York High built on site of Old Vault

Photo of William Penn Senior High School upon it’s opening in 1927; appearing in York-High Weekly, with credit: “This aerial photo was taken by Karl Ort” (Collections of York County History Center)

In September of 1927 a new high school building opened in York, Pennsylvania; shown at the left side of this aerial photo taken by Karl Ort. William Penn Senior High School was built opposite Penn Park on the north side of West College Avenue, between South Beaver Street and Park Avenue. Just about where the entrance to the auditorium was located in the new high school building, a large covered vault had existed. The vault was approximately 75-feet long by 35-feet wide and was one-story high. An 1887 map, containing this vault, marked it as (Old); but how old and what was it used for?

“This aerial photo was taken by Karl Ort, a local aviator” is the photo credit line that appeared in The York-High Weekly. Also in the photo, on the right side facing Penn Park, is the former York High building, which was opening in 1899; having been built on Potter’s Field. Once the new high school building opened in 1927, that school building to the east of South Beaver Street became Hannah Penn Junior High School. The new Post Office building, located on North George Street, can be seen in the background, above the Junior High. The Hannah Penn Junior High School was later torn down to create a parking lot for St. Patrick’s Church located immediately behind, i.e. north of, the school building.

Examine the Map containing the Old Vault

The following are sections of an 1887 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of York, Pennsylvania; from Penn State Libraries online Sanborn Map Collections. I’ve added present street names to orient the reader.

I’ve observed that building and street widths are drawn pretty accurately to scale on Sanborn Maps. Hence I’ve been able to estimate the size of the old covered vault to be 75-feet long by 35-feet wide and, as noted in the upper left of the vault on the map, it was one-story high. The 228-1/2 below the vault is the street address: 228-1/2 South Beaver Street.

I’m still searching for what this vault was used for, although I know that William H. Kurtz owned the property near the time of the 1887 map, however by that time it was already “Old,” therefore I doubt that W. H. Kurtz built the vault. I wonder if this vault had a use during the Civil War or possibly the Revolutionary War.

Links to related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Karl Ort’s aerial photo of East York

Karl Ort’s aerial photo of East York on Market Street in Springettsbury Township, York County, PA (York County History Center item 32600.277P; Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2017)

York native Karl Ort’s flight training during WWI led to several years of aerial barnstorming and a string of flying related concerns. Karl Ort’s interest in aerial photography began in Harrisburg during 1922 however his involvement peaked between 1926 and 1930 while flying out of York. His aerial photography primarily covered Central Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland, although he did occasionally venture beyond that area.

An extensive collection of Karl Ort’s aerial photographs is housed in the Archives of the York County History Center; it is not known how many, if any, go back to 1922. In fact most are simply dated as circa 1930 because the exact year is not known.

This post examines Karl Ort’s aerial photo of John H. Longstreet’s East York development; straddling East Market Street in Springettsbury Township. I’ve attached street names to my Xerox copy of York County History Center’s original photo print 32600.277P; dated circa 1930. The Hagley Museum & Library in Wilmington, Delaware has a print of exactly the same view in their J. Victor Dallin Aerial Survey Collection; item 70.200.00050 and dated circa 1924.

Zooming-in on Sections of Karl Ort’s Aerial Photo of East York

John H. Longstreet initiated the development of East York in 1903 upon releasing his vision of a plan of streets on a farm he had purchased from Vincent K. Keesy. Today, this unincorporated development, within Springettsbury Township, generally straddles East Market Street two blocks to the north and one block to the south; with I-83 to the west and Royal Street to the east. Much of this development was designated the Old East York Historic District in the 1990s and on March 12, 1999, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

John H. Longstreet began East York by installed all streets and sidewalks for all east-west blocks in the first block to the north of East Market Street. The overall aerial photo was taken as the streets and sidewalks were just starting to be constructed in the second block north of East Market Street and in the first block south of East Market Street.

The lots were developed randomly. Buyers purchased the lot of their choice, then hired a contractor to custom build their home. Mr. Longstreet set standards regarding the size and cost of houses to be built on the lots in his development. Some people think these restrictions caused the slow growth of East York; for even though laid out in 1903, only eight houses were built before 1920. Fifty houses were built between 1920 and 1930, and one hundred sixty-seven houses were built during the 1930s. A nice variety of building styles are represented throughout the development, including: Colonial, Revival, Prairie, Craftsman and Tudor.

The following zoomed-in section of Karl Ort’s aerial photo of East York on Market Street is between Findlay and Harlan Streets. I’ve pointed out the Longstreet Sales Office, which stood on the corner of East Market and Findlay Streets. That sales office no longer stands.

Zoomed-in Section of Karl Ort’s aerial photo of East York on Market Street between Findlay and Harlan Streets (York County History Center item 32600.277P; Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2017)

The distinctive colonial revival building on the corner of East Market and Vernon Streets was built by a coal baron in 1906 and became the clubhouse of the York Motor Club in 1912. During 1923, the race-car driving Dr. G. Emanuel Spotz purchased the mansion; which still stands today at 2025 East Market Street.

Churches usually yield an excellent historical timeline narrative. The Advent Lutheran Church occupies the northeast corner of East Market and Oxford Streets in the following zoomed-in section of Karl Ort’s aerial photo.

Zoomed-in Section of Karl Ort’s aerial photo of East York on Market Street between Oxford and Manheim Streets (York County History Center item 32600.277P; Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2017)

The “Springettsbury Township Centennial 1891-1991” publication notes the following about Advent Lutheran Church on page 91.

The Elmwood and East York areas were a growing community and the Lutheran Synod surveyed the area to see if there was a need for a Lutheran Church. As a result of the survey, Sunday school classes were started at the Elmwood and Heistand School in 1924.

A small frame chapel was built on East Market and Oxford Street. Church services were held and the two Sunday schools were merged.

The church was chartered 5/23/26 with 14 members. Their first minister was Dr. Edward Rubel.

A colonial style brick building replaced the frame chapel and over the years two more additions have been added.

Dr. Frank Seilhamer now (i.e. in 1991) ministers to a congregation of over 1,600 members at 1775 E. Market Street.

When was the small frame chapel built? I did a property deed search on the lot at the northeast corner of East Market and Oxford Streets. The initial purchase of land on that corner by the Advent Lutheran Church was a corner lot with 120-feet frontage along East Market Street and 150-feet depth along Oxford Street. That deed was made December 23, 1926; reference York County Deed Book 23Q, Page 643.

With these facts, I think it is a good probability the small frame chapel shown in the aerial photo was built early in 1927. Therefore the aerial photo had to be taken sometime after the spring of 1927, since the leaves are on the trees.

Longstreet records were used for the National Register application, i.e. “only eight houses were built before 1920. Fifty houses were built between 1920 and 1930.” I count 57-houses on the aerial photo, therefore I’m leaning towards 1930 as the year this aerial photo was taken.

Links to related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Karl Ort is York’s Aviation Pioneer

Cover on the 1935 KARL ORT Mail Order Catalog (Collections of S. H. Smith)

For half-a-century Karl S. Ort operated a successful York County business selling aviation merchandise, aircraft parts and war surplus materials. Nevertheless, Karl Ort became York’s aviation pioneer years before that business. He was a WWI trained pilot that barnstormed up and down the eastern seaboard. Karl Ort was born in York on December 19, 1896 and he was the thirteenth pilot licensed in Pennsylvania.

The barnstorming led to a string of flying related concerns, prior to the founding of his mail order aviation business. That establishment commenced in January of 1930 when Karl Ort attended an auction held at the Philadelphia Navy Yard; where he was the winning bidder on large quantities of government surplus aviation equipment. The cover of the 1935 KARL ORT Mail Order Catalog contained the slogan “You Can Bank on Karl Ort for Value.” Karl operated his business in the city of York, near his boyhood home, until a 1947 fire destroyed his warehouse in the 600 block of West Poplar Street. Ort reestablished a warehouse at the York Airport, in Thomasville; taking over the old original aircraft hangar and operating there until 1980. In his tenth year of retirement, Karl Stanford Ort passed away on December 26, 1990, at the age of 94.

Karl Ort’s Flying Adventures

Karl Ort applied for the Air Service at the onset of World War I. He was accepted for flight training and received ground school instruction at Princeton, New Jersey. During 1917 and 1918, his flight training was carried out at Love Field in Dallas, Texas. The armistice was signed before Karl had a chance to go overseas and fly in combat, nevertheless Ort’s skills were judged high enough to receive advanced training at Gerstner Field in San Diego, California. Karl was discharged as a 2nd Lieutenant on January 11, 1919. Ort had amassed over 400-hours of flight time while serving with the Army Air Service.

Civilian aviation jobs were few and far between, however Karl Ort could not see himself doing anything other than flying. Like many ex-Air Service pilots, as soon as he saved enough to obtained a WWI surplus airplane; he did and went barnstorming. He flew up and down the eastern seaboard, landing in fields from town to town, performing aerial stunts and giving rides to pay his way. Claude Martin was one of the men that performed with Ort. Martin’s specialties were wing-walking, acrobatic stunts while hanging under the airplane’s landing gear and parachute jumping. Newspapers reported Karl Ort did the tail spin and “loop the loop” with great proficiency.

In 1921, Karl Ort and Dan Dance became the proprietors of the Dauphin Flying Field at 24th and Derry Streets in Harrisburg. The reopening of that flying field occurred on May 22, 1921. Karl took the place of Walter Shaffer, who previously operated that flying field in 1920 with aircraft mechanic Dan Dance. The following are typical ads for “Safe and Sane Airplane Rides with Lieut. Karl Ort.” Karl had quite the reputation for his daring aerial feats. The “safe and sane” line was to assure passengers he would behave while flying them.

Airplane crash landings were much more common in the early days of flight. Skilled mechanics and pilots often bought such planes to repair and reassemble. Karl Ort was partnering with W. C. Metzger in such an undertaking, as noted in the following Harrisburg newspaper article in the May 13, 1922, issue of The Evening News.

A De Haviland airplane is being assembled at the Northwest Garage of W. C. Metzger, and within the next week it is expected to be taken to the Dauphin Flying Field and tested.

Karl Ort, of York, former lieutenant in the Air Service, is helping to supervise the work on the big ship and he is to do flying here. Metzger, who is the local distributor of Roamer autos, and Ort are interested in making aerial photos and photo maps and some photographic work is to be done as soon as the ship has passed the test.

The 1922 article is the earliest reference of Karl Ort’s involvement in aerial photography. An extensive collection of Karl Ort’s aerial photographs is housed in the Archives of the York County History Center; it is not known how many, if any, go back to 1922.

Karl Ort also discovered good money could also be made doing aerial advertising. One stunt involved dropping a smoke bomb, only big enough to burn itself out before hitting the ground, which was the attention grabber for advertising circulars that were then dropped. Another of his favorite gimmicks was to fly over a town and toss out cigar samples attached to small parachutes. John F. Reichard’s cigar company in York employed Karl Ort full time, in excess of a year, spanning 1923 and 1924.

Details on the extent of the cigar advertising campaign are provided on page 69 of Volume 16 of Aviation Week, a publication from early 1924. Quoting a paragraph from that article:

In this work for the cigar company pilot Karl S. Ort, formerly an Air Service lieutenant, has flown 22,000 mi. over twenty-two states in 400 hr. flying time, during a period of nine months. Pilot Ort, who returned to his home at York for Christmas, resumed the cigar company’s advertising campaign in the South the first of the year.

I’ve shown Karl Ort’s page 63 listing superimposed over the cover of the 1926 Aircraft Yearbook. This 331-page yearbook was published by the Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce of America to promote the business of aviation and it reviews all aspects of aviation in the past year. The yearbook was published during May of 1926, therefore the period of inclusion is generally early 1925 through early 1926.

Karl S. Ort is listed as an aircraft operator on the Pennsylvania page. He owns two planes and leases the airfield he flies from. John F. M. Wolfe notes on page 173 of his book “Profile of Aviation in York County, Pennsylvania, 1925-1998” that Stony Brook Army Air Field opened on July 28, 1925 and that Karl Ort flew from this field. This airfield was established as an emergency landing airfield for military pilots flying between Washington D. C. and Olmsted Field at Middletown, PA; however private pilots were also allowed to use it via a lease arrangement.

The 600 flights and 50,000 miles are lifetime aerial listings for Karl Ort; a big part is attributed to all of his aerial advertising campaigns. The 30 passengers references the total passengers carried, to date, in the current enterprise. Karl Ort is now focusing on aerial photography. In future posts I’ll examine a few of the extensive collection of Karl Ort’s aerial photographs that is housed in the Archives of the York County History Center.

I’ve previously written about Karl Ort in the post: Exercising Buffaloes via Airplane in Springettsbury.  That post deals with some 1926 aerial exploits for Karl and details the location of the Stony Brook Army Air Field; established in 1925.

In 1928, Lester Durand Gardner compiled Who’s Who in American Aeronautics. An entry for Karl S. Ort is included on page 89; that entry will be shared in a future post.

Links to related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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1931 Aerial Photo of Edison Electric Plant in York

Part 13 of York County History Center Buildings

Southeast View of Edison Electric Plant in York, PA on 9/25/1931—a Zoomed in View from J. Victor Dallin Aerial Survey Collection (Source: Hagley Museum & Library, Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2017)

This is Part 13 of an industrial chronicle of the buildings that will be repurposed into a York County History Center. These buildings originated as York’s Edison Electric Plant in 1885 and after electric generation ceased in 1959, the facility continued supplying steam to York’s District Steam Heating System until 1977.

I received a call Wednesday afternoon that the Hagley Museum & Library in Wilmington, Delaware has some early York area aerial photos in their digital archives. These photos are in the J. Victor Dallin Aerial Survey Collection with aerial photos from 1924 and onward.

For the past two months, I’ve been attempting to identify some unidentified factories in the Karl Ort Aerial Photo Collection at the York County History Center. So far I’ve gotten about half way through the Ort photos. I was surprised in recognizing many of the Dallin aerial photos as also being in the Karl Ort collection at the York County History Center. Maybe Karl Ort was one of the pilots in the Dallin crew and he received extra copies of the photos in his hometown.

I’ve zoomed in on one of the Dallin photos, dated 9/25/1931, for the southeast view of the Edison Electric Plant. I’ve pointed out where the first part of the Edison plant was built along Gas Avenue. The initial plant expansion was eastward, along Gas Avenue. That expansion can still be seen in this 1931 aerial photo and is located to the north of the Friends Meeting House Cemetery.

That part of the Edison plant, behind the Friends Meeting House Cemetery, has long since been demolished and is now primarily used for parking. The more modern plant expansions, extending towards Philadelphia Street, still stand today.

J. Victor Dallin Aerial Survey Crew

This is what the J. Victor Dallin Aerial Survey Crew looked like with their mammoth cameras. None of these individuals look like Karl Ort, however maybe several pilots were utilized, or the pilot was not included in the photo.

1929 Photo of J. Victor Dallin Aerial Survey Crew with Cameras (Source: Hagley Museum & Library, Wilmington, Delaware)

Synopsis and Links to the Previous Parts of this Series:

Part 1—New History Center Generated Edison Electricity.  This introductory post provides a brief overview of all the buildings within what was the former Met-Ed Steam Heat Generating Plant on the northeast corner of West Philadelphia Street and North Pershing Avenue in York.

Part 2—York County History Center Buildings 1885.  This post takes a closer look at the initial industrial building constructed on the site in 1885; a generating station for the Edison Electric Light Company of York.

Part 3—Edison Lights Streets as York becomes a City.  On January 11, 1887, York was incorporated as a City. The same year marked the replacement of gas lighting with Edison electric lights on the streets of York; necessitating an addition to the 2-year-old electric generating station along Gas Avenue.

Part 4—War of the Currents hits York.  Nationally, the War of the Currents plays out with the company started by Thomas Edison, who favored direct current and was adamantly opposed to alternating current, being transformed, through the financing of J. P. Morgan, into the champion of alternating current. Locally in York something similar happened in 1894. The Westinghouse Electric Light, Heat and Power Co. of York, PA, located in the high bay part of the present Agricultural and Industrial Museum, was absorbed by the much better financed Edison Electric Light Company of York, PA; located in one of the buildings that will become the York County History Center.

Part 5—Edison Electric Plant becomes subsidiary of York Railways.  In 1892, the York Street Railway Company begin operation of their streetcars via electricity; i.e. replacing horse power. The Edison Electric Plant was their electric supplier from the inception. When the York Haven hydro-electric plant was placed into service during 1904, York Haven was contracted to carry most of the load of the Edison Electric Plant in York. The primary electric generating function of the Edison Plant was reduced to supplying power for many of the streetcar lines. As a result in 1907, the Edison Light & Power Company became a subsidiary of the newly named York Railway Company as a result of a merger.

Part 6—100th Birthday for the History Center Chimney.  At one time the buildings of the Edison Light & Power Company, recently purchased by the York County Heritage Trust, contained two giant chimneys. When it came time to build these chimneys, for the coal-fired power plant in these buildings, the premier chimney builder in the United States was selected; the Alphons Custodis Chimney Construction Company of New York. The surviving 1916 chimney still stands and celebrates its 100th birthday during July of 2016.

Part 7—Birth of District Steam Heating in York.  In 1898, Adam F. Geesey was instrumental in the birth of the York Steam Heating Company to make use of exhaust steam; that would have otherwise been wasted at the Edison Electric Light plant. After electric generation ceased in 1959, the York Steam Heating Plant operated until 1977. These buildings housed the first electric generating station in York County. The buildings generated electricity for 75-years and supplied steam, keeping Yorkers warm for 80-years.

Part 8—New Name is York County History Center.  A year ago, the York County Heritage Trust brochure “Pondering Change” contained a conceptual illustration of the History Center on page 14. The landmark chimney intuitively proclaimed History Center! A name change was one of the items on the agenda during a special meeting of the membership of the York County Heritage Trust on April 20, 2016. The members overwhelmingly voted in favor of an organizational name change to York County History Center.

Part 9—Twin Smokestacks at Edison Plant.  The greatest feedback from this series has been related to the smokestacks at the Edison Plant; i.e. a 188-feet high smokestack completed in December 1910 and a 182-feet high smokestack completed in July 1916. For at least 40-years both of these smokestacks stood together. Several readers inquired if photos exist of the twin smokestacks. Photos from 1930, 1942 and 1945 are included in this post, along with additional comments by my readers.

Part 10—Your History Starts Here.  Thursday evening, June 16, 2016, the York County History Center Brand Launch was moved from beside the former Edison Electric Plant into the Colonial Court House due to threatening weather. After a nice program and unveiling inside, the weather cooperated for a larger scale unveiling next to the former Edison Electric Plant. I liked the simple use of symbolized wood to create the “Y C H C” letters in the logo. The logo became even neater for me, after learning it was inspired by the exposed half-timber construction of the Golden Plough Tavern.

Part 11—History Center’s Smokestack Twin.  Sam Mills submitted a 1950s color zoom-lens photo of the ornamental brickwork believed to be topping the older History Center’s Smokestack twin, i.e. the chimney built in 1910 and razed about 1960. The ornamental brickwork design is traced to Alphons Custodis; the company that built both the 1910 and, presently standing, 1916 tall smokestacks at the Edison Electric Plant in York.

Part 12—Edison Electric Plant Expansions in York.  Following the turn of the Century, the Edison Electric Plant along North Pershing Avenue in York, in rapid succession, saw major facility expansions in 1904, 1910, 1911, 1914, 1916 and 1917. In this post I explain the facility growth and provide an annotated aerial view to show where and when the Edison Plant expansions occurred.

Links to related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Readers Choose Top 10 Posts during January 2017

Near the beginning of every month, I’m sharing with my readers the top 10 posts from the previous month.

This single graphic, features illustrations from all top 10 posts; however giving greater space to the higher ranked posts.

Synopsis and Link to each January Top 10 Post

These are your favorites during January 2017:

1—Springettsbury’s 580-ft Cavern discovered in 1915.  Photos of Luray Caverns in Virginia brought back a memory from my Cub Scout days during the 1950s. At that time, an older gentleman told stories about a nearby cavern from his youth. Recently discovered 1915 newspaper articles revealed there was more truth to those stories then originally suspected. As additional newspaper articles were found, it appears this cave was actually located in Spring Garden Township; just over the township line with Springettsbury Township.

2—When Dallastown held a New Year’s Mummer’s Parade.  On New Years Day in 1914 Dallastown held their initial Mummer’s Parade. During the day, the parade covered all the streets of the borough; which were not yet paved in 1914. In the evening, “King Dodo” and his Mummers band marched to a reception held in their honor. The reception was held in an auditorium, located on the northwest corner of South Walnut and West Howard Streets in Dallastown. Built in 1906, that building primarily served as a 300-seat theater hall, showing silent films from 1906 to 1929.

3—Lead Clue leads to locating Loucks’ Cave.  In a comment to my initial post concerning the discovery of Loucks’ Cave, Jeri Jones of Jones Geological Services noted a clue, that popped out at him, was the mention of the lead discovery as being in the area of the cave. Jeri’s knowledge of lead finds in the county resulted in a search for this cave closer to the city limits. Combining that clue with newspaper leads and information in property deeds, pointed to this cave as being under the present front yard of the manufacturing plant at the north end of Ogontz Street; however the entrances have long since been back filled, possibly as early as 1920 when residential development started on the 59-acre Loucks’ Farm in that section of Spring Garden Township.

4—York made 1901 Pullman Ventilators installed in White House.  Pullman Automatic Ventilators have a connection to The President of the United States. These ventilators were first tested in railroad cars, including the President’s car, and they were also a superior product for buildings, with the White House one of the earliest customers. Years ago I suspected, but was not certain if the White House ventilators were made in York, PA. I’ve now confirmed the Pullman Automatic Ventilator Company in York produced all of the type of ventilator applied in buildings and therefore the 1901 photo of the White House includes York, PA produced Pullman Automatic Ventilators.

5—Lefever’s One-Room Schoolhouse impacted York Suburban.  Lefever’s One-Room Schoolhouse, in Springettsbury Township, factored into the formation of the Springettsbury Independent School District; and ultimately impacting the eastern boundaries of the York Suburban School District. This post looks at the 1911 one-room school population distribution throughout Springettsbury Township and explains why there are presently two school districts sharing Springettsbury Township; York Suburban School District and Central York School District.

6—Buried Treasure in Springettsbury Township.  A 1908 newspaper article describes another attempt to find the Rankin Treasure in Springettsbury Township, York County, PA. In 1778, James Rankin allegedly quickly buried a hoard of gold and silver on this property just prior to being arrested and jailed in Yorktown as a “traitor.” Rankin had remained a British loyalist during the Revolutionary War and was dubbed a “traitor” when he became involved in a conspiracy to bring the British troops across the Susquehanna River at the time when the Continental Congress was meeting in Yorktown during 1777-78. James escaped from jail and fled to the safety of British troops and thence to England; evidently planning an eventual return, to claim his buried treasure after the rebellion was squashed.

7—Mapping of Loucks’ Cavern east of York.  A map of a portion of Loucks’ Cavern was made during late October of 1915. During mapping, the Loucks’ Cavern explorers proceeded through 11 galleries and four chambers or corridors, covering a distance of 800-feet.  Newspaper articles noted by the time the mapping of Loucks’ Cavern had been done, more than 1,000 people had viewed accessible portions of that natural wonder.

8—Racing Horses at Haines Park in Springettsbury.  Haines Park was built by Mahlon Haines and was opened for harness and running horse races in 1928. The half-mile track was located in the area of the present intersection of Northern Way and Eastern Boulevard in Springettsbury Township. Sections of that track remained visible into the 1970s. Initially the Haines Park races were held every Saturday at 1:30 P.M.. Two years later, a full card of thrilling night races commenced, every Saturday Night and Holidays at 7:30 P.M. In 1930, Haines Park became the first track in Pennsylvania to hold weekly night races under electric floodlights.

9—Exploring Loucks’ Cavern to 580-feet.  George Figdore and Franklin Minnich equipped with lanterns and ropes, explored Loucks’ Cavern in October 1915 and were able to proceed farther than any of the previous exploring parties. They were able to inspect many large and beautiful chambers. They observed that the stalactites became more beautiful and more fantastical in their formations the farther they advanced into the interior. It also was found that the cave, after they had proceeded 200 feet, is free of accumulations of water. There was no more moisture than that found in the average cellar and some of the chambers are as dry as rooms above ground. George Figdore stated he will lead a well equipped party and as the party proceeds they will make accurate measurements; that follow-up exploration is described in the post: Mapping of Loucks’ Cavern east of York.

10—Jeff Koons’ $33.7 Million Dollar Tulips; from Germany to Las Vegas.  York County native Jeff Koons’ Tulips are on display in the Wynn Theater rotunda in Las Vegas. The 3-ton Tulips sculpture was installed early in 2013 after being acquired at Christie’s in New York for $33,682,500. These Tulips were put up for auction by the German bank Nord/LB. In 2002, Nord/LB acquired the Tulips sculpture from Jeff Koons for $2.5 Million. This sculpture was on display in the courtyard of the bank headquarters in Hanover, Germany for nearly a decade. In 2012, the bank decided to put the Tulips up for auction and use the proceeds to fund a cultural foundation.

This chart tracks the level of my YorksPast readership. Thank you to the multitude of readers that e-mail me with comments, suggestions and finds; you’re created a wonderful backlog of subjects for me to post. Your continued feedback is very much appreciated.

Links to the Top 10 Posts for the 15 most recent months:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Baltimore Colts at Central High and more Gino’s

John Mackey & Johnny Unitas during a Baltimore Colts exhibition basketball game at Central High (1968 PANTHER; Yearbook of the Class of 1968 at Central High School, York, PA)

Thanks for the outpouring of comments on my recent post: Pennsylvania’s first Gino’s was in Springettsbury.  One reader commented: “You say Gino’s on East Market opened in the spring of 1961. While I distinctly remember it opening in the late fall of 1960. I remember the weather being rather cool.”

My source for a spring of 1961 opening was an autobiography that I started just after grad school. Therefore I relied upon my memory, of 15-years earlier, when that autobiography item was written; however it was supported by dates of surrounding events that were easily checked.

Nevertheless, I started my search anew. Use of indexed newspapers again proved unsuccessful, because of limited coverage in those years. Saturday afternoon I resorted to the brute force approach, i.e. searching weeks of newspaper microfilms at the York County History Center. That search was successful; Gino’s full-page Grand Opening ad is displayed at the end of this post.

As a result of the Gino’s search, I came across a long forgotten “ future question to look into” within my autobiography files. That question was rapidly answered via indexed newspapers. The question directly relates to an exhibition basketball game in our school gym by Baltimore Colts players while I attended Central York High School. Our 1968 yearbook contains two photos from that basketball game. The photo of John Mackey and Johnny Unitas on the bench is from page 122 and a photo of Johnny Unitas shooting a foul shot is on page 165. For the 1967 season, in a landslide, Unitas was voted the Most Valuable Player in the National Football League. Johnny Unitas, completing his 12th season, received all the votes, except for 3-votes going to Deacon Jones and 2-votes each for Leroy Kelly and Gale Sayers.

Nine years earlier, on March 18, 1959, Unitas led another team of world champion Baltimore Colts players in an exhibition basketball game at Central High School. I had heard two, widely differing, stories why that basketball game took place. Newspaper articles confirm proceeds from that game were used by the Central High Booster Club to purchase a score board on the Central High football field.

Baltimore Colts connections & Gino’s Grand Opening ad

I started to root for the Baltimore Colts during the 1958 and 1959 seasons when they won back-to-back NFL Championships. In the following years, Dad and me would always watch the Monday night Baltimore Channel 2 TV show, “Corralin’ the Colts,” in which the players and coaches always had a great time reviewing their previous game. Through a salesman at work, Dad got two tickets to a Colts game on October 18, 1964, and he took me to the game. That game, in Memorial Statium, was against the Green Bay Packers; coached by Vince Lombardi. Former Colts player, Don Shula, coached Baltimore and they won the game 24-21. That game was the moment that I became a serious Baltimore Colt fan for life. Six eventual Baltimore Colts Hall of Famers played in that 1964 game. All are represented on the only autographed sports item in my possession.

This poster was printed for a signing event ten years ago. As soon as I saw it, I had to have it. I liked the way Memorial Stadium on 33rd Street ties everything together. Jim Parker, upper left, and Johnny Unitas, upper right, had already passed away. The remaining five Baltimore Colts Hall of Famers signed the poster. Art Donovan is the player that retired prior to the 1964 game. Art Donovan and John Mackey have since passed away. Raymond Berry, Lenny Moore and Gino Marchetti round out the players on this poster. Besides the seven players shown on this poster, several Hall of Famers associated with other career teams, also played for the Baltimore Colts.

The Colts would go on to win Super Bowl V following the 1970 season; Johnny Unitas and John Mackey were on that team. Following the 1983 season, owner Robert Irsay swept the Colts’ Baltimore football heritage off to Indianapolis.

Gino Marchetti, the long-time captain of the Baltimore Colts was inducted in the National Football League Hall of Fame in 1972. The Grand Opening of the drive-in restaurant, bearing his name, at 2500 East Market Street in Springettsbury Township, York County, PA, occurred Thursday evening April 20, 1961 at 7:00 P.M.

The April 20, 1961, full-page ad in The Gazette and Daily has both Alan Ameche and Gino Marchetti there autographing pictures. Note they did not market the drive-in as fast food, but instead “Sudden Service.”

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Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Pennsylvania’s first Gino’s was in Springettsbury

Westward view of Gino’s Drive-In Restaurant at 2500 East Market Street, Springettsbury Twp., York Co., PA (9/8/65 Photo from the Collections of Springettsbury Township Historic Preservation Committee)

I discovered interesting follow-up deeds after researching my post: LoPiccolo’s in Violet Hill connection to The Woods in Springettsbury Township.  The owners of the property at 2500 East Market Street leased that plot of land to “Gino’s No. 1 of Pennsylvania, Inc.” Additional research does indicate Pennsylvania’s first Gino’s Drive-In Restaurant was opened in the spring of 1961 along East Market Street, directly across from the York County Shopping Center. This popular fast-food drive-in featured 15-cent hamburgers, 10-cent golden French fries and starting in 1962 also offered Kentucky Fried Chicken; all of this nearly a decade before the first McDonald’s was built in York County.

This photo comes from a collection of several old Police Polaroids donated to the Springettsbury Township Historic Preservation Committee. Each Polaroid in that collection contains the date and time taken; this one was taken September 8, 1965 at 7:35 a.m. At that time, evidence was being recorded in the parking lot of the Lincoln Woods Inn, the neighbor to the east of Gino’s. I zoomed in on this Gino’s image that was part of the Polaroid background.

The left side of the image shows the front of the initial style of Gino’s drive-in building. Later in the 1960s, the front of the restaurant was enlarged to provide inside seating. The right side of the image shows the sign along East Market Street, near Hill’s Department Store property; Gino’s neighbor to the west.

Additional Gino’s Details and the York Site

In 1957, Baltimore Colts running back Alan Ameche and his friend Louis Fischer got into the restaurant business in Baltimore. In 1959, after they brought in Colts’ captain Gino Marchetti, the first Gino’s brand drive-in restaurant opened at 4009 North Point Road in Dundalk, Maryland. Gino’s opened a few more drive-ins around Baltimore, before expanding into the Philadelphia market in the fall of 1960; however that drive-in was located across the Delaware River in Cinnaminson, New Jersey.

Pennsylvania’s first Gino’s drive-in was opened in the spring of 1961 at 2500 East Market Street, directly across from the York County Shopping Center. I was 11-years old at the time, the oldest of five children in our family. Gino’s became one of the places we’d stop on our way home from attending Sunday School in the city. During really nice weather, we’d eat in the car; although usually we’d make a quick stop and take the bags of burgers and fries home. The following is a typical 1961 Gino’s newspaper ad. An early Gino’s slogan was, “A Meal For Five a Dollar Seventy-Five.”

The following comparison contains a 1961 Gino’s price card, handed out following the opening in York, placed next to the photo of 1965 sign in front of the East Market Street location. This card shows what the Gino’s drive-in structure, in York, looked like in the early 1960s. This side-by-side Gino’s sign comparison also illustrates the before and after look of the sign, after acquiring the franchise for Kentucky Fried Chicken in the middle-Atlantic states during the summer of 1962. Large KFC plastic buckets were attached to the “circled 15-cents” parts of the sign.

As soon as Gino’s started to offer Kentucky Fried Chicken, Gino’s became the place our family would stop, at least every other week, on our way home from attending Sunday School in the city. We’d nearly always get a mix of burgers and chicken. The following is a typical 1962 Gino’s newspaper ad. This ad contains Gino’s signature slogan, “Everybody Goes to Gino’s.”

Quickly additional items were added to Gino’s menu. The Sirloiner hamburger was ground from sirloin steak. The Gino Giant predated the Big Mac of McDonald’s fame. A McDonald’s owner in Pittsburgh developed the Big Mac. One wonders if that Pittsburgh owner got his inspiration from the Gino Giant. The advertised ingredients of a Gino Giant were: Two all-beef hamburgers, delicious gourmet sauce, lettuce, cheese, in a double-decker sesame seed roll.

In 1982, Marriott Corporation acquired the 359 company-owned Gino’s locations, which stretched all across the Middle-Atlantic region, converting many of these locations to their Roy Rogers Restaurants. If a Gino’s was already in close proximity to a Roy Rogers, Marriott’s continued to operate the Gino’s drive-in for a number of years. Such was the case for the Gino’s at 2500 East Market Street, since a Roy Rogers already existed on the northeast corner of Memory Lane and Industrial Highway.

The Gino’s at 2500 East Market Street closed on January 17, 1985. For the remainder of the 1980s the building sat vacant. About 1990, plans were to open a Gilligan’s Restaurant at the site; however I don’t believe they ever had an opening. The Boulevard Restaurant did operate at the site for several years in the early 1990s. In the later 1990s, The Ground Round opened and was doing a good business until a fire destroyed the place. Perkins Family Restaurant built on the site about 2000 and continues to operate there.

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Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Haines Park transforms into a Trailer Park

May 30, 1964, Historic Aerial Photo from the York County Archives (Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2017)

The May 30, 1964, historic aerial photo, from the York County Archives, shows the horse race track at Haines Park after it was transformed into a mobile home park. House trailers sat along the outside edge of the half-mile track from 1953 until about 1966. This trailer park was located in the area of the present intersection of Northern Way and Eastern Boulevard in Springettsbury Township. In terms of a present landmark structure, the AAA building sits where the track infield existed.

Sunday evening, Deb Krout provided some neat comments about this trailer park; which was introduced in yesterday’s post: Racing Horses at Haines Park in Springettsbury.  “I grew up in that trailer park. All my cousins and school friends were jealous of the expansive playground right outside my front door. The trailer children had the whole track infield to ourselves! As I got older, they were just as jealous, since Playland roller skating and pool was practically right out my back door. If I remember correctly, the owner of the trailer park was not Mahlon Haines, but was some reality company. My parents always seemed to get along well with them. I know several of the streets (Mills, Moul, others?) in the area are named after people in that reality company.”

I’ve already asked Deb if she’d share some photos; she thinks her older sister might have a few from the trailer park and promised to check. Deb told me her parents moved into that trailer park in 1954 and they were there until 1965. Through some research, I discovered a 1954 newspaper article that confirmed Mahlon Haines sold Haines Park in 1953. It was Eastland Realty Company who turned the half-mile horse race track at Haines Park into a mobile home park. The same article named three individuals in that company after which streets in the area received their name.

1954 Article and Streets in the Haines Park Area

An article in the April 10, 1954 issue of The Gazette and Daily contained the headline “Firm Expanding Trailer Park Site.” Quoting that whole article:

Trailer park at old Haines race track being expanded by Eastland Realty company to accommodate 120 trailers.

Work was started this week by Eastland Realty company on expanding the trailer park on the site of the old Haines race track, Clayton Moul, Eastland president, announced yesterday. There are 25 trailers on the property now and facilities are being readied to accommodate about 120 eventually.

Moul said his firm has started construction of a 32 by 26-foot concrete block structure, part of which will house 10 metered automatic washers for use by trailer residents. The other section of the building will be an office. The building will be finished in a few weeks.

The center of the old race track has been graded for a large play area. “As far as I know this will be the only trailer park in the country with a large recreation center in the middle of it,” Moul commented.

Concrete patios also are being laid down for each trailer. He said the patios will be built “20 at a shot.” The old race track is being paved for a circular roadway.

The Eastland corporation purchased 55-acres of the Mahlon Haines tract last summer. A shopping center will be erected along some 600-feet of the property, which fronts Lincoln highway east or the 3000-block East Market street.

Only one business for the center has been announced. It is the Aero Oil company which bought a portion of frontage property several weeks ago for $18,000 and will erect a service station there. Moul said other prospective businesses for the center, which will cover two blocks, are being lined up but he would not reveal which they are.

The shopping center will be on either side of Mills street, a new thoroughfare to be cut through and which was named after Thomas C. Mills, Eastland secretary-treasurer. It will run south off the highway. Paralleling Mills street will be Moul street and Deardorff street which will run south off Eastern boulevard.

Deardorff street was named after George Deardorff, Eastland vice-president. The firm also plans to extend Eastern boulevard easterly to the end of its property line about 1,000 feet from Haines road.

In addition to the trailer park and shopping center, Moul said his firm plans a residential development in the tract but said details for the project still are incomplete.

By early summer of 1954, the first of the new Eastland homes were being constructed along Fifth Avenue extended and the plans were to develop 375 lots on their tract within four years. This was a shift of emphasis away from constructing an Eastland Shopping Center along both sides of Mill Street; likely because just down the Lincoln Highway, construction of the York County Shopping Center had already gotten underway.

The following August 11, 1971, Historic Aerial Photo from the York County Archives shows a few sections of the Haines Park track were still visible on that date. A Best Products store was built soon afterwards; located primarily on the infield of the former Haines Park. After Best Products closed, AAA moved their regional headquarters into that building.

August 11, 1971, Historic Aerial Photo from the York County Archives (Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2017)

Eastern Boulevard was expanded through the area of Haines Park in the mid to late 1960s. Actually many of the streets in that area were put in or widened within two years of the Fall 1968 opening of the York Mall; i.e. at present site of the Walmart Supercenter in Springettsbury Township.

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Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Racing Horses at Haines Park in Springettsbury

Card advertising Night Races at HAINES PARK (From Collections of S. H. Smith)

Haines Park was built by Mahlon Haines and was opened for harness races and running horse races in 1928. The half-mile track was located in the area of the present intersection of Northern Way and Eastern Boulevard in Springettsbury Township. Sections of that track remained visible into the 1970s.

Mr. Haines and some of his friends wanted to stage weekly horse races, however upon being turned down on using the track in the York Fairgrounds, Mahlon decided to built his own track in a corner of his Yorkshire Ranch.

Initially the Haines Park races were held every Saturday at 1:30 P.M.. Two years later, a full card of thrilling night races commenced, every Saturday Night and Holidays at 7:30 P.M. In 1930, Haines Park became the first track in Pennsylvania to hold weekly night races under electric floodlights.

Special Attractions and other uses of Haines Park

The opening of Haines Park was initially planned for June 23, 1928, however heavy rains that Saturday scuttled those plans. The grand opening became June 30, 1928. The York Riders and Drivers Association were sponsors of the programs of racing every Saturday afternoon. Mahlon N. Haines was president of that association. Charles W. Bailey was its vice-president. John Kelbaugh was its racing secretary and Roy Gilbert was its treasurer. The following ad for opening day appeared in The Evening News of Harrisburg.

In the small print it is noted “All will want to see Joe Boy, the 27-year-old Pacer who will go an exhibition mile, Saturday, June 30th, Lost only two races out of 188.” Free parking was available for 3,000 automobiles. It was estimated that between 70 and 80 horses will be stabled at the track on Friday evening for the next day’s events. Horses from Hagerstown, Lancaster, Frederick, Hanover, Carlisle, Harrisburg, Gratz and some of the horses under training at the York Fair stables were entered.

Besides horse racing, Haines Park was utilized many additional ways. Mahlon Haines sponsored a Bronco Billie Rodeo at the park with all proceeds benefiting Springetts Fire Company. Haines Park was utilized by the Boy Scouts, amateur baseball league games, bicycle rodeos, and trapshooting events; including a statewide championship event in 1933. It seems Haines always had some sort of free give-away. For example, to start the 1937 racing season on Monday May 31st, a free ox-roast was given to the first six thousand people attending. Following WWII, Haines Park became the site of the York Horse Show.

Mahlon Haines purchased his initial farm in Springettsbury Township during 1917; he named those 199-acres, Haines Acres. Haines Park was located on his 318-acre Yorkshire Ranch; purchased during 1924. I’ve plotted the metes and bounds of Haines Acres and Yorkshire Ranch on a March 19, 1938 Historic Aerial Photo from Penn Pilot.

March 19, 1938, Historic Aerial Photo from Penn Pilot annotated with Mahlon Haines’ 1917 and 1924 Land Purchases in Springettsbury Township, York County, PA (Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2016)

I’ve marked the half-mile oval of Haines Park in the northwestern corner of Yorkshire and it can also be seen in the distance on a 1940s photo in the post Mahlon Haines’ Yorkshire Ranch.

Traditional uses of Haines Park continued until 1953, thereafter it became the site of a trailer park. In the spring of 1963, I worked on a 7th grade science project with a guy who lived in that mobile home park. Half the time we’d work at his home and the other half at my home. I thought it was unique, the way the mobile homes’ surrounded the track with the big play-yard in the middle. The following May 30, 1964, Historic Aerial Photo from the York County Archives shows Haines Park when it was used as a trailer park.

May 30, 1964, Historic Aerial Photo from the York County Archives (Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2017)

The following August 11, 1971, Historic Aerial Photo from the York County Archives shows a few sections of the Haines Park track were still visible on that date. A Best Products store was built soon afterwards; located primarily on the infield of the former Haines Park. After Best Products closed, AAA moved their regional headquarters into that building.

August 11, 1971, Historic Aerial Photo from the York County Archives (Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2017)

Links to related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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