York County abodes of Judge Nevin Wanner

Judge Nevin Wanner (1940 Photo from Collections of York County History Center)

The York City residence of Judge Nevin Wanner was located at 406 East Market Street; he lived there for nearly 60-years. As an occasional respite from city life Judge Wanner spent summers at his island in the Susquehanna River and he also utilized a residence in the East York suburbs. Each of these three abodes of Judge Wanner has an interesting story.

Nevin M. Wanner was born in 1850. He graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in 1870 and received a Law Degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1872. His first job was with the Law offices of Erastus H. Weiser, Esq. in York, PA.

In 1873, Nevin passed the Bar exam and had a flourishing law practice, including a stint as District Attorney of York County from 1887 through 1890. Attorney Wanner became the regional solicitor for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, the Northern Central Railway Company, and lines controlled by them in York, Adams, Cumberland and Perry Counties. Wanner was the initial local lawyer representing The Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Company; used by John H. Longstreet for the development of East York in Springettsbury Township.

Nevin’s 33-years as a lawyer was just a start, he followed it with 20-years of service on the York County bench. He served as a Judge in the Court of Common Pleas from 1906 until his retirement at the end of 1925.

After his retirement as President Judge, Wanner continued to serve as adviser, as requested by the courts. Into his 90s, Nevin Wanner was unceasing in championing the quality growth of the York County Law Library and in supporting civic causes that promoted the public good.

The abodes of Judge Nevin Wanner

The origin of the suburb known as East York in Springettsbury Township dates to September 2, 1903, when the plan for this suburban community was formally issued by The Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Company. John H. Longstreet was a principal in that company, which originated in Philadelphia, but now also had an office in York, PA.

The first house to be built in the East York community was a double-house built near the middle of the development. Ground was broken in 1903 and John Longstreet and his family occupied one side of this dwelling in 1904; with the address: 26 North Findlay Street. Initially the other side, 28 North Findlay Street, was supposedly rented out, as a suburban retreat, for the family of Nevin Wanner, the local attorney representing The Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Company. That double-house, shown in the following 1994 photo, is one of the contributing structures in the Old East York Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 12, 1999.

26 & 28 North Findlay Street (1994 Photo by Springettsbury Township Historic Preservation Committee)

On November 7, 1905, Nevin Wanner won election to serve as a Judge in the Court of Common Pleas. Oral history has Nevin Wanner continuing to rent 28 North Findlay Street, as a suburban retreat, for a number of years. The earliest deed, where John H. Longstreet sells the 28 North Findlay Street property occurred on November 1, 1910; per Deed Book 17Z, Page 46. The sale is to Charles K. Baumeister, a 37-year-old bookkeeper.

Mr. Baumeister next sells 28 North Findlay Street to William S. Wanner on August 27, 1924; per Deed Book 22W, Page 211. William S. Wanner is the nephew of Judge Nevin Wanner. This is actually 29-year-old William S. Wanner, Jr., since he is is the son of Nevin Wanner’s brother, William S. Wanner, who died in 1914. Per oral history, during the next 15-years, when William owned the property, his uncle Nevin Wanner visited quite often.

Arlene Imes provided an interview on July 21, 1998, which contributed to the National Register application. The maiden name of Mrs. Imes is Dietz; she started first grade at East York’s Hiestand School during 1922. Arlene later became a teacher at that school and was an excellent oral history resource about the East York community.

The following is a circa 1930 aerial photo showcasing the extent of houses built in the near vicinity of the 28 & 26 North Findlay Street double-house, a quarter century after the development began. The houses with the biggest trees are the oldest, since the site of East York was originally a planted farmers field. The photo is a zoomed-in section of an overall aerial photo initially presented in the post Karl Ort’s aerial photo of East York.

Zooming in on Karl Ort’s aerial photo of East York (Collections of York County History Center; Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2017)

The next post in this series will examine the 406 East Market Street home of Nevin Wanner, which stood opposite the end of Broad Street.

Links to related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

Posted in all posts, Buildings, Businesses, Islands, Pennsylvania, Roads, Schools, York County | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on York County abodes of Judge Nevin Wanner

Dallastown Furniture Factory was WWI Army supplier

Then & Now photos of Dallastown Furniture Factory (ca. 1920 photo from York County History Center; arrangement by S. H. Smith, 2017)

“Then & Now” photos show the buildings originally built in 1911 as the Dallastown Furniture Factory in Dallastown, York County, PA. The Dallastown Furniture Company produced driver seats for WWI army wagons within these buildings.

The “Then” photo is circa 1920; at that time, the factory could be located as being on the northeast corner of North Park Street and the Ma & Pa Railroad 1.2-mile branch into Dallastown. The boxcar sits on the furniture factory rail siding.

The railroad tracks were removed years ago. “Now” the former furniture factory buildings can be located via the northeast corner of North Park Street and East Locust Street in Dallastown.

The April 2, 1918 issue of The York Daily reported: “The Dallastown Furniture Company today received specification and prints covering contracts for fifteen hundred driver seats for army wagons. These specifications and prints were received from the war service committee. Just as soon as the material is received work will be started on this large contract.”

History of the Dallastown Furniture Factory

The charter for the Dallastown Furniture Company was issued on January 31, 1911; “For the purpose of manufacturing and selling all kinds and descriptions of household and office furniture and all other articles of a cognate character, from wood and metal or from either wood or metal.” Alvin F. Fix was the founding company president.

Charles Williams, of Jacobus, was selected as architect and superintendent for the construction of the new factory on a lot purchased at the northeast corner of North Park Street and the Ma & Pa Railroad in Dallastown. Godfred Druck, J. H. Myers and Allen Bupp served on the building committee. Fravel Seitz, J. C. Heckert, Charles Kohler and L. Tarbet were the members of the equipment committee; selecting the machinery to fill the factory.

The factory was is full operation by September of 1911. With business good and the factory at full capacity, in October of 1915, company president A. F. Fix announced they plan “to construct an addition, 100 x 120 ft., two stories, of brick construction, which will double its capacity.” When this addition was completed in 1916, the factory employment reached 100 men. The factory workers earned between 12 and 25 cents per hour, depending upon their skill level.

The 1916 addition appears at the right side of the “Then & Now” photos. I’ve utilized elements on Sheet 10 from the July 1929 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Dallastown, PA, to assemble a continuous single plan view of the factory while annotating the Ma & Pa Railroad tracks in the area. The Sanborn map section is from Penn State Libraries on-line digital collection of older Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps.

Assembled from Sheet 10 of the July 1929 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Dallastown, PA (Source: Penn State Libraries on-line digital collections; Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2017)

The smokestack at the Dallastown Furniture Factory was 90-feet tall. Coal and scrap wood were burned to fire a boiler, which in turn powered a stationary steam engine that drove the line shafts throughout the factory.

During the Great Depression, people and businesses made due with their old furniture, for longer and longer periods of time. The Dallastown Furniture Company was one of the casualties; and in 1937 the company elected to dissolve voluntarily and wind up the company’s affairs. These over one-hundred-year-old factory buildings in Dallastown still stand and continue to be utilized by other businesses.

Links to related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

Posted in all posts, Buildings, Businesses, Manufacturing, Maps, Pennsylvania, Railroads, Roads, WWI, York County | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Dallastown Furniture Factory was WWI Army supplier

Widespread One-Room School names in York County

Interior and Exterior photos of Miller’s One-Room Schoolhouse in Springettsbury Township

While working on a family history for a neighbor in Arizona, Sally Snyder found the following passage in an old, although relevant, connecting family history. “He walked two-miles to Miller’s One-Room Schoolhouse, from the family farm in southern York County, Penna.”

My location and source index to York County’s One-Room Schoolhouses  popped up in Sally’s internet search; in which she discovered there were eight Miller’s One-Room Schoolhouses in York County. She further determined all eight were pretty much in the southern half of York County. Through additional clues, I was able to point Sally to her correct Miller’s in Codorus Township, which enabled her to better pinpoint the general area of the farm.

I knew, what Sally Snyder started, would make an interesting post; the “Widespread One-Room School names in York County.”

I wondered if any one-room school name had more widespread use than Miller’s. Using my index, I confirmed Miller’s is the leading name for one-room schoolhouses in York County; occurring in eight townships. The northern most Miller’s is in Springettsbury Township and the remainders are considerably further south. The interior and exterior photos are of Miller’s in Springettsbury Township. The York County History Center is the source for these older school photos.

There are eight one-room school names that tie for second place, with 4 locations each: Bear’s, Fairview, Hoke’s, Mt. Airy, Mt. Pleasant, Myer’s, Pleasant Grove and Pleasant Hill. Overall, it appears having ‘Pleasant’ in a location and thus a school name was very popular. There are ten one-room school names that tie for third place, with 3 locations each: Brenneman’s, Cedar Grove, Diehl’s, Glatfelter’s, Jefferson, Locust Grove, Nace’s, Neiman’s, Snyder’s and Strayer’s.

Townships with a Miller’s One-Room Schoolhouse

Only one of the eight Miller’s One-Room Schoolhouses was not in use when school consolidation occurred in the 1950s. The Miller’s in Chanceford Township was last used as a schoolhouse during the 1929-1930 school year. The remaining seven townships with Miller’s schoolhouses were: Codorus, Manheim, North Hopewell, Paradise, Penn, Springettsbury and Windsor.

The following 1915 Map of York County Roads was published by the State Highway Department. This map colorfully distinguishes between the townships. I’ve zoomed into the southwestern segment of the county and marked the locations of the eight Miller’s One-Room Schoolhouses.

Southwestern segment of 1915 York County Map annotated with locations of Miller’s One-Room Schoolhouses (S. H. Smith, 2017)

Location and source index links and related posts:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

Posted in all posts, Buildings, Family Histories, Maps, Pennsylvania, Schools, York County | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Widespread One-Room School names in York County

Karl Ort sells real airplane propellers for $1.98

1931 Karl Ort ad Photo (Collections of S. H. Smith)

When Karl Ort died in 1990, his York based aviation supply business was believed to be the oldest in existence; having been established in 1929. A 1931 Karl Ort ad showcases two of his 1000 airplane propellers being sold for only $1.98 each.

In aviation circles Yorker Karl Ort was widely known as the dean of aviation merchandising. Early on, besides aviation related merchandise, he specialized in purchasing large quantities of surplus WWI era aviation parts and supplies from both the government and industry. His purchase of a thousand new, although obsolete, WWI era real OX5 airplane propellers was offered to his customers at only $1.98 each. He suggested, “Mount a clock in the center! Hang them in the den! Put them over the fire place!” Karl Ort’s decades of accumulating surplus aviation parts, many times proved to be the only source for individuals and museums restoring vintage airplanes.

This ad is one of several Karl Ort items I’ve purchased on eBay. I thought the photo in the ad was neat.

OX5 propeller details and the Full Ad Text

OX5 airplane propellers were made of wood. They were over 8-feet long and were of laminated oak construction. These propellers were most likely intended for use on the famous Curtiss JN4C (“Jenny”) biplane using the OX5 engine. The OX5 engine was replaced with the Hisso engine in the later models of the “Jenny.”

Here is the full text accompanying the 1931 ad photo at the beginning of this post:

1931 Karl Ort ad Text (Collections of S. H. Smith)

Links to related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

Posted in Airplanes, all posts, Businesses, Pennsylvania, York County | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Karl Ort sells real airplane propellers for $1.98

Decorative twin barns at Mt. Rose Ave. Exit 18

Decorative Twin Barns located on the Northwest Corner of Haines Road and Mt. Rose Avenue in Springettsbury Township (April 18, 1956 Aerial Photo by Dave Allen; from Collections of the Springettsbury Township Historic Preservation Committee Archives)

In 2015, Helen Rinehart responded to my post The Famed Twin Barns along Mt. Rose Avenue.  Helen was certain her sister Karen took close-up color photos of the decorative barns before they were torn down in 1965.

This week I heard back from Helen, with an apology, she wrote, “My sister searched high and low a number of times for the photos. Karen is now convinced the barn photos were in one of the boxes her husband threw out during a move.” If any of my readers have photos of the decorative twin barns which stood along Mt. Rose Avenue, please consider sharing.

The bird’s eye view aerial photo is from the Collections of the Springettsbury Township Historic Preservation Committee. The 1956 viewpoint, showing the south ends of the twin barns, facing Mt. Rose Avenue, is provided via a section of an April 18, 1956, aerial photo by Dave Allen. The farmhouse to the west of the twin barns was originally know as Emig’s Hotel at the time of the Civil War.

Note in 1956, Camp Betty Washington Road does not align with Haines Road. The reason, in 1956, before I-83 was built in this area, Camp Betty Washington Road intersected with Mt. Rose Avenue about where the I-83 bridge now stands.

When I was younger, whenever driving by these barns with my parents, my Mom, Esther L. Smith, would always have a remark or two. It would be either about their unique architecture or her memory of coming along, as a young child, when her father bought a horse at these barns.

Even though the Mt. Rose Avenue intersection of I-83 opened in 1959, initially there was not much development around that intersection. The farmers hung onto their land for a few years; at least until December of 1965 when Mobil Oil Corporation purchased much of the land on this corner, extending back to the eventual location of K-Mart, which opened in 1970.

I’ve placed the locations of the barns and farmhouse/hotel on an I-83 Exit 18 Construction Graphic; showing all the changes now underway.

I-83 Exit 18 Construction Graphic

This construction graphic contains changes now underway, in yellow, at I-83 Exit 18. The graphic comes from the Transportation Resource Group web site. All these changes are planned to be completed by the end of 2018. I’ve placed and marked the locations where the decorative barns and farmhouse/hotel stood a little over 50-years ago.

I-83 Exit 18 Construction Graphic (Transportation Resource Group web site)

Related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

Posted in all posts, Buildings, Civil War, Pennsylvania, Roads, York County | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Decorative twin barns at Mt. Rose Ave. Exit 18

The first USA

Museum of the American Revolution at 3rd & Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia (2017 Photo by S. H. Smith)

Wednesday morning I was in Philadelphia for a last minute meeting and in the afternoon stayed to visit a recently opened museum. The Museum of the American Revolution is located on the southeast corner of 3rd & Chestnut Streets.

A bank of large, high-tech, touch screens greets the visitor upon entering the main exhibition on the second floor. However there is also a good mix of interesting low-tech panels displaying interesting facts as one meanders their way through the exhibits.

One such panel is entitled “The First USA.” Quoting that panel in its entirety: “Who first used ‘USA’ to describe the new United States? In August 1776, Congress directed that the military mark its wooden gunpowder casks ‘with the letters U.S.A.’ designating them as government property. But it seems the first widespread use of ‘USA’ occurred the following year. In 1777, Continental Army soldiers were first issued buttons marked ‘USA.’ These buttons were cast in special molds with a metal alloy called pewter. Over 25 buttons adorned each soldier’s coat. Hundreds of examples have been excavated by archaeologists at Valley Forge and other Continental Army encampments.”

There was a school group ahead of about 15-tourists that entered when I did. Another school group followed us. With the ticketed reserved time system the museum uses, it seemed that nobody was crowded or rushed. It was interesting to see and hear which exhibits the younger crowd liked the best. The privateer navy exhibit really caught their attention, as did the wall of faces prior to the exhibition exit.

More on my visit to the Museum of the American Revolution

This wall mounted floor layout is located between the ticketing desk and the stairs. Near the base of the stairs, greeters scan tickets and issue wristbands. If you purchase a ticket online and print it yourself, you can head directly to the greeters to get your wristband.

Floor Layout in the Museum of the American Revolution (2017 Photo by S. H. Smith)

An informative orientation film is shown in the first floor theater. The first floor also has a cafe and a gift shop. The “Patriots Gallery” noted on the first floor plan is not yet finished. This gallery will contain rotating exhibits and portraits. One of the early rotating exhibits will deal with Revolutionary War prisoner of war camps; which jives with my understanding that some of the York County Camp Security artifacts housed in the State Museum in Harrisburg have been loaned to the Museum of the American Revolution. I suggested they also do an exhibit on the various capitals of the United States.

The second floor contains the very nicely done main exhibition space and a large theater. When both screens are raised at the front of that theater, one can view George Washington’s tent; that he used during Continental Army encampments and battles throughout the Revolutionary War.

The privateer navy exhibit, within the core exhibition area, was exceptional. This is an often-overlooked component of the war for independence. The following panel is positioned at the entrance to “The War At Sea” exhibition area.

The War At Sea panel in the Museum of the American Revolution (2017 Photo by S. H. Smith)

In 1776, the Continental Congress resolved: “That the inhabitants of these Colonies be permitted to fit out armed vessels to cruise on the enemies of these United States.” Congress issued 1,697 Letters of Marque; in effect authorizing private citizens to arm their boats and attack British shipping. If privateer ships were successful, crew and investors shared cargo and other assets of captured ships with the government. The Colonies also got into the act, issuing their own Letters of Marque. In total, over 2,600 privateer ships harassed British supply shipping during the Revolutionary War.

The exhibit contains a life-size front half of what a typical privateer ship looked like. Visitors can climb on the deck to listen to the story of one of these ships through the eyes of a young teen sailor. A freed African-American, Jim Forten, was that sailor. He would go on to become a prominent Philadelphia businessman.

If you are interested in visiting the Museum of the American Revolution, here is the link to their ticketing reservation site.

Links to related posts:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

Posted in all posts, Buildings, Pennsylvania, York County | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The first USA

Readers Choose Top 10 Posts during April 2017

Near the beginning of every month, I’m sharing with my readers the top 10 posts from the previous month.

This single graphic, features illustrations from all top 10 posts; however giving greater space to the higher ranked posts.

Synopsis and Link to each April Top 10 Post

These are your favorites during April 2017:

1—Who remembers Fish & Chips along Memory Lane.  Tammy Roth wrote, “My parents moved from Rhode Island to York County at the start of the Summer of 1975; not wanting to move my younger sibling and me during the school year. Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips restaurant opened within days after our move. It became my dad’s favorite. It is where I got my first job, and it is where I first met my husband. I had never heard many facts about the hamburger joint formerly at that location. Thanks for filling in the details with your story about Huntleys Hamburgers.”  Directories at the York County History Center note Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips operated at 190 Memory Lane from 1975 until 1981/82. Tammy provides her thoughts why it closed.

2—Local WWI Veterans buried in Europe.  Writing a family history book produces appreciative actions and notes of thanks for connecting distant, and sometimes no so distant, family members. The French gravesite of WWI Veteran Blaine B. Barshinger has received numerous floral decorations by even distant Barshinger relations; these are neat unexpected reactions to his story in my book “Barshingers in America.” Corporal Blaine B. Barshinger served in Company B, 315th United States Infantry, of the famed 79th Division, during World War I. Blaine was wounded in combat on September 27th 1918 and died in France from pneumonia on October 15th 1918, at the age of 25. Blaine is one of 30,086 United States Veterans buried in six WWI American Cemeteries within France.

3—Historic Courthouse Columns built into Meadowbrook Mansion.  A historical note contained within a circa 1986 Meadowbrook Tavern Menu, states: “Of particular note are the six colossal columns on the front porch, which reportedly came from an early York County Courthouse.” Several years ago Jim Rudisill explained the details to me. The six columns on the front porch of Meadowbrook Mansion were repurposed from the cupola of the second York County Courthouse. That courthouse was constructed in 1841 and stood at 28 East Market Street until it was dismantled in 1898 so that the third York County Courthouse could be constructed on the same site. Three years later, prominent York businessman Edwin Myers purchased a summer farm property in Springettsbury Township and immediately retained J. A. Dempwolf trained architects John B. Hamme & Edward Leber to upgrade the house on the property. On August 24, 1901, The York Daily reported construction was about to commence on Myers’ summer residence; the Meadowbrook Mansion.

4—First York County WWI soldier dies in France.  Walter L. Fitzgerald was the first York County WWI soldier to die on foreign soil, doing so on January 5, 1918. Private Fitzgerald is buried in the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery just east of Fere-en-Tardenois in France. Private Fitzgerald was the son of Mr. and Mrs. William D. Fitzgerald of 428 East Prospect Street in York. He was employed as a machinist at the York Safe and Lock Company prior to his enlistment. He served in the United States Air Service, 48th Aero Squadron, Aviation Signal Corps, 2nd Instruction Detachment. He was a member of the First Moravian Church, North Duke Street in York, which held special memorial services in memory of Walter on Sunday January 20, 1918.

5—Mahlon Haines built Haines Building at 101 E. Market St.  Mahlon Haines had shoe stores at six locations within the City of York and three of his stores were within his own buildings; all designed by John A. Dempwolf. Mahlon Haines built the, still standing, Haines Building at 101 East Market Street from Dempwolf drawings dated June 3, 1922. The 101 East Market Street property was recently in the news. The York firm RSDC, formerly Royal Square Development & Construction, is renovating this building on the northeast corner of East Market Street and North Duke Street. RSDC is planning to move its offices to the 101 E. Market St. building and H&R Block will be staying, with 10 new apartments created on the upper floors.

6—Waddy George’s Curioseum in the Accomac Hills.  Bill Neff wrote if I could provide further details about the following message; written on a postcard sent to his grandfather in Virginia and postmarked York, Pa. on June 15, 1937. “The Waddy George Curioseum on the Wizard Ranch is something you gotta see next time you’re up this way.” Waddy’s George’s Curioseum contained over 20000 curious objects and was housed in a museum built by Mahlon Haines on his Wizard Ranch in the Accomac Hills. Waddy was the nickname of longtime York newspaper reporter Wadsworth M. George. In this post, read several newspaper articles describing the museum, the collection, and the fate of Waddy’s George’s Curioseum.

7—Meadowbrook Tavern Menu loaded with neat stuff.  Meadowbrook Tavern menus were always loaded with neat photos and history about the Meadowbrook Mansion; such as a circa 1902 photo of the Edwin B. Myers family standing in front of the mansion with their horses. Restaurant reviews from outside the county, repeatedly asserted Meadowbrook as one of York County’s most admired landmarks. Even today, when shopping at Christmas Tree Hill, which now occupies the mansion at 2840 Whiteford Road, you’ll notice the exterior and most of the interior surroundings remain from the days it was a restaurant, and even before that as a private residence for generations. In this post, also relive sixteen Entrée selections from an 1986 Meadowbrook Tavern menu, with their prices.

8—Royal Firehouse and Meadowbrook Mansion share architects.  The firehouse of the Royal Fire Company, at 757 West Market Street in York, PA, was dedicated on October 29, 1904. York architects Hamme & Leber were the designers of the Royal Firehouse, as they also designed the Meadowbrook Mansion in 1901. The principals in the firm of Hamme & Leber received much of their earliest mentoring in the offices of master architect John A. Dempwolf in York. Discover more about the Royal Firehouse, and its architects.

9—The tale of Gilbert Bridge over Yellow Breeches Creek.  A York County Archives 1954 photo shows Gilbert Bridge after bridge repairs were made on that Pratt Truss bridge connecting Gilbert Road in York County with Bishop Road in Cumberland County; while bridging the Yellow Breeches Creek. Gilbert Bridge was built in 1899 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, however unfortunately was replaced with a concrete bridge in 2008. A plaque on the concrete bridge pays homage to the historic 1899 bridge that it replaced.

10—US Naval Reserve building in Springettsbury Township.  Thanks to Larry Spangler for sending me a photo of an Eden Road building, utilizing three Quonset huts, with the e-mail subject line: “what’s the story with this building?” Ground was broken on April 28th 1947 for this United States Naval Reserve Training Center in Springettsbury Township. The building utilized three 40 x 100-foot Quonset huts facing Hively [now Eden] Road and connected at the front by a 20 x 148-foot assembly hall made of cinder blocks. The 70-year-old structure still stands today along Eden Road, just north of the intersection with Sand Bank Road. The 15,000-square-foot building remains U. S. Government property, although it has been vacant in recent years.

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 18 most recent months:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

Posted in all posts, Bridges, Buildings, Businesses, Family Histories, Maps, Pennsylvania, Restaurants, Roads, WWI, York County | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Readers Choose Top 10 Posts during April 2017

Meadowbrook Tavern Menu loaded with neat stuff

Meadowbrook Mansion in Springettsbury Township, circa 1902 (Image from Meadowbrook Inn & Tavern Menu archived at ScholarsArchive@JWU)

Meadowbrook Tavern menus were always loaded with neat photos and history about the Meadowbrook Mansion.

This enlarged section of a photo from a menu is most likely of the Edwin B. Myers family, with a farm hand, showing off their horses in front of the mansion during 1902.

In the post at this link,  we learned construction of the mansion started at the end of August in 1901. The mansion was built as a summer residence for the Edwin B. Myers family, therefore 1902 was the first summer the family occupied Meadowbrook.

In the post at this link,  we learned the history of the Edwin B. Myers family. Three of his teenage children were still living at home per the 1900 census. A 1902 photo with their horses, from left to right, appears to be consistent with: Edwin B. Myers (age 59), a farm hand, son Ellis Myers (age 19), wife Anna Myers (age 48), son Chester Myers (age 15), and daughter Pauline Myers (age 17).

Restaurant reviews from outside the county, repeatedly asserted Meadowbrook as one of York County’s most admired landmarks. A review from The Gettysburg Times of December 22, 1987, concludes: “Through careful restoration of this culturally significant property, dining customers enjoy cuisine in an enchanting atmosphere, The present day owners, Bert and Barbara Holleran of York are, justifiably proud of their historical restaurant. They and their son, Brad, general manager, believe quality cuisine demands service in quality surroundings. The seven dining areas of Meadowbrook contain many artifacts of yesteryear. Natural woods, open hearth fireplaces, pewter and stenciling blend to produce an aesthetic atmosphere, truly reminiscent of the resplendent early 1900’s.”

Even today, when shopping at Christmas Tree Hill, which now occupies the mansion at 2840 Whiteford Road, you’ll notice the exterior and most of the interior surroundings remain from the days it was a restaurant, and even before that as a private residence for generations. In browsing through Christmas Tree Hill at the mansion, you’ll also witness how early homes grew with each generation.

Relive Sixteen Entrée selections from an 1986 Meadowbrook Tavern Menu

Links to related posts:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

Posted in all posts, Buildings, Family Histories, Pennsylvania, Restaurants, York County | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Meadowbrook Tavern Menu loaded with neat stuff

Royal Firehouse and Meadowbrook Mansion share architects

Firehouse of the Royal Fire Company, York, PA (1905 Pinterest Image)

The firehouse of the Royal Fire Company, at 757 West Market Street in York, PA, was dedicated on October 29, 1904. York architects Hamme & Leber were the designers of the Royal Firehouse, as they also designed the Meadowbrook Mansion in 1901.

The principals in the firm of Hamme & Leber received much of their earliest mentoring in the offices of master architect John A. Dempwolf in York.

John B. Hamme began his employment with Dempwolf at the age of 19. Dempwolf must have been a good teacher, since at the age of 24, Hamme was allowed to enter the architectural courses at Cornell University at the junior level. He graduated with the class of 1888 and was offered a position as instructor in architecture at Cornell. John preferred active practice and returned to Dempwolf for a short period, prior to forming a partnership with John Parkinson in 1890. That partnership was located in Seattle, Washington where the firm practiced throughout the 1890s. Hamme returned for another short period with J. A. Dempwolf prior to forming the partnership in York with Edward Leber during March of 1900.

Edward Leber was 9-years younger than John Hamme. Leber proved to have a talent for drawing while attending the York County Academy. Edward began his employment with J. A. Dempwolf also at a young age. After a few years working with Dempwolf, Edward Leber attended The Massachusetts Institute of Technology at get his degree in architecture, before returning to York to become the junior member of the architectural firm of Hamme & Leber.

More about the Royal Firehouse plus Hamme & Leber

The biographical information on John B. Hamme and Edward Leber comes primarily from four sources: George Prowell’s 1907 History of York County, PA; newspaper accounts of Hamme & Leber; trade publications; and original records available on Ancestry.com. Edward Leber has a biography in Prowell’s Volume 2, page 931. John B. Hamme has a biography and photo in Prowell’s Volume 2, pages 304-305. Here is the John B. Hamme photo from ca 1906, when he was 44-years old.

John B. Hamme was born in Manchester Township on April 8, 1862. Edward Leber was born in the City of York on March 23, 1871. Their firm, Hamme & Leber is mentioned as extensively studying many firehouses to achieve the Royal Firehouse design universally praised. The trade publication, Municipal Journal and Engineer has a two-page article on the Royal Firehouse in their January 1905 issue. Quoting two paragraphs from that article:

The instructions to the architects of the proposed building were to design a house that should embody the best and most approved features in Fire Engine Houses, as demonstrated by the experience of other cities. With this end in view Messrs. Hamme & Leber, the architects, investigated the plans and practical working qualities of houses in the larger cities with the result that the Royal’s is one of the most perfect in arrangement and construction, as well as one of the most beautiful, in the country.

The building is “L” shaped, with a street frontage of 43 feet, and a depth of 106 feet, the width of the wing being 69 feet. The materials used in construction are red Pompeian brick and Hummelstown brownstone laid in brown mortar, with slate roof and copper gutters, valleys and downspouts. The main building is two stories in height, with equal three stories in the wing, and there is a tower 100 feet high, with hanging space for drying 2,500 feet of hose at one time.

Edward Leber died of a heart attack on October 15, 1933; while vacationing in Barre, Vermont. John B. Hamme did not fully retire until 1945, marking 64-years since his initial employment with John A. Dempwolf. John Hamme passed away on October 19, 1954.

J. Alfred Hamme, John Hamme’s only child and partner, continued the Hamme architectural firm as a sole proprietorship until it was reorganized in 1963 as a partnership. The firm continues to operate today as Hamme Associates in York.

Coming full circle. One of Hamme & Leber’s first commissions was in 1901, the Meadowbrook Mansion in Springettsbury Township. Over 100-years later and less than one-half mile from the Mansion, Hamme Associates designed the Springettsbury Township Park Ampitheater; utilized twice a week every summer for the Sounds of Summer concerts.

Links to related posts:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

Posted in all posts, Buildings, Businesses, Pennsylvania, York County | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Royal Firehouse and Meadowbrook Mansion share architects

Historic Courthouse Columns built into Meadowbrook Mansion

Cover and Historical Note from Circa 1986 Meadowbrook Tavern Menu (Photos by S. H. Smith)

Christmas Tree Hill at the Mansion is just south of the Galleria Mall; at 2840 Whiteford Road in Springettsbury Township. In the 1980s the Meadowbrook Inn and Tavern operated within that mansion.

I’ve shown the cover and a historical note contained within a circa 1986 Meadowbrook Tavern Menu. Quoting: “Of particular note are the six colossal columns on the front porch, which reportedly came from an early York County Courthouse.” A wide view of the mansion is followed by column top close-up photo.

Several years ago Jim Rudisill explained the details to me. The six columns on the front porch of Meadowbrook Mansion were repurposed from the cupola of the second York County Courthouse. That courthouse was constructed in 1841 and stood at 28 East Market Street until it was dismantled in 1898 so that the third York County Courthouse could be constructed on the same site. The third courthouse is now known as the York County Administration Center, at 28 East Market Street.

Prominent York businessman Edwin Myers purchased a farm property in Springettsbury Township during June of 1901 and immediately retained J. A. Dempwolf trained architects John B. Hamme & Edward Leber to upgrade the house on the property. On August 24, 1901, The York Daily reports construction is about to commence on the mansion:

“Mr. Edwin Myers has just contracted with C. A. Boyer, of East York, for the erection of a handsome country residence on his farm recently purchased from the Peter Lint estate. The house will have a frontage of eighty-two feet on the Vinegar Ferry Road and will be situated about two miles eastward of the city limits, it will adjoin the building now on the premises, the residence of the former owner, which will be utilized for kitchen and keeper’s lodge. The structure will be built for the most part of timber. The design is of Colonial architecture, of the period of George III. Messrs. Hamme & Leber are the architects and the work will be begun at once and pushed to completion.”

More details and photo of the second York County Courthouse

The following photo, of the second York County Courthouse, is from the Collections of the York County History Center. The photo is dated August 22, 1898; which is a day before dismantling of the second courthouse started, so that the third courthouse could be built on the same site.

The six massive granite pillars in front of the second courthouse were reused to front the second and third floors of the taller third courthouse. The third courthouse no longer required a cupola, since domes were utilized in the design.

The six wooden columns in the cupola were thus set-aside in storage during 1898. Edwin Myers owned several warehouses in the city; it is possible that is where the columns were stored until utilized three years later in the construction of Myers’ Meadowbrook Mansion.

The Collections of the York County History Center contains the Isaiah Lukens clock mechanism and clock faceplate, which were within and mounted on the cupola of the second courthouse. The clock faceplate measures 59-inches diameter. With the clock faceplate as a reference dimension, the photo can be approximately scaled. The cupola columns appear to be between 15 and 16-inches diameter and between 14 and 15-feet high. These sizes appear consistent with the columns on the front porch of Meadowbrook.

Links to related posts:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

Posted in all posts, Buildings, Pennsylvania, Restaurants, Roads, York County | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Historic Courthouse Columns built into Meadowbrook Mansion