Ask Joan some history questions

What’s inside
1. Seeking info on Hilton Station
2. What was next to Playland?
3. Red Sox exhibition in York?

1. What can you tell me about Hilton station? It was a stop on the trolley line to Dover. I live in Missouri now and I miss the history of my home state.
– Phyllis Haney

Phyllis, I’m pretty familiar with that area and it looks like from references in the Gazette and Daily (our predecessor paper) from 1959, Hilton Station was another name for one of the stops along Brookside Avenue along the former trolley track in the Weigelstown area.

That’s the trolley that would’ve run to Brookside Park, among other places, until the Dover trolley line was abandoned in 1932, and Jim McClure detailed a little of the trolley route in that area in this 2013 post.

That makes sense, as we’re talking about the area not too far from what is now Hilton Avenue, etc. – but what I do not have are details on what came first, name-wise, and thus can’t say for sure why Hilton Station was called that. Was the road/neighborhood there first, and the station simply named for the area? Who is that “Hilton,” anyway? Many interesting questions, and I’d love to hear comments from my Dover/West Manchester Township history friends on this topic!

2. Can anyone recall what was to the right side of Playland skating rink as you looked at it head-on from East Market St.? Some say a restaurant/lounge or something else?
– Andrew Diehl

Andrew, that’s a great question, and I took a look at the photo above, which comes from a Chamber of Commerce publication from the mid-20th century, and some notes again from Jim McClure’s blog to try to figure that out.

It looks like you’re talking about what would, essentially, be there at the bottom left in the photo, with the idea that Market Street is right in front of it and if you turned it upside-down, that’d be the spot.

But what I can’t find anywhere is what that might have been! I’ve reached out to fellow Yorkblogger Stephen H. Smith of YorksPast, who pretty much knows everything there is to know about Springettsbury Township, so I’m hoping he may have some answers, but I’d appreciate any memories or comments from all directions!

3. Did the Boston Red Sox play an exhibition game in 1915 in York? Did the game take place at what is now Small Field?
– John Anderson

Well, this gave me a chance to dig into some baseball history, which is always fun around this time of year! There’s an AMAZING website called Fenway Park Diaries that offers as complete of a play-by-play of the 1915 Red Sox season as I’ve ever imagined, and while other exhibition play is mentioned, I can’t find any mention of York.

That said, I’d love to hear if anyone knowledgeable about York’s baseball history can shed any light on this; it’s certainly possible that it was a one-off that wasn’t recorded officially, I could imagine!

Got any questions? Ask Joan using the form at right. I’ll attempt to answer them in a future “Ask Joan” column on this blog. I get a large volume, but I will feature three each week and answer as many as possible!

About Joan Concilio

My name is Joan and I'm a lifelong Yorker. Throughout high school and college, I swore I was getting out of here as soon as possible. Now, a few years later, I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be. I love my town, and I hear every day from readers who love their towns, too. So please, connect with me and let's share what makes life in York County great. I'm here to help you enjoy this place as much as I do!
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