The York Water Company at 100-Years

Pumping Station of The York Water Company (The Story of A Dynamic Community, York, Pennsylvania; York Chamber of Commerce, 1946, page 246)

Pumping Station of The York Water Company (The Story of A Dynamic Community, York, Pennsylvania; York Chamber of Commerce, 1946, page 246)

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. This photo of the Pumping Station is from a 1946 Chamber of Commerce publication. The station has since been enlarged and the chimney, required with earlier boilers for steam engines, no longer stands, since the pumps are now solely powered by electric motors.

This is the second post following-up to Dempwolf building stood next to Bonham House,  that dealt with the Charles Kutrz residence at 146 East Market Street. I like to use trade journals as a research source. During my research into the varied businesses interests of Charles Kurtz [1857-1927] I discovered an extensive article in the trade publication “Fire and Water Engineering” providing a detailed look at the first hundred years of The York Water Company. The previous post  published part one of the text in that article.

Part Two of the Text in that Article

The York Water Company observed its 100th-year in 1916, which is the reason the an article, entitled “THE WATER WORKS PLANT AT YORK,” appeared in the August 16, 1916 issue of “Fire and Water Engineering.” Quoting the final part of the text in that article:

THE PLANT OF TO-DAY—(That is in 1916)

Work was commenced in 1896 upon the construction of two new reservoirs, designed for use as sedimentation basins, located on the hill south of York. To provide a new source of supply for the system, a dam was built across the south branch of the Codorus, a short distance above its junction with the west branch of that stream, and a pumping station was erected on the east bank of the creek. From this source the supply of the Company has since been taken.

The station was immediately equipped with two pumps, each with a capacity of 5,000,000 gallons daily, and a twenty-four inch force main, almost 12,000 feet in length, was laid from the new pumping station to the site of the new reservoirs upon a right of way thirty feet in width. The new pumps were put into operation on April 23, 1897, in order to supply water from the new source at the earliest date possible, for which purpose the force main was connected with the old system until the new plant was completed sufficiently to allow the Queen Street reservoirs to be abandoned.

Pumping at King’s Dam ceased when the new pumping station was put into operation. On December 27, 1900, the Company tested the pumps to their full capacity, and running in unison they lifted water to the basins for three consecutive hours at the combined rate of 10,000,000 gallons in twenty-four hours. In 1914, an additional pump, with a daily capacity of 8,000,000 gallons, was installed in the pumping station. This increased the pumping capacity of the Company to 18,000,000 gallons per day.

A stand pipe was erected in 1897 near the site of the new reservoirs. It is now maintained for use in case of emergency. In order to allow the earlier abandonment of the Queen Street reservoirs, the western of the two new reservoirs was divided into a northern and a southern basin by a partition wall, and the northern of these was put in condition to receive water to a depth of twelve feet. Water was turned into it December 26, 1897. Meantime the eastern basin was completed. Water was turned into it October 3, 1898. The western basin was thereupon completed in all its parts and water was turned into both of its sections May 30, 1899. The combined capacity of the two basins is almost 40,000,000 gallons, an average week’s supply for the city.

During the fall and winter of 1898-1899, the Company erected a modern filter plant. It was composed of eight Jewell Gravity Filters, with a combined daily minimum capacity of 4,000,000 gallons. Work upon the building for this plant was begun October 21, 1898, and pushed forward through a hard winter, enabling the filters to be put into operation March 3, 1899. Under the filters was constructed a storage basin of 250,000 gallons capacity. On July 1, 1901, work was begun on a clear water basin of 2,000,000 gallons capacity, located northeast of the eastern reservoir.

In 1904 the filter building was enlarged by the construction of a laboratory. In 1907 the building was further enlarged and four new filters, with a daily minimum capacity of 500,000 gallons each, were installed, thus increasing the daily filtering capacity of the Company to 6,000,000 gallons at a minimum rate. The maximum capacity of the filters is much greater, and the building is sufficiently large to allow the installation of eight more filters.

The force main discharges into an aerating fountain from which the water is fed by gravity into either of the sedimentation basins as occasion requires. From the sedimentation basins the water flows, also by gravity, to the filters, and after filtration it is conducted to the clear water basin.

The distribution system of the city, comprising over eighty-nine miles of pipe, is fed from the clear water basin through two twenty-inch mains, while a third main of the same size has been constructed for future use. It is at present used to carry off the wash water from the filters.

From this installation the city and its adjoining territory, with a population of about 58,000 people and an area of over six square miles, is supplied with an ample supply of pure water at an average pressure of from seventy to one hundred pounds per square inch. The system is so arranged that the pumps can furnish water directly to the filters or to the mains without passing through the sedimentation basins, or directly through the sedimentation basins to the mains without passing through the filters. This system of control has been installed for service in case of great emergency, such as a general conflagration, and it never has been and probably never will be used.

In 1911 and 1912 an impounding basin, with a capacity of 900,000,000 gallons was provided, about three miles above the pumping station, by the construction of a dam, forty-seven and one-half feet in height, across the east branch of the Codorus. The plant now supplies over 14,000 consumers, instead of the 55 of a century ago, and , without enlargement, has sufficient capacity to supply a much greater number for many years to come. [Endquote from the 1916 article, entitled “THE WATER WORKS PLANT AT YORK,” appeared in the August 16, 1916 issue of “Fire and Water Engineering.”]

Links to related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Charles Kurtz and The York Water Company

York Water Company offices from 1906 to 1929 (2015 S. H. Smith photo taken at York Water Company Open House)

York Water Company offices from 1906 to 1929 (2015 S. H. Smith photo taken at York Water Company Open House)

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, as shown in this photo. 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.

This post is a follow-up to Dempwolf building stood next to Bonham House,  that dealt with the Charles Kutrz residence at 146 East Market Street. I like to use trade journals as a research source. During my research into the varied businesses interests of Charles Kurtz [1857-1927] I discovered an extensive article in the trade publication “Fire and Water Engineering” providing a detailed look at the first hundred years of The York Water Company.

Charles Kurtz was a Director of The York Water Company from 1891 to 1927 and was President of the company from 1911 until his death on February 15, 1927, at the age of 69-years. The company completed construction of the impounding dam on January 7, 1913 and the water level in Lake Williams first reached the dam overflow on February 4, 1913.

The York Water Company observed its 100th-year in 1916, which is the reason the following article, entitled “THE WATER WORKS PLANT AT YORK,” appeared in the August 16, 1916 issue of “Fire and Water Engineering.” Quoting the full article:

Part One of the Text in that Article:

The York, Pa., Water Company this year completed one hundred years of corporate existence and issued a sketch telling of the organization and administration, the former plant and the plant to-day. It was compiled for the company by George Hay Kain and illustrated with a number of views of the plant.

The present officials of the company are: President, Charles Kurtz; vice-president, George S. Billmeyer; secretary, Smyser Williams; treasurer, John J. Frick; general manager, William H. C. Ramsey; assistant secretary, Edgar P. Kable; managers, George S. Billmeyer, Charles Kurtz, Grier Hersh, W. F. O. Rosenmiller, Edwin Meyers, Theodore R. Helb, James H. Schall, Samuel Small, Jr., and George Hay Kain. The sketch issued includes the following:

ORGANIZATION

On February 23, 1816, Simon Snyder, Governor of Pennsylvania, issued letters patent incorporating The York Water Company, under and by virtue of the provisions of an Act of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania, entitled, “An Act authorizing the Governor to incorporate The York Water Company,” approved February 8, 1816. The life of the company may be divided generally into three periods: from 1816 to 1849, when the reservoirs were supplied from springs by gravity; from 1849 to 1897, when the supply was obtained partly by gravity from the springs and partly by pumping from the Codorus; and from 1897 to the present time, when the entire supply was pumped from the Codorus.

During its existence of one hundred years the capital stock has been increased from $13,000 to $1,900,000, while the authorized capital stock is $3,000,000. The managers after authorizing the purchase of logs from which to make pipes, they, on April 6 and April 17, examined “the springs and ground with a view of fixing the reservoir and the route of the aqueduct.”

The McClean lot was purchased, and on April 25 the Board formally decided to erect the reservoir thereon, and thereupon let the contracts for laying the pipes and for the construction of the reservoir. By January, 1817, “it was made to appear to the Board that fifty-five persons have the water now in their premises.”

On June 30, 1817, the construction was apparently completed, for Peter Small was appointed “Superintendent of the water works” and his duties were defined. By 1820 a scarcity of water was felt and the company increased its supply by purchasing the rights in certain springs on Erwin’s land which adjoined the land bought from Peter Small.

For many years there were but few general rates. It was customary to fix separately all commercial rates, as the nature of the business in questions seemed to warrant. This custom gradually gave way to a general schedule covering practically every service. As early as 1822 double rental was charged where two families occupied the same dwelling. In 1848 separate service pipes were directed to be laid for every building supplied by the company.

The laying of iron mains in 1840, the erection of a new reservoir in 1848 and of a pumping station in 1849 indicate the growth of the business of the company. In addition to these improvements the Managers in 1851 laid a main across the Codorus creek and decided to build another reservoir. The era of improvement, extending from 1840 to 1853, has been mentioned. Another era of enlargement began in 1883 with the purchase of King’s Mill, the installation of additional pumps therein, the construction of infiltration galleries, the enlargement of reservoirs and the laying of additional force mains.

No serious engineering difficulties presented themselves in early days and most of the improvements and enlargements were made under the direction of the Superintendent, or a Committee of Managers. Beginning with 1882, expert advice was usually obtained in planning and making any considerable improvement. From 1817 to 1860 the active supervision of the plant was in charge of a Superintendent who at first not only attended to the duties as such, but also collected the water rents. From 1860 to 1869 there was no Superintendent, his duties being performed by a Water Committee consisting of from two to four Managers.

In 1869 a Superintendent was again appointed. Jacob L. Kuehn filled the office from 1882 until July 26, 1898, when Henry Birkinbine, who some time before had been appointed Resident Superintendent in charge of the construction of the new reservoir, was appointed General Manager, and the office of Superintendent became vacant. Mr. Birkinbine resigned in the spring of 1900. His office was not filled, and John F. Sprenkel was appointed Superintendent, which title he retained until April 30, 1901, when he was designated General Manager. This office he held until his death in 1915. The present General Manager, William H. C. Ramsey, assumed his duties on July 1, 1915.

In 1895 the Company took steps looking toward the installation of a new and modern water works plant, the construction of which was begun the following year. Since that time the history of the Company has been one of constant extension and improvement.

THE FORMER PLANT

Immediately after the Company was organized it acquired “the lands of Peter Small in York Township,” from which it was directed, by its charter, to take its supply of water. It also purchased one-fourth of an acre of land on Spangler’s Lane, adjoining the borough line east of Queen Street, upon which to erect a reservoir. These tracts, enlarged in later years by additional purchases, are known to-day as the “Spring Tract”—now in Spring Garden Township, a short distance southeast of the city—and the “Old Reservoir Tract.”

From the springs on Peter Small’s land, the water was carried to the reservoir through a supply line about 5,500 feet in length—the single supply line of 1816 being augmented in 1837 by a second line joining the main line about 4,000 feet from the reservoir. The first reservoir—the so called reservoirs at the springs were probably nothing more than pools—was built in 1816. It was rectangular in form, about 71 feet long and 45 feet wide, and was covered by a wooden structure resembling a barn.

During heavy rains it was necessary to send someone to the springs that he might plug the mains and thus prevent the flow of muddy water to the reservoir. Other primitive devices were adopted in order that purity of the water might be preserved.

As the supply became more and more inadequate to the demands, various expedients were employed to relieve the situation. Sometimes the mains of the entire town were shut off in the afternoon to allow the water to accumulate, thus rendering the supply for next morning sufficient—or nearly sufficient, as circumstances would allow. On such occasions a crier was sent about the borough, who, stationing himself at one street corner after another, would ring a large bell and announce the hours during which the water would be shut off. In at least two instances private pumps along the streets were taken over by the Company so that its consumers might increase their supply by drawing from these pumps.

The original pipes—or “trunks”—were logs, ten to twelve feet in length, bored through from end to end, with iron hoops or rings forced over the ends. They were fastened together by “boxes,” which were cylindrical shells of iron, several feet in length, tapering toward the ends. These “boxes” were forced into the bored logs and the “trunks” were complete.

At the first meeting of the Managers, George Small and John Demuth “were appointed to contract for 16,000 feet of logs for pipes, or any less number, of different sizes, from 20 to 14 inches,” and proposals for boring the logs were invited. The first purchase consisted of 12,000 feet of logs, which were rafted down the Susquehanna River, landed at Wrightsville and hauled by wagon to York. Thereafter, logs in larger or smaller quantities, as the necessities of the Company required, were bought in like manner, the Managers in several instances being unable to grant desired extensions of the mains because of the scarcity of logs. The total length of the original system was 13,910 feet, made up as follows: 5,495 feet from the springs to the reservoir, 2,575 feet from the springs to the reservoir to High (Market) Street, and 5,840 feet “in town.”

In 1820 a scarcity of water was relieved by the purchase of rights in additional springs, and by enforcement of the rules against waste by consumers. Short extensions were made from time to time, and in 1828 the main from the reservoir to Market Street was relaid with logs having a bore of five inches. By 1839 the log pipes as a whole were much decayed, although small sections of such pipe, uncovered as late as 1880, were found to be in an excellent state of preservation.

In 1840 it was determined to replace the entire distribution system with iron maines. The new system required 2,713 feet of 7-inch pipe, 1,190 feet of 6-inch pipe, 600 feet of 5-inch pipe, 3,000 feet of 4-inch pipe, 2,693 feet of 3-inch pipe, and 1,240 feet of 2-inch pipe, all laid a minimum depth of three and one-half feet. Such log pipe as was in good condition was used in and about the springs and in the renewal of the supply line to the reservoir, but in 1841 that line, too, was relaid with iron pipe, except as to the branch line laid in 1837.

In 1845 all the springs were connected, by “good leaden pipe,” to the supply line. About 1868 a dam was built at the springs to impound the flow from the springs and the waters of the marshes on the tract. It was found that this increased the muddiness of the water in rainy seasons and the Company found it exceedingly difficult to overcome this condition.

For the purpose of increasing the storage supply of water, to aid in dray seasons or in case of large fires, the Board decided, in 1847, to erect a new reservoir, circular in form, 70 feet in diameter and 10 feet deep. It was also decided to cover it with a roof and enclose it with a fence eight feet high. It is not known whether or not this roof and fence were actually built. At any rate, the basin in later years had no covering.

The reservoir of 1816 had been built on a rectangular tract having a frontage on Spangler’s Lane. To provide a site for the new reservoir the Company bought the land west of the original tract. The old reservoir had by this time become somewhat dilapidated and the Managers considered whether to repair it or to build another new reservoir. The latter plan was decided upon in 1851, the intention being to build the new basin on the site of the old. There not being enough land to allow that plan to be carried out, additional land was bought north of the land then owned, upon which the construction of the new reservoir was begun, July 28, 1852. The reservoir tract was later enlarged by purchases of land east and south of the two basins. The new reservoir, when completed, was rectangular in shape and considerably larger than the reservoir of 1848, which was at its southeastern corner. Upon the completion of this large reservoir in 1853 the smaller reservoir of 1848 was repaired and the reservoir of 1816 was abandoned.

In 1850 it was decided to extend the mains across and west of the Codorus Creek, and it was later determined to lay the mains on the bottom of the Creek at Market Street. This work was completed July 4, 1851. After much consideration, the Company decided, in 1848, to augment the water supply by building a pumping station along the Codorus Creek at the foot of Boundary Avenue and forcing water from that stream to the reservoirs by steam power. This station—the “waterhouse”—was built in 1849 and continued in use until 1897. At first, pumping from the creek was resorted to only when the shortage of the spring supply rendered it necessary, but by 1881 the Company was required to operate the pumps night and day.

The demands upon the system, coupled with the increasing pollution of the Codorus above the point from which the supply was taken, gave the Managers much concern. Mr. Robert K. Martin, a hydraulic engineer of Baltimore, was consulted and made reports upon the situation in 1882 and again in 1883. He made various suggestions looking toward an improvement of the system, and prophesied that the Company would ultimately have to abandon taking its supply from the Codorus at King’s Dam, because of the increasing waste emptied into the west branch of that stream, and that the final source of supply would have to be the east branch of the creek, with a reservoir on the hill upon which the present reservoirs are built.

At this time the capacity of the two reservoirs, at a depth of ten feet, was 4,712,411 gallons. This capacity was substantially increased in 1883 in the course of improvements to the entire plant, when the walls of the two reservoirs were built ten feet higher. During 1883 King’s Mill, almost opposite the old pumping station, was bought, and a Deane pump, capable of operation by steam or water power, was installed therein, for use in conjunction with the older pumps. Later the paper mill, opposite King’s Mill, was bought. Water from the creek, from springs on the premises, and from Tyler’s Run was utilized, in connection with the supply from the “Spring Tract.” A separate force main was laid from the mill pumping station to the reservoir. These improvements greatly increased the quantity of water. To improve its quality, an infiltration well or gallery was built on the island at King’s Mill, providing for the time being a sufficient system of purification.

The extraordinary growth of the city in the years after 1890 rendered the water supply again insufficient. This led to what was practically a reconstruction, beginning in 1896, of the entire system of supply, storage, purification and distribution into the present modern and efficient plant.

THE PLANT OF TO-DAY—(That is in 1916)—This section of the article will be continued in my next post.

Links to related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Dempwolf building stood next to Bonham House

1908 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of the Southwest Corner at East Market Street and South Queen Street in York, PA, compared to 2016 Aerial View (Sanborn Map from Penn State Libraries On-Line Collections and 2016 Aerial from Bing.com; Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2016)

1908 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of the Southwest Corner at East Market Street and South Queen Street in York, PA, compared to 2016 Aerial View (Sanborn Map from Penn State Libraries On-Line Collections and 2016 Aerial from Bing.com; Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2016)

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 J. A. Dempwolf drawings appeared to show Charles Kurtz remodeled the back portion of his father’s (William’s) mansion.

Quoting Doug’s e-mail, “The room drawings match the drawings of William’s original residence and it mentions ‘new back’ of building.   There is just one questionable item on the architectural plans for Charles’s residence—it states residence on East, not West, Market Street. I think it must be a mistake, unless Charles constructed an exact duplicate of his father’s mansion!  Any thoughts?”

My reply, “Thanks for sharing the Dempwolf drawings of the W.H. & Charles Kurtz Residences.  I found a 1906 newspaper article noting that Charles Kurtz had a residence at 146 East Market Street.  Also the shape of the building at 146 East Market Street, from the 1908 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, matches the plan view on the submitted ‘East Market Street’ Dempwolf drawing; therefore you are correct that Charles Kurtz constructed a near duplicate of his father’s West Market Street mansion.”

I’ve annotated the illustration that compares the 1908 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of the Southwest Corner at East Market Street and South Queen Street to a 2016 Aerial View of the same ground. The John A. Dempwolf designed Charles Kurtz [1857-1927] residence stood at 146 East Market Street; neighboring the west side of the Bonham House. This Dempwolf residence and the neighboring building at 142 East Market Street were demolished to construct the modern headquarters for Susquehanna Broadcasting Company in 1969.

Greater Detail on the J. A. Dempwolf Drawing

In February of 1900, Charles Kurtz purchased an existing property at 146 East Market Street. He kept the three-story front-end of the home, which contained a Parlor and a Library on the first floor. The existing back-end was replaced with a J. A. Dempwolf design using many of the features that the architect previously designed into the William H. Kurtz mansion at 109 West Market Street. Charles Kurtz moved into 146 East Market Street by May 3rd, 1901 when he held a “leading social event” at which “Selak’s full orchestra furnished a musical programme of high order.” Additional posts will follow on Charles Kurtz and the building at 146 East Market Street:

An illustration containing the first floor plan view, on the submitted drawing, is followed by the title block. Although not dated, my research indicates this John A. Dempwolf drawing was created in 1900.

dempwolf146first

dempwolftitle146

Related links include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Ghost mystery of Longstown Schoolhouse solved

York County Property Viewer (2016) with 1938 Historic Aerial Photo as the Upper Right Insert (2016 Viewer from York County Assessment Office and 3/19/1938 Historic Aerial Photo from Penn Pilot; Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2016)

York County Property Viewer (2016) with 1938 Historic Aerial Photo as the Upper Right Insert (2016 Viewer from York County Assessment Office and 3/19/1938 Historic Aerial Photo from Penn Pilot; Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2016)

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?” Good suggestion Ted; for comparison, I’ve inserted the 3/19/1938 Historic Aerial Photo, from the Penn Pilot web site, in the upper right corner of the previously posted York County Property Viewer’s 2016 Aerial Photo.

Linda Long provided enlightening comments about the ghost mystery of that schoolhouse. Bob Taylor was very observant in questioning the schoolhouse symbol on the 1941 map. Bob’s question puzzled me, until Brenda Knaub came to the rescue with her memories of a schoolhouse fire. Thanks to all these readers for their feedback.

Readers Comments

First some further background to the Ted Fauth comment. Benjamin Horn and Sarah J. Horn, his wife, sold a lot to The Independent School District of Springettsbury Township in 1912 for $150 (Deed Book 18O, Page 155); upon which the Longstown One-Room Schoolhouse was built. That school lot was along the public road leading from York to Longstown and the deed string originated from the present large lot at 2655 Mount Rose Avenue. On the revised illustration, per Ted Fauth’s suggestion, you can now see how I used the 1938 historic aerial photo of this same piece of ground, to pinpoint where the Longstown schoolhouse stood on that lot.

In 1941, The Independent School District of Springettsbury Township sold the school lot to Luther P. Marks and Thelma E. Marks, husband and wife, for $1,500 (Deed Book 28S, Page 696). The present deed for the large lot at 2655 Mount Rose Avenue contains two tracts. Tract 1, to the west side, is noted as the school lot and Tract 2, to the east side, is where the present buildings stand. Accordingly, per the 1938 aerial photo, I’ve pointed to where the schoolhouse stood on, what is known today as, Tract 1 and one can see the present buildings were already built on the Tract 2 property in 1938. After the school district sold the schoolhouse lot and presumably after the schoolhouse was torn down, the school lot acreage was added to acreage of the adjoining property on the east side, thus forming the large lot at 2655 Mount Rose Avenue that exists today.

Bob Taylor was very observant in questioning the schoolhouse symbol on the 1941 map. He referenced my post were I explained that symbol: Schoolhouse Symbols on Maps, Part 2;  and asked “If the schoolhouse was last used in 1934, why is the symbol solid, as if it was still being occupied by school students in 1941?”

The 1941 York County Map prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Highways uses a square with a little flag to indicate the location of schoolhouses. If the square is filled in solid, the schoolhouse is occupied; i.e. the building is still used as a schoolhouse. If the square is not filled in, the schoolhouse is unoccupied; i.e. building is no longer used as a school however it is still owned by a school district. I have been told that only when a schoolhouse is sold and re-used as another type of dwelling or business, the flag comes off and it is mapped as a normal structure. Here is the legend key taken directly from the 1941 York County Map prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Highways.

Legend Key for Educational Structures on 1941 York County Map prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Highways

Legend Key for Educational Structures on 1941 York County Map prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Highways

I initially answered Bob Taylor, explaining information about the symbols on the 1941 map was collected a few years earlier, i.e. in the late 1930s. However with a schoolhouse closing in 1934, it does seem like an unoccupied school symbol should have been used.

On Sunday, Brenda Knaub came to the rescue with these memories of a schoolhouse fire, which resulted in the Longstown One-Room Schoolhouse being occupied by students in the late 1930s.

Uncle Bert always talked about being bused to the Longstown schoolhouse after their Locust Grove schoolhouse burnt down following the great Thanksgiving snowstorm of 1938. Bert always claimed he was amongst the first students bused to school in the county.

I located an article in the December 19, 1938 issue of The Gazette and Daily, with the headline “Locust Grove Pupils Are Now Attending School At Longstown.” Quoting from the article:

Students of the Locust Grove School, which was leveled by flames recently, are attending the Longstown School, which was closed several years ago. The Locust Grove School was located in Windsor Township, while the Longstown School is in the Springettsbury Independent District. This means that the Windsor Township Board must rent the Longstown School from the Independent District until a new building is erected for the Locust Grove pupils. The students are transported to and from the school in one of the buses of the York-East Prospect Line.

Linda Long provided these enlightening comments about the ghost mystery of the Longstown One-Room Schoolhouse.

It is my understanding the so-called weird happenings in the Longstown schoolhouse grew out of an “observation lesson” taught by an early teacher at that school. At the end of each school day, the teacher would ask the kids to observe the placement of items in the room. Before the start of the next school day, the teacher would move one item. After opening exercises, the kids were given an opportunity to see if they could identify the moved item.

The arrival of a new teacher did not stop a few older kids from secretly pulling the same stunt. The exception, these kids moved items, so that they could fabricate stories for the younger kids about a ghost haunting the schoolhouse. My mother was one of the many kids on the receiving end of those stories, however she was lucky to have an older sister who shared what the older kids were doing. If you ever discover a photo of Longstown schoolhouse, please contact me. I’d love to have a copy.

Links to related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Founders and Leaders of York Corporation

yorkcoleaders

This illustration includes some of the key founders and leaders of York Corporation. I use it in two of my talks about the history of York Air Conditioning and Refrigeration.

Last month I was the speaker at the 87th Annual Reunion of the Twenty-Five Years Continuous Service Club of the company; which has been part of Johnson Controls since 2005. The 1466 employee members of the club have worked with the company producing YORK products for a total of more than 50,990-years.

Founders and Leaders of York Corporation

Here are my notes, from the first part of my presentation, during the 87th Annual Reunion of the Twenty-Five Years Continuous Service Club at the Wyndham Garden Hotel, York, PA, on October 20, 2016:

Thank you for this opportunity to speak at the 25-Year Club; a club I became a member of 19-years ago.

In the last five years I’ve given quite a few presentations dealing with the history of local industry and two of those focus on the history of YORK Air Conditioning and Refrigeration. My 14-minute talk tonight is an overview of those presentations.

Prominent advertising for York products, beginning in the 1930s, proudly proclaim, Headquarters for Mechanical Cooling since 1885. That year, an 8-Ton ice-making machine, bound for Mississippi, was manufactured in their small factory along North Penn Street in York. The initial factory has long since been torn down; the site is now the Roosevelt Tavern parking lot.

The company was founded as the York Manufacturing Company there in 1874 and initially their principle products were a wooden washing machine; produced per the design of the first company President Stephen Morgan Smith, and a turbine water wheel; produced per the design of the company Engineer Oliver Bollinger. Bollinger’s cousin, Henry LaMott was the Factory Superintendent in what had previously been his machine shop. Jacob Loucks was company Treasurer; he contributed all the start-up capital, $10,000 as his company buy-in; still leaving Loucks a small fortune he accumulated operating Paper Mills in Maryland and Virginia.

One of Jacob Loucks paper making apprentices was P. H. Glatfelter, who went on to purchase a small run-down Spring Grove paper mill in 1863 and turn it into a prosperous business; which still operates today. Relations ran deeper than teacher/apprentice alone. P. H. Glatfelter married Jacob Loucks’ younger sister Amanda. These Loucks and Glatfelter family connections would go on to figure prominently in the history of our company.

By the time the company was two-years-old, the original washing machine and original water turbine had become obsolete. As a result, until the tiny factory was tooled-up for their initial refrigeration product in 1885, the factory basically functioned as a small job-shop; employing on the average 25 workmen.

When the company was four-years old, infighting within the management of the company had reached its peak. In 1878, the company had three presidents. Smith was president for the first two months. Henry LaMotte became the second president of the company for the next three months. Loucks was president the last seven months.

This management infighting originated during the first year of the company’s existence, when Oliver Bollinger left the company to start his own water turbine company. In 1877, Smith, while still president of the York Manufacturing Company, also started a water turbine company, which he would christen the S. Morgan Smith Company. The York Manufacturing Company was utilized as one of the job shops to produce turbines for both Bollinger’s and Smith’s Companies.

A lawsuit between Bollinger and Smith, at that time, did not help matters. When Jacob Loucks became the third president of the company, he was able to keep investors plus customers Bollinger and Smith all somewhat happy; as a result, Jacob Loucks remained at the helm of the York Manufacturing Company for the next ten years.

By 1880, Jacob Loucks had bought out all the remaining founding investors and many of the other company investors. Jacob’s son, George Loucks plus other Loucks relatives and acquaintances had varying levels of involvement and investment in the company until Jacob Loucks made the 1883 decision to get into the ice-making machine business.

A refrigeration specialist, George Jarman, was hired and the North Penn Street factory was tooled up to make ten ice-making machines per year. These ice-making machines were huge. The 1885 ice-making machine, bound for Mississippi, produced 8-tons of ice per day, however it also weighed nearly 8-tons.

In 1885, that machine to Mississippi, was the only one sold. In 1886, two machines were sold. The following year, in 1887, annual sales dropped to one machine. This was not very good for a shop tooled-up to make ten machines per year. Why the low sales? The earliest ice-making machines were expensive to purchase and to operate, compared to the natural so-called “free ice;” harvested in the winter and stored in ice-houses for use during the warmer months. Ice had become an ever-growing necessity to keep food from spoiling.

Loucks and several investors suffered company and personal losses in trying to keep the company afloat. Jacob Loucks personal wealth had been depleted by the time the courts declared the York Manufacturing Company insolvent in 1888. The company’s assets would have been put up for auction to pay off creditors, if Loucks brother-in-law, P. H. Glatfelter had not stepped in, paying off all York Manufacturing Company debts and assuming control of the company. P. H. Glatfelter became the company’s fourth president.

P. H. Glatfelter brought in his son William Glatfelter and his nephew George Loucks to help run the company. He hired a new refrigeration specialist, Stuart St. Clair, as general manager and head engineer. However, at the end of Glatfelter’s first full year of involvement, that is the end of 1889, no additional ice-making machines were sold.

Fate intervened in 1890. A very warm winter resulted in half of the normal ice harvest. The ice-houses were down to their last blocks of natural ice in July. No ice for the remainder of the warm months resulted in food spoilages and widespread food poisoning. The demand for the new-fangled mechanical ice-making machines skyrocketed.

For the next several years, the York Manufacturing Company produced as many ice-making machines as they could handle within the small factory along North Penn Street. The company was incorporated in 1895, to provide additional capital, so Glatfelter could build a much larger factory on land he purchased along what was then called West York Avenue; which is now Roosevelt Avenue. The initial buildings in this factory, known as the West York Plant, opened in July of 1896.

However just as the big new factory opened in 1896, the nation was experiencing the worst depression on record, resulting in a huge drop off in sales. P. H. Glatfelter never lost faith in the refrigeration industry. He put more of his own money into the company and made some bold moves. One of those bold moves was hiring the General Manager and some of his staff from Frick Company in Waynesboro.

Thomas Shipley had eleven years of refrigeration experience at Frick; a larger company then York in the late 1800s. When Shipley came to York in 1897, the factory employed 50 workmen. Glatfelter gave Shipley a free hand to make the York Manufacturing Company profitable. After only two years of Shipley in control, the company workforce topped 500; producing ice-making machines to Shipley’s designs on streamlined production lines. Seven years later 1,000 workers manned the West York Plant as sales soared.

Following the death of P. H. Glatfelter in 1907, his son William Glatfelter becomes the fifth president of the York Manufacturing Company. Bird Loucks, soon followed as the new company Treasurer; he was the youngest son of company founder Jacob Loucks. This next generation of Glatfelter/Loucks leadership, also took a hands off policy, leaving Thomas Shipley free to run the company as Vice President and General Manager; with little interference.

In 1917, the York Manufacturing Company surpassed 50% of all the Ice-Making Business in the United States. Further expansion was required to meet rising demand for their products; as a result an 80-acre site was purchased along Grantley Road in 1923.

In 1927, Glatfelter and Loucks retire, although they remain major stockholders. The board names Thomas Shipley as the sixth president of the company. Thomas Shipley wasted little time reorganizing the manufacturing, sales and construction entities, into a single more efficient organization; named the York Ice Machinery Corporation.

Thomas Shipley died in January of 1930; the board named his brother William S. Shipley, who had been with the company for many years, as the seventh president of the company. The main road running through Grantley Plant was named Shipley Boulevard in honor of Thomas Shipley.

William Shipley’s tenure as president saw the tremendous growth of air-conditioning, which coincided with Dupont’s introduction of Freon-12 in the early 1930s. In 1940, the board elected Stewart Lauer as the eighth president of the company. William S. Shipley became Chairman of the Board, freeing him up to become the national spokesman for the York Plan during World War II.

The board decided a name change for the corporation was in order during 1942. York Ice Machinery Corporation simply became York Corporation, because air conditioning products had long since overtaken sales of ice making machines. William Shipley was still Chairman of the Board of York Corporation when he died in 1951.

END of First Part … Next week I’ll follow up by posting the conclusion of my talk at the 25-Year Club.

Links to related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Longstown One-Room Haunted Schoolhouse

Section of 1941 York County Highway Map (PA Dept. of Highways; Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2016)

Section of 1941 York County Highway Map (PA Dept. of Highways; Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2016)

Over fifty-years ago I first heard stories of a ghost haunting the schoolhouse in Longstown. In 1962 our family spent our first summer on a farm near Longstown. Seitz’s corner grocery store was located a very short bike ride from our farm. That store was where I heard about the haunted schoolhouse on several occasions.

This post is a continuation of last week’s post: Rocky start for Longstown One-Room Schoolhouse.  Longstown one-room schoolhouse is perhaps the schoolhouse in Springettsbury Township written about the least. The Longstown One-Room Schoolhouse location is also not well documented and was a mystery for many; their typical guess was “probably near the Tilden U. B. Church.”

This past summer I searched every conceivable map for a schoolhouse symbol near the Tilden church along Edgewood Road; with no success. My first break came last month when a longtime resident of Longstown assured me the schoolhouse was located much further from the Longstown crossroads; telling me it was several houses east of Eagles Nest Restaurant. I followed up by asking if there was anything unusual about that schoolhouse. It was kind of eerie when he told me, “Some claim weird things happened in that schoolhouse, as if it were haunted,” however he could not provide any details.

He was absolutely correct about the location. I verified that place via the discovery of a schoolhouse symbol on the 1941 York County Highway Map, produced by the Pennsylvania Department of Highways. The unincorporated village of Longstown had a Post Office called Tilden from 1886 to 1903; thereafter both Longstown and Tilden were used until the village name reverted back to Longstown in the mid-1900s. I’ve annotated the map section with road names and summaries of schools within The Independent School District of Springettsbury Township.

Pinpointing location of Longstown One-Room Schoolhouse

Deed searches on several of the properties east of Eagles Nest Restaurant resulted in the discovery of a 1912 deed where Benjamin Horn and Sarah J. Horn, his wife, sell a lot to The Independent School District of Springettsbury Township for $150 (Deed Book 18O, Page 155). This lot is along the public road leading from York to Longstown and the deed string originated from the lot at 2655 Mount Rose Avenue. Using the York County Property Viewer, I’ve pointed to the location where the Longstown schoolhouse stood on that lot.

York County Property Viewer (York County Assessment Office, Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2016)

York County Property Viewer (York County Assessment Office, Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2016)

The fussy image of a schoolhouse, via a 1938 historic aerial photo, pinpoints the indicated “dotted” schoolhouse location. The next available historic aerial photo, in 1955, no longer shows a schoolhouse. In 1941, The Independent School District of Springettsbury Township sells the school lot to Luther P. Marks and Thelma E. Marks, husband and wife, for $1,500 (Deed Book 28S, Page 696).

These facts led me to conclude the schoolhouse was torn down in the 1940s or early 1950s. If any of my readers can provide details of when the schoolhouse was torn down or anything associated with weird happenings in that schoolhouse; please let me know. Also a photo of this schoolhouse is elusive; if any of my readers know a source, let me know.

Links to related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Dr. Spotz used Race Car to make York County house calls

Dr. G. Emanuel Spotz [1876-1926] (Submitted by Shelly M. Riedel)

Dr. G. Emanuel Spotz [1876-1926] (Submitted by Shelly M. Riedel)

Shelly Riedel submitted this photo of Dr. G. Emanuel Spotz along with neat photos associated with the house at 2025 East Market in Springettsbury Township. She calls this house the “Grande Dame of Market.” This is the Coal Baron built Mansion in Springettsbury,  which became the clubhouse of the York Motor Club in 1912.

Her great-grandfather, Dr. G. Emanuel Spotz, purchased the house when the York Motor Club decided to sell it in 1923. Her grandfather, Thomas Anderton Monk, Jr., resided with his wife, Marie McClure Spotz at 2025 after Dr. Spotz purchased the house and after the passing of G. Emanuel and his wife Helen McClure Spotz. Her father, John S. Monk, MD, grew up in the house, and Shelly remembers many family gatherings there, especially for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. The “Grande Dame of Market” remained in her family for 48-years.

Additional Photos and Details about Dr. Spotz and his Race Cars

The full name of Dr. Spotz is Glatfelter Emanuel Spotz. Most often he went by G. Emanuel Spotz. He was born in York New Salem in 1876 to Clinton M. Spotz and Priscilla (Glatfelter) Spotz, and was named for his grandfather Emanuel Glatfelter.

G. Emanuel Spotz graduated from Philadelphia’s Jefferson Medical College in 1897. His medical practice was licensed in Adams County on July 23, 1897, whereupon he initiated a practice in Hampton, which lasted 15-years. Hampton is an unincorporated community 3-1/2 miles west of East Berlin in Reading Township.

In the spring of 1912, Dr. Spotz returned to college; taking post-graduate courses at the Jefferson and Polyclinic Hospitals in Philadelphia. On March 21, 1913, his license was transferred to York County, whereupon he established a medical practice in York and initially resided at 202 Carlisle Avenue in the west end of York.

Dr. Spotz had a fascination for fast cars. He joined the York Motor Club, in 1913, when their clubhouse was already located at 2025 East Market in Springettsbury Township. Shelly Riedel submitted this circa 1920 photo, of the York Motor Club, that has been passed down in her family.

York Motor Club at 2025 East Market in Springettsbury Township; circa 1920 (Submitted by Shelly M. Riedel)

York Motor Club at 2025 East Market in Springettsbury Township; circa 1920 (Submitted by Shelly M. Riedel)

The formal name for this organization is “The Automobile Association of York County.” Variations of this official name appear as small letters on the interlocking tires within their logo, however the simpler, shorter name “York Motor Club” most often prevails. Here I’ve zoomed in on the York Motor Club sign within the photo submitted by Shelly Riedel.

York Motor Club sign at 2025 East Market in Springettsbury Township; circa 1920 (Submitted by Shelly M. Riedel)

York Motor Club sign at 2025 East Market in Springettsbury Township; circa 1920 (Submitted by Shelly M. Riedel)

Dr. Spotz became good friends with fellow York Motor Club member John William Richley. At the time Mr. Richley was still involved with modifying cars to create really fast cars, which he raced. The fastest Race Car that Richley built started as a 1910 Model-19 Buick. In the summer of 1914, Dr. Spotz purchased that Race Car, which had a top speed of 96-miles-per-hour, from J. W. Richley and used it several years in his medical practice; per page 399 of J. W. Richley’s autobiography “Obstacles No Barrier.”

Richley’s autobiography provides interesting details on innovations he used in creating this fast early Buick. It is my impression that J. W. Richley was truly ahead of his time; quoting from page 395.

I did an awful lot of experimenting that winter of 1912-13, in studying and finding out everything possible to make this car go faster than anything I had ever owned previously. I designed new cams of a different shape entirely from what Buick had used for both intake and exhaust valves. I lightened the pistons by perforating them. I took forty pounds off the flywheel and then put a steel band around it to hold it together.

Instead of putting a higher ratio of gear in it, I put a lower ratio in. My idea was to get all the speed out of that motor possible, to make it pick up quickly in coming out of turns. My whole object and theory was to slow down quickly going into the turns and then pick up very quickly getting out of the turns, so as to make this car faster on the straight-away than anything I ever heard or knew of, and this I accomplished.

When this car was finished, I put disc wheels on it and practically rebuilt the whole machine. I took it out on the Emigsville Pike on the flat and boy, when I cut that thing loose and gave it all she had, I found she would push the speedometer hand up to ninety-six miles an hour on high gear.

When J. W. Richley sold this Race Car to Dr. Spotz in 1914, it had never been defeated in any race. Dr. Spotz used this Race Car to make house calls for several years. Richley did borrow the fast Buick one last time before J. W. Richley finally quit racing; instead concentrating on his automobile dealership, which eventually housed the York County History Center on East Market Street.

Links to related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Rocky start for Longstown One-Room Schoolhouse

One-Room School Desks (Pinterest Photo)

One-Room School Desks (Pinterest Photo)

One of the many issues that resulted in the establishment of Springettsbury Township in 1891 was a long-standing desire by a group of residents near Longstown to have a schoolhouse built in their neighborhood. The Longstown residents felt the resulting new, more-rural, school district, in a new township to be named Springettsbury, divided from the suburban part of Spring Garden Township, would better appreciate their need for a Longstown schoolhouse. Longstown children had to walk up to 2-miles over hilly roads to attend school at Lefever’s schoolhouse; down with the valley children.

Over the next 15-years the numbers of students attending Lefever’s schoolhouse (along today’s Haines Road, just south of Eastern Boulevard) shifted until the majority were attending from the Longstown area (along Mount Rose Avenue / East Prospect Road and west of Route 24). The requests of the Longtown residents continued to be ignored until 1906, when they were able to get an impartial special inspector appointed to look into the matter.

It took five additional years before the September 1912 opening of the Longstown One-Room Schoolhouse. The school desks figured in the rocky start of classes; all because there was still infighting between the school directors over the Longstown schoolhouse. In fact, an opening day fracas resulted in the arrest of one of the school directors.

Longstown Schoolhouse was Years in the Making

The Longtown residents achieved their first hurdle, in getting a schoolhouse, in 1906, when they were able to get an impartial special inspector appointed to look into the matter. An article in the September 24, 1907, issue of The York Daily reported on the outcome. Quoting that article in its entirety.

The School Directors of Springettsbury Township will have to show cause next Monday why they should not erect a school house in Longstown in order to suitably accommodate the children of the township. The directors were charged with neglect of duty in this matter in report filed before Judge Bittenger yesterday by Lee S. Stoner, of Hellam, who had been appointed a special inspector to investigate the school accommodation at Lefever’s School House in the township. Mr. Stoner found that last year there were 48 pupils attending that school. The room is 26-feet by 34-feet and has 28 seats. The majority of the pupils are obliged to walk from one and a half to two miles to the school house over a hilly country so that in winter the school is almost inaccessible. The center of population is at the village of Longstown, and at that place Inspector Stoner recommends that a new school house be built. He further says that the directors of Springettsbury Township have been importuned frequently to build a new school house, but have refused and neglected to do so.

The formation of Springettsbury Township and the relative location of Longstown to the Lefever’s Schoolhouse are shown on this mark-up of the Spring Garden Township page from the 1876 Beach Nichols Atlas of York County. I’ve also shown the relative location of the next closest schoolhouse; i.e. Stony Brook; between 1859 and 1913, it was located at the “Y” where Old Orchard Road branches off of Locust Grove Road.

Spring Garden Township page from the 1876 Beach Nichols Atlas of York County (Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2016)

Spring Garden Township page from the 1876 Beach Nichols Atlas of York County (Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2016)

The recommendations by Inspector Stoner did not produce any action by the School Directors of Springettsbury Township. The Longstown residents returned to a waiting mode for their schoolhouse, until a petition was put forth in 1911 to form an Independent School District within Springettsbury Township.

Being at odds with the Springettsbury Township School District for many years, the Longstown residents threw their support behind the effort to establish the Independent School District within the township. Upon the courts granting the petition, for a separate and independent school district, Longstown’s support was rewarded with the approval of plans for their own schoolhouse.

September of 1912 saw the opening of the initial two schoolhouses, both brand new, in the Springettsbury Township Independent School District; the two-room Hiestand Schoolhouse, in East York, and the one-room Longstown Schoolhouse. The goodwill amongst the school directors of the independent school district did not last long, as was seen in this article within the September 10, 1912, issue of The York Daily:

SCHOOL DESKS THROWN OUT

Director Wambaugh, Springettsbury, Has Been Placed Under Arrest

The first day of school in the new model school house built by the Independent District of Springettsbury Township, near Longstown, witnessed a scene not at all in keeping with the model school idea, when Solomon Wambaugh, a director, it is alleged, dumped all of the desks outdoors and broke up the session. The opening of the school has been postponed until today. Information was made before Alderman Walter F. Owen, this city, against Wambaugh upon charge of damaging and defacing school property. The warrant was served yesterday by Constable Woltman, the defendant entering bail for a hearing.

One of the directors said yesterday that Wambaugh, who resides in Longstown and championed that building, raised a row during the summer when, the East York school house having been first erected, it was suggested that the plans for the Longstown building be somewhat modified. When the buildings were completed new desks were purchased for the East York school and the old Lefever school desks were polished up and placed in the Longstown building. A director said yesterday this arrangement was only temporary. Wambaugh, it is stated strongly opposed the placing of the old desks in the new building but gave no intimation of proposing any radical action.

Stay tuned for additional posts on the Longstown One-Room Schoolhouse in Springettsbury Township. A photo of this schoolhouse is elusive; if any of my readers know a source, let me know.

Links to related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Readers Choose Top 10 Posts during October 2016

topten2016oct

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 October Top 10 Post

These are your favorites during October 2016:

1—Highest Summit in York County should be Named.  “The highest summit in York County should have a name,” was a remark I received several weeks ago while volunteering at the York County History Center. The comment was the result of a discovery of my post Pigeon Hills debunks Red Lion Myth.  In that post I provided a sorted list of York County summits over 1000-feet; as pulled off of topographic maps. Of the six summits with the highest elevations; only the highest summit, at 1412-feet elevation, is not named. Maybe it should be.

2—Gilbert Sisters in Big Hats.  A 1909 photo of Gilbert sisters in big hats came to mind when considering a Millinery illustration for a future post about York County’s first female airplane passenger Edith M. Hitchcott; a second generation Milliner in York. A Milliner is a creator and dealer in women’s hats. In our family the Gilbert Sisters picture is known at the “Big Hats Photo.” The Gilbert Sisters are three of my Great-Aunts; i.e. they are the sisters of my Grandmother Iva Gilbert Smith.

3—Motter’s 1914 photos of Wright Flyer at Hilton Field.  During a June weekend in 1914, a Wright Brothers Model B Flyer took off repeatedly from Hilton Field carrying York County’s first airplane passengers; one at a time. The flights were at a newly constructed airfield, on property of George F. Motter, in rural Dover Township. George F. Motter shared a dozen photographs of the activities from that 1914 weekend, at Hilton Field, with The Gazette and Daily in 1935.

4—Coal Baron built Mansion in Springettsbury. 10/29/16 West Virginia coal baron John Laing built a retirement mansion in Springettsbury Township. It still stands today; on the northwest corner of East Market Street and North Vernon Street. In 1906 Laing purchased six adjoining lots, two big lots plus four standard lots, to create one mega-lot with 120-feet of frontage along East Market Street and 250-feet deep, stretching back along North Vernon Street. John Laing retained noted local architect John A. Dempwolf to design the building still standing at 2025 East Market Street.

5—Camp Ganoga and the Susquehanna Trail.  York County’s Boy Scouts Camp along the Big Conewago Creek, was known as Camp Ganoga. When I posted about Zion View and the Susquehanna Trail,  a reader commented that she first met her husband when men from the Civilian Conservation Corps at Camp Ganoga attended a dance at Zion View. Learn more about the history of Camp Ganoga and how the Susquehanna Trail impacted it.

6—York County’s First Airplane Passenger was Charles Eastlack.  On June 19th 1914 a Wright Brothers Model B Flyer took off from Hilton Field, in Dover Township, carrying York County’s First Airplane Passenger, Charles Eastlack. The Wright Brothers manufactured about 100 of their Model B Flyers between 1910 and 1914. It was their first passenger-carrying airplane; capable of carrying one passenger, nestled side-by-side, between the motor and the pilot.

7—Readers Choose Top 10 Posts during September 2016.  Near the beginning of every month, I’m sharing with my readers the top 10 posts from the previous month. These were your favorites during September 2016.

8—Location of Hilton Airfield along Dover Trolley Line.  Jim Wiest supplied some neat insight about Hilton Airfield and Hilton Trolley Station in Dover Township. I was able to narrow in on the location of the airfield by meshing Jim’s memories with historic topographic maps showing the Dover Trolley Line.

9—Dempwolf drawings of Laing Mansion.  John A. Dempwolf’s original drawings for the Springettsbury Township retirement mansion of West Virginia coal baron John Laing are in the Collections of the York County History Center. The first floor includes: a living room, a parlor, a library, a dining room, a kitchen and a pantry. The second floor includes six large bedrooms and three complete baths. The Dempwolf drawings are not dated, however newspaper articles confirm they were created in 1906. The Springettsbury Township building still standing at 2025 East Market Street.

10—Hoover Worn Drive Truck debuts at 1916 York Fair.  Hoover Wagon Company advertised “Do Not Fail To See The HOOVER WORM DRIVE TRUCK at the York Fair—Main Building Annex. BUILT IN YORK.” This York Daily ad appeared during the York Fair 100-years-ago, i.e. in 1916; when the fair was held in early October. The appearance at the fair marked the debut of the first Hoover Truck built entirely in York; since the companies’ automotive line previously involved purchasing a Ford chassis and added a Hoover commercial body. This post contains a trade publication review of Hoover’s newest product, along with illustrations.

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.

stats2016oct

Links to the Top 10 Posts for the 12 most recent months:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Springetts Rezoning Round 3 and Possible Solution

Market Street and Mount Zion corridor section of Zoning Map from the Springettsbury Township Internet Site (Road Names Annotated by S. H. Smith)

Market Street and Mount Zion corridor section of Zoning Map from the Springettsbury Township Internet Site (Road Names in blue & white Annotated by S. H. Smith)

The present Market Street and Mount Zion corridor zoning is shown on this Zoning Map from the Springettsbury Township Internet site. A Springettsbury Township Planning Commission meeting will be held Thursday, November 10th, 2016 at 6:00 P.M. “to hear and/or act upon a potential rezoning of properties located along the Market Street and Mount Zion Corridor” (see full notice, as published in York Daily Record, at the end of this post, which states “All interested persons are invited to appear and be heard.”).

Fourteen people contacted me about the newspaper notice. This is a considerable increase from six contacts about the cryptic notice during Round 2 of this rezoning. This indicates more residents are reading these notices; a good thing! One of the new contacts provided a possible solution; which I found intriguing. Lets look at the Springettsbury Township Zoning Districts key on the Zoning Map from the Springettsbury Township Internet Site. If you are reading this on the Ydr.com site, click on this LINK for a Full View of the illustrations in this post on the original YorkBlog site; since the ydr.com site will occasionally cut off important details in the cropping of illustrations.

Zoning Districts key on the Zoning Map from the Springettsbury Township Internet Site

Zoning Districts key on the Zoning Map from the Springettsbury Township Internet Site

Here is the part of Tom’s e-mail with a possible rezoning solution:

I understand the primary reason by the township for this rezoning is not to allow high density residential on northeast corner properties at Market and Mount Zion and for any such rezoning not to appreciably increase traffic at the intersection. They’d also like reduced entry points along the roads and to allow reuse of historic properties, although not sure how many in the township actually want to reuse buildings.

How about a one-way road through the properties in question, entering near the Market Street entrance to the Springetts Manor apartments and have it go west, behind the Market Street properties, then turning north behind all the Mount Zion Road properties emptying onto Industrial Highway. With this new one-way road, all these properties along the main roads then have a safer back way out via a signaled light at Industrial Highway and Mount Zion Road.

About half-dozen medium lot single-family residences could be built in the fields to the east of the one-way road. They would also enter and exit their properties via the one-way road. Having the road one-way, in the direction indicated, should cut down on the use of this new road through the properties as a short cut for non-local traffic.

Now the rezoning suggestion, with this one-way road through the properties, keep Neighborhood Commercial along Mount Zion Road, rezone the fields where about half-dozen residences would be built to Medium Lot Single-Family Residential, and rezone the properties along Market Street to Neighborhood Commercial/Historic.

I’d like to thank Tom for a creative suggestion. He will be presenting this at the meeting on Thursday, November 10th, 2016 at 6:00 P.M. and allowed me to post it before hand, in hopes of inspiring more solutions to come forth from township residents.  Also thanks to Tom for pointing out the Neighborhood Commercial/Historic zoning district; I do not know why I did not look into it sooner, especially since it appears right at the top of the Zoning Districts key on the Zoning Map.

Quoting the Springettsbury Township Zoning Ordinance, Article XII, Neighborhood Commercial Districts, Section 325-29.B:

Neighborhood Commercial/Historic (N-C/H): It is the further purpose of this district to provide for the reuse of historic structures along East Market Street by restricting uses to those that have limited parking needs and are compatible with the immediately adjacent historic residential neighborhoods.

Neighborhood Commercial/Historic is the zoning presently in place for the properties along East Market Street in Old East York; i.e. at the western end of Market Street within Springettsbury Township. Here is the copy of the meeting notice that appeared in the November 3, 2016, issue of the York Daily Record:

zoningrd3c

Summarizing: A Springettsbury Township Planning Commission meeting will be held Thursday, November 10th, 2016 at 6:00 P.M. “to hear and/or act upon a potential rezoning of properties located along the Market Street and Mount Zion Corridor” and stating that “All interested persons are invited to appear and be heard.”

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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