Readers Choose Top 10 Posts during February 2015; Appreciative of Post about York’s Changing Addresses

Stats2015Feb

During the past month, I’ve heard from many family historians. All were very appreciative of my post where I explored why York’s addresses changed. Thanks for all of your comments and suggestions for future posts! I hope to see many of you during my April presentation at the Lancaster Family History Conference.

City Directories are excellent sources to discover where your ancestors lived, or where a business was located in the City of York. Using these directories, I’ve seen family histories, where people write, “my grandparents moved down the street in 1899.” However it is easy to get misled, because in some cases they did not move, instead the street address number changed for the same building. In my #1 post for February, I explored why, when and how street addresses changed in York.

At the beginning of every month, I’m sharing with my readers the top 10 posts from the previous month. These are your favorites during February 2015:

Yt131Address Numbers change and Yorkers Resist the Change; also Pullman Building

This post explores why, when and how street address changes were made in York. The adjustment was not easy for Yorkers; it took almost 20 years for the acceptance of these changes.

Yt132Readers Choose Top 10 Posts during January 2015; OLLI Lifelong Learning at Penn State York

Three of January’s top posts are related to my next OLLI Lifelong Learning classes at Penn State York. At the beginning of every month, I share with my readers the top 10 posts from the previous month. These are your favorites during January 2015.

Yt124York was in danger of losing the Lincoln Highway during 1914

I heard from Bob Landis, after writing York is In Danger of Losing the Susquehanna Trail during 1923. During a visit to the Lincoln Museum in Illinois, he heard that Congress tried to route the Lincoln Highway through Washington, D.C. Bob surmised, “If true; York might have also been in danger of losing the Lincoln Highway.” In this post, I confirmed Bob’s suspicions via an April 14th 1914 article in the York Daily.

Yt133#7 York Rolling Mill in Spring Garden Township; site of a Massive Explosion in 1908

The York Rolling Mill was established in Spring Garden Township three years after the end of the Civil War. By 1899, it had grown to become the seventh largest factory employer in all of York County. After a massive explosion on August 10, 1908, all useable equipment from the site was moved to a Susquehanna Iron & Steel Company mill in Columbia. The remains of the damaged York Rolling Mill building were demolished and the factory was never rebuilt.

Yt134Mystery One-Room Schoolhouse drawn by Cliff Satterthwaite

Cliff Satterthwaite provided a plein-air pencil drawing and artwork of a York County one-room schoolhouse. It was drawn about 1971 and vandals burnt down this schoolhouse, about one year later. Cliff did not recall the exact name or location of this schoolhouse, so I asked my readers to help in the identification. Readers have responded; watch for an update this coming Friday.

Yt135#8 York Carriage Company; becomes site of Pullman Automobile production in York

The York Carriage Company was established during 1889, at 158-160 North George Street in York. That location is presently occupied by the Pullman Building; housing the Pullman Apartments at 238 North George Street. Don’t be misled by the different street numbers; between then and now, the street address numbers changed in York.

Yt136First Working Canal in Pennsylvania was in York Haven

On November 22, 1797, the Conewago Canal Company opened a canal to navigate the Conewago Falls on the Susquehanna River; it was the first working canal in Pennsylvania. Cliff Satterthwaite decorates this post with his mural depicting canal operations in York Haven during the 1840-1850s era.

Yt137#6 York Haven Paper Company; on the Site of One of the Earliest Canals in America

The population of the town of York Haven took off after the 1885 establishment of the York Haven Paper Company. York Haven was incorporated as a borough seven years later; on December 1, 1892. The York Haven Paper Company might have never been built at this site, without prior ventures that harnessed the hydropower of the Conewago Falls immediately upriver.

Yt126Reading the HEADLINES: An Index to ALL YorksPast posts

This link is on the menu bar and at the end of every post; providing a linked quick view of all the YorksPast Headlines. I continually get complimented on this feature; one reader summed it up, “It’s just like reading the headlines on various pages or sections of the newspaper.” She liked using my listing of headlines sorted into broad categories; especially the ability to virtually see all headlines in each section, all at one time.

Yt138RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 22 . . Diversify . . Part 2

Two years ago, I decided to use YorksPast to force me to finally start my novel, centered upon York’s railcar builders Billmeyer & Small. I’m on a weekly schedule of researching and writing an installment of the novel that appears every Thursday in YorksPast. In Chapter 22, as the level of railcar manufacturing is on a downward slope in York, George Billmeyer diversifies into other businesses while Billmeyer & Small branches out into building specialty railcars. Several rail fans in Maine were happy that my novel included the Billmeyer & Small venture into producing two-foot gauge passenger and combination coaches for Maine railroads in the 1890s.

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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York Haven Borough is gifted a Town Hall

Part of a framed Blueprint hanging in York Haven Borough offices (2015 Photo, S. H. Smith)

Part of a framed Blueprint hanging in York Haven Borough offices (2015 Photo, S. H. Smith)

I received several nice comments to both of my York Haven posts of last week. In the post First Working Canal in Pennsylvania was in York Haven I noted that Cliff Satterthwaite painted two large murals for the York Haven State Bank.

During my research for that post, I mistook the passage “the York Haven State Bank was taken over by a York bank” as becoming a branch of the York Bank; which is in error. Thanks to my readers for making the correction that the York Haven State Bank was taken over by Drovers Bank in 1978. The branch was moved to Newberrytown and is now an office of Fulton Bank. They also pointed out that when the bank moved, the Satterthwaite murals were donated to York Haven and now hang in the Borough Hall.

I visited the York Haven Borough Hall and got pictures of the murals in their new setting; they will be used in a future post. Cliff Satterthwaite guessed they were painted in 1980, he was close; they were signed 1974.

I got a quick tour of the building and became intrigued with a non-dated, framed blueprint; hanging in the York Haven Borough offices. Years ago, it was found as a chance discovery within the building. The blueprint notes “Floor Plans and Elevations of a Library, York Haven, Penna.” The illustration, at the beginning of this post, is the front elevation, facing the end of North Front Street; which becomes Main Street. A public library has existed at that spot in York Haven since 1920.

York Haven Community Library (2015 Photo, S. H. Smith)

York Haven Community Library (2015 Photo, S. H. Smith)

This photo shows the interior of the 95-year-old library. Today, volunteers operate the York Haven Community Library, with financial support and book donations coming from the public.

The blueprint was the work of noted Philadelphia architect Mantle Fielding. Several collections of Mr. Fielding are housed in Winterthur Museum and Library, in Winterthur, Delaware. The museum notes “Mantle Fielding was an architect and authority on colonial painting. Born in New York City, the son of Mantle and Anna M. Stone Fielding, he was educated at the Germantown (Pennsylvania) Academy. He graduated in 1883 and then studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After working as a draftsman and architect in Philadelphia, he launched an independent firm around 1886 that continued in operation until 1938.”

While searching for any direct communications between Mantle Fielding and York Haven Borough, I discovered that Fielding was not dealing with the Borough; he was dealing with the York Haven Paper Company. It appears York Haven Paper Company planned to build a library for York Haven; however they instead called the building a town hall. This after the Borough abandoned several attempts to build a town hall on their own.

The June 17, 1919, issued of The Gettysburg Times carried the announcement for the New Town Hall:

York Haven, Pa., June 17—The contract for the town hall to be erected by the York Haven Paper Company, at Pennsylvania Avenue and Main Street, has been let to J. W. Hartley, a York contractor. Mantle Fielding, of Philadelphia, is the architect. The structure will be erected at a cost approximating $50,000, it is said. A survey of the site was made Saturday.

TownHallC

As the building took shape, the name Town Hall gave way to Community Hall. The Evening News of Harrisburg noted the dedication of the hall in their September 13, 1920 issue.

Saturday, September 11, 1920, was the official opening of “the York Haven Community Hall, which was built by the York Haven Paper Company and turned over to the Borough.”

The new hall was designed by Mantle Fielding, of Philadelphia. It is of brick and colonial architecture and cost more than $30,000. It has two stories and a basement. The interior is finished in natural wood. The Boy Scouts will use the basement; there is a library on the first floor, together with a committee room and a kitchen on the second, and the third story comprises an auditorium with seating capacity for 400. There is also a stage and a gallery.

The reported third story is actually the floor directly above the library, if one uses “It has two stories and a basement;” just as the kitchen and large community room exist today on the upper floor.

The first floor committee room serves as the Borough Hall. The entrance lobby, off of Pennsylvania Avenue, is where Cliff Satterthwaite’s murals now hang. The gallery loft above the second floor community room housed a projection room. At one time the community room was regularly set up to serve as a 400-seat movie theatre.

Related posts include:

Continue reading for the full article about the York Haven Hall Dedication.

Continue reading “York Haven Borough is gifted a Town Hall” »

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RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 22 . . Diversify . . Part 4

RAILCAR GOLD   Chapter 22 . . . Diversify add 2 blanks after GOLD

RAILCAR GOLD   Chapter 22 . . . Diversify

RAILCAR GOLD is a historically accurate multi-generational fictional tale of hidden treasure, primarily set in York County, Pennsylvania during the latter half of the Nineteenth Century. This is Part 4 of Chapter 22 . . . Diversify. A new part will be posted every Thursday. Recent chapters stand alone, starting here; however new readers may want to start at the beginning.

Continue reading “RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 22 . . Diversify . . Part 4” »

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#5 American Caramel Company in York, with links to Hershey’s Chocolate & Graybill’s

York Plant of American Caramel Company (From 1904 Ad in Collections of S. H. Smith; Street names added by S. H. Smith, 2015)

York Plant of American Caramel Company (From 1904 Ad in Collections of S. H. Smith; Street names added by S. H. Smith, 2015)

CaramelBAn American Caramel Company ad included photos of their three plants in 1904. This photo shows their York Plant, located on the northwest corner of Broad and Walnut Streets in York. In 1904, American Caramel’s other plants were located in Lancaster and Philadelphia.

The ad noted the Home Office was located in York, PA. The company officers in 1904 were: William L. Blair, President; Joseph H. Fisher, Vice-President; and Daniel F. Lafean, Secretary and Treasurer.

The American Caramel Company in York has direct links to Hershey’s Chocolate and to Graybill’s; the wholesale electrical distributor, located on Broad Street in York. The earliest origins of this confectionery company go back to 1867, when Peter C. Wiest started making caramels in York.

By 1899, the York Plant of the American Caramel Company had grown to become the fifth largest factory employer in all of York County. The 10th Factory Inspection Report notes that on March 13th 1899, the American Caramel Company has 250 employees; 50 male and 200 female. Of these 250 employees, 120 employees are under 21-years-old, of which 2 male employees and 16 female employees were between 13 and 16 years old. The goods manufactured are recorded as “Confectionery.”

George Prowell’s 1907 History of York County, PA, notes in Volume I, Page 767:

The American Caramel Company grew out of an industry established by Peter C. Wiest in 1867. He was a pioneer in the manufacture of caramels and was successful in his efforts and soon developed a large business. In 1878, Daniel F. Lafean became a partner and the firm of P. C. Wiest & Company was organized. The original proprietor retired from the business and in 1895 The P. C. Wiest Company was incorporated with Daniel F. Lafean as president.

CaramelCDirectories of York, have the early confectionery business of P. C. Wiest & Company being conducted at 14 North George Street in York. Business was good; because an 1887 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of York, shows P. C. Wiest & Company is in the course of completing a four-story confectionery factory on the northwest corner of Broad and Walnut Streets in York; with their two-story offices on the southwest corner of these same streets. This Sanborn map section is from Penn State Libraries on-line digital collection of older Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps.

A few years later, Milton Hershey built a four-story factory to house his expanding Lancaster Caramel Company at 335-347 Church Street in Lancaster; similarities to the Wiest factory suggest Hershey may have used the same architect. Milton Hershey had established the Lancaster Caramel Company as his first successful business within a small room at 335 Church Street during 1886, and expanded down Church Street as the business grew.

The 1898 York City Directory lists officers of The P. C. Wiest & Company as: Daniel F. Lafean, President & Treasurer, and George W. Williams, Secretary. Lafean was instrumental in establishing the American Caramel Company; which was created March 28, 1898 when the Breisch-Hine Company in Philadelphia merged with The P. C. Wiest & Company in York. The 1899 York City Directory lists officers of the American Caramel Company as: Daniel F. Lafean, President; George F. Breisch, Vice-President; George W. Williams, Secretary; and Walter S. Hine, Treasurer. The home office of the American Caramel Company was located in York, PA.

On August 10, 1900, the American Caramel Company acquired the Lancaster Caramel Company with the payment of $1,000,000 in cash. Milton Hershey retained the Hershey Chocolate Company, established in 1894 as a subsidiary of the Lancaster Caramel Company. Hershey also continued to lease space in the Lancaster Plant of the American Caramel Company for several years to conduct business of his chocolate company, until a dedicated chocolate factory was opened in Dauphin County during June 1905. Depending upon the various newspaper accounts of this acquisition, the three plants of the American Caramel Company produced between 90 and 95% of all the caramels sold in the United States.

The following Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, from 1908, shows the York Plant of the American Caramel Company, which was the company’s largest plant. This Sanborn map section is from Penn State Libraries on-line digital collection of older Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps.

1908 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of York, York County, PA, (Map sections from Penn State Libraries on-line digital collection of older Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps)

1908 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of York, York County, PA, (Map sections from Penn State Libraries on-line digital collection of older Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps)

Single Order for 100 Tons of Caramels

The June 14, 1905 issue of The York Daily reported on a single order for 100-tons of caramels:

R. G. Weston, of London, England, a representative of Powell Brothers & Company, of London and Liverpool, a corporation having 150 stores in England and other parts of Europe, was in this city for several hours yesterday during which time he placed an order for 100 tons of caramel and other candy with the York Plant of the American Caramel Company.

June of 1905 was the same month that Milton Hershey opened his Chocolate Factory in Dauphin County. One can only imagine Mr. Hershey thinking, after hearing about the 100-ton order, if he made the right move, in getting out of the caramel business in favor of chocolate making. History proves Hershey made the right choice.

Continue reading for the further history of the York Plant of the American Caramel Company; from Baseball Cards to Graybill’s.

Continue reading “#5 American Caramel Company in York, with links to Hershey’s Chocolate & Graybill’s” »

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1860 Buildings 11-20 in West Region of Springettsbury Township

Deininger Road and western Druck Valley Road Region in what is now Springettsbury Township; from Shearer’s 1860 Map of York County, PA & Penn Pilot Aerial Photo, from Nov. 25, 1937, of Same Area (Annotations by S. H. Smith, 2015)

Deininger Road and western Druck Valley Road Region in what is now Springettsbury Township; from Shearer’s 1860 Map of York County, PA & Penn Pilot Aerial Photo, from Nov. 25, 1937, of Same Area (Annotations by S. H. Smith, 2015)

At the top of this illustration, I’ve pointed out, and marked, ten 1860 buildings in the Deininger Road and western Druck Valley Road region within what is now Springettsbury Township. At the bottom of the above illustration is a 1937 aerial photo of the same region. I’ve zoomed in on the 1937 aerial photo to provide better detail in locating the 1860 properties (w11) through (w20).

DetailW11to20

I’m working my way around Springettsbury Township, ten buildings at a time, until all buildings from 1860 are visited. See the post: Springettsbury Township building tally during 1860, for my specification of the four regions.

Other posts in this series include:

Shearer’s 1860 Map of York County contains the owner/occupant of most buildings; for example (w16) is J. Billet. Additional information on J. Billet can be found by consulting the 1860 Census of the United States; where one discovers this is Jacob Billet, a 39-year-old, master shoemaker.

The results after consulting 1860 Spring Garden Township census records are shown below. Spring Garden Township 1860 Census records must be used because Springettsbury Township was formed from the northeast part of that township on April 20, 1891. The order of visitation, of the census taker, often provides assistance on who are neighbors and the tabulation of “value of real estate” separates the landowners from the renters or tenants:

StCensusW11to20

Three of these 1860 buildings still stand at these addresses:

  • [w11] – 2443 Deininger Road
  • [w12] – 2723 Deininger Road
  • [w16] – 1575 Parkview Road

The ‘w14’ church along Mt. Zion Road is noted as “German Reformed Church” on the 1860 map and as “German Reformed & Lutheran Church” on an 1876 map. While the original church building no longer stands, the present Mt. Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, at 2164 Mt. Zion Road, traces its early history to the church noted on the 1860 map.

Lutheran and Reformed parishioners, in that area, erected their initial union church building in 1851; therefore ‘Lutheran’ was inadvertently left off the 1860 map. In 1890, that initial frame building was replaced with a brick structure. Damage, due to a cyclone in the early 1900s, required most of the brick church to be re-built.

The union agreement was dissolved in 1955, with the Mt. Zion Evangelical Lutheran Congregation taking full ownership. The reformed congregation built a separate structure; now the Mt. Zion United Church of Christ, at 1054 Ridgewood Road.

The newest building of the Mt. Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church was dedicated in 1966. The bell, which rests in the front of the sanctuary, is from the 1890 structure.

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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East York Bowling Ad has Unique York County Connections

Ad for Opening of the East York Bowling Center (The Gazette and Daily, Tuesday November 29, 1955, page 21; From Newspaper Microfilms of York County Heritage Trust)

Ad for Opening of the East York Bowling Center (The Gazette and Daily, Tuesday November 29, 1955, page 21; From Newspaper Microfilms of York County Heritage Trust)

The East York Bowling Center opened on the evening of Wednesday November 30, 1955, per this ad appearing in the November 29, 1955, issue of The Gazette and Daily. Most bowling centers are located in stand-along buildings, not so with these East York bowling lanes.

Bowl.bThe East York Bowling Center was an integral part of the York County Shopping Center, which opened in the fall of 1955. For those new to the area, in the mid-1990s, this shopping center was redeveloped as the York Marketplace, along East Market Street in Springettsbury Township.

The 24-lanes of the bowling center were located under the stores in the northeast section of the York County Shopping Center. In terms of stores of today, the bowling center was located under stores in the vicinity of the Starbucks in the York Marketplace. The bowling lanes could be reached via an entrance and interior stairs from the upper concourse, or from a back entrance at ground level.

The ad points out the East York Bowling lanes are equipped with AMF Automatic Pinspotters. The fine print notes, “Come see the most revolutionary development in bowling—the pinspotter that eliminates the use of pinboys. Day and Night—The automatic pinspotter is always available to serve you.” AMF was the first company to mass-produce a fully automatic pinspotter; doing so in 1952. A unique York County connection is that production lines to make the AMF Automatic Pinspotters were established at the AMF factory in Springettsbury Township during 1969.

Wilipedia Public Domain Image of Pinboys

Wilipedia Public Domain Image of Pinboys

Before the introduction of automatic pinspotters, pinboys were employed to manually reset bowling pins to their correct position, clear fallen pins, and return bowling balls to players. Simple versions of automatic pinspotters were in use, going back to the early 1900s; however the few that existed were not reliable and were never used in bowling tournaments. Gottfried Schmidt, of Pearl River, New York, patented the first of several bowling pin setting machines in 1941. AMF purchased the rights to Schmidt’s patents and started work on production development of their pinspotter after WWII.

Bowl.dAMF set up a Pinspotters Division in Buffalo, New York. The first prototype pinspotters were behemoths that weighed 2,000 pounds; and they did not have consistency in operation. The evolving string of prototypes showed up in select bowling alleys around the Buffalo area; as refinements to the production design continued.

In 1952, the design was ready for mass-production. The AMF pinspotter design quickly gained wide acceptance and by 1958, AMF had produced 40,000 Automatic Pinspotters.

AMF purchased the massive Naval Ordnance Plant in Springettsbury Township during 1963 and moved in some production from other AMF plants. AMF also continued government contracts left over from the Naval Ordnance Plant and as these government contracts ended, AMF continued to consolidate product production from other plants.

Production of AMF Automatic Pinspotters was added to the AMF York Plant in 1969. In 1971, part of my Engineering Course studies included “Inspection Trips” to industry.  The two plants that I visited in York County were Brunner Island Steam Electric Station and AMF York. The AMF engineer, taking us around the plant, worked on Pinspotter production. Seeing those machines being built make one appreciate the innovation that went into that design.

The York Plant of AMF produced 37,000 Automatic Pinspotters from 1970 through 1973. In March 1972, AMF Incorporated decided to establish their York Plant as the motorcycle production location of their recently acquired Harley-Davidson Motor Company. The first Harley rolled off the production line at that location in Springettsbury Township during February 1973; and they have been produced there ever since.

As an Engineer, working at York Division of Borg-Warner, I bowled on a few company Bowling Leagues. The Leagues were at Suburban Bowlerama on Queen Street Hill, however several of us, from the east end, regularly practiced at the East York Bowling Center. My best bowling success was during a practice session at the East York Bowling Center; when I bowled a 245. The first seven balls rolled were strikes, followed by a spare, another strike, and eight pins in the final frame.

The Bowling file at the York County Heritage Trust contained an article, from the March 4, 1990 issue of York Sunday News, about Bumper Bowling. The following photo is from that article; it shows the interior of the East York Bowling Center. Perky Savard, from the center, noted, “Little kids get so sad when all their balls go in the gutter. This way they never go in the gutter, and they always score; even if it’s only one pin.”

Bowl.f

Bowl.eThe Bumper Bowling photo was taken about five years before the East York Bowling Center went out of existence. When the York County Shopping Center was redeveloped as the York Marketplace in the mid-1990s, the East York Bowling Center was gutted for rental space.

The location of the former ground level entrance to the East York Bowling Center can still be seen on the back side of the east-side stores; as pointed out in this 2013 photo.

Related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 22 . . Diversify . . Part 3

RAILCAR GOLD   Chapter 22 . . . Diversify add 2 blanks after GOLD

RAILCAR GOLD   Chapter 22 . . . Diversify

RAILCAR GOLD is a historically accurate multi-generational fictional tale of hidden treasure, primarily set in York County, Pennsylvania during the latter half of the Nineteenth Century. This is Part 3 of Chapter 22 . . . Diversify. A new part will be posted every Thursday. Recent chapters stand alone, starting here; however new readers may want to start at the beginning.

Continue reading “RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 22 . . Diversify . . Part 3” »

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#6 York Haven Paper Company; on the Site of One of the Earliest Canals in America

Southward Looking Aerial View of Paper Mill (center) & Power Plant (lower left) in York Haven, York County, PA (ca. 1950s Aerial Photo from Collections of York County Heritage Trust)

Southward Looking Aerial View of Paper Mill (center) & Power Plant (lower left) in York Haven, York County, PA (ca. 1950s Aerial Photo from Collections of York County Heritage Trust)

This southward looking aerial view of the York Haven Paper Mill (center) & York Haven Power Plant (lower left) is from the 1950s. The reason for locating a paper mill (and power plant) at this site can be traced to a canal, opened in 1797, to allow navigation of the Conewago Falls on the Susquehanna River. That canal was one of the earliest canals in America and it was the first working canal in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The York Haven Paper Company was established in York Haven during 1885. By 1899, it had grown to become the sixth largest factory employer in all of York County. The 10th Factory Inspection Report notes that on January 31st 1899, the York Haven Paper Company has 250 employees; 223 male and 27 female. Of these 250 employees, 47 employees are under 21-years-old, of which 2 male employees and 3 female employees were between 13 and 16 years old. The goods manufactured are recorded as “Manila & Wrapping Paper.”

The York Haven Paper Company might have never been built at this site, without prior ventures that harnessed the hydropower of the Conewago Falls immediately upriver. The infrastructure for developing the hydropower at this site goes back to the November 22, 1797, opening of a canal to navigate the Conewago Falls. George Prowell’s 1907 History of York County, PA, notes in Volume I, Pages 602-603:

One of the most notable events in the history of internal improvements in the State of Pennsylvania was the opening of a navigable canal around the Conewago Falls, on the west side of the Susquehanna River. It was the first canal built in this state, and so far as definite records go, the first in the United States.

Building the canal was a formidable task; construction costs ballooned to over five times initial estimates. The canal was about one mile long and contained two locks at the lower end, near present day York Haven; all required so that river traffic could negotiate the 19-foot drop of the Conewago Falls.

The mile long canal not only aided in navigation, but also provided a ready pool of elevated water to supply hydropower for several mills. The York Haven Company, under whose direction four large flouring mills were erected, laid out the town of York Haven in 1814. The population of the town took off after the 1885 establishment of the York Haven Paper Company, with York Haven incorporating as a borough seven years later; on December 1, 1892. George Prowell’s 1907 History of York County, PA, notes the early history of the York Haven Paper Company in Volume I, Page 936:

In 1885, the York Haven Paper Company purchased the site of the flouring mills, formerly owned by the York Haven Company, and the right of waterpower. During that year, the present paper mills were erected at a cost of $400,000. Immediately after the completion of the mill, the company began the manufacture of newspaper, which was continued until 1895. Since that date, a large amount of wrapping paper and water proof insulating paper has been made, and during the last three years roofing paper has been made on an extensive scale.

The York Haven Paper Company was incorporated January 1, 1885. In addition to building the paper mill, the company constructed a crib dam just below the Conewago Falls and widened the old canal to use as a headrace for its water turbines. The crib dam was required because the paper mill required a much bigger pool of water, compared to the pool of water required for the flouring mills. The York Haven Paper Company extracted 2,100-horsepower of hydropower, from the fall of the river water, to operate their paper mill.

At the time it was built, the York Haven Paper Company was the largest ground pulp paper mill in the United States. Between 1885 and 1895 the biggest customer for their newsprint was the New York Herald Tribune.

In 1895, the York Haven Power Company built a power plant to the riverside of the paper mill. To get the necessary water flow to the power plant, this necessitated expanding the southern part of the crib dam even further out into the river. Also by 1904, the Power Company constructed a shallow wing dam above the falls, running diagonally across the river to Three Mile Island; this provided better assurance of water levels to operate the hydro turbines. I’ve marked up the following 2015 Aerial Photo; pointing out the locations of the dams, paper mill and power plant.

2015 Bing.com Aerial View of Conewago Falls area of Susquehanna River (Enhanced and Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2015)

2015 Bing.com Aerial View of Conewago Falls area of Susquehanna River (Enhanced and Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2015)

For more on the York Haven Paper Company, continue reading.

Continue reading “#6 York Haven Paper Company; on the Site of One of the Earliest Canals in America” »

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First Working Canal in Pennsylvania was in York Haven

Mural of Canal Operations in York Haven, York County, PA (Painted in 1980 by Cliff Satterthwaite)

Mural of Canal Operations in York Haven, York County, PA (Painted in 1980 by Cliff Satterthwaite)

Cliff Satterthwaite painted two large murals for the York Haven State Bank in 1980. This mural depicts canal operations in York Haven during the 1840-1850s era; and looks across the Susquehanna River towards Falmouth, Lancaster County.

The York Haven State Bank was located on the northeast corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and North Landvale Street in York Haven. It eventually became a branch of the York Bank and as the parent bank went though acquisitions by Allfirst and then M&T, the York Haven branch was eventually closed. The building does not appear to be occupied. Does anybody know what happened to these, about five-foot long murals; which hung in the bank?

CORRECTION

During my research for this post, I mistook the passage “the York Haven State Bank was taken over by a York bank” as becoming a branch of the York Bank; which is in error. Thanks to my readers for making the correction that the York Haven State Bank was taken over by Drovers Bank in 1978. The branch was moved to Newberrytown and is now an office of Fulton Bank. They also pointed out that when the bank moved, the Satterthwaite murals were donated to York Haven and now hang in the Borough Hall.

On November 22, 1797, the Conewago Canal Company opened a canal to navigate the Conewago Falls. George Prowell’s 1907 History of York County, PA, notes in Volume I, Pages 602-603:

One of the most notable events in the history of internal improvements in the State of Pennsylvania was the opening of a navigable canal around the Conewago Falls, on the west side of the Susquehanna River. It was the first canal built in this state, and so far as definite records go, the first in the United States.

Further investigation does verify this canal as being the first working canal in Pennsylvania; however it was not quite the first working canal in the United States. Building the canal was a formidable task; construction costs ballooned to over five times initial estimates. The canal was about one mile long, hugging the York County bank of the Susquehanna River from the top of the Conewago Falls, downriver to two locks at the lower end, near present day York Haven; all required so that river traffic could negotiate the 19-foot drop of the Conewago Falls. To understand the topography of the area, here is an annotated present-day aerial view:

2015 Bing.com Aerial View of Conewago Falls area of Susquehanna River (Enhanced and Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2015)

2015 Bing.com Aerial View of Conewago Falls area of Susquehanna River (Enhanced and Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2015)

This 2015 aerial view of the Conewago Falls area of Susquehanna River will be explained, in greater detail, within Tuesday’s post on the York Haven Paper Company. The York Haven Paper Company and the York Haven Power Company may never have been built at this site, without the infrastructure ventures initiated by the 1797 canal.

The key word is working canal, in being the first working canal in Pennsylvania. The Legislature authorized the Conewago Canal Company to construct the canal on April 10, 1793; which was not the first canal authorized in the state. However the canal at York Haven was the first canal in the state that was completed and put into operation. Governor Thomas Mifflin traveled from the state capitol in Philadelphia to witness the official opening on November 22, 1797.

John Hall wrote the Commonwealth’s official report several days later, complimented the Conewago Canal Company on their success, especially praising the operation of the locks, since their, “construction, &c., being new in this Country.” John Hall commended the company for, “digging the Canal a mile nearly in length, 40 feet wide and four feet deep, thro’ the most difficult ground within the State.”

Joshua Scott’s 1858 map of Lancaster County includes details on several bordering towns in York County. The York County information on this map duplicates the York Haven details on Joshua Scott’s other Lancaster County maps of 1824 and 1842. Because during 1851, the railroad from York, through York Haven, to Lemoyne was completed; however does not appear on the 1858 map. Nevertheless, the 1797 canal does appear:

Section of 1858 Joshua Scott map of Lancaster County, PA (Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2015)

Section of 1858 Joshua Scott map of Lancaster County, PA (Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2015)

The mile long canal not only aided in navigation, but also provided a ready pool of elevated water to supply hydropower for several mills. The York Haven Company, under whose direction four large flour mills were erected, laid out the town of York Haven in 1814.

In 1814, James Hopkins constructed a competing one-mile long canal around the Lancaster County side of the Conewago Falls. Hopkins Canal was later incorporated into the Pennsylvania Canal, extending upriver from Columbia.

The competition from the much longer Pennsylvania Canal, spelled the demise of the short stretch of canal at York Haven. However it was the railroads that eventually closed down canal operations, not only at York Haven, but all across the country.

Related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Mystery One-Room Schoolhouse drawn by Cliff Satterthwaite

Plein-Air Pencil Drawing of One-Room Schoolhouse (Drawn about 1971 by Cliff Satterthwaite)

Plein-Air Pencil Drawing of One-Room Schoolhouse (Drawn about 1971 by Cliff Satterthwaite)

Cliff Satterthwaite provided this plein-air pencil drawing of a York County one-room schoolhouse; drawn about 1971. It is thought the schoolhouse was in the Dallastown area; at least until it burnt down about one year after Cliff made this sketch.

Cliff was not exactly sure where the schoolhouse was located, however he remembered the person, that showed him the schoolhouse, was from Dallastown. Cliff provided the contact and I made a visit, however their memory was not good enough to pinpoint a location.

MysterySchoolBAcross the bottom of the sketch, Cliff wrote “Burnt down about 1 year after this sketch By, you guessed, Vandals.” Cliff did not know if the sign about the front door, “Bate Hill School,” could be used to provenance the schoolhouse. Was the sign faded in 1971, with not all letters visible? Was this a sign put up by a resident after the building ceased being a schoolhouse? Did a later resident, replace one of the side windows with the back door?

I evaluated all the one-room-schoolhouses in York Township and eliminated the ones still standing and the ones known to be of brick or stone construction. The remaining schoolhouses are possibilities for Cliff’s sketch: Blymire’s, Hickory, Keener’s, Kohler’s, Nace’s, Sprenkle’s or Taylor’s.

I examined my one-room-schoolhouse indexes. There was no “Bate Hill School,” however “Battle Hill School” was only two letters difference. The Battle Hill School was in Chanceford Township, southeast of Dallastown. It was of wood construction and it no longer stands; so it fits the profile of the school Cliff sketched.

If any of my readers can help identify the one-room schoolhouse that Cliff Satterthwaite sketched, please comment. The following artwork was done by Cliff, based upon his sketch.

Artwork of One-Room Schoolhouse (From 1971 Sketch by Cliff Satterthwaite)

Artwork of One-Room Schoolhouse (From 1971 Sketch by Cliff Satterthwaite)

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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