Who remembers Fish & Chips along Memory Lane

Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips restaurant (Submitted by Tammy Roth)

Tammy Roth wrote, “My parents moved from Rhode Island to York County at the start of the Summer of 1975; not wanting to move my younger sibling and me during the school year. Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips restaurant opened within days after our move. It became my dad’s favorite. It is where I got my first job, and it is where I first met my husband. I had never heard many facts about the hamburger joint formerly at that location. Thanks for filling in the details with your story about Huntleys Hamburgers.”

Directories at the York County History Center note Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips operated at 190 Memory Lane from 1975 until 1981/82. As Tammy’s e-mail continues, she provides her thoughts why it closed. “About 1980, we started to get complaints the taste of the fish had changed. There was a continual drop in the number of customers. I quit before they shut down. I heard that shortly after Mrs. Paul’s Seafood bought Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips in November of 1979, the fish type was switched; instead of Icelandic Cod,  Mrs. Paul’s used Pollack, an oilier fish. I still remember one customer; he always ordered three Krunch Pups and a slice of Lemon Luv pie. I wonder who remembers Fish & Chips on Memory Lane.”

Ad showcasing the other offerings at Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips

The Krunch Pup was a batter-fried hot dog and no, I was not the customer that ordered three at a time. Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips also served batter-fried chicken. I did not eat there much, however I do remember the Lemon Luv pie as being very tasty. The following ad appeared in the September 22, 1976, issue of the York Daily Record.

The 190 Memory Lane lot began as an empty piece of ground and eventually contained three eating establishments. From 1966 until 1971 it was Huntleys Hamburgers. From 1975 until 1981/82 it was Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips. Beginning in 1984, and presently still there, it is Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Links to related posts in the area:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Waddy George’s Curioseum in the Accomac Hills

Display of Arrowhead Relics (Source: Pinterest)

Bill Neff wrote if I could provide further details about the following message; written on a postcard sent to his grandfather in Virginia and postmarked York, Pa. on June 15, 1937. “The Waddy George Curioseum on the Wizard Ranch is something you gotta see next time you’re up this way.”

Waddy’s George’s Curioseum contained over 20000 curious objects and was housed in a museum built by Mahlon Haines on his Wizard Ranch in the Accomac Hills. Waddy was the nickname of longtime York newspaper reporter Wadsworth M. George.

In the late 1950s I remember stories of when my aunts or uncles brought someone new to the Smith family bungalow at Accomac, a visit to nearby Waddy’s George’s Curioseum was sure to be included amongst the weekend activities. By the time I was old enough to visit the bungalow, the curioseum was no more, however if we’d find arrowheads any particular weekend, you could count on one of my aunts or uncles mentioning something about Waddy George’s displays of arrowheads. Arrowheads were but one of many curiosities found in the curioseum.

Waddy’s George’s Curioseum

The May 18, 1936, issue of The Gazette and Daily contained an article entitled, “New Museum Building At Wizard Ranch Park.” Quoting the whole article:

Mahlon N. Haines is having constructed at his Wizard Ranch park in the Accomac hills, a new forty by twenty foot one-story building, to house a museum which will be open free to the public.

Rare pictures and weapons will adorn the walls and large antiques including the iron treasure chest of a pirate of the Spanish Main, will be displayed in ten by ten foot lobby.

From the lobby an entrance will lead in to a room thirty by twenty feet, where a continuation of the big collection of curiosities, relics and pictures known as “Waddy” George’s Curioseum will be housed.

In the curioseum 20,000 interesting and curious objects will be exhibited.

Ex-Congressman E. S. Brooks has presented to Mr. George for the new curioseum, a large air view photograph of the northern section of the city of York, one of the earliest photographic views of York taken from an airplane.

Waddy was the nickname of veteran newspaper reporter Wadsworth M. George. Wadsworth was born in York during 1869. His obituary noted he was a typical reporter of the old school. He worked for newspapers in Altoona, Pittsburgh, Bryn Mawr, for the York Press, the York Age, the York Daily, and finally the York Dispatch; where he was on the staff for 39-years.

The July 6, 1943, issue of The Gazette and Daily contained the obituary for Wadsworth M. George. He was buried in Mt. Rose Cemetery and his pallbearers were Felix S. Bentzel, Mahlon N. Haines, James E. Chalfant, and Arthur W. Patterson. Quoting that part of the obituary dealing with his collecting habits.

Another side of Waddy’s complex nature was his love for collecting all sorts of curiosities. This collection, called a curiouseur, was donated to the Wizard Ranch. Among the articles are old manuscripts, a menagerie of several hundred, miniature horses and about 5,000 models of elephants, all types of baskets, a library of over 400 books, various Indian relics, pipes and pictures of many figures familiar to the American way of life. Some of his manuscripts are originals.

I wanted to know what ever happened to Waddy George’s collection. The answer is found in the December 2, 1949, issue of The Gettysburg Times. Quoting the whole article:

Scouts to benefit from sale of relics. Indian relics—arrowheads, pipes, axes and spears, manuscripts, dating back to Queen Elizabeth’s reign and dime novels of 75 years ago are among the articles that will go on sale today and Saturday at York, at an auction, which will raise money for the benefit of the York Boy Scout camp, Tuckahoe.

The articles are from the collection of Wadsworth M. George, which had been on display at the museum at the Mahlon N. Haines’ “Wizard Ranch” near Hellam. In addition to the Wadsworth collection some items owned by Haines, including a boat brought from Oslo, Norway, rare stuffed animals from South America and the like will be included in the sale. One-third of the proceeds will go toward the Boy Scout camp. The sale is being held in the Hotel Yorktowne.

Links to related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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First York County WWI soldier dies in France

French Students, from the IME de l‘Omois school, place American and French flags at the graves of U.S. Veterans in the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery just east of Fere-en-Tardenois in France (Photo from The American Battle Monuments Commission web site)

Walter L. Fitzgerald was the first York County WWI soldier to die on foreign soil, doing so on January 5, 1918. Private Fitzgerald is buried in the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery just east of Fere-en-Tardenois in France; within Plot C, Row 9, Grave 1.

Every year French students place American and French flags at the graves of WWI U.S. Veterans in the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery. This photo is from The American Battle Monuments Commission web site about their WWI cemeteries in Europe.

Private Fitzgerald was the son of Mr. and Mrs. William D. Fitzgerald of 428 East Prospect Street in York. He was employed as a machinist at the York Safe and Lock Company prior to his enlistment. He served in the United States Air Service, 48th Aero Squadron, Aviation Signal Corps, 2nd Instruction Detachment. He was a member of the First Moravian Church, North Duke Street in York, which held special memorial services in memory of Walter on Sunday January 20, 1918. Part of that service is quoted at the end of this post.

The United States entered WWI on April 6, 1917. It took half-a-year to mobilize, train and transport troops to fight in Europe. On November 3, 1917, the first United States soldier was killed in action, near Verdun, France. By the Armistice of November 11, 1918, there were over 76,000 United States soldiers buried in temporary battlefield graves. No remains of fallen WWI soldiers were returned to America until well after the war ended.

General Pershing argued that burying servicemen in permanent American cemeteries, near the battlefields with their fallen comrades, offered the greater glory. Most Americans were not in agreement with such a plan; finally it was agreed to leave the decision up to the each individual fallen soldiers’ next of kin.

Nationwide, beginning in 1921, the remains of roughly 60% of the fallen WWI soldiers were returned to the United States. The number was higher in York County, with the remains of 78% of the 195 fallen soldiers returned to this country for burial near their hometowns. In the coming year, I plan on posting a scattering of stories focusing on the 42 York County WWI Veterans buried on foreign soil.

Private Walter L. Fitzgerald and his letters home

At the January 20th memorial service, Pastor Weber, of the First Moravian Church, relayed the contents of a letter, dated December 30, 1917, from Walter Fitzgerald, and received January 18, 1918. Quoting from the newspaper article “Pay Tribute To Soldier Hero,” in the January 21, 1918, issue of The York Daily:

In the letter Fitzgerald stated that he had spent a pleasant Christmas day. He had a turkey dinner and thanked the Sunday school for the box of sweets they had sent. He also, sent greetings to all his friends in the church and wished to be remembered to them.

The pastor said it was a peculiar service the congregation was called upon to hold, the first one of the character, which had been held in the memory of the present generation in this church.

“Perhaps such services were held during the dark days of 1861-1865.” said he, “but if so, we have no such record which could guide us and which we might follow. More than this it is the first service to be held in the city of York for a soldier boy who has given his life for his country on foreign soil in the great conflict that is being waged at this time between the central powers of Europe and the allied powers of the world.”

“Walter LeRoy Fitzgerald was born in Norristown, Pa., Feb. 27, 1896, the eldest son of William D. Fitzgerald. In early boyhood days he came to York, and spent the greater portion of his short life here, attending the public schools and graduating as a machinist in the industrial course of the York High school in 1914. He was, among others, a classmate of our son, Howard H. Weber, who with Walter Horstick are the only other men from this congregation in France.”

“He was baptized and confirmed on Sunday April 9, 1911, and was a communicant member of this church up to the time of his death, which occurred “Somewhere in France” from spinal meningitis on or about Jan. 9, 1918, and was a great shock to the members of his household, church and city, as no warning word had come preparing us for the news.”

“The Master has said ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends,’ and this is what Walter Fitzgerald did for us his friends.”

“He was anxious to show his patriotism and volunteered at the first opportunity. He was a member of the 48th Aero Squadron and after some training in the States was sent over with his regiment during October to France, for active service on the western front.”

“His letter dated Dec. 9 was cheerful and full of enthusiasm for his country and the good treatment of the enlisted men of the United States. There was not an inkling of regret, nor a whine of complaint at the deprivations, which attend the boys who must endure the soldier’s hard life.”

“Some day, perhaps, the body will be brought home, and will be interred beside that of his father in our local cemetery, meanwhile it rests in foreign soil. And we are glad that we can honor him and the family from which he went out, for while he did not die in battle, he was willing and ready to do this, as soon as those in authority commanded him to do so. And after all it is the intent of the heart for which God gives us credit.”

Walter Fitzgerald’s death from disease was not all that uncommon for United States soldiers during WWI. In fact nearly 25,000 soldiers died, while still involved in their State-side training, from the Spanish influenza pandemic in 1918.

The Oise-Aisne American Cemetery is located 1.5-miles east of Fere-en-Tardenois, and approximately 70-miles northeast of Paris, France. Besides Walter Fitzgerald, there are two other York County soldiers buried in the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery; the final resting place for 6,012 War Dead:

  • Sherman W. Leifer, from York; a Private with Company A, 6th Engineer Regiment, 3rd Division, was killed on July 15, 1918, and is buried within Plot A, Row 24, Grave 35.
  • Charles Schroll, from Cly; a Cook with the 28th Infantry Regiment, 1st Division, was killed on August 31, 1918, and is buried within Plot B, Row 17, Grave 13.

There is also one York County civilian buried in the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery:

  • James W. Gailey, from New Park; was killed July 29, 1917, and is buried within Plot A, Row 11, Grave 25.

James Gailey was a York County civilian who was a volunteer Ambulance Driver in the American Ambulance Corps that served the French Army. Although not a soldier, he is actually the earliest resident from York County to be killed on foreign soil during WWI. James was from New Park in southern York County. James Gailey was killed on July 29, 1917, from the explosion of a German shell. There will be a follow-up post on James W. Gailey.

Links to related WWI posts:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Local WWI Veterans buried in Europe

Headstone of Blaine B. Barshinger in the WWI St. Mihiel American Cemetery in France (Photo from Collections of S. H. Smith)

Writing a family history book produces appreciative actions and notes of thanks for connecting distant, and sometimes no so distant, family members. The French gravesite of WWI Veteran Blaine B. Barshinger has received numerous floral decorations by even distant Barshinger relations; these are neat unexpected reactions to his story in my book “Barshingers in America.”

Corporal Blaine B. Barshinger served in Company B, 315th United States Infantry, of the famed 79th Division, during World War I. Blaine was wounded in combat on September 27th 1918 and died in France from pneumonia on October 15th 1918, at the age of 25. Blaine’s grave is located in Plot A, Row 25, Grave 19 of the St. Mihiel American Cemetery in Thiaucourt, France. This section of the cemetery is near the graves of 117 unknowns.

Blaine’s ancestors lived in York County since before the Revolutionary War; and it was his grandfather Charles Barshinger that moved a branch of the Barshinger Family to Perry County in 1859. The Blaine B. Barshinger VFW Post 882 in Marysville, Perry County, is named in honor of Blaine.

Blaine is one of 30,086 United States Veterans buried in six WWI American Cemeteries within France. There are also 368 U.S. WWI Veterans buried in Belgium and 468 U.S. WWI Veterans buried in England. The names of 4,452 WWI soldiers, from those regions that are missing in action, are also commemorated at these cemeteries

With the 100th Anniversary of the United States entry into World War I, I wondered if any of the 195 York County Veterans killed in WWI are buried in European WWI Cemeteries. If so, maybe this post will prompt those graves to receive floral decorations, as Blaine Barshinger has been receiving.

Blaine Barshinger’s story in the 79th Division

St. Mihiel American Cemetery is one of 8 A.B.M.C. (American Battle Monuments Commission) WWI cemeteries in Europe. The A.B.M.C. web site is (http://www.abmc.gov) and this link will take you directly to their web page with instructions for placing floral decorations.


The outbreak of World War I in Europe began in August of 1914 and for several years President Wilson struggled with keeping the United States out of the war. However German actions against United States shipping finally reached the tipping point, such that Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war against Germany on April 2, 1917.

Congress approved the declaration of war on April 6th but not without several detractors; 6 Senators and 50 Representatives voting against U.S. involvement. On May 18th, Congress authorized conscription with a Selective Service Act. On May 29th, General John J. Pershing and a small staff sailed for France, the first of almost two million Americans who would be deployed in the American Expeditionary Force.

79th Infantry Division of the United States Army

Blaine B. Barshinger was a soldier in the 79th Infantry Division of the United States Army. This unit was primarily made up of men from South Central and South Eastern Pennsylvania plus Maryland and Washington DC. This unit was activated in August of 1917 and trained in Maryland until being deployed to France in July of 1918. The unit was held in reserve during their initial weeks in France.

The 79th Division saw their initial action during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, which was fought from September 26th until the Armistice of November 11, 1918. On the opening day of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the 79th Division was given the task of taking the German heavily fortified high ground at Montfaucon. This hilltop, 120-miles east of Paris, overlooked fields fronting the Argonne Forest; it had been a strategically important German observation post since the earliest days of the war.

On September 26th, it soon became clear the support of the 79th Division’s assault, was ill planned by headquarters. Nevertheless, the soldiers improvised and nearly met their objective by the end of the day; be it with many casualties. On September 27th, by Noon, against all odds, the 79th Division took Montfaucon, allowing the overall offensive to commence. It was during the second day of fighting at Montfaucon that Blaine Barshinger was wounded.

The core of the recently released, critically acclaimed book “With Their Bare Hands” is a detailed examination of the 79th Division and the battle for Montfaucon. Gene Fax spent 17-years researching the book; here is its cover, I just ordered a copy on Amazon.

In 2002, a year after my book “Barshingers in America” was published, I discovered my “WWI Expert” was incorrect in stating that Blaine Barshinger was involved in the Battle of the St. Mihiel Salient, which occurred between September 12th and 15th of 1918. I’m anxious to read Gene Fax’s book to learn where the 79th Division was located in the weeks leading up their most famous battle.

The 79th Division was placed in reserve for several days following the taking of Montfaucon, however was back on the front lines outside Wadonville by October 8th. Wadonville is 25 miles southeast of Montfaucon. Overall, the Meuse-Argonne Offensive involved 1.2 million American soldiers and resulted in the loss of 26,277 American lives.

Most of the Americans buried in the WWI St. Mihiel American Cemetery were killed in either the Battle of the St. Mihiel Salient or in the St. Mihiel Region of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. The map segments, in the following illustration, come from articles on the American Battle Monuments Commission web site. The top map indicates the various American Divisions located in the St. Mihiel Region during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. I’ve pointed out the 79th Division and the lower map provides the location detail of the WWI St. Mihiel American Cemetery with respect to the town of Thiaucourt. Also note the 28th Division, made up of mostly Pennsylvania soldiers, is near Haumont; five miles to the east of the 79th Division location.

As I’ve noted in this illustration, Cpl. Blaine B. Barshinger (Co. B, 315th Infantry, 79th Division) was wounded on Sept. 27th during the battle for Montfaucon. He died near Wadonville on Oct. 15, 1918; and is buried in St. Mihiel American Cemetery.

Links to related WWI posts:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Readers Choose Top 10 Posts during March 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 March Top 10 Post

These are your favorites during March 2017:

1—Chicken & Waffles at Ye Olde Valley Inn.  A chicken and waffle full dinner cost 50-cents in 1915 at Ye Olde Valley Inn along the Lincoln Highway, 3-miles east of York, in Springettsbury Township. Ann Turner remembered her grandmother telling a tale of her younger years in the area, when people came from all over, including Lancaster County, for the unique chicken & waffles sold at Ye Olde Valley Inn. Ann wondered maybe they were unique because the waffles were served with fried chicken, like almost everywhere else in the country, except Central Pennsylvania where waffles are instead smothered with shredded chicken and gravy.

2—Huntleys Hamburgers along Memory Lane.  Huntleys Hamburgers operated along Memory Lane in Springettsbury Township; spanning the late 60s and early 70s. Sue Markle submitted wide-ranging comments about Huntleys and noted “When McDonald’s arrived nearly next door during Huntley’s final year, my hamburger pecking order remained Huntley’s first, Gino’s occasionally, and McDonald’s almost never.” Sue provided locations of other Huntleys and details on how this hamburger drive-in chain got started.

3—Yorker shares excitement of vacations a century ago.  In 1961, a Yorker wrote of his 1910 experiences as a youth in traveling alone via train and stagecoach to his grandparents’ farm in Adams County. He recalled, “I think the reason I got so excited last week about the tearing down of the old Western Maryland Railway passenger station on North George street was because that was the place, many, many years ago, that I used to get on the train to go on my Summer vacation. Looking back, I believe that the thing that made that trip so exciting and wonderful was that I was permitted to make it alone.” Read the whole letter, containing the adventures of a York city boy traveling to and vacationing on a farm over a century ago.

4—History of The Susquehanna Trail.  The History of The Susquehanna Trail has quickly become my top requested local history presentation since the initial offering during September 2016. Before Interstate-83 the prominent north-south road in York County was the Susquehanna Trail. Earlier in March, a nice crowd at Historic Wrightsville’s Olde Town Night learned about the origins and myths of the Susquehanna Trail; they also had some interesting questions about route numbers in reference to The Trail. This post provides expanded answers those questions.

5—How a mile long river bridge was built in 21 days.  A photo of the mile long steel railroad bridge over the Susquehanna River, linking Wrightsville and Columbia, is believed to include some of the workmen that erected the bridge in 21 working days during 1897. The Pennsylvania Railroad used the divide and conquer method to accelerate bridge construction.  The railroad utilized two bridge building companies, Pencoyd Iron Works and Edgemoor Bridge Works, each with a responsibility to simultaneously build one-half of the bridge across the Susquehanna River. Competition and the fear of being the company that lags behind in holding up its end of the schedule are significant motivating factors. Read details about the building of the 1897 bridge per information supplied by Wm. A. Pratt; engineer of bridges for the Pennsylvania Railroad.

6—Naming of Three Mile Run waterway in Springettsbury.  Three Mile Run waterway crosses under East Market Street, Northern Way and Eastern Boulevard in Springettsbury Township. In the 1800s, this waterway was so named because the distance from this York and Wrightsville Turnpike crossing point to the square in York is 3-miles. The stream likely took on such a name due to the neighboring inn along the York and Wrightsville Turnpike; the Three Mile House. In the early Twentieth Century, that establishment was renamed Ye Olde Valley Inn, whereas the waterway continued to be identified as Three Mile Run. In 1969, Three Mile Run was placed completely underground between East Market Street and Eastern Boulevard, so as to construct Northern Way between these roads.

7—Dr. Spotz off on house calls in 1900.  Shelly Riedel submitted a photo of Dr. Spotz when he practiced in Hampton, Adams County, PA. In the photo, G. Emanuel Spotz is driving a horse and carriage, while sitting beside him is his 5-year-old daughter, Marie McClure Spotz. In a few years, the doctor switched to the automobile as his mode of transportation in rural Adams County. In the spring of 1912, Dr. Spotz returned to college; taking post-graduate courses at the Jefferson and Polyclinic Hospitals in Philadelphia. On March 21, 1913, his license was transferred to York County, whereupon he established a medical practice in York and added even more horsepower to make house calls, per my post: Dr. Spotz used Race Car to make York County house calls.

8—Lilian Roye international horsewoman in Springettsbury.  Lilian was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. From an early age she excelled at training horses and soon was only entering horses in competitions that she had trained. Prior to WWII, Lilian was the All-Danish national jumping and dressage champion for six consecutive years. It was a time when these events were still dominated by military trained personnel. Lilian picked up more wins in competing throughout Europe. Lilian was the first woman to win the most difficult jumping event in all Europe, The Grand Prix de Luzerne in Switzerland. After WWII, Lilian turned professional, performing in circuses in Europe and the United States. Lilian announced her decision to make York her permanent residence in the States during a June 1950 horse show appearance for the York County Horsemen’s association. Her Springettsbury Township stables opened in 1951 and the full facilities of the Bri-Mar Riding Academy opened in 1953. The International Equestrian Organization was founded there in 1958. My post Bri-Mar track just off Lincoln Highway  contains aerial photos from 1957 and 1972.

9—Pennsylvania’s first Gino’s was in Springettsbury.  Share in the discovery of the deed where the owners of the property at 2500 East Market Street, in Springettsbury Township, 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 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.

10—Wm Tally House cafeteria at York Mall.  A friend of Joan Lutz claimed the William Tally House cafeteria at the York Mall was connected with McCrory’s Stores. Joan doubted that was true, however asked if I’d look into it when she submitted a photo of the Wm Tally House logo from a cup. Read about the connection between William Tally House and McCrory’s plus some York Mall memories.

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 17 most recent months:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Mahlon Haines built Haines Building at 101 E. Market St.

Haines Building at 101 E. Market St. in downtown York, PA (Mahlon Haines photo from 1936 newspaper ad; 2017 building photo by S.H. Smith)

Mahlon Haines had shoe stores at six locations within the City of York and three of his stores were within his own buildings; all designed by John A. Dempwolf.

Mahlon Haines built the, still standing, Haines Building at 101 East Market Street from Dempwolf drawings dated June 3, 1922.

Haines’ initial building was constructed in 1915 at 231 North George Street; it served as the headquarters of The Haines Shoe Company empire, however also contained one of his shoe stores. I wrote about that building in the post: Haines Building on North George Street.  Unfortunately, that building was torn down in the 1960s to create several off-street parking spaces.

Almost immediately after completing the Haines Building at 101 East Market Street, Mahlon built the Haines Hotel on the northwest corner of George and Philadelphia Streets. It contained one of his shoe stores at 13 West Philadelphia Street. I wrote about that building in the post: Mahlon Haines’ Hotel endures on North George Street.  That building still stands as an apartment house.

The 101 East Market Street property was recently in the news. The York firm RSDC, formerly Royal Square Development & Construction, is renovating this building on the northeast corner of East Market Street and North Duke Street. RSDC is planning to move its offices to the 101 E. Market St. building and H&R Block will be staying, with 10 new apartments created on the upper floors.

Mahlon Haines’ property purchase & the Six Stores

On May 17, 1921, Mahlon Haines purchases the 101 East Market Street town house property, which had belonged to Philip A. Small. The Small family in York County had a propensity to continually re-use given names. Haines’ purchase was from the estate of P. A. Small, a grandson of one of the founders of the company P. A. & S. Small. I constructed this condensed Small Family Tree for a previous post about Miss Cassandra Small’s Country House.  Three lines from the bottom is Philip A. Small [1866-1918]; it is his wife Jane (Jennie) Reese Small, as executor of the estate, that sells the corner property to Mahlon Haines. (Reference York County Deed Book 21U, page 514)

Condensed Small Family Tree is from Family History Research by S. H. Smith, primarily at the York County History Center, 2013

The will of Philip A. Small [1866-1918] directed his executor to sell any and all real estate except his farm “Grantley.” In the final years of his life, the town house in York had been rented out; while “Grantley” had become Philip and Jennie Small’s year-round residence.

The purchase included three lots. Lot No. One (166-feet deep along Duke Street by 22-feet along Market Street) is where the Haines Building was built at 101 E. Market Street. Lots No. Two & Three were on the southeast corner of Duke Street and Clarke Avenue; Mahlon Haines sold those lots to The Manufacturers Association of York on August 14, 1922. (Reference York County Deed Book 22B, page 523)

Over the years, space in the 101 East Market Street shoe store of Mahlon Haines was donated to various causes; ranging from Boy Scouts fund raisers to Bundles for Britain collection drives during 1940. Mahlon sold the Haines Building on June 1, 1954, to George D. Deardorff. (Reference York County Deed Book 39B, page 117)

The following Mahlon Haines ad appeared in The Gazette and Daily on May 14, 1936. The ad contains the locations of his six shoe stores within the City of York. These were six of the fifty mid-atlantic area shoe stores Mahlon owned by 1936.

Links to related posts:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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The tale of Gilbert Bridge over Yellow Breeches Creek

York County Bridge No. 248 (Gilbert Bridge) over Yellow Breeches Creek (Photo taken in 1954, after bridge repairs were made; Source: York County Archives)

After seeing Teresa Boeckel’s article, in the York Daily Record earlier this week, about historic but deteriorating bridges spanning the Yellow Breeches Creek, I recalled pertinent long-ago Gilbert Family History questions concerning Gilbert Bridge.

This York County Archives 1954 photo shows Gilbert Bridge after bridge repairs were made on that Pratt Truss bridge connecting Gilbert Road in York County with Bishop Road in Cumberland County; while bridging the Yellow Breeches Creek. Gilbert Bridge was built in 1899 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, however unfortunately was replaced with a concrete bridge in 2008.

The 1898 Bishop Road Bridge, a still-standing Pratt Truss bridge, is located a mere half-mile drive, due north, from Gilbert Bridge. The Bishop Road Bridge spans the Yellow Breeches Creek at an “S-bend;” creating the geographic oddity where York County is north of Cumberland County at that bridge location. Gilbert Bridge and Bishop Road Bridge are situated in rural Monaghan Township, in northern York County; less than a mile east of the Messiah College campus.

After the publication of my Family History book “Barshingers in America,” my immediate follow-up project was a Family History book on the “Descendants of Johannes Gilbert [1772-1846] of York Co., PA.” Gilbert is the maiden name of my grandmother, Iva Mae (Gilbert) Smith. Research for the Gilbert book is still underway, although a copy of 820-pages of my indexed research notes is available for review at the York County History Center.

In responding to one of my Gilbert questionnaires, James Gilbert was the first to question if there is a family connection to Gilbert Road and Gilbert Bridge in Monaghan Township. He later kept me informed when the original Pratt Truss bridge was replaced with a concrete bridge in 2008.

The Tale of Gilbert Bridge over Yellow Breeches Creek

On August 9, 1899, the Commissioners of York and Cumberland Counties contracted with the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio, to build a metal truss bridge over the Yellow Breeches Creek at the Gilbert Ford. The bridge carried the fabrication year 1899 and final acceptance of the installed bridge was made on March 10, 1900. This was the follow-up bridge to the nearby Bishop Road Bridge, which had been contracted with the same manufacturer in 1898.

Embossed on the rolled shapes in the bridge were the words “Jones & Laughlin,” the trade name of Jones and Laughlin Ltd., a Pittsburgh producer of iron and steel in the 1890’s and a predecessor of the Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation. Jones and Laughlin Ltd. began the manufacture of steel and steel products in 1886.

The Gilbert Bridge had a span of 101-feet and a roadway width of 15-feet. The clearance over normal water level in the Yellow Breeches Creek was 10-feet, 10-inches. The bridge had a posted 10-ton weight limit.

This plaque is affixed to the south wall of the 2008 concrete bridge replacing the Gilbert Bridge; a 1899 Pratt Truss bridge that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989. As noted on the plaque, the “Original Pratt Truss named for early residents—Lyman and Spencer Gilbert.” I’ll do follow-up posts on the prominent brothers: Lyman D. Gilbert [1845-1914] and Spencer C. Gilbert [1849-1924].

Plaque on South Wall of 2008 Concrete Bridge replacing the 1899 Gilbert Bridge, over Yellow Breeches Creek, connecting York and Cumberland Counties (2017 S. H. Smith Photo)

In 1872 Lyman Gilbert was the first to make the initial of many purchases of land in Monaghan Township, York County, on the downstream side of what became known as Gilbert Ford on the Yellow Breeches Creek. Lyman and Spencer Gilbert, with their families, maintained ever-expanding summer residences on the banks of the Yellow Breeches. Along with other affluent families from Harrisburg, as was customary for that period, the Gilbert families lived approximately half of the year through the summer time in those retreats and commuted to Harrisburg for business reasons by the Reading Railroad from Bowmansdale or Grantham stations; one-mile to the north and west, respectively, from the Gilbert retreats.

Newspapers of the time, usually reported when prominent families opened up their summer homes for the season. Lyman Gilbert’s retreat is reported as “Fairfield House.” Spencer Gilbert’s retreat is reported as “Summer Residence at Roaring Dam.” I’ve annotated a Google aerial view to show the relative location of features in the proximity of Gilbert Bridge.

Annotated Google Aerial View at Gilbert Bridge (S. H. Smith, 2017)

The next post, in this series, will examine the extent of repairs, made in 1954, to the original Pratt Truss bridge and examine why this historic bridge was replaced, rather than saved in 2008. For now, I’ll provide links to posts that I’ve previously written about some of my Gilbert ancestors.

John David Gilbert [1849-1933], my Great-grandfather, was involved with the burning of the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge during the Civil War; check out this link for details.  Further details on John’s grandfather John D. (Johannes) Gilbert [1772-1846] are provided at this link.  Iva Gilbert, my grandmother, and her sister Minerva Gilbert appear in an 1896 Photo of Edward J. Sitler Cigar Factory Employees in East Prospect, York County, PA, at this link.  A photo with three of my Great-aunts, is known as the “Big Hats Photo;” it is shared at this link.

Links to related Gilbert Family posts:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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US Naval Reserve building in Springettsbury Township

USNR Building under construction in Springettsbury Township (7/12/1947 dated photo in Collections of York County History Center)

Thanks to Larry Spangler for sending me a photo of an Eden Road building, utilizing three Quonset huts, with the e-mail subject line: “what’s the story with this building?” Ground was broken on April 28th 1947 for this United States Naval Reserve Training Center in Springettsbury Township. The building utilized three 40 x 100-foot Quonset huts facing Hively Road and connected at the front by a 20 x 148-foot assembly hall made of cinder blocks. This photo shows construction progress, as of July 12th 1947, on the southernmost Quonset hut and the front assembly hall.

The final clue in Sunday’s post, Identify the building with these steps,  was “Hively’s semi-circle times three.” Until 1960, Eden Road was known as Hively Road. The mystery structure was built utilizing three semi-circular shaped Quonset huts along Hively Road.

The 70-year-old structure still stands today along Eden Road, just north of the intersection with Sand Bank Road. The 15,000-square-foot building remains U. S. Government property, although it has been vacant in recent years.

Details how this facility was utilized

During 1947, the Quonset hut structure was built on a 6.9-acre plot northwest of the Naval Ordnance Plant in Springettsbury Township. The formal designation for the users of this facility was United States Naval Reserve Surface Division 4-60; providing surface ship training at this 60th Naval Reserve Division in the 4th Naval District.

York Naval Reserve Training Center is the title most often associated with this building in the first two decades of its use. As built, the structure housed 32-rooms, comprising: the assembly hall, meeting rooms, offices, a galley, lounges, locker rooms, training rooms, machine shops and a radio room. Later in its life, the building is also referred to as the USNR Community Building; when groups in addition to the Naval Reserve also held meetings in the assembly hall.

The fully equipped York Naval Reserve Training Center was initially occupied during late December of 1947. This photo shows the exterior of the building on November 24th 1947.

USNR Building in Springettsbury Township (11/24/1947 dated photo in Collections of York County History Center)

The mission of York Naval Reserve Division 4-60 was to provide trained units and qualified individuals to be available for active duty in time of national emergency to augment the regular component of the naval establishment. Division 4-60 was activated in July of 1946; a formality to get the training facility built along Hively Road. A newspaper article, in the November 22, 1957, issue of The Gazette and Daily, described historical events associated with the 10th anniversary of the York Naval Reserve unit that occupied the training facility. Quoting the early history of the unit, from that article:

The York Reserve unit was formed officially on Nov. 25, 1947, with first meetings held at York Post office. David R. Rehmeyer, New Freedom, was first commanding officer. Drills were moved soon to Malta Temple and then to the center built at the rear of the NOP on Hively Road.

Initially enlistment in the York Naval Reserve was open: to ex-servicemen of all branches, to men between 17 and 18 years old, and to non-veterans between 30 and 39 who meet physical and mental requirements. By mid-1948, enlistment was widened to men between the ages of 17 and 64, plus ex-WAVES. A sampling of training conducted at the York Naval Reserve Training Center included: class and shop training for machinists, mechanics, refrigeration and air conditioning, electricity, engineering and radio.

This is the 2016 view, that Larry Spangler sent me last fall, of the York Naval Reserve Center along Eden Road in Springettsbury Township. I’ve annotated and added my photo of the main entrance steps, marked with DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY, and pointed out the location of these main entrance steps.

USNR Building along Eden Road in Springettsbury Township (Upper 2016 Photo by Larry Spangler; Lower 2016 Photo by S. H. Smith)

Links to related posts:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Identify the building with these steps

Steps (2016 Photo, S. H. Smith)

Who can identify the building with the pictured steps? These are the main entrance steps of a 70-year-old building that still stands in York County. The steps can clearly be seen from a public street or road. The 15,000-square-foot building remains U. S. Government property, although it has been vacant in recent years. The building is located within a 2-mile radius of Continental Square in York.

The identity and history of the building will be revealed in the YorksPast post of Tuesday. Here is one final clue: “Hively’s semi-circle times three.”

Links to other step relared posts:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Yorker shares excitement of vacations a century ago

Postcard painting of East & South Sides of the Western Maryland Railway Passenger Depot in York, PA, ca. 1900 (Collections of S. H. Smith)

In 1961, a Yorker wrote of his 1910 experiences as a youth in traveling alone via train and stagecoach to his grandparents’ farm in Adams County. He recalled, “I think the reason I got so excited last week about the tearing down of the old Western Maryland Railway passenger station on North George street was because that was the place, many, many years ago, that I used to get on the train to go on my Summer vacation. Looking back, I believe that the thing that made that trip so exciting and wonderful was that I was permitted to make it alone.”

This postcard shows the east and south sides of the Western Maryland Railway Passenger Depot that sat in York on the southeast corner of North George Street and the Codorus Creek. Passenger service to this station ceased in 1936 and, as indicated by the opening lines of his letter, the Yorker was saddened this passenger depot was torn down in 1961.

His grandparents’ farm was located in Hampton, Adams County. Doc Spotz was still practicing in Hampton during 1910 and the letter notes Doc is now making house calls via automobile; having traded in his horse and carriage that I wrote about earlier this week.

Read the Whole Letter

Shelly Riedel shared a newspaper clipping. It was not dated, however clues in the article and the text on the reverse side allowed me to discover the issue in which it appeared; by the use of the newspaper microfilms at the York County History Center. This “When You and I Were Young” clipping appeared in the August 12, 1961, issue of The York Dispatch. Clues in the article point to Henry writing about an experience of his youth from about 1910. Quoting the entirety of Henry’s letter:

I think the reason I got so excited last week about the tearing down of the old Western Maryland Railway passenger station on North George street was because that was the place, many, many years ago, that I used to get on the train to go on my Summer vacation. Looking back, I believe that the thing that made that trip so exciting and wonderful was that I was permitted to make it alone.

Kids those days weren’t as travel-wise as they are now and a trip alone on the steam cars clear from York to New Oxford made a fellow feel downright grown up.

My grandparents had a farm just outside of Hampton, up in Adams County and I used to spend two weeks there every Summer. As I remember Hampton in those days, the pretty village and its countryside were completely innocent of wire or rail. There were no telephones, no electric lights, nor any railways, steam or electric. The East Berlin Railroad ran from the Western Maryland tracks at New Oxford to East Berlin, but if you wanted to go to Hampton, as I did, you would take the mail stage. It wasn’t really a full-fledged stagecoach—just a covered spring-wagon with boards for seats, but the driver was a pleasant man and the fare was only 15 cents and you had the privilege of arriving in town along with the morning mail.

Here is a map of the railroad route Henry took from York to East Berlin. I’ve highlighted the route on this section of an 1895 Railroad Map. Railroads in red are those under control of the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR). Those railroads not under PRR control are in black. Henry was traveling on railroads consolidated into the Western Maryland Railway System between York and Berlin Junction; located just before reaching New Oxford. In Berlin Junction, Henry would have changed trains to travel to East Berlin, on the East Berlin Railway. The final four miles to Hampton were on the mail stage.

1895 Rail Road Map of Pennsylvania (Source: Library of Congress)

Continuing with Henry’s letter:

I wonder if it would be possible, these days, to find any place in the world as untroubled and as unhurried as Hampton seemed to be then—no roaring trucks, no screaming tires, no wailing sirens—only the pleasant clip-clop of hoofs upon the soft country roads as the townspeople and the farmers drove here and there upon their several errands.

I remember one evening shortly after nightfall we were all sitting on the side porch looking across the meadows toward town when a pair of headlamps showed up on the road. The conversation stopped as we all watched the progress of the headlamps in the darkness. Then my grandmother spoke up:

“That,” she said, “must be Doc Spotz. His has lights.”

I tell you this story just to show you how the automobile, which had already started to worry the police and the lawmakers in York, hadn’t made much of an impact up Hampton way, except when one turned up unexpectedly to frighten the wits out of the horses.

And, by the way, the “Doc Spotz” my grandmother referred to was the late Dr. G. Emanuel Spotz, who shortly was to leave Hampton and come to York, where for many years he enjoyed a wide practice. If I remember correctly, he had his offices in the Lehmayer building on East Market street. I’m pretty sure this is so, because I often used to see him in the elevator when I was on my way up to the third floor to see what was new in the offices of the York Chamber of Commerce.

But as I was saying before I got sidetracked—

Spending two weeks vacation on a farm is a very fine and healthful thing and a city boy is bound to learn a lot of things he didn’t know before. One of the things I learned—the hard way—is that you can’t take a calf for a walk on a leash as you can a dog. I tried it. It just won’t work.

Well, this is the way it happened. I was out in the barn one afternoon currying the cows—an occupation which the farm folks regarded as silly but which the cows seemed to enjoy—when I decided it would be nice to take one of the calves for a walk. I picked a nice big one and untied his rope from the stanchion and said, “Come on, boy.” Boy came, but he came too fast. The rope snapped out of my hand and before I could pick myself up out of the straw that calf was running and bawling around out in the barnyard. I guess, maybe, he was looking for his mamma.

I don’t know whether that calf outweighed me or not, but I know he had a lot more traction than I had, because he dragged me around that barnyard half a dozen times before I finally euchred him back into the cow stable and got my end of the rope tied to the stanchion again. I had to take my bath and change my clothes out in the yard that evening, because you know how a fellow looks and smells after being dragged around a barnyard by a contrary calf.

After that episode, I have never had any qualms about eating veal. Signed: Henry.

Links to related posts:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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