Springettsbury Fire Stations nearing completion; Then & Now

Springetts Fire Company at 3013 East Market Street (1958 Gazette & Daily microfilms at York County Heritage Trust; 2014 Photo by S. H. Smith)

Springetts Fire Company at 3013 East Market Street (1958 Gazette & Daily microfilms at York County Heritage Trust; 2014 Photo by S. H. Smith)

This is the “Then” photo of the Springettsbury Fire Station nearing completion in 1958.  It is the present Springetts Fire Company at 3013 East Market Street.  Only the middle part of the present fire station was built in 1958.  Later additions were made during 1967 and 1974; at both ends of the original structure.

The present 3013 East Market Street fire station replaced the first fire station, whose structure still stands at 2914 East Market Street.  Some of the taverns, that later occupied the first fire station building, included: Fire House, Woozy Moose and Casablanca.

The history of the present fire station can be found in “Springetts Fire Company 50th Anniversary (1926-1976)” booklet from the collections of the York County Heritage Trust:

On January 7, 1958 bids were opened for construction of a new building, and contracts totaling $74,975.00 were awarded.  One third of the money needed was raised in the community, and the remainder of what was thought to be insurmountable indebtedness was established as a mortgage.  A groundbreaking ceremony took place on April 6th and the first stages of construction began April 9th.  In October the original fire hall was sold for $13,600.00, and the move to the new premises took place on Thanksgiving Day.  On Sunday, April 26, 1959 a dedication ceremony was held on the premises.

On July 10th 2013, ground was broken for the third fire station in the eastern part of Springettsbury Township.  When completed in May or June of 2014 the new $3.8 million fire station, a part of York Area United Fire & Rescue, will replace the present fire station.

The newest fire station is located about a mile to the east of the initial stations; nearly in the “ghost shadow” of the former Stony Brook Drive-In Theatre’s massive outdoor movie-screen.  The following is the “Now” photo of the Springettsbury Fire Station on Commons Drive, as it nears completion in 2014.

Springetts Fire Station on Commons Drive (2014 Photo by S. H. Smith)

Springetts Fire Station on Commons Drive (2014 Photo by S. H. Smith)

Commons Drive is a new road extending from Eastern Boulevard to East Market Street; intersecting Market Street just east of Hoss’s Steak & Sea House.  A recent photo shows the completion of Commons Drive will likely occur during May.

Commons Drive in Springettsbury Township (2014 Photo by S. H. Smith with “Ghost Shadow” of the former Stony Brook Drive-In Theatre’s massive outdoor movie-screen drawn at proper location)

Commons Drive in Springettsbury Township (2014 Photo by S. H. Smith with “Ghost Shadow” of the former Stony Brook Drive-In Theatre’s massive outdoor movie-screen drawn at proper location)

Related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Governor Wolf’s profound impact on York County

Northern Central Railroad & Glen Rock Talk

George Wolf [1777-1840] (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

George Wolf [1777-1840] (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

Yorker Tom Wolf is running for Governor.  One hundred and eighty-five years ago, Pennsylvania had its first Governor Wolf.  George Wolf served as the seventh Governor of Pennsylvania.

This portrait shows George Wolf when he served the Eighth District of Pennsylvania in the U. S. House of Representatives; having been elected in 1824 and reelected in 1826 and 1828.  In 1829 George Wolf was elected Governor of Pennsylvania; and was reelected in 1832.

Governor George Wolf is best known for pushing through the 1834 Common School Law, which established the first system of publicly financed grade-school education throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Governor Wolf also had a profound impact on improvements to the transportation infrastructure in York County.

In 1827, York County merchants and farmers thought interstate barriers, the result of a fierce trade rivalry between Philadelphia and Baltimore, created restrictive trade routes; enriching Philadelphia businessmen at their expense.  York County and Baltimore businessmen worked together in applying for a charter on the first railroad into York County.  It would run between Baltimore and the Susquehanna River, passing through York.

The Maryland Legislature granted a Charter on February 13th, 1828, authorizing construction of the Baltimore & Susquehanna Railroad.  The Pennsylvania Legislature refused to approve a charter; protecting Philadelphia’s interests.

Following a one and one-half year impasse, the Pennsylvania Legislature still refusing to budge on allowing a railroad link from Baltimore into York County.  Maryland was not to be deterred.  Stock in the Baltimore & Susquehanna Railroad was issued.

BandSstock

On August 8th, 1829, construction was started on the railroad northward from Baltimore.  This was the beginning of what eventually became the Northern Central Railroad.

In 1832, it was Pennsylvania Governor Wolf who brokered a deal with the Pennsylvania Legislature to approve a charter for this railroad to proceed into Pennsylvania.  You’ll have to hear my talk on Rail Events in the 1800’s for the Glen Rock Historic Preservation Society on April 22nd, 2014, to discover why it took another six years before the railroad reached York.

Related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 15 . . Export . . Part 2

RAILCAR GOLD    Chapter 15 . . . Export   add 2 blanks after GOLD

RAILCAR GOLD   Chapter 15 . . . Export

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 2 of Chapter 15 . . . Export.  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

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Ten 1860 Buildings in South Region of Springettsbury Township

Upper Area of South 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, 2014)

Upper Area of South 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, 2014)

Within this illustration, I’ve pointed out ten 1860 buildings and their corresponding location on a 1937 aerial photo.  I’ll work my way around Springettsbury Township, ten buildings at a time, until all buildings from 1860 are visited.  The present commercial corridors will be visited first.  See the post: Springettsbury Township building tally during 1860, for my specification of the four regions.

Shearer’s 1860 Map of York County contains the owner/occupant of most buildings; for example (s1) is J. H. Flory.  Additional information on J. H. Flory can be found by consulting the 1860 Census of the United States.

The results after consulting 1860 Spring Garden Township census records are shown below.  Spring Garden Township 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:

StCensusS1to10

Four of these 1860 buildings still stand at these present addresses:

  • [s2] – 2840 Whiteford Road (Christmas Tree Hill)
  • [s3] – 2901 Whiteford Road (see this post)
  • [s7] – 1620 Memory Lane Extended (Livingston Property)
  • [s9] – 1748 North Hills Road

In my next post in this series, I’ll examine the sequence of owners of these four properties.  My goal is to get community involvement.  If anyone has a story associated with an owner of these properties, please post a comment.

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Stephen H. Smith is a Common Name; Letters to the Editor

Logo for Stephen H. Smith’s Garden & Leisure Centre in the UK

Logo for Stephen H. Smith’s Garden & Leisure Centre in the UK

The main reason that my name has such widespread use is primarily the result of the surname Smith.  The U.S. Census indicates that the top five most common surnames are Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones and Brown.  Smith is by far the most common; at one in every 99 people in the United States.  Stephen is the 34th most common given name; at one in every 185 males in the United States.

Several months after I retired, someone sent me the link to Stephen H. Smith’s Garden & Leisure Centre in the United Kingdom; inquiring if I started a new business.  This garden centre is in Otley, West Yorkshire; which is about 25 miles west of York.  I’ve done a good bit of family history research in the United Kingdom; Stephen Smith is also a very common name there.

Five e-mails in the past few days prompted this post.  They all assumed it was my letter to the Editor in the April 3rd issue of the York Daily Record; concerning another view about Tom Wolf’s politics.  There are several Stephen Smith’s in York County.  Stephen Smith of Spring Grove wrote that letter.

I’m Stephen Smith of Springettsbury Township.  Actually there are two Stephen Smith’s in Springettsbury Township; so you have to look for my middle initial “H.”  Several years ago I did an Internet search of Stephen H. Smith’s in the U.S. and found 545; two in York County, PA.

To my readers of this blog, who may be upset with me, like the five e-mails; please look at the name and location closely to make my identification.  There have been many previous occasions where another Steve or Stephen Smith writes letters to the Editor in York newspapers.  I’d often hear from people at work on their reactions of what they incorrectly consider to be my letters; while many of the people that do not say anything, probably still think that they are my letters.

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Springettsbury Township building tally during 1860

1860SpringettsMap

On Monday I wrote about The making of Shearer’s 1860 Map of York County, PA.  This illustration shows the section of what is now Springettsbury Township from Shearer’s 1860 Map.  The surrounding townships are labeled, as they exist today.

Springettsbury Township was established in 1891, however many buildings within the township are much older.  The building tally is 214 from the 1860 map, and that count does not include barns, stables, sheds and other out-buildings.

Neighboring Manchester Township has determined 68% of their buildings from the 1860 map are still standing.  How many of the 214 buildings from 1860 still stand today in Springettsbury Township?

Today, some of these buildings appear as they did in 1860.  However many early buildings have additions or alterations.  These buildings are often disguised under siding or brickwork that was added well after they were originally built.

I’ve divided the township into four regions for a closer analysis of the building tally.  I used Route 24 as one divider.  A dashed line south of Ridgewood Road, curving to where North Hills Run enters Mill Creek, was used as the other divider.

1860South1

There, I’ve zoomed-in on the upper part of the South Region and added present road names, for better reader orientation. One can see many present roads existed in 1860.  Whiteford Road and the Railroad should be straight; they are not because they fall at the edge of two printed sheets, which did not align properly as the finished map was put together in 1860.  In future posts, I’ll examine 10 of the buildings within this area in greater detail.

The following tabulation provides a closer analysis of the 214 buildings, broken down by building type and region within Springettsbury Township.

1860SpringettsStats

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 15 . . Export . . Part 1

RAILCAR GOLD    Chapter 15 . . . Export   add 2 blanks after GOLD

RAILCAR GOLD   Chapter 15 . . . Export

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 1 of Chapter 15 . . . Export.  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

Posted in all posts, Businesses, Manufacturing, Pennsylvania, Railcar Gold, Railroads, York County | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Readers Choose Top 10 Posts during March 2014

Stats2014Mar

YorksPast started with a post on July 26, 2012, with about 30 views per day during the initial months.  My 400th post milestone was reached last week.  This chart shows the growth of YorksPast readership in recent months; thanks to my ever-growing legion of loyal readers!

At the beginning of every month, I’ve decided to share with my readers the top 10 posts from the previous month.  These are your favorites during March 2014:

Yt33Readers Choose Top 10 Posts during February 2014

In early March, I shared this top 10 list; i.e. the posts with the most page views from my loyal readers, during February 2014.

Yt2Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

Reading the Headlines is an always-up-to-date, quick index to all YorksPast Posts that was suggested by a reader.

Yt34Talk on Rail Events in the 1800’s for the Glen Rock area

An introduction to a talk that I’ll be giving on Rail Events in the 1800’s for the Glen Rock Historic Preservation Society on April 22nd, 2014.

Yt35P. T. Barnum’s Greatest Show on Earth; a Sight to Behold in York, PA, during 1876

In the early morning darkness of Saturday September 16th, 1876, three monster trains, containing 120 railroad cars, pulled into York, Pennsylvania.  Such was the beginning of an eventful day, as P. T. Barnum brought his three-ring circus to town.

Yt36Monocacy Path used by Native Americans began at Conejohela

Research on Historic Indian Paths of Pennsylvania by Dr. Paul A. W. Wallace shows that the initial location of the Monocacy Path, prior to 1700, began in Conejohela (which is now Native Lands County Park, in the Long Level area) and extended west as a path that became the present East Prospect Road and Mount Rose Avenue; crossing the Codorus Creek where the City of York would be laid out in 1741.

Yt37Found the Source: Henry Ford wanted to purchase the Schultz House of Springettsbury Township

During my involvement with the archeological dig in 2009, I learned about Henry Ford’s interest in purchasing the Schultz House and moving it to Greenfield Village in Michigan.  This post contains the source of the previously undated newspaper clipping.  I also share a copy of the whole article.

Yt38Witness Trees in York County

Witness Trees provide a living link to the past and gave witness to the surrounding events during their lifetime.  Examples spread from York County to Witness Tree recognition programs throughout the United States.

Yt39Camp Security, the Schultz House & Henry Ford

A suggestion about Henry Ford acquiring the Schultz House, near Camp Security, was offered when I visited Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village.  Some long overdue research tied into comments about my post on Camp Security the previous week; hence the title of this post.

Yt23Letters in the Attic, by Cassandra Small; Letter of June 30th, 1863

This second part of Letters in the Attic provides answers inserted between paragraphs of the letter Cassandra Small wrote to Lissie Latimer on June 30th, 1863.

Yt40Historic Pennsylvania German Farmhouse along Whiteford Road

Twenty-five years ago Historic York evaluated the property at 2901 Whiteford Road in Springettsbury Township.  The findings were recorded prior to conversion of the farmhouse into a bank.  The building was classified as a brick Pennsylvania German farmhouse built circa 1755.

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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The making of Shearer’s 1860 Map of York County

Depiction of D. J. Lake surveying the 1860 Map of York County (Modification of image from 1884 Printer’s Book by S. H. Smith, 2014)

Depiction of D. J. Lake surveying the 1860 Map of York County, PA (Modification of image from 1884 Printer’s Book by S. H. Smith, 2014)

I’ve depicted D. J. Lake surveying the 1860 Map of York County, Pennsylvania, in this illustration.  D. J. Lake “went around pushing a wheelbarrow in front of him, and in this barrow he carried his instruments.  He did not talk to any one except to ask at every place the one question, ‘who lives here?’”

Can you imagine someone pushing a wheelbarrow along every road that existed throughout York County?  Country folk thought he was crazy.  D. J. Lake likely counted the revolutions of the wheel to measure distance, while noting direction with a compass.  The map surveyed by Lake and published by W. O. Shearer in Philadelphia is remarkably accurate; even down to the proper placement of the principal residence(s) within each property.

I’ve used this 1860 map extensively for family history research for over twenty years and have recently used it for other purposes; see example links, from around York County, at the end of this post.  An original Shearer’s 1860 Map of York County hangs in the Library of the York County Heritage Trust.

The complete article describing the making of Shearer’s 1860 Map of York County appeared in the December 25, 1893 issue of The Gazette:

There is to be found in several places in York a York County map that is remarkable for its size and accuracy.  Perhaps the best specimen is the one that hangs in the Sheriff’s office.  The map is larger in size than the common wall maps of the state and bears the date of 1860.

Deputy Heindel said to a GAZETTE reporter, who chanced to make some remark about its accuracy, that although the surveys were made a few years previous to 1860, it was still of great value, especially as to the things that have changed but little, such as the roads and township lines, etc.  The names of the proprietors of the different farms, and the map gives them nearly all at their proper positions along the road, do not of course correspond with the present [1893] owners.

“The man who made the surveys for that map,” continued the deputy, “was D. J. Lake, and he was thought by some of the country folk for a long time to be crazy.  He went around pushing a wheelbarrow in front of him, and in this barrow he carried his instruments.  He did not talk to any one except to ask at every place the one question, “who lives here?”

“I became acquainted with him through a courteous act he did.  While driving along the road one day, I encountered him and his wheelbarrow.  My horse became frightened at the thing and might have given me some trouble, except for the fact that Mr. Lake promptly came forward and took him by the bridle and led him past the barrow.  That night just at dusk he got to my house and staid there all night.  On that occasion he told me what he was doing.”

“It was a long time after he went away before the maps were printed and placed on the market.  The people had come to the conclusion before he left that he was all right mentally but this delay again brought out opinions from the skeptics.  All was satisfied that he was perfectly sane, however, when the maps were seen.”

“The profits on the venture were $5,000 and were a disappointment to both Mr. Lake and the publisher, Mr. W. O. Shearer.  They expected to realize at least $12,000 off of the venture.  They would make a great deal more than $12,000 if they were to publish an equally good one now [1893].  About three people would subscribe for it to one that subscribed for this one.”

The section of the 1860 map within the illustration shows the Stony Brook area of what is now Springettsbury Township.  Some of the abbreviations are: B.S. stands for Blacksmith Shop, W.S. stands for Wheelwright Shop, S.H. stands for School House, and Grist M. stands for Grist Mill.

I’ve selected example YorksPast posts, one in each of eight localities in York County, where Shearer’s 1860 Map of York County was utilized:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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“In God We Trust” on coins has a Pennsylvania Connection

United States Coin & Postage Stamp: 2¢ Coin from 1864 & 3¢ Stamp from 1954 (S. H. Smith, 2014)

United States Coin & Postage Stamp: 2¢ Coin from 1864 & 3¢ Stamp from 1954 (S. H. Smith, 2014)

I purchased two old coins for use as chapter illustrations in my historical novel.  The 1¢ coin was utilized as a Chapter 2 header in 2012. The plan was to use the 2¢ coin last year, when novel posts coincided with the 150th Anniversary of the Confederate Invasion of York County.

I put the coins out of harm’s way.  I’m usually pretty organized, however these coins were nowhere to be found last year.  By chance, I found their hiding place last night.

I noticed the 1849 one-cent coin did not have the “In God We Trust” motto, whereas the 1864 two-cent coin had the motto.  I remembered a U. S. Postage stamp also contained the motto.  I wanted to know when “In God We Trust” was first used on coins and stamps.

The Pennsylvania Connection

James M. Pollock was Pennsylvania Governor from 1855 to 1858.  Governor Pollock was known for his role in education.  Early in his first year as governor, he signed the charter for The Farmers’ High School, which grew to become The Pennsylvania State University.  Pollock was responsible for the Normal School Act of 1857; which established regional teacher training institutions throughout the Commonwealth, such as Millersville State Normal School.  Pollock’s decisive actions protected Pennsylvania’s credit rating during the national economic Panic of 1857.  Pollock chose not to run for reelection.

President Abraham Lincoln appointed Pollock Director of the United States Mint at Philadelphia in 1861.  Pollock served in this capacity until being replaced in 1866; however was reappointed by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1869.  In 1873 Pollock was promoted to Superintendent of the Mint and held that position until his retirement in 1879, at the age of 69-years-old.

During the bleak days of the Civil War, Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase asked James Pollock to suggest a motto to be placed on all coins, exalting the trust of our people is in God.  Pollock had several suggestions, the shortest “God We Trust” was selected to which Chase added “In.”  The 1864 two-cent coin was the first coin to bear the motto; now appearing on all United States coins.

The 1954 three-cent Liberty stamp was the first United States Postage stamp to contain the motto, “In God We Trust.”  This stamp was issued during the dark days of the Cold War.  Ten days before this three-cent stamp was issued, the words “under God” had been inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance.

Related posts containing photos of 1849 one-cent coin and 1954 three-cent stamp:

As a side note, this marks my 400th YorksPast Post.

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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