Builders of the Modernaire Motel

York County Planning Commission recommends against Rezoning Request

ModernaireMundis

Kay Hoshour submitted this photo of Charlotte & Martin Mundis at the lobby registration desk during the May 1949 Grand Opening of the Modernaire Motel. Charlotte & Martin Mundis were the builders and initial operators of this iconic motel along the Lincoln Highway. Kay is a niece of Charlotte & Marty; and her Dad suggested the name of the motel. Kay also submitted the following 1949 photo of the Modernaire Motel, which shows the original location of the entrance door within the buildings signature rounded corner.

Modernaire1949

On a personal note, my aunt and uncle Marian & Charles Parks moved to Virginia in the early 50s. Whenever they came back to visit family in the York area, they always stayed at the Modernaire Motel, even after the chain motels came to the area. Parks was very particular, the Modernaire had to be doing something right to keep him as a happy customer for so long. They always said they were treated like family at the Modernaire.

Today the Modernaire Motel still stands, much as it did in the following photo from the 1990s when the owners were Bob & Debbie Straw. A Proclamation was given to Bob & Debbie Straw, for their faithful preservation of the Modernaire Motel by the Board of Supervisors of Springettsbury Township on May 12, 1994.

ModernaireMotel

The Modernaire is still operated as a motel today; however it is threatened. The motel is on the northeast corner of East Market Street and Mt. Zion Road, with other historic properties on a 12.5-acre tract, where a developer has proposed rezoning in order to build a shopping center.

I was at the York County Planning Commission meeting earlier this week, where they voted 5-0 in recommending Springettsbury Township ‘Not Adopt’ the proposed rezoning. The Springettsbury Township Planning Commission will consider the ‘Not Adopt’ recommendation of the York County Planning Commission during their deliberation if Springettsbury Township should nevertheless adopt the proposed rezoning. The next meeting of the Springettsbury Township Planning Commission is Thursday August 20, 2015, at 6:00 PM in the Township Offices, 1501 Mt. Zion Road.

Related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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American Freedom Train was in York County for whole Bicentennial Weekend

AFTbI recently discovered the ticket stub from my tour of the American Freedom Train during the Bicentennial. It had been lost between the pages of race car driver Mark Donohue’s book the “The Unfair Advantage;” probably ever since I last read that book in 1976.

This find resulted in further research on the Internet and at the York County Heritage Trust. The 1975-1976 Freedom Train was similar to a 1947-1949 Freedom Train, which also toured the whole country; with the primary difference being documents versus artifacts.

The 1947-1949 Freedom Train focused on bringing the DOCUMENTS of American liberty directly to the people from the National Archives and the Library of Congress. That train had a one-day exhibition stop inside the York Fairgrounds on October 9th, 1948.

A much longer train traveled the country during 1975-1976 to celebrate the United States Bicentennial. That train was officially known as The American Freedom Train; exhibiting ARTIFACTS representative of the 200-year history of the United States of America.

AFTaThe American Freedom Train was pulled by one of three enormous steam locomotives; as it visited cities throughout all 48 contiguous states from April 1st, 1975 through December 31st, 1976. This time York, Pa. was not selected as a host city for the American Freedom Train, however this impressive 26-car train did have a brief whistle-stop at the train station in Downtown York.

After finishing up a June 29th & 30th exhibition stop in Cumberland, Md., July 1st was the travel date prior to the next exhibition stop at the New Cumberland Army Depot, in northern York County, from July 2nd to 5th, 1976. Therefore York County does have the distinction of having The American Freedom Train on its soil during the whole Bicentennial Weekend, plus the key Bicentennial date; July 4th, 1976.

During July 1st, the train stopped briefly in Gettysburg, where Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower, widow of President Dwight D. Eisenhower boarded the train. The train then traveled through Hanover prior to arriving at the train station in York. Newspaper accounts have the train arriving in York, Thursday evening at 6:00 o’clock, where Mamie Eisenhower disembarked the train for a limousine ride back to Gettysburg. The train then resumed its journey over the old Northern Central Railroad tracks from York to the New Cumberland Army Depot.

The following photo shows the queue of visitors, at the left coming towards me, under the shade of the one of the long loading docks at the depot. I waited in the parking lot and that line for about two-hours. The photo was taken just as I crossed into the Entrance Car #100. That car was for security; admissions and it allowed visitors time to adjust their eyes to the darker interior. Each visitor was given an individual sound unit that played narrations coordinated with the exhibits. The moving walkways keep the crowd moving at the same pace in all the cars, moving out into the distance. It took about 25-minutes to get through all the display cars.

AFTc

For the proper operation of the moving walkways within the display cars, exhibition stop locations needed one-half mile of straight, level track. Support equipment needed plenty of room around the train; in addition ample parking for the many visitors was required. Both York and Harrisburg did not meet these site requirements; however the New Cumberland Army Depot did meet the requirements and was selected. Since the depot was closer to Harrisburg, it was billed as a Harrisburg stop; even though the stop was actually located in York County.

The steam engine that pulled The American Freedom Train through York County in 1976 was the former Reading #2101. This steam locomotive was originally built in 1923 in a 2-8-0 configuration by the Baldwin Locomotive Works and was rebuilt during 1946 in a 4-8-4 configuration at the Reading Shops in Reading, Pa. The drive configuration was changed for heavier freight and longer passenger train demands. By 1955, the increasing use of diesel locomotives sidelined #2101, except for its occasional excursion use, until it was officially retired in 1967. The Reading #2101 steam locomotive was pulled from retirement and given a complete overhaul to pull The American Freedom Train and was designated AFT Locomotive #1.

AFTd

The specifications on this locomotive are: weight, 221 tons; driver diameter, 70 inches; and cylinders, 27 x 32 inches. This steam engine now has a permanent home at the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Md.

Related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Kauffman’s Brookhill Orchards established in 1882; Artwork by Cliff Satterthwaite

Kauffman’s Brookhill Orchards, Springettsbury Township, York County, Pa. (14” x 18” Watercolor created in 1964 by Cliff Satterthwaite)

Kauffman’s Brookhill Orchards, Springettsbury Township, York County, Pa. (14” x 18” Watercolor created in 1964 by Cliff Satterthwaite)

As soon as I saw this watercolor, that Cliff Satterthwaite entitled “Kauffman’s Orchards – York, Pa.,” I knew exactly where Cliff was standing when he painted this scene of a young apple tree. The downhill curving roadway into the York Valley gave it away; at least for someone familiar with the area.

Our family moved to 707 Witmer Road in 1966. The lane to our house emptied onto Witmer Road just uphill from the scene that Cliff painted. We’d see that scene while waiting for the school bus at the end of our lane. We’d see that scene whenever we drove somewhere. Cliff Satterthwaite perfectly captured what is embedded in my memory.

The follow 1971 aerial photo is from the collections of the York County Archives. I’ve highlighted the boundaries of Kauffman’s Brookhill Orchards. The arrow at the letter (A) indicates Cliff’s viewpoint when he created his watercolor of a young apple tree.

Orchard1971

Here is a summary of all the pinpointed items from 1971:

  • (A) – Viewpoint of Cliff Satterthwaite’s watercolor of a young apple tree
  • (B) – Original home of Eli F. Kauffman, who established the orchard in 1882
  • (C) – Orchard storage and sales buildings
  • (D) – 605 Witmer Road, Residence of J. Bentz Kauffman
  • (E) – 600 Witmer Road, Residence of J. Robert Kauffman
  • (F) – 609 Witmer Road, Residence of Harry E. Kauffman
  • (G) – Location Witmer Homestead farm; how Witmer Road got its name

74thYear1956This 1956 Kauffman’s Brookhill Orchards ad noted “74th year serving the public with The Best in Fruit.” I had no idea Kauffman’s Orchard went back to 1882, until I saw this ad. A little research provided further details.

Eli F. Kauffman established the farm and orchard at this location in 1882. Eli was married to Alice Bentz. Additional details for Eli are provided in a 1905 newspaper article later in this post. Eli died in 1947 and his son, J. Bentz Kauffman, become the proprietor of the orchard.

Bentz was married to Martha Dietz. He was a graduate of York County Academy and attended Penn State. He was a past president of the National Peach Council and a member of the Pennsylvania State Horticultural Association. Bentz died in 1975 and his sons, Robert and Harry Kauffman continued operating the orchard for several additional decades until the land was developed.

The residential development is called Orchard Hills. Site work on grading the lots and putting in the initial streets began in 2003. The end of 2004 saw the initial five houses completed. Orchard Hills ended up with slightly more than 100 lots. Continue reading for additional details, plus more orchard artwork by Cliff Satterthwaite.  Continue reading “Kauffman’s Brookhill Orchards established in 1882; Artwork by Cliff Satterthwaite” »

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TRUCKTOWN and the Truck Town Restaurant

HapMillerPostcard

This linen postcard of Hap Miller’s ‘Truck Town’ Restaurant is from my collections. The postcard dates to the early 1950s, because ‘Truck Town’ in the name, was only used for the first few years the restaurant was in business; it opening in 1950.

Afterwards this restaurant at 2400 East Market Street in Springettsbury Township was expanded by adding a dining room that nearly extended out to Market Street and it had a succession of names, among them were: Hap Miller’s Restaurant, 7 Cousins, Cicero’s and Archie’s. When the new Weis Markets was built on the corner of East Market Street and Haines Road, the restaurant was demolished. The loading docks, along East Market Street, at the rear of the Weis Markets, mark the approximate site where this restaurant was located.

As shown on the postcard, the sign contained a clock at the top. The smaller lettering included:

  • Homemade Pies
  • Waffles with Vermont Syrup
  • Special Platters Featured Daily
  • Steaks – Chops
  • Country Ham – Eggs – From Farm To You

Why ‘Truck Town’ in the Restaurant Name?

The restaurant was built on a corner of the lot of Carl Beasley’s TRUCKTOWN. In fact, the restaurant and the truck dealership shared the same address; 2400 East Market Street. In The Gazette and Daily of February 20, 1950, Carl Beasley Company took out a nearly full-page ad inviting everybody to the opening of Hap Miller’s ‘Truck Town’ Restaurant.

BeasleyTrucktown

The smaller lettering in this Carl Beasley ad states:

Now we believe our service facilities here at TRUCKTOWN are complete . . . with the opening of one of the finest 24-hour restaurants in Eastern Pennsylvania. We know the Hap Miller Restaurant will live up to the Beasley TRUCKTOWN reputation for service . . . and their own fine reputation for excellent food.

When you visit Hap Miller’s TRUCKTOWN Restaurant, drop in to see us, and to inspect Pennsylvania’s largest, most completely modern facilities for truck sales, service and repair.

Continue reading for more details on TRUCKTOWN and the Truck Town Restaurant.  Continue reading “TRUCKTOWN and the Truck Town Restaurant” »

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York Diner moves to the Suburbs

YorkDutchA

This artwork, by Cliff Satterthwaite, shows the York Dutch Restaurant at 2810 East Market Street. It was the third incarnation of Don Sternbergh’s York Diner in the suburbs, after he first established this as the place for “Such Good Food” in downtown York during 1939.

For ten years, the York Diner was located at 37-39 North George Street.  That address was one-half way between Philadelphia Street and Clark Avenue; therefore today the steps, front doors and lobby of the York County Judicial Center approximately occupy the same space where the diner sat.

Dr. Francis R. Wise purchased the lot upon which the diner sat in Downtown York. In 1949, Dr. Wise decided to convert the property into a parking lot; therefore Don Sternbergh had to find a new location for the York Diner. Don chose to move to the suburbs.

On March 30, 1949, the York Diner was split into three pieces and trucked out to the 2300 block of East Market Street in Springettsbury Township. Days later, the York Diner was back in business. This photo, by The Gazette and Daily, captured the section of the diner, previously facing North George Street, as it neared its new location.

YorkDinerMove

The caption of this photo in the March 31, 1949, issue of The Gazette and Daily stated:

FLITTING TIME FOR DINER—The York Diner is conveyed by truck to its new location along the Lincoln Highway, east, near the State Police Barracks. Picture was taken at 6:30 a.m. yesterday as the diner neared its new location. Old site at 37-39 North George Street, purchased by Dr. F. R. Wise, will be converted into a parking lot.

The York County Archives contains an early aerial photo showing the placement of the York Diner at 2333 East Market Street. From Directories available at the York County Heritage Trust, I’ve added the East Market Street numbers corresponding to the other buildings that stood at the time of the October 9, 1955, aerial photo. Note back then, Memory Lane did not align with Haines Road.

DinerAerial55

When the York Diner moved to this location in 1949, the State Police Barracks was located at 2301 East Market Street and the Mary MacIntosh building had not yet been built. Also in 1949, the large building at 2400 East Market Street housed Carl Beasley’s Truck Town and beside it sat what was originally known as Hap Miller’s Truck Town Restaurant. Ammon R. Smith Auto Company then owned the service station at 2345 East Market Street.

The Sunday News of April 8, 1984, ran a photo of The York Diner at their first location in the suburbs; at 2333 East Market Street. The photo appeared in their column The York That Was.

YorkDiner2333

Today, the Giant Gas Station on the corner of Market Street and Memory Lane occupies the 2333 East Market Street site of the York Diner. The diner was physically moved again in 1960 due to the realignment of Memory Lane, so that it crossed Market Street directly opposite Haines Road. That York Diner move occurred because of the loss of much of the diner parking lot as the new Memory Lane cut through Don Sternbergh’s property. In future posts I’ll look at the next two locations of the York Diner along the Lincoln Highway in Springettsbury Township.

Related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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The Iron Steamboat Codorus heads to North Carolina

America’s First Iron Steamboat Marker (Located a short distance west of Wrightsville on the south side of Route 462, opposite Blessing Lane; 2015 Photo by S. H. Smith)

America’s First Iron Steamboat Marker (Located a short distance west of Wrightsville on the south side of Route 462, opposite Blessing Lane; 2015 Photo by S. H. Smith)

In 1825, John Elgar designed and built the Iron Steamboat Codorus in York, Pa. At that time, the majority attitude was, “wood floated and iron sank, why would anybody build a boat out of iron?”

On November 22, 1825, The Codorus was launched in the Susquehanna River at Accomac, Hellam Township. She did not sink! Instead she operated flawlessly; traveling at a respectable six miles per hour against the current. The first iron steamboat in America went into the history books, owing to the vision of Yorker John Elgar.

This venture began in 1824, with a group of Baltimore businessmen wanting to test the practicality of running steamboats the length of the Susquehanna River. The businessmen, many of whom were already associated with the Merchant Flouring Mills at York Haven in York County, advertised in Baltimore papers requesting proposals for a steamboat capable of navigating the erratic nature of the Susquehanna River.

John Elgar’s solution was to use an iron hull; a first in America. While he successfully captained The Codorus up the Susquehanna River into New York State during 1826, it was the erratic nature of the rocky Susquehanna River that ultimately did not permit establishment of commercial steamboat operations over the length of the river.

What happened to The Codorus? It sat idle for much of the time near York Haven, before the Baltimore businessmen brought it down the Susquehanna River and put it up for sale.

The Scientific American Supplement No. 1555, in the issue of October 21, 1905, contained an extensive article entitled “Iron and Steel Hull Steam Vessels of the United States,” by J. H. Murrison, Author of “History of American Steam Navigation.” A paragraph, on page 24919, under the “Experimental Period” describes the fate of the Iron Steamboat Codorus that was built in York, Pa.

The boat remained on the Susquehanna River for about two years without any permanent employment, was then taken to Baltimore, Md., and the last record left of the vessel appears that in January, 1829, she was sent to North Carolina to run between New-Berne and Beaufort. A Baltimore paper in April, 1830, published under the heading of “The First Iron Steamboat”; “We have two or three times during the past year endeavored to set history right in regard to the place at which the first iron steamboat was built in America. The steamboat ‘Codorus’ was the first iron steamboat built in the United States, as has been repeatedly stated in this and other papers. . . . It was built at York, the hull altogether of iron. . . . The ‘Codorus’ was afterward brought to this city, where after remaining some time was taken farther south to ply on some small river.” The iron was of domestic manufacture.

The draw, i.e. the depth the iron steamboat would sit in water, had to be kept shallow, due to the many shallow areas; particularly in the upper branches of the Susquehanna River. A six-inch draw was fine for the Susquehanna River, however totally unsuitable to travel any distance on the Atlantic Ocean.

Luckily a Dismal Swamp Canal connection had recently opened further south into North Carolina, such that The Codorus did not have to venture out into the ocean on her voyage to New-Berne. The route of this voyage, which began in mid-December 1828, is depicted by the blue line I’ve drawn on the following 1867 Map of the North Carolina area south of the Dismal Swamp Canal.

1867 Dismal Swamp Canal Map by D. S. Walton (Wikipedia Public Domain, courtesy of University of North Carolina; Annotations by S. H. Smith, 2015)

1867 Dismal Swamp Canal Map by D. S. Walton (Wikipedia Public Domain, courtesy of University of North Carolina; Annotations by S. H. Smith, 2015)

The route of the ‘late 1828-early 1829’ voyage of the Iron Steamboat Codorus traversed the following. South on the Chesapeake Bay to Hampton Roads, then past Norfolk, Va. on the Elizabeth River to the Dismal Swamp Canal; crossing through Virginia and continuing into North Carolina. The Canal becomes the Pasquatank River, flowing into Albemarle Sound and continuing south into Pamlico Sound, both on the west side of the North Carolina barrier islands. Steaming up the Neuse River to the confluence of the Trent River where the town of New Bern is located.

Continue reading for several New Bern newspaper articles and an illustration showing the transformation of The Codorus into a ferry boat.  Continue reading “The Iron Steamboat Codorus heads to North Carolina” »

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Such Good Food at the York Diner

A Moving Story by Cliff Satterthwaite & Don Sternbergh

YorkDinerStory

Cliff Satterthwaite submitted this illustrated story about the various moves of the York Diner. The story was created in 1962, with Don Sternbergh, the owner of the York Diner; after the diner moved to its fourth location. Each panel represents one of those locations.

The York Diner was located at 37-39 North George Street in Downtown York from 1939 to 1949. That address was one-half way between Philadelphia Street and Clark Avenue; therefore today the steps, front doors and lobby of the York County Judicial Center approximately occupy the same space where the diner sat.

The second panel shows the York Diner on East Market Street, near Memory Lane in Springettsbury Township. The York Diner was physically split into three sections and moved there during 1949, because the owner of the lot on North George Street decided he could make more money by turning it into a parking lot. Today, the Giant Gas Station on the corner of Market Street and Memory Lane occupies the second location of the York Diner.

The third panel shows the York Diner further east on Market Street. The diner was physically moved in 1960 just east of The Barn that sat about where the Home Depot building is now located. This move occurred because the realignment of Memory Lane, so that it crossed Market Street directly opposite Haines Road, resulted in the loss of much of the diner parking lot.

The fourth panel shows the York Diner at the fourth location and under the new name York Dutch Restaurant. This move in 1962 resulted from the construction of McCrory’s Distribution Warehouse. The diner was in poor condition to physically make another move and was demolished. A house at 2810 East Market Street, adjacent to the east side of Playland, was remodeled so Don Sternbergh could continue to serve “Such Good Food.” That fourth location is now the site of the Advance Auto Parts (previously Western Auto) store on East Market Street.

Continue reading for a photo and details of the York Diner in Downtown York.  Continue reading “Such Good Food at the York Diner” »

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Covered Railroad Bridge over the Codorus Creek

One of the Types of Railroad Bridges once located at the site of Black Bridge

Photocopy of Paragraph on Page 58 and Detail from Schedule D from Sixth Annual Report of the Northern Central Railway Co. for the Year 1860 (University of California Library)

Photocopy of Paragraph on Page 58 and Detail from Schedule D from Sixth Annual Report of the Northern Central Railway Co. for the Year 1860 (University of California Library)

I recently discovered a copy of the Sixth Annual Report of the Northern Central Railway Co. for the Year 1860. The Supervisor’s Report, dated January 1st, 1861, from the Road Department provides some interesting details about the railroad bridge then located at the site of Black Bridge. In 1860, the Howe Truss railroad bridge at the present Black Bridge site was Covered.

From the full Schedule D of all their bridges, four of the nine Howe Truss bridges on the Northern Central Railway in York County were listed as Covered Howe Truss railroad bridges as of January 1st, 1861. The covered railroad bridges were named: Cadoras (later known as Black Bridge), Gut, Conway’s (later known as Conewago), and Yellow Breeches.

J. DeHaven, the Supervisor of the Road Department of the Northern Central Railway, also recommended, “the roofing of all truss bridges on the line.” A year later, The Seventh Annual Report of the Northern Central Railway Co. for the Year 1861 also included a full schedule of all the bridges. That report, for the year ending 1861, did not make a distinction between plain and ‘covered’ for the truss bridges; had all the truss bridges been covered and a distinction was no longer necessary?

Regardless, during 1860, The Sixth Annual Report, confirms the railroad bridge over the Codorus Creek, at the location now known as Black Bridge, was a Covered Railroad Bridge. Since it was covered, the original Howe Truss Bridge built in 1848 was definitely of primarily wooded construction and highly likely a through truss; i.e. the trusses beside the train, as opposed to the rails being built on top of the trusses.

The following photo shows a typical 2-span Howe Truss Bridge of the construction common in the mid-1800s. This photo is of a Howe Truss Railroad Bridge that was in Boone, Iowa, and is from the Iowa State Archives. The 2-span Codorus Bridge (now Black Bridge), built in 1848, probably appeared similar.

HoweTrussB

Sometime before January 1st, 1861, the 2-span Howe Truss Bridge over the Codorus Creek was covered. Continue reading to see how this was done, using an interior photo of a Covered Howe Truss Bridge that still stands.  Continue reading “Covered Railroad Bridge over the Codorus Creek” »

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Local Aeronaut drew Big Crowds to York Centre Square

Last Balloon Ascension of Dr. James A. Dale (1970 Artwork by Cliff Satterthwaite; from Photo in Collections of the York County Heritage Trust)

Last Balloon Ascension of Dr. James A. Dale (1970 Artwork by Cliff Satterthwaite; from Photo in Collections of the York County Heritage Trust)

Cliff Satterthwaite created this artwork of the last balloon ascension of Dr. James A. Dale, a wealthy Drug Store owner in York, Pa. The artwork was created in 1970 from an old photo in the collections of the York County Heritage Trust. As far a number of flights, Dr. Dale was the most prolific local aeronaut; his flights in York spanned the years 1869 through 1886. His first flight from Centre Square had him landing near Linglestown, Dauphin County, after being in the air one hour and thirteen minutes.

The artwork shows a southeast looking view of Centre Square in York, Pa. during 1886. One of the two market sheds that sat in the middle of the square are seen in the lower left; they would be torn down less than a year later, in 1887. The tall building in the upper left is the Hartman Building; on the southeast corner of the square. The building housing the grocery store of Matthew Tyler is at the right; on the southwest corner of the square. Dr. Dale would be instrumental in getting the massive Colonial Hotel built on this southwest corner, years later. South George Street heads south between the Hartman and Matthew Tyler buildings.

Dr. James A. Dale

James A. Dale was born in Shippensburg, Pa., during 1845. After an education in the common schools of Cumberland County, he apprenticed at the drug store of J. B. Herring in Mechanicsburg. He served in Company F, First Pennsylvania Volunteers, during the Civil War and fought in the Battle of Antietam. In 1863, he went to York and formed a partnership with Dr. Jacob Hart; their drug store taking the name of Dale & Hart. The following image is their logo from a bill of sale letterhead dated January 16, 1873.

Dale & Hart, Druggists, Logo from Bill of Sale Letterhead dated January 16, 1873 (Collections of York County Heritage Trust)

Dale & Hart, Druggists, Logo from Bill of Sale Letterhead dated January 16, 1873 (Collections of York County Heritage Trust)

Dale & Hart were wholesale and retail Druggists. Besides their retail Drug Store, they manufactured many medicines and other products, which they distributed around the area. Dr. Dale was very successful as a druggist and was also involved in numerous other enterprises in York; he accumulated a fortune. In his younger years he was an ardent adventurer, most notably taking up the balloon hobby; becoming an aeronaut. He organized many rail excursions throughout the Eastern United States. Later in life he was a world traveler; with 11 trips to European countries plus traveling to the Holy Lands. Dr. Dale never married and gave liberally to charitable causes. Dr. James A. Dale died in 1921 and is buried in his own mausoleum in Prospect Hill Cemetery.

Continue reading for details of the last balloon flight of Dr. James A. Dale.  Continue reading “Local Aeronaut drew Big Crowds to York Centre Square” »

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River Hill One-Room Schoolhouse near Mount Wolf

River Hill One-Room Schoolhouse, East Manchester Township, York County, PA (1941 Photo by Scott W. Knaub from the Collections of the York County Heritage Trust)

River Hill One-Room Schoolhouse, East Manchester Township, York County, PA (1941 Photo by Scott W. Knaub from the Collections of the York County Heritage Trust)

This photo of the River Hill One-Room Schoolhouse in East Manchester Township was taken in 1941 by Scott W. Knaub; a Superintendent of York County Schools. This schoolhouse is located near Mt. Wolf at the intersection of Wago Road and Board Road. The school lane down to Wago Road can be seen passing on the right side of the schoolhouse and Board Road passes on the left side of the schoolhouse; half-way up the hillside.   This schoolhouse in East Manchester Township is not to be confused with another River Hill One-Room Schoolhouse that existed in Lower Chanceford Township for a short time during the late 1800s.

Elaine Bittner wrote, “Looking for graduates of a one room school named River Hill. Children not living in the town limits of Mount Wolf were required to go there. I believe building still exists but is converted to a house.” Elaine’s query about River Hill complemented some earlier research I had done on River Hill One-Room Schoolhouse.

JacobSmith1912Directories of the Teachers and School Directors of York County and York City, for many years during first half of the 20th Century, are in the collections of the York County Heritage Trust. The directory for the 1912-1913 school term featured a cover photo of Jacob H. Smith, residing in Manchester, Pa.; with the notation, “Now Teaching his 55th Term, more than any other Teacher in Pennsylvania.” I previously explored another cover of this yearly directory in the post: Pennsylvania Governor Wolf on the cover of the Directory of the Teachers and School Directors of York County.

The Jacob H. Smith cover of 1912-1913 piqued my curiosity because that is the same name of my Great-Grandfather; even down to the same middle initial. Unfortunately my ancestor died in 1898 in East Prospect, however that did not stop me from doing a little research on the Jacob H. Smith that lived in Manchester.

These school directories do not list the names of the individual schoolhouses until about 1916, therefore the 1912-1913 directory did not provided an answer to my question, “At what schoolhouse did Jacob H. Smith teach during 1912-1913?” It was newspapers to the rescue. The following item in the July 10, 1912, issue of The York Daily, provided the answer: Jacob Smith taught at River Hill School.

JacobSmithNews

With the 1912-1913 school term as Mr. Smith’s 53th consecutive year as a teacher in York County schools, his first two years teaching were likely in another county. That means that Jacob H. Smith first taught in York County schools during the 1860-1861 school term.

Continue reading as I list a few of the students attending River Hill and explore the history of the school further.  Continue reading “River Hill One-Room Schoolhouse near Mount Wolf” »

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