Spanglers in York: Plantation of earliest family member

Caspar was the earliest Spangler to settle in York County, Pennsylvania; doing so in 1729 with his brothers Henry and Baltzer following in 1732.

Several YorksPast readers wanted to see the whole extent of Caspar’s initial plantation via the same methodology I utilized for a small section of the southwest corner of his land in the Post: Discover the Graveyard of earliest Spangler in York County .

Here is such an illustration; the orange outline shows the boundaries of Caspar’s initial land in York County. These boundaries are plotted over the corresponding present location features utilizing a 2017 aerial photo as the base. Click on this LINK for a Full View of the illustrations in this post if details are cut off in the cropping of the illustrations.

In terms of current roads, Caspar’s land extends in a big swath on either side of Memory Lane, from approximately Eastern Boulevard northward just past Route 30 to Whiteford Road.

After Caspar Spengler died in 1760, his son Bernhard Spengler got a northern section of the plantation. Caspar’s youngest son Philip Caspar Spengler got the southern section. However, within the same year, Bernhard sold the northern section to Philip Caspar Spengler, who then continued to own his father’s whole plantation until his death.

Philip Caspar Spengler died in 1786. After some involvement by the courts, the survivors appointed the oldest son, Charles Spangler to sell the whole plantation. The whole property was sold to Elias Meyer in 1792. The April 16, 1792 deed (Book 2H, Page 95) for the sale to Elias Meyer states the size of the plantation is 385-acres.

All the time the Spangler’s owned the property it is mostly referred to as “400-acres or thereabouts” or 385-acres, yet all the corner markers were as originally specified when the plantation was warranted to Caspar Spengler on October 30, 1736.

A little more than a year after Edwin Meyers owns the plantation, the 1736 warranted corner markers are surveyed for the first time on May 15, 1793 with the surveyed size recorded as 359-acres and 152-perches (Note: 160-perches = 1-acre). This survey is filled as Deputy Surveyor’s land record 10698 at the York County History Center.

Elias Meyer died in 1805 and within his Estate File at the York County Archives is the following 1806 Draft for his land in York Township; that land area is renamed Spring Garden Township effective 1821, then Springettsbury Township since 1891.

The Estate of Elias Meyer was divided by a “Jury of twelve honest and lawful men” who decided the location of a partition boundary to create equal value ($5,564) and equal area (179-acres and 156-perches) tracts for Elias’ sons: Tract No. 1 for Jacob Meyer and Tract No. 2 for John Meyer.

It is this Jury of 12-men, in setting the partition boundary, that effectively establish the location of present day Memory Lane in Springettsbury Township.

I’m still researching the next post in this series, which will focus on the Spengler/Spangler, Meyer/Meyers, and Neill family members, plus close neighbors, that were potentially buried in the “Spangler Graveyard.”

Related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Mahlon Haines starred in a Paramount movie

Mahlon Haines, of Shoe House fame, starred in a Paramount movie that was shown around the nation. The title of the 10-minute short is “The Spirit of Seventy.” It was shown prior to featured attractions between 1953 and 1955. In this 1955 Carroll Theatre ad, it was on the same bill as the Orson Wells film “Trouble in the Glen.”

Following a family history talk in Maryland, Jennifer Myers asked if I’d ever seen the movie starring the shoe house guy. That was the first I had ever heard about a Mahlon Haines movie.

A few days later, Jennifer shared her research; which included the 1955 ad clipping and photo of Mahlon Haines. NEAT STUFF !! I’ve combined them and added a caption to create the illustration. Click on this LINK for a Full View of the illustration in this post if details are cut off in the cropping of the illustration.

Mahlon Haines supposedly would show up at theaters and would be allowed to give a personal introduction to the movie.

Mahlon N. Haines’ entry in “The National Cyclopedia of American Biography” contains the following sentence: “In 1953, he starred in a movie, ‘The Spirit of Seventy,’ which espoused the wisdom of physical exercise.” This movie is listed in the catalog of copyright entries for motion pictures: “The Spirit of Seventy” was copyrighted by Paramount Pictures Corporation on October 2, 1953. On a Turner Classic Movies message board it shows up as a 1953 short film, produced and directed by Herman Justin; whose shorts were usually 10-minues long, for Paramount Pacemaker.

I wonder if any 1950s local movie theatre audiences saw “The Spirit of Seventy” which included a personal introduction by Mahlon Haines. Actually the Carroll Theatre is not very far away; Westminster, Maryland, being only 35-miles southwest of the City of York.

Jennifer Myers provided a nice history of the Carroll Theatre. The theatre opened in 1937 and was used as a movie theatre until it closed in 1988; unable to compete with a Regal Cinema 6, which opened nearby. Whereupon the building was used sporadically, however always severely neglected. The City of Westminster purchased it in 2000; with the intensions of demolishing the Carroll Theatre to create a parking lot. A group of vocal citizens convinced the city there were better alternatives. Under the leadership of the Carroll County Arts Council the building was restored as a community arts center and opened in 2003. The building now serves the community as a home for gallery exhibits, drama productions, concerts, movies and classes.

Links to related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Discover the Graveyard of earliest Spangler in York County

Caspar Spengler was the earliest Spangler to settle in York County, Pennsylvania; doing so in 1729 with his brothers Henry and Baltzer following in 1732.

In the search for the lost graveyard of Old East York, the burial ground location of Caspar Spengler was ascertained from information gathered via extensive property deed research conducted back to the 1700s; i.e. a complete deed search was made for the property where bones of three human bodies were dug up in 1927.

In the post, Digging up human bones in Springettsbury I explained this research was initiated via a comment in an oral history done for the Springettsbury Township Historic Preservation Committee in 2007. Long time Old East York resident Mrs. Arlene Dietz Imes noted when the Vern-Mar Apartments were built, human bones were unearthed and then re-interred in Mt. Rose Cemetery. Construction of the Vern-Mar Apartments commenced in 1936.

I shared the Vern-Mar story with the foremost graveyard authority in York County; Lila Fourhman-Shaull at the York County History Center. Someone had shared the 1927 article with Lila years earlier.

Combining the newspaper and oral history sources, my first thought was that an old graveyard straddled the present North Harlan Street; likely extending from 15 North Harlan Street to the northeast section of the Vern-Mar Apartments. Further research resulted in a slight modification to this supposition.

The June 24, 1927 article in The York Dispatch noted, “Two of the bodies were buried alongside each other, about three feet apart. There was found decayed wood indicating that the bodies had been interred in caskets.” The bones were discovered as a basement was being dug for a Harlan Street home being constructed for Carl Obermaier in the East York development of Springettsbury Township.

The land associated with Obermaier’s 15 North Harlan Street address traces back to an 1833 deed in which a burying ground is noted within the deed for the 50-acre property existing at that time. The metes & bounds from Deed Book 3M, page 272 are plotted over an associated 2015 aerial view. Click on this LINK for a Full View of the illustration in this post if details are cut off in the cropping of the illustration.

Quoting from deed 3M-272: “and reserved nevertheless a burying ground, lying in the last described tract (i.e. the 50-acre tract) containing about ten perches and the privilege of paying and respecting from the great road to and from the same, the fence whereof to be kept up by those who use claim and own the same.”

The 50-acres in the 1833 deed are located in the extreme southwestern corner of Caspar Spengler’s pioneering 385-acres, which he occupied in 1729 and which was warranted to him in 1736. This property was designated as being in York Township of Lancaster County, then York Township of York County; then renamed Spring Garden Township in 1821 and exists as Springettsbury Township since 1891.

After Caspar Spengler died in 1760, his son Bernhard Spengler got a northern section of the 385-acres. Caspar’s youngest son Philip Caspar Spengler got the southern section; containing the graveyard. However, within the same year, Bernhard sold the northern section to Philip Caspar Spengler, who then continued to own the whole 385-acres until his death.

Philip Caspar Spengler died in 1786. After some involvement by the courts, the survivors appointed the oldest son, Charles Spangler to sell the whole 385-acres. The whole property was sold to Elias Meyer in 1792.

Elias Meyer died in 1805, whereupon the whole property was divided in half; roughly along present day Memory Lane. The eldest son John Meyer received the eastern half and the other son Jacob Meyer received the western half, containing the graveyard.

In 1808, Jacob Meyer sells 50-acres at the southern end of his property to Thomas B. Neill. That 50-acres contained the burying ground. Thomas Neill died shortly thereafter, in 1808. Thomas’ Will left the estate to his son Lewis, who had died after his father’s will was written, but before the estate was settled. Thomas’s Will also stipulated that if Lewis was deceased, the children of Lewis had to be a certain age before the real estate could be sold.

The Heirs of Thomas Neill owned the property as a group until Thomas’ grandson George Bickham Neill was conveyed the 50-acre property containing the graveyard in 1832. In 1833, this property is among the parcels sold to Abraham Heistand; per Deed 3M-272, as noted and illustrated at the beginning of this post.

In 1856, the 50-acre property where the graveyard was located is among parcels sold by Abraham Heistand to Vincent K. Keesey per Deed 5F-233; which was a deed made in 1856, but not recorded until 1870. The note about the burying ground was not carried over from the 1833 deed and does not show up on future deeds. The Keesey Tract, that included the 50-acres plus other properties in East York, was sold to developer John H. Longstreet in 1903.

In 1896, Edward W. Spangler wrote an extensive family history of the early Spangler families in York County. The full title of his book is: “The Annals of the families of Caspar, Henry, Baltzer and George Spengler, who settled in York County respectively in 1729, 1732, 1732 and 1751.” Edward Spangler noted the following about the family graveyard on page 19:

“Caspar Spengler died in the year 1760, aged 76 years, and was buried in the private family graveyard, about eighty feet square, on his plantation one and a half miles east of York adjoining the ‘Great Road to Lancaster’ [i.e. today’s Route 462; East Market Street]. This burial ground was substantially enclosed, and had a fenced roadway thereto seventeen feet wide from the ‘Great Road’ for mourning trains to pass over to perform the last rites of sepulture. In it were also interred his wife Judith, his sons Bernhard, Philip Caspar and other members and descendants of the family, as well as the remains of a few immediate neighbors. Gravestones with the usual mortuary inscriptions marked this last resting place, so that subsequent generations could not err in locating their dust. Fifty years ago [i.e. in 1843] these memorial tablets were still standing. Today [i.e. in 1893] not a vestige remains.”

Based upon Edward Spangler’s assertion and the graveyard ownership history, it appears the elimination of all gravestones and removal of all evidence that this was a burial ground occurred in the decades when Vincent K. Keesey owned the property.

Edward Spangler noted the size of the Spangler Graveyard was 80-feet by 80-feet; a substantially sized private graveyard, i.e. big enough to accommodate up to 130 graves. I’ve shown that size via the double box within the illustration; i.e. straddling Harlan Street. The 1927 news account, regarding bones from three human bodies unearthed while digging the basement for a house at 15 North Harlan Street (east side of street), also reported human bones were found nearby three years earlier; such as in 1924 while constructing the house across the street at 16 North Harlan Street (west side of street).

Mrs. Arlene Dietz Imes’ 2007 memories of human bones unearthed where the Vern-Mar Apartments were built in 1936 is a location falling slightly outside an 80-feet by 80-feet footprint. One possibility is that some of the fill dirt, unknowingly containing human bones, that was dug up in constructing basements of nearby homes in the 1920s, was placed on the lot where the Vern-Mar Apartments were later built. I have not found any news articles concerning human bones being unearthed during construction of the Vern-Mar Apartments, so another possibility is that Mrs. Imes memory of unearthing human bones in the general area is correct, however maybe she was off on remembering the precise location.

The next post in this series will focus on the Spengler/Spangler, Meyer/Meyers, and Neill family members, plus close neighbors, that were potentially buried in the “Spangler Graveyard.”

Related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Digging up human bones in Springettsbury

Human bones were dug up on at least three occasions while constructing buildings within the East York tract in Springettsbury Township. A 1927 newspaper article reported, “It is said that the land on which these bodies have been found was a burial ground nearly a century ago.”

On June 24, 1927 the bones from three human bodies were unearthed while digging the basement for a house at 15 North Harlan Street in Springettsbury Township. The York Dispatch article, reporting the discovery, noted human bones were also found nearby three years earlier; i.e. in 1924.

This research was initiated via a comment in an oral history done for the Springettsbury Township Historic Preservation Committee in 2007. Long time Old East York resident Mrs. Arlene Dietz Imes noted when the Vern-Mar Apartments were built, human bones were unearthed and then re-interred in Mt. Rose Cemetery. Construction of the Vern-Mar Apartments commenced in 1936.

I shared the Vern-Mar story with the foremost graveyard authority in York County; Lila Fourhman-Shaull at the York County History Center. Someone had shared the 1927 article with Lila years earlier.

Combining the newspaper and oral history sources, it appears an old graveyard straddled the present North Harlan Street; likely extending from 15 North Harlan Street to the northeast section of the Vern-Mar Apartments.

I’ve uncovered an 1896 description of a graveyard in that general vicinity; however in 1896 only memories of the gravestones remained. That graveyard was used from the mid-1700s until the early 1800s.

I’ve nearly completed deed searches back to the earliest owners of land in the graveyard vicinity and will provide my findings in the second installment of the Lost Graveyard of Old East York.

Related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

 

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Susquehanna River blast catapulted water 700 feet high

Blasting to place BIG INCH under Susquehanna River (York County History Center)


Eight tons of underwater explosives were set off within the bedrock of the Susquehanna River on July 26th 1943. This view of that blast is from atop the Hellam Hills in York County and looks across the river into Lancaster County.

The blast was part of a World War II effort to insure the Allies always had sufficient quantities of crude oil to produce refined products needed to keep the military running; i.e. to fuel defense plants, to operate ships, to fly aircraft and to run military vehicles.

Following the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941. Germany declared war on the U.S. a few days later and Hitler ordered unrestricted warfare against all shipping coming from United States ports. In the first four months of 1942, German U-boats sank or destroyed over sixty oil tankers bringing crude oil up along the Atlantic seaboard from the Gulf region to east coast refineries. An alternative was transporting the crude by rail, however the railroads were already heavily utilized.

Construction of two massive pipelines was the selected solution. A 24-inch diameter pipeline would carry crude oil 1,254-miles from northeast Texas oil fields to refineries in New Jersey. Up to this point, pipelines were much shorter and typically no bigger than 8-inch diameter. As a result, the 24-inch pipeline came to be called the BIG INCH.

A 20-inch diameter pipeline would carry already refined products from Texas Gulf Coast refineries to New Jersey. This pipeline was 1,475-miles long, however followed much of the same route of its big brother; hence it came to be called the LITTLE BIG INCH.

Both of the INCH pipelines pass through York County. The pipelines entered York County after passing north of East Berlin; through Reading Township in Adams County. Within York County, they passed through Washington Township, then under the Conewago Creek into Dover Township. Next, upon passing under the Little Conewago Creek, the pipelines were in Manchester Township. The pipelines progressed through East Manchester Township and then under the Codorus Creek into Hellam Township. The pipelines pass through the Hellam Hills and down a steep 400-foot hill to the Susquehanna River; almost exactly where Vinegar Ferry once operated. The pipelines were buried in the riverbed, passing into East Donegal Township in Lancaster County at Vinegar Ferry Road.

Both of the pipelines were completed in 1943, well in advance of the D-Day invasion at Normandy on June 6, 1944. This is the introduction to a series of posts, focusing on local aspects of the INCH pipelines.

Related posts in the Vinegar Ferry area of the Hellam Hills include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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York Fairgrounds hosted college football games

Circa 1902 College Football Game (Library of Congress)

This Library of Congress photo shows goal line action during a circa 1902 college football game. At the turn of the 20th Century the infield of the half-mile race track at the York Fairgrounds played host to college football games.

The York Collegiate Institute, a predecessor to York College, played some of their home football games at the York Fairgrounds. The following article appears in the Thursday, October 5th, 1899, issue of The York Daily. This early sports article gives details about the college football game played between Dickinson College Reserves and the York Collegiate Institute teams on Wednesday morning at the York Fairgrounds during the York Fair.

“A not very interesting game of football was played on the fair grounds yesterday morning, between the Dickinson College Reserves and the York Collegiate Institute teams. The boys lined up at 10 o’clock and it was very evident that the Institute was far outweighed. The first half went off with a rush, and for a time honors were about even. The Dickinson men made good gains through the line, but when they tried the ends they were stopped by the fine tackling of both Jessop and Yost. With only 10 seconds to play Dickinson got the ball over the first touch-down but failed to kick the goal.

“In the second half our boys weakened and the weight of their opponents began to tell. Wareheim and Yost, of the Institute, were both injured so that they had to be taken out. Wooster finally got through for a long run and a touchdown. The playing of the Institute boys from here out was decidedly ragged, although they showed pluck to the end and kept their opponents down to two more touch-downs.

“The Dickson team had good interference and had no difficulty in gaining with the guards back formation. The line-up was as follows:

  • Y.C.I. D.C.R.
  • Jessop . . . . . left end . . . . . Schuman.
  • Fisher . . . . . left tackle . . . . Johnson.
  • Dise . . . . . . . left guard . . . . . Sloan.
  • E. Myers . . . . centre . . . . . . Gillespie.
  • D. Myers . . . . right guard . . . . Hoke.
  • Wareheim . . . right tackle . . . . Brooks.
  • Yost . . . . . . . . right end . . . . . . . Smith.
  • Cook . . . . . . . . quarter . . . . . . . . Wood.
  • Kennard . . . . left half-back . . . . Wooster.
  • Garrison . . . . right half-back . . . . Arthur.
  • Eyster . . . . . . . . full-back . . . . . . . . Norris.

“Touthdowns—Smith 2, Woolsey 2. Goals—Wood 2. Dickinson 22, Y.C.I. 0, Umpire—W. J. Rothermel. Timers—Samuel K. McCall and J. Howard Manifold. Linesmen—Wm. Mullholland and Edw. W. Spangler.”

The Intercollegiate Football scoring rules for 1899, awarded 5 points for a touchdown, 1 point for successfully kicking the goal following a touchdown, and 2 points for a safety. Resulting in the score of 22 for Dickinson; i.e. 4 touchdowns and 2 successful kicking the goal following touchdowns.

The following are a few early college football milestones, from my post George S. Billmeyer; All American Football Player in 1869. In 1880, the number of players on the field, from each team, was lowered to 11; as we have today. In 1882, the rule of using yards and downs was added; requiring a team to make 5 yards in 3 downs. In 1906 the forward pass was legalized; 37 years after the first college football game! And it took until 1912 for the rules refinement to the present system we now have: 4 downs to make 10 yards.

Related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Freedom Train inside the York Fairgrounds

FTa

Northward Aerial View of the Freedom Trail within the York Fairgrounds, York, PA, on October 10, 1948 (Photo from Collections of York County History Center, Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2015)

Inside the York Fairgrounds, Yorkers saw original documents and flags such as: Thomas Jefferson’s rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, George Washington’s own copy of the Constitution, Abraham Lincoln’s draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, the documents signed by the Japanese upon their surrender during WWII and the flag raised above Mount Suribachi by U. S. Marines in the battle of Iwo Jima. These were some of 127 “documents of liberty” plus 6 historical flags displayed within the Freedom Train that was parked inside the Market Street gate of the York Fairgrounds during 1948.

In my post American Freedom Train was in York County for whole Bicentennial Weekend, I wrote about visiting the 1975-1976 American Freedom Train on July 5, 1976 during its stop at the New Cumberland Army Depot, in northern York County. That Freedom Train was somewhat similar to the earlier 1947-1949 Freedom Train which also made a stop in York County. The 1948 stop was within the York Fairgrounds, as pictured in the northward aerial view of October 10, 1948. Note that Memorial Hall, inside Gate 3 off West Market Street, was not yet built at that time. Memorial Hall was built in time for the 1955 York Fair.

The 1947-1949 Freedom Train focused on bringing the DOCUMENTS of American liberty directly to the people from the National Archives and the Library of Congress. As opposed to the 1975-1976 American Freedom Train which exhibited ARTIFACTS representative of the 200-year history of the United States of America.

Whereas the 1975-1976 American Freedom Train was pulled by one of three enormous steam locomotives; the 1947-1949 Freedom Train was pulled by a single modern locomotive throughout its run, as it visited cities throughout all 48 contiguous states. The Streamliner 2000-Horsepower Diesel Electric Locomotive was numbered 1776 and named “Spirit of 1776.” This photo, from the Collections of the York County History Center, shows the locomotive sitting within the York Fairgrounds.

“Spirit of 1776” Streamliner Locomotive within the York Fairgrounds, York, PA, on October 10, 1948 (Photo from Collections of York County History Center)

“Spirit of 1776” Streamliner Locomotive within the York Fairgrounds, York, PA, on October 10, 1948 (Photo from Collections of York County History Center)

The locomotive was built by ALCO-GE in August, 1947, as Build Number 74696. It was painted white, with an upper blue stripe and a lower red stripe and immediately placed in service on the Freedom Train. The locomotive likely still holds the distinction as the only locomotive to operate in all 48 contiguous states. The locomotive was returned to ALCO at the end of the Freedom Train run, whereupon it was sold to the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad, painted with their colors and numbered 292. However before ALCO shipped the locomotive to GM&O, Freedom Train commemorative plaques were affixed, noting:

This locomotive hauled the Freedom Train on its 37,000-mile nationwide tour from September 17, 1947 to January 22, 1949 before going into service on the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad. The first locomotive to operate in all forty eight states, it was loaned for its historic tour by its manufacturers, the American Locomotive Company and the General Electric Company.

After many years of service on the GM&O, the locomotive was retired and eventually scrapped. The plaques still remain, housed in the Casey Jones Home & Railroad Museum in Jackson, Tennessee; a former GM&O shop town.

Beside the locomotive, the Freedom Train contained an equipment car, three exhibit cars and three Pullman Cars for the staff and a detachment of marines that provided security for the historic documents. In special cases, affixed to the cars, and under bullet-proof glass, the 127 “documents of liberty” and 6 historical flags were normally open to visitors for 12-hours a day at each of the 322 stops across the nation. This photo shows the queue of Yorkers waiting to visit the exhibition cars of the Freedom Train. The wait time averaged two and one-half hours.

Queue of Yorkers waiting to enter the Freedom Train within the York Fairgrounds, York, PA, on October 10, 1948 (Photo from Collections of York County History Center)

Queue of Yorkers waiting to enter the Freedom Train within the York Fairgrounds, York, PA, on October 10, 1948 (Photo from Collections of York County History Center)

Beside the Freedom Train, York’s Car contained a display by the Historical Society of York County. This photo shows the queue of Yorkers waiting to visit York’s Car of Documents and Artifacts, while standing next to Market Street side of the Freedom Train.

Queue of Yorkers waiting to visit York’s Car of Documents and Artifacts, while standing next to Freedom Train within the York Fairgrounds, York, PA, on October 10, 1948 (Photo from Collections of York County History Center)

Queue of Yorkers waiting to visit York’s Car of Documents and Artifacts, while standing next to Freedom Train within the York Fairgrounds, York, PA, on October 10, 1948 (Photo from Collections of York County History Center)

The October 11, 1948, issue of The Gazette and Daily, reported on the Freedom Train visit. They closed their article with the following paragraphs:

At 10 a.m. gates of the fairgrounds were thrown open and Yorkers began to pour in. All day they waited in a long line. They waited quietly. Even the children—of which there were a great many—seemed to sense the dignity of the occasion.

Bands played on the platform. There were 13 bands and 1,000 musicians. Beside the Freedom Train was a car housing an exhibit sponsored by York County Historical Society. Nearby on a truck was the York Liberty Bell—brought from its customary site at St. John’s Episcopal Church on North Beaver Street.

John F. Kell, of Philadelphia—a direct descendant of Martin Brenise, York’s bell-ringer of Revolutionary days—rang a few notes from the bell to signal opening of the train to the public.

Visitors entering York’s Car of Documents and Artifacts within the York Fairgrounds, York, PA, on October 10, 1948 (Photo from Collections of York County History Center)

Visitors entering York’s Car of Documents and Artifacts within the York Fairgrounds, York, PA, on October 10, 1948 (Photo from Collections of York County History Center)

Related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Labor Day of 1912 featured motorcycle races at York Fairgrounds

Unidentified Motorcycle Race (Circa 1920 Photo from Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

Unidentified Motorcycle Race (Circa 1920 Photo from Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

On Labor Day, September 2, 1912, during the intermission between the flights at the Aviation Meet within the York Fairgrounds, an extra attraction, not on the program, was introduced, in the form of motorcycle races by local amateurs. Two five-mile and a ten-mile race were run. Stewart Boeckal, of 297 West Market Street, won two of the three motorcycle races with his single cylinder Indian Motorcycle. Carl Rudy took first place in the other five-mile race with his twin cylinder Thor Motorcycle.

Another early owner of an Indian Motorcycle in York County was Fred LaMotte of Red Lion. Fred stands behind his Indian Motorcycle in this photo provided by his daughter Dorcas LaMotte Townsley. The photo originally appeared in the post LaMotte’s Indian & Harley Motorcycle Feedback.

Fred LaMotte of Red Lion stands behind his Indian Motorcycle (Photocopy provided by Fred’s daughter Dorcas LaMotte Townsley)

Fred LaMotte of Red Lion stands behind his Indian Motorcycle (Photocopy provided by Fred’s daughter Dorcas LaMotte Townsley)

Continue reading for the full results of unplanned Motorcycle Races at York Fairgrounds during the Aviation Meet in 1912. Continue reading

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Ford Ghost Sign in York City

Ford1930s

This photo is of an old Ford “Ghost Sign” in York City. The sign is high on the west wall of the original location of Carl Beasley Ford along West Market Street opposite Carlisle Avenue. The best view is looking east from West Mason Avenue where it intersects Royal Street.

Some may remember this location as just east of the old Highway Movie Theater. Carl Beasley Ford was in the city from the mid-1930s until the dealership moved to 1801 Whiteford Road in Springettsbury Township in 1966.

I was told Henry Ford had Ford Dealers all over the country sending him newspaper clippings or booklets from historical buildings that he might be interested in purchasing for Greenfield Village. I was researching early Ford Dealers in York County when I made a diversionary discovery. An early Ford automobile in York was Serial Number 59.

Related posts include:

The early Ford S/N 59 automobile in York

The original Ford Model A was the first car produced by the Ford Motor Company. Production started in July of 1903 with anywhere from 1,700 to 1,800 of this model produced. The following is an illustration of Henry Ford’s first successful automobile, from an advertisement in the February 1904 issue of The Automobile.

Ford1903

Records at the York County Archives indicate that prior to April of 1905, only two Ford automobiles were registered in all of York County, Pennsylvania. G. W. Ruth of 733 Queen Street registered his Ford S/N 59 and G. B. Rudy of 1012 East Market Street registered his Ford S/N 1302.

The oldest known surviving original Ford Model A is number 3. In 2012, the Ford Motor Company purchased that car at auction for $264,000. I wonder if numbers 59 or 1302 still survive?

These early Ford automobiles were more expensive than the competition; which was predominately Oldsmobile, at that time. I wondered what gave G. W. Ruth the means to afford such an early luxury.

George W. Ruth was a York County inventor. He invented automatic knitting machines and started a corporation to produce them. The following illustration groups the header from one of his patents with the lower half of a sheet of patent drawings describing the invention.

RuthPatent

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Early years of York Corporation presented in Dover

This illustration includes some of the key early founders and leaders of York Corporation. A talk on the early years of York Corporation will be presented Thursday August 17, 2017 at the meeting of the Greater Dover Historical Society.

The meeting starts at 7:00 PM and is held in the social hall of Calvary Lutheran Church on the square in Dover. Address is 9 North Main Street, although the church parking lot is accessed via City Hall Drive running behind the church. Enter the church at the doors in the lower building.

In the talk, I will discuss the early history of the York Manufacturing Company, established along Penn Street in York during 1874. Learn how this maker of washing machines and water wheels grew to become the driving force behind the development of artificial ice as York Ice Machinery Corporation. From there the company went on to pioneer some of the first air conditioning systems, leading to world recognition of the YORK name for air conditioning and refrigeration.

An index of links to related YorksPast Blog posts follow:

York Manufacturing Company Founders

Early Company History

Grantley Plant

Company History after 1935

General Interest

 

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