Nearly a year ago I wrote a York Sunday News column and several blog posts about the travels of the 19th century cigar store figure, Punch, up and down and all around the northwest quadrant of York’s Continental Square. Punch is now on display at his current home, the York County History Center museum at 250 East Market Street.
While looking at square photos for a slide show on 275 years of York’s square that I am doing for the November 12th Second Saturday program at YCHC, I was reminded that the northeast quadrant of the square was, and is, the home of another piece of Yorkabilia. Though not as old as Punch, who might date back to the 1870s, the kiosk with its copper roof appears on photos dating back at least to 1927, nearly 90 years ago.
I need to do more research to pinpoint exactly when and why the kiosk was first erected. It was reportedly used over the years as a booth for bus dispatchers and shelter for police. Here are some photographs showing various incarnations of the little building, as well as a clipping showing it as the victim of a wayward automobile.
As you can see in the photos, it sported different roofs, awnings and paint schemes over the years. The present restored structure looks very similar to the one in the 1927 photo.
Gazette and Daily clipping stamped March 5, 1948:
CRACKED, BUT STILL STANDING—“Teapot Dome” York Bus company dispatcher’s booth in Continental Square, was knocked from its moorings by an auto at 1 o’clock yesterday morning, but refused to go down. Patrolman Walter D. Myers, in the booth at the time was uninjured. Picture was taken about 2 a.m. Telephone service was disrupted and a section to the right of the door was splintered.
Everyone is invited to the York County History Center, 250 East Market Street on November 12 at 10:30 a.m. As part of the regular Second Saturday program series, I will be presenting Changing Crossroads: York’s Square over the Centuries, using historic maps, drawings and photos to look at 275 years of history in the heart of the county.