanna State Park, MD.

  • Club meetings in the early years were held at the homes of various members. Everyone would bring a dish and they would have a meal either before or after the meeting.

  • Early on various trail clubs agreed to build certain portions of the M-DT and later maintain it. Two of those clubs, the York Hiking Club and the Chester County Trail Club, still do so today.

  • The Boy Scout shelter was built as an Eagle Scout Project by Ben Lefever in 1984. This predated the official dedication of the M-DT by a year.

  • The first recorded completed section hike of the M-DT was by Louise Sis and Ken Foster in 1986.

  • Louise and Rick Sis created the Eastern and Western Terminus signs for the M-DT and installed them in the spring and summer of 1987. They are made of salt treated wood.

    June, 1989 M-DT Minutes/Newsletter
      June, 1989 M-DT Minutes/Newsletter
  • The first woman president of the Mason-Dixon Trail System was Kay Way in the late 1980's.
We project that we will have all of the archive newsletters available on the web and on our Google drive by sometime in early to mid 2017. We will then start uploading various important documents pertaining to the Mason-Dixon Trail System. This way we will have a vast history of the club available for our fortieth anniversary. The redacted versions of the early minutes and newsletters of the Mason-Dixon Trail System that we have processed so far are available for all to see within our Archive Newsletters area.

Members may request permission to see the original documents on our Google drive by using our Contact Us area.

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