York made 1901 Pullman Ventilators installed in White House

The White House shown on page 16 of a 1902 Pullman Automatic Ventilator Company Catalogue (Catalogue in Collection of Hagley Museum & Library, Wilmington, DE) and Product Nameplate (Submitted from Pullman Automatic Ventilator in the possession of Patrick Spinks)

Pullman Automatic Ventilators have a connection to The President of the United States. These ventilators were first tested in railroad cars, including the President’s car, and they were also a superior product for buildings, with the White House one of the earliest customers.

The White House is shown on page 16 of a 1902 Pullman Automatic Ventilator Company Catalogue. This catalogue is in the collection of the Hagley Museum & Library in Wilmington, Delaware. The product nameplate was submitted from a Pullman Automatic Ventilator in the possession of Patrick Spinks. I’ve pointed out where the ventilators can be seen at the bottoms of the White House windows. Also notice that the flag is at half-staff. In the fall of 1901, President McKinley dies from infections after taking an assassin’s bullet and Vice President Theodore Roosevelt is sworn in as President. This is likely a late 1901 photo of the White House.

Almost four years ago I wrote a series of five posts on these ventilators. At the time, I suspected, but was not certain if the White House ventilators were made in York, PA. I’ve now confirmed the Pullman Automatic Ventilator Company in York produced all of this type of ventilator applied in buildings. The York plant began producing products in early May of 1901; after receiving its charter in April 1901. The directors of this enterprise were: D. F. Lafean, C. C. Frick, Lemon Love, F. R. Smart Jr., W. C. Koller, R. S. Cannon and William S. Eisenhart.

Links and synopsis to the five prior posts follow:

In part 1, I discovered that the trade publication The Iron Age, issue of April 20, 1922, noted that (my distant relative) Walter B. Gilbert & Co., York, Pa. took title to the plant and business of the Pullman Automatic Ventilator & Mfg. Co. The construction buyers-guide National Builder, issue of December 1922, lists the address of this company as 201 Roosevelt Ave., York, Pa.

In part 2, I used another trade publication, The Metal Worker, issue of January 10, 1903. An article in that issue provided evidence that The Pullman Automatic Ventilator Company in York was a well-established company by January 10, 1903; making it easy to conclude, at the very least, they were in business during 1902 in York, PA. (For the present post, York Daily newspaper articles confirmed that production started early in May of 1901.)

In part 3, I revealed how the Pullman name of the ventilator company originated with Charles Lewis Pullman, the younger brother of the principal developer of the Pullman Palace Railroad Cars; George M. Pullman.

In part 4, I determined the Pullman Automatic Ventilator owned by reader Patrick Spinks appears to be a Model “A.” I also showed how the Pullman System of Natural Ventilation worked automatically without motors or control wiring.

In part 5, I discuss finding the 32-page catalogue that contained a long list of places and testimonials from prominent users of the patented Pullman System of Natural Ventilation. That catalog was noted in part 2 of this series, i.e. a 1902 catalogue was discussed in the trade publication The Metal Worker, issue of January 10, 1903.

Links to other posts in this series include:

Links to an assortment of Pullman Automobile posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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When Barnum’s 3-Ring Circus was on York’s Penn Common

Southward view towards Soldiers and Sailors Monument in York’s Penn Common (S. H. Smith, 2014)

Today the Soldiers and Sailors Monument stands at a prominent place in York’s Penn Common, however in the early morning darkness of Saturday September 16th, 1876, three monster trains, containing 120 railroad cars, pulled into York, Pennsylvania. They occupied one of the double tracked rails of the Northern Central Railroad, stretching all the way from West Princess Street and continuing a great distance into Spring Garden Township along Kings Mill Road. Sunrise witnessed giant tents of P. T. Barnum’s Centennial Edition of the Greatest Show on Earth making their way to Penn Common for two performances.

By the time the street parade was underway at 9:00 O’clock in the morning, all the tents had been erected. Crowds filled the 1:00 O’clock and 7:00 O’clock performances. The festivities were topped off with a magnificent fireworks display following the evening performance, and then the tents came down, the railroad cars were loaded and after midnight the trains left for the circus to repeat their daily routine on Sunday in Richmond, Virginia.

P. T. Barnum made his only prior circus appearance in York during 1872, although some of his individual attractions were exhibited in town as early as the 1840s. The 1872 circus was small compared to the centennial edition. For the Centennial year, Barnum decided to organize an over-the-top colossal show. He purchased four circus troupes to add to his own circus troupe. All these entertainers required Barnum to create a giant entertainment venue; the birth of the three-ring circus.

P. T. Barnum’s circus engagements in York, Pennsylvania, during the 1800s

P. T. Barnum normally did not travel with his circus during their complete runs, however for the run of the 1876 Centennial Edition of the Greatest Show on Earth he traveled with the show everywhere it went. The following shows how P. T. Barnum advertised his Saturday September 16th, 1876, appearance in York, Pennsylvania. The ad is from the back page of the Friday September 8th, 1876 issue of The Evening Dispatch in York, PA; and is from the newspaper microfilms of the York County History Center.

I discovered that the Greatest Show on Earth was in York during September of 1876 while researching Billmeyer & Small’s involvement with the Centennial Exhibition via Philadelphia newspapers. Further research via local newspaper microfilms of the York County History Center provided the details about the circus activities and performance location in York. That research was also used in the following installment of the historically accurate multi-generational fictional tale: RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 14 . . Centennial . . Part 6.

P. T. Barnum’s circus would later visit York, PA, in 1878, 1882, 1884 and 1887. Phineas Taylor Barnum died April 7, 1891; his circus continued as Barnum & Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth, which continued performing in York during the 1890s. The Circus Troupe of James A. Bailey was one of those that P. T. Barnum had purchased for the Centennial Edition of his circus.

In 1890, the City of York developed Penn Common into a public park. The planting of trees and placement of monuments within Penn Park caused other York area venues to be utilized when a circus came to town. The Soldiers and Sailors Monument, placed in the memory of York County soldiers and sailors from the War of the Rebellion 1861-1865, was dedicated on Flag Day in 1898.

In 1896, Barnum & Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth performed in the east end of York. That location was just east of Diehl Mill Road (now North Sherman Street) on the 11-acre estate of Daniel Loucks. That circus engagement is written about in the post: East End Circus brings First Auto to York in 1896.

Links to related posts:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Mapping of Loucks’ Cavern east of York

East York Cave map by L. Wolf & B. Smeltzer, dated March 27, 1959 (The Netherworld News by Pittsburgh Grotto of National Speleological Society, October 1959, Page 184 “Caves Near York, Pennsylvania, Part I by Bernard Smeltzer;” copy in collections of York County History Center)

A map of a portion of Loucks’ Cavern was made during late October of 1915. That map probably resembles the pictured map of the East York Cave, made in 1959 by L. Wolf and Bernard Smeltzer; except Loucks’ Cavern is on a much larger scale.

During mapping, the Loucks’ Cavern explorers proceeded through 11 galleries and four chambers or corridors, covering a distance of 800-feet. The verification of the exact location of Loucks’ Cavern is still underway. The East York Cave map covers a distance of 40-feet; that cave is located near the brick plant at the east end of Boundary Avenue; southeast of York. These caves are on private property and require permission from landowners to enter.

By the time the mapping of Loucks’ Cavern had been done, more than 1,000 people had viewed accessible portions of that natural wonder. An employee of Mr. E. W. Loucks kept the tabulation of visitors ever since it was opened for viewing; admission was free.

In the post Exploring Loucks’ Cavern to 580-feet;  at the end of an October 14, 1915, article in the York Daily, cave explorer George Figdore said he intends to make further explorations beyond the 580-feet distance. It was his intension to lead a well-equipped party and to make accurate measurements. Four days later, the York Daily reported on that further exploration. The main gallery was found to have a length of 176-feet with a width of 38-feet at some points.

Further Exploration of Loucks’ Cavern

An article in the October 18, 1915, issue of the York Daily provided details on the further exploration of Loucks’ Cavern east of York. Quoting the complete article; while making a number of spelling corrections:

NEW GALLERIES IN LOUCKS CAVE

Extend For 800 Feet—Thousand Visit Work Of Nature

Louck’s cave on E. W. Loucks’ farm, east of York, was visited by more than 300 persons Saturday who inspected the accessible portions of the natural wonder. An employee of Mr. Loucks has kept a record of all visitors since the cave was discovered several weeks ago. This record shows that more than 1,000 people have viewed the cave up to the present time. To give working people an opportunity to visit the cave Mr. Loucks has kept it open to all visitors on Sunday. Hereafter it will be closed on Sundays and open only on week days. Admission to the cave is free.

Further explorations were made by George Figdore, Franklin Minnich and Elmer Seifert. By means of flashlights they lighted their way and were able to proceed through 11 galleries and four chambers or corridors, covering a distance of 800 feet in the course of their explorations. There were revealed to them, new beauties and marvels, beyond their powers to describe. Another stalagmitic formation of huge proportions, resembling in appearance a magnificent edifice, was met with in one of the chambers. Figdore declares that it resembles in general appearance the United States capitol. It has a massive dome of pure white limestone and columns, porticoes and wings of blue and blue and white mottled limestone—a veritable palace of marble, the handiwork of nature.

The explorers have made a map of a portion of the cave. The map shows 11 tortuous galleries and four chambers or corridors. The aggregate length of the galleries is 408 feet, the explorers having made measurements with tape lines as they went along. The main gallery was found to have a length of 176 feet with a width of 38 feet at some points.

The exploring party discovered clinging to the rock and clay in one portion of the cave, small glistening white objects of the greatest delicacy of construction and which are puzzling to all persons who have examined them. The objects vary in size from a hickory nut to a walnut and closely resemble balls of silken threads. When exposed to the outer air, they crumble into minute particles and finally disappear entirely. One of the spirit-like formations was placed in an air-right jar in the cave yesterday afternoon and was brought to the surface. It remained intact in the jar.

It has been suggested to Mr. Loucks that he develop the cave on the land as a place for sightseers and transform the surrounding land, which has much natural beauty, into an amusement park. He may act on this suggestion.

Links to related posts:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Readers Choose Top 10 Posts during December 2016

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 December Top 10 Post

These are your favorites during December 2016:

1—Santa flight that started a York tradition.  Santa’s arrival by airplane at Valley Airways airport, in Springettsbury Township on Thanksgiving morning in 1946, started a York tradition. That year was the launch of over a quarter-century tradition involving Santa Claus’s arrival at the start of the Christmas shopping season in York, Pennsylvania. The arrival by airplane was followed by a parade to the downtown Bon-Ton Department Store. The festivities culminating with Santa climbing the Fire Company’s big aerial ladder into an upper story window to make his headquarters in The Bon-Ton Toyland.

2—Dempwolf building stood next to Bonham House.  A follow-up question was raised by Stewartstown Historical Society’s Doug Winemiller involving Stewartstown’s Hartenstein Funeral Home, which repurposed items from the William H. Kurtz [1822-1894] mansion at 109 West Market Street in York.  Doug received an email from Hartenstein’s with two drawings.  Doug thought one of the John A. Dempwolf drawings appeared to show Charles Kurtz remodeled the back portion of his father’s (William’s) mansion, however the title block indicated the building on East Market Street. I found a 1906 newspaper article noting Charles Kurtz had a residence at 146 East Market Street.  The shape of the building at 146 East Market Street, from the 1908 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, matched the plan view on the submitted ‘East Market Street’ Dempwolf drawing; therefore Doug was correct that Charles Kurtz constructed a near duplicate of his father’s West Market Street mansion. This 146 East Market Street Dempwolf designed residence and the neighboring building at 142 East Market Street were demolished to construct the modern headquarters for Susquehanna Broadcasting Company in 1969.

3—Dallastown, Dallas and Geesey.  Following December’s Unraveling York County History ‘Heroes and Villains’ event, at Wyndridge Farm, I was questioned how I knew Adam F. Geesey was an owner of the Eagle Hotel in Dallastown; this post provides that documentation. The post also explores why Dallastown was named for Vice President George M. Dallas.

4—Charles Kurtz and The York Water Company.  Charles Kurtz was a Director of The York Water Company for 35-years and was President of the company during the last 15-years of his life. Several major infrastructure projects were completed during those 15-years; such as the construction of the impounding dam, creating Lake Williams. During the years Charles Kurtz was President, the company offices were located at 42-44 East Market Street. After The York Water Company moved to 130 East Market Street in 1929, the building with these 1906 to 1929 offices was torn down to build the westside addition to the Yorktowne Hotel.

5—The York Water Company at 100-Years.  An article in the August 16th 1916 issue of the trade publication Fire and Water Engineering provided a detailed look at The York Water Company as it observed its 100th-year in 1916. One of the primary components of the Company in 1916, and continues to be today, is the Pumping Station on the east bank of the South Branch of the Codorus Creek a short distance above its junction with the West branch of that creek. Pumps in that station first went into operation in 1897; lifting water over 200-feet from creek elevation to the Company facilities on Reservoir Hill.

6—Upheaval at the One-Room Schoolhouse.  One of the neat things about December’s Unraveling York County History ‘Heroes and Villains’ event at Wyndridge Farm was meeting more readers who have shared memories appearing in my posts. I got to thank Brenda Knaub, in person, for her memory associated with the Longstown One-Room Schoolhouse,  when she approached me with a related question. Brenda asked, “what ever became of the school director who was arrested for his actions at the Longstown schoolhouse?” Discover the fate of school director Solomon Wambaugh in this post.

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

8—Christmas Portraits at Loring Studios during WWII.  Mom (Esther L. Smith) sent Dad (Harold L. Smith) a Loring Studios portrait every Christmas that Dad served in the Army Air Corps during WWII; i.e. Christmas of 1943, 1944 and 1945. Even though WWII ended during September 1945, Harold continued to serve in Germany until March 11th 1946 and hence the Christmas photo of 1945. The majority of that time Harold was assigned to the 7th Liaison Squad in Germany. He returned to the U.S. and was discharged with the rank of Sergeant on April 2nd 1946. Directories indicate that Loring Studies was located at 146 East Market Street from 1941 to 1962. That was the address of Charles Kurtz [1857-1927] in my post Dempwolf building stood next to Bonham House.

9—The Real Santa visits York in 1957.  A Bon-Ton ad in 1957 emphasized “THE REAL SANTA will land at the York Airport, Thomasville, Saturday Morning, November 23, at 8 a.m.” I discovered this ad while doing a multi-year search of newspapers for my post: Santa flight that started a York tradition in 1946.  I was curious why “THE REAL SANTA” was highlighted in this specific Bon-Ton ad; it was the only ad, that I’ve discovered, where this emphasis was made. This post provides the story behind the Real Santa visiting York in 1957.

10—Ghost mystery of Longstown Schoolhouse solved.  Readers provided some neat reactions to my posts about the Longstown One-Room Schoolhouse in Springettsbury Township. Ted Fauth suggested, “A pictures is worth a thousand words. Why not show the 1938 aerial image of the schoolhouse?” Bob Taylor had a question that puzzled me, until Brenda Knaub came to the rescue with her memories of a schoolhouse fire. Linda Long provided enlightening comments about the ghost mystery of that schoolhouse.

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 14 most recent months:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Exploring Loucks’ Cavern to 580-feet

Inside Luray Caverns, Luray, Virginia (S.H.Smith Photo)

George Figdore and Franklin Minnich equipped with lanterns and ropes, explored Loucks’ Cavern in October 1915 and were able to proceed farther than any of the previous exploring parties. They made their way through the various chambers for a distance of 580-feet. This is the part 2 follow-up post; to part 1 post of last week, 580-ft Cavern discovered in the summer of 1915.

Figdore and Minnich observed that the stalactites became more beautiful and more fantastical in their formations the farther they advanced into the interior. Further living up to the York Daily newspaper headline “FIND MINIATURE LURAY” upon the initial discovery of the cavern during the summer of 1915; and hence another corresponding illustrative photo of Luray Caverns in Virginia.

Over the weekend I’ve exchanged several E-mails with Jeri Jones; quoting Jeri, “I have not heard that story but that is what makes such a job as a geologist interesting.” He spent most of an afternoon investigating hints in last week’s newspaper article; resulting in several clues that may be close to pinpointing the location of Loucks’ Cavern. Jeri Jones is going to make contacts to check out the clues and I’m going to do some additional deed and map searching; hopefully with something to report soon on the location.

Exploration of Loucks’ Cavern to a distance of 580-feet

An article in the October 14, 1915, issue of the York Daily provided details on the further exploration of Loucks’ Cavern east of York, PA. This copy of the first paragraph of the article is followed by the text of the whole article.

EXPLORE LOUCKS’ CAVE 580 FEET

Geo. Figdore and Franklin Minnich Tell Of Many Beautiful Chambers

Hundreds of people of York and vicinity have visited the cave which has been discovered on the Loucks’ farm east of York. This cave is located within a short walk of the Lincoln highway and promises to become a show place in course of time. As such it will likely be developed.

Recent explorations of the cave prove it to be of greater extent and beauty than was first thought when Benjamin Minnich came upon one of the chambers while prospecting for limestone several weeks ago. George Figdore and Franklin Minnich equipped with lanterns and ropes, explored the cave last Saturday and were able to proceed farther than any of the previous exploring parties. They made their way through the various chambers for a distance of 580 feet and they declare that it would have been possible for them to have gone to a greater distance had they had equipped for further exploration.

They were able to inspect many large and beautiful chambers. They observed that the stalactites became more beautiful and more fantastical in their formations the farther they advanced into the interior. It also was found that the cave, after they had proceeded 200 feet, is free of accumulations of water. There was no more moisture than that found in the average cellar and some of the chambers are as dry as rooms above ground.

The extent of the cave is such that in the course of their investigations the two men became separated and some time elapsed before they again met though they could hear each others shouts. The stalagmite, which resembles a castle and is located 200 feet from the entrance, had hitherto been regarded as the most curious formation in the cave. It is said to be surpassed by many of the formations found by the explorers at a greater distance in the interior. Both Figdore and Minnich are enthusiastic in their descriptions of the underground wonders they beheld.

Figdore intends to make further explorations. It is his opinion that he will be able to penetrate the caverns to a far greater depth than 580 feet. He will lead a well equipped party and as the party proceeds they will make accurate measurements.

E. W. Loucks, on whose farm the cave is located, has had visits from a number of men of scientific knowledge who are interested in the clay deposits on the farm. Some of the clays found near the mouth of the cave are considered to be rich in aluminum.

I’ve discovered a few additional newspaper articles about Loucks’ Cavern, and along with the first two articles the following clues can be summarized as to where the cavern was located:

  • The Cavern was “discovered on the land of E. W. Loucks, Springettsbury township, near the eastern outskirts of the city.” I’ve exhausted deed searches of E. W. Loucks’ land in Springettsbury Township; none fitting the location clues in the newspaper articles. The assumption now is that newspaper article(s) were simply noting Springettsbury township is the township where E. W. Loucks has his home.   This is Edward (Edwin) W. Loucks [1853-1923], who was a real estate dealer in his later life; he purchased, owned and sold land all over York County.
  • The Cavern was located within a short walk of the Lincoln Highway.
  • The Cavern generally ran parallel to railroad tracks running east from York to Wrightsville.
  • There were plans to make accurate measurements of Loucks’ Cavern. Many times such cave maps pinpoint the entrance(s) in terms of surface features and general location. The Archives of the York County History Center does not contain such a map. Is such a map stored somewhere else?

A Gettysburg newspaper, Adams County News, reported on November 2, 1915, with the headline, “Jawbone of a Wolf Found in Loucks’ Cave Near York.” Quoting from that article: “More than 400 people visited the cave Sunday.” “It is the intention of Edwin W. Loucks to place some of the mineral specimens from the cave on exhibition.”

Items from Loucks’ Cavern were initially stored in a barn along the Lincoln Highway (i.e. present day Route 462). What happened to those items? Does anybody remember an old barn along the Lincoln Highway that contained pieces of stalactites, stalagmites, animal bones and rock samples? If any of my readers know anything about the location or information about Loucks’ Cavern, please contact me at stephen.smith4@comcast.net

Links to related posts:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Springettsbury’s 580-ft Cavern discovered in 1915

Inside Luray Caverns, Luray, Virginia (S.H.Smith Photo)

I was sorting some old trip photos recently and, when I saw photos of Luray Caverns in Virginia, it brought back a memory from my Cub Scout days. Initial meetings, for the Den I belonged to in the late 1950s, were held at a house near the north end of Eberts Lane in Springettsbury Township. An older gentleman occasionally showed up to tell stories. I remember him as a pretty good storyteller; with several stories about a nearby cavern from his youth. I decided to do some research to discover how much, if any, of those stories were fact and how much were fiction.

I was surprised, via two old newspaper articles discovered thus far, that there was some truth to his stories. It appears the physical details about the cavern were based upon an actual cavern in the township, while the characters in his stories were fictional in the style of Mark Twain’s adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Guided Tour of the Cavern east of the city in Springettsbury Township

An article in the August 21, 1915, issue of the York Daily provided extensive details about the discovery and description of a cavern in Springettsbury Township. This is the first of two articles, discovered thus far; the initial exploration went 50-ft into the cave and later in the year the caverns were explored to a length of 580-ft. This copy of the first paragraph of the initial article is followed by the text of the whole article.

FIND MINIATURE LURAY

Cave on Farm of E. W. Loucks May Contain Valuable Minerals

More of the hidden wonders of York county hills has been opened up by the cave accidentally discovered on the land of E. W. Loucks, Springettsbury township, near the eastern outskirts of the city. Natural beauties in abundance, which rival in their small way those of Luray and caverns of greater fame, are to be found in the area which has thus far been opened. It is Mr. Loucks’ plan to open the cavern as far as is possible, and , if discoveries warrant, to keep it intact as a museum for the exhibit of nature’s whims.

To a representative of The Daily was accorded the privilege of exploring the cave with Mr. Loucks. To reach the main entrance, which opens directly west into the cavern, steps lead down a distance of about six feet. Branching off from the main hall are two avenues running north and southwest which are passable, while leading out in various other directions are numerous smaller tunnels choked by the years’ accumulation of sand.

Standing out prominently in the reception hall, which extends back from the main entrance a distance of about 36 feet, is a table, in support of which nature has fashioned an elephant head, while action of the water along its sides has produced a peculiar and beautiful formation of stone. The entire cave is carved from limestone, which when recently analyzed, Mr. Loucks told The Dispatch reporter, proved of the highest grade. It has been opened a distance of about 50 feet.

Another figure in the reception hall which strikes the eye, is that of a hog, which is remarkably complete in every detail. Here, too, the stone has been transformed, and in general appearance resembles marble. The figure has a white ring about its neck.

Looking out into the small passageways which lead off from the main entrance, thousands of stalactites, large and small, can be seen, while from the uneven floor protrude numerous stalagmites. The roof of the cavern has been washed smooth by the small stream which trickles through the rock, and its sides are as carefully rounded as though they were the handiwork of a master builder. A shaft of light shows an entrance in the southern extremity a hundred feet or more from the reception hall, but the other passages extend as far as the eye can reach in the gloom.

The existence of the cavern was discovered about five weeks ago, while Benjamin Minnich was employed in digging out building stone for Mr. Loucks. Finding his digging iron extended as far as he could reach, he called the owner of the property and revealed to him the possibility of a cave lying buried under foot. Since then Mr. Loucks has had Minnich and his sons at work tunneling into the cavern. Stones of various grotesque shapes have been removed and are being stored in an abandoned building on the Wrightsville turnpike, at the end of the East Market street trolley car line. Among them are figures resembling a woman’s head, a rabbit, birds and various other animals.

Clay of peculiar character is now being removed. It is of extraordinary color and shows the existence of oil. With the first lot, Minnich painted an Indian’s head on the wall of rock, at the entrance. The tracing is similar to that which might have been done with a huge indelible pencil. Recent storms have failed to erase it.

That there is possibility of coming across a vein of lead during the tunneling, is the opinion of Mr. Loucks. Quartz, which seems to bear trace of lead, has been removed, but has not yet been analyzed. Mr. Loucks bases his theory of the existence of a lead vein upon the fact that a quantity was discovered in that vicinity some time ago, which, when analyzed by a Baltimore chemist, proved 95 per cent pure.

The work of exploration has received somewhat of a setback by the rains of the past several weeks, which flooded the floor. Until then, however, water has caused no trouble in the operations. An order from Mr. Loucks, will be necessary to visit the cavern. It is being guarded at present to avoid destruction of its natural beauties.

Follow-up posts will publish additional articles reporting on further exploration of this cavern. The second article, to be posted next week, provided the first clue where the cavern was located, quoting: “the cave which has been discovered on the Loucks’ farm east of York. This cave is located within a short walk of the Lincoln highway.” If any of my readers know anything about the location of this cavern, please contact me, otherwise I’ll start to research deeds of Edward (Edwin) W. Loucks, who owned several farms within Springettsbury Township. One of his farms north of the city is where the Rankin Treasure was supposedly buried. A farm east of the city is where the cavern was located; stay tuned for follow-up posts with more details.

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Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Rezoning Effort continues along Market Street and Mount Zion Corridor

Springettsbury Township Board of Supervisors and Springettsbury Township Planning Commission will hold a Joint Meeting on Thursday, January 5th at 6:00 P.M. The meeting will take place at the Springettsbury Township Administration Building, 1501 Mt. Zion Road.

The purpose of the meeting is “to hear and/or act upon.” “A potential rezoning of properties located along the Market Street and Mount Zion Corridor.” The notice of the meeting in the December 22, 2016, issue of the York Daily Record also notes, “All interested persons are invited to appear and be heard.”

The concern I hear most often is: Will the type of development, associated with a zoning change, create unusual traffic at this already busy intersection? Instead of contacting me, that and your other concerns will carry more weight if you come out to this meeting to hear the discussion and be heard.

Links to previous posts related to rezoning efforts along Market Street and Mount Zion Corridor:

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When Dallastown held a New Year’s Mummer’s Parade

Scene looking East along the first block of East Main Street in Dallastown, PA (Credit: Flickr posting by Dallastown Area Historical Society; Photo taken between 1904 and 1908)

On New Years Day in 1914 Dallastown held their initial Mummer’s Parade. During the day, the parade covered all the streets of the borough. In the evening, “King Dodo” and his Mummers band marched to a reception held in their honor.

The streets of Dallastown were not yet paved in 1914. Therefore on New Years Day in 1914, the Mummer’s marched on Main Street much as it appears in this photograph. The Flickr posting by the Dallastown Aera Historical Society is a scene looking east along the first block of East Main Street. Around Dallastown by Richard C. Saylor and Michael L. Sentz, Jr. contains this image on a postcard mailed in 1908; per page 20 of their Arcadia Publishing book in the Images of America series. Therefore the scene is from 1908 or earlier. The trolley tracks, seen running down the middle of Main Street, were installed in 1901.

The image shows buildings along the north side of East Main Street. The light stone fronted, tall building, a little right of center, is the First National Bank of Dallastown. That building is located at 45 East Main Street and was opened in 1904. The photo can therefore be dated between 1904 and 1908.

My memories of the First National Bank building are not so much of the bank, but the dental office on the second floor. From a young child in the 1950s and then into the late-1970s, Dr. John Rojahn was my dentist. The waiting room was right behind the large semi-circular window fronting East Main Street. Dr. Rojahn was an old-school dentist, hardly every using Novocain; one just learned to tolerate the pain as he drilled your teeth.

Details about Dallastown’s initial New Year’s Mummer’s Parade

The Wednesday, December 31, 1913, issue of The York Daily included an article entitled, “MUMMER’S PARADE, Will Feature The New Year’s Celebration At Dallastown.” A photocopy of the article is included; after a complete transcription, for easier reading:

Dallastown, Dec. 30.—“King Dodo,” with his band of 30 musicians, will arrive here some time Thursday morning and at 1 p.m. on that day a street parade will be held by the band. The members will be in comical costume, in darktown style. The parade will cover all the streets of the borough and will be headed by “Uncle Sam.” After the parade the members will retire until 8 o’clock in the evening, when they will again form and march to the auditorium where a reception will be held in honor of “King Dodo” and his band. Uncle Sam will deliver the address of welcome. Mutt and Jeff will be included in the evening’s entertainment. This is a new feature for Dallastown on New Years’s day and considerable interest is being manifested.

A follow up article about these festivities appeared in the Friday January 2, 1914, issue of The York Daily. The article was entitled, “DALLASTOWN MUMMERS, “King Dodo” and His Darktown Musicians Paraded the Streets;” quoting that whole article:

Dallastown, Jan. 1,—“King Dodo” and his band of darktown musicians headed by “Uncle Sam” paraded the streets of the borough this afternoon as a new feature for New Year’s day here. The event proved very interesting. Jacob Workinger took the part of “King Dodo,” and Chauncey Heisler appeared in the role of “Uncle Sam.” The band of musicians including the director, “King Dodo,” were clothed in blue coats and caps and white trousers. “Mutt” and “Jeff” were represented by Chauncey Heckert and Tibertus Grim. John Heisler took the part of a cannibal. Many others in spectacular costumes were included in the parade. This evening “King Dodo” and his band were given a reception in the auditorium, when “Uncle Sam” delivered the welcome address before a crowded house. Music and motion pictures were included in the evening’s program. It is likely that a similar observance of the day will be repeated next year.

The auditorium noted in the articles was located on the northwest corner of South Walnut and West Howard Streets in Dallastown. Built in 1906, that building primarily served as a 300-seat theater hall, showing silent films from 1906 to 1929.

Links to other Dallastown posts:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Toy inventor Samuel Small Schmidt

Samuel Small Schmidt in his Princeton Basketball Uniform (Credit: Princeton University Archives, Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series (AC112), Box SP9, Image No. 4665)

Samuel Small Schmidt was born in York, Pennsylvania, on November 2, 1897. Sam is a son of George S. Schmidt and Mary R. (Small) Schmidt. Sam’s father was a prominent York lawyer, banker and businessman; plus an 1881 graduate of Princeton. Sam’s older brother George S. Schmidt, Jr. also graduated from Princeton, class of 1918.

The photo shows Samuel S. Schmidt in his Princeton basketball uniform. Sam left Princeton in June, 1918, to enter the Army Infantry during WWI; where he served as a Second Lieutenant. Following his discharge in December, 1918, he returned to Princeton, graduating with the class of 1919.

Samuel found employment with several York companies, among them were: American Chain Company, Steacy-Schmidt Manufacturing Company and York Safe & Lock Company. However it was not until 1926 that he found his calling when he took a job with the Grey Iron Casting Company of Mount Joy in Lancaster County, PA. Sam worked there until his retirement from the manufacturing field in 1950.

Sam’s initial job at the Grey Iron Casting Company was that of a salesman for ornamental ironwork that featured their ornamental cast iron products. Last month, June Lloyd’s post: Sign has been Hanging around Haines Road for 70 years presented a catalog Sam used to sell those products from his home in York at 932 South Beaver Street. In the 1930’s Sam continued as a salesman, but also became involved in designing products made by the Grey Iron Casting Company. Ruth Vickery Holmes notes on page 185 of her 1940 book on miniature figures, “Particularly attractive metal figures, designed by Samuel S. Schmidt, whose work has especial merit, are known as Greycraft.” Sam was also issued United States Patents on several of his toy creations; all being assigned to the Grey Iron Casting Company in Mount Joy.

Samuel S. Schmidt and his Toy Creations

For several years I’ve been researching interesting United States Patents issued to Yorkers. The patents that I’d discovered thus far for Samuel Small Schmidt have been mostly toy related; therefore I dubbed him “The Toy Inventor.” All of Samuel’s United States Patents are recorded as: “Samuel S. Schmidt, York, Pa., assignor to Grey Iron Casting Company, Mount Joy, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania.” As of this post, I’ve discovered four patents issued to Samuel S. Schmidt.

U.S. Patent No. 2,047,748 was issued on July 14, 1936, for “Toy and the Like” and relates to foldable or collapsible toy structures.

U.S. Patent No. 2,169,710 was issued on August 15, 1939, for “Toy” and relates to acrobatic toys, which are both amusing and instructive.

U.S. Patent No. 2,270,084 was issued on January 13, 1942, for “Display Device” and relates to improvements in display devices for toy soldiers or other miniature figures. This patent was applied for in 1938. During WWII, the Grey Iron Casting Company suspended the manufacture of all iron toys and ornamental ironwork, as they fully shifted production to support the war effort.

U.S. Design Patent No. 146,687 was issued on April 22, 1947, for “Design for a Tray or Similar Article” and relates to a new, original ornamental design.

Following Sam’s 1950 retirement from the Grey Iron Casting Company, he became one of the founders and the manager of the Colonial Shopping Center, on the northwest corner of South George Street and Country Club Road in York. Also in retirement, Samuel took up painting, focusing on scenes of York County, as well as views of the Delaware coast and the islands of Grenada, Haiti and Antigua. He exhibited at York Art Center and began his artistic pursuits by studying sculpturing under former Yorker Charles Rudy.

Samuel S. Schmidt died on September 3, 1970, and was predeceased by a daughter Helen M. Schmidt, who died in 1935, and his first wife Helen (Townsend) Schmidt, who died in 1951. Surviving Samuel are his second wife Sara S. (Wilcox) Schmidt, whom he married in 1954, and his daughter Mary Richardson (Schmidt) Doebele.

My choice for the most interesting United States Patent issued to Samuel is his invention of acrobatic toys, which are both amusing and instructive. The following header page, with Figures 1 and 11, are from U.S. Patent No. 2,169,710, which was issued to Samuel S. Schmidt on August 15, 1939.

Figures 1 and 11 from U.S. Patent No. 2,169,710; issued on August 15, 1939 (United States Patent and Trademark Office)

Quoting the first two paragraphs from Samuel’s U.S. Patent No. 2,169,710; which sets the state-of-the-art in acrobatic toys that existed prior to his invention that provided “full and free use of the child’s ingenuity and imagination.”

The present invention relates to toys and more particularly acrobatic toys, which are both amusing and instructive.

Children and even adults are fond of the circus and usually are thrilled by the daring feats of the acrobats. However, there is real difficulty in providing circus toys, which will stimulate a child’s interest in acrobatic feats, and at the same time be simple and comparatively inexpensive so that children from poor and rich families alike may purchase and enjoy them. It is important that the number of feats, which can be performed, be as great as possible and that the toy be capable of withstanding the rough usage to which children may subject it. A toy affording aerial feats such as trapeze gymnastics in addition to “ground work” is particularly desirable. It is further desirable that children may have the pleasure of, and training in, setting up the toy and that the toy may be stored in a small space. Attempts have been made to provide toys with one or more of the above characteristics, but the toys have been of an inferior type limited to one or a relatively few acrobatic feats. None has afforded unlimited action or full and free use of the child’s ingenuity and imagination.

Links to a few posts featuring United States Patents:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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The Real Santa visits York in 1957

From BON-TON ad in The Gazette and Daily on Friday November 15, 1957

A BON-TON ad in 1957 emphasized “THE REAL SANTA will land at the York Airport, Thomasville, Saturday Morning, November 23, at 8 a.m.” I discovered this ad while doing a multi-year search of newspapers for my previous post: Santa flight that started a York tradition in 1946.

From 1956, and onward into the 1970s, the Bon-Ton Santa flights arrived the Saturday before Thanksgiving at The York Airport, near Thomasville; to signal the start of the Christmas shopping season. From that airport, Santa was taken by car to a Sleigh Float awaiting him on West Market Street at Richland Avenue and starting in the late 1970s, Santa arrived directly to the York Fairgrounds via helicopter. From those locations, the Santa parade proceeded to the downtown Bon-Ton Department Store. The festivities culminating with Santa climbing the Fire Company’s big aerial ladder into an upper story window to make his headquarters in The Bon-Ton Toyland.

I was curious why “THE REAL SANTA” was highlighted in this specific Bon-Ton ad. This ad, during 1957, was the only one that I’ve discovered where this emphasis was made.

The story behind the Real Santa visiting York in 1957

The discovery of the following Sears Roebuck & Company ad provided a reason why the Bon-Ton emphasized “THE REAL SANTA” in their ad. Looking through newspapers in prior years leads one to believe Sears started flying their Santa into the York Airport, at Thomasville, in 1957.

Sears ad in The Gazette and Daily on Friday November 15, 1957

However, Sears moved their Santa’s arrival one week ahead of the traditional arrival of the Bon-Ton Santa. Thus the day before arrival of the Sears Santa at the York Airport on November 16th, 1957, the Bon-Ton placed the one-time ad informing the public that their “Real Santa” would be arriving a week later on November 23rd.

Sears downtown store had been located at 153 West Market Street, which is in the same block of West Market Street as The Bon-Ton. Sears was the first prominent store to move out of downtown York when they became the major anchor store of the York County Shopping Center; which opened in stages during the Fall of 1955. Sears was the first store to open in that complex; doing so on August 11, 1955. That location is now occupied by the Giant Food Store in the York Marketplace on East Market Street in Springettsbury Township.

The Sears Santa traveled slowly by Lincoln Continental convertible, via the Lincoln Highway eastward from Thomasville to the York County Shopping Center. His headquarters in Sears was located in Toyland, at the north end of the store, and just outside the garden section was transformed into a winter wonderland complete with a merry-go-round and rides.

Links to past Christmas posts:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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