I was doing research for future posts at the York County Heritage Trust yesterday when I stumbled across this 1937-1938 Violet Hill Hotel Cafe ad. Suddenly I was sidetracked, just like three weeks ago, resulting in my post Violet Hill in Spring Garden Township; Assorted Maps, Hotel & Schoolhouses.
In my previous post I showed that the earliest mapped location of Violet Hill encompassed Arthur B. Farquhar’s Estate and even extended further west along Country Club Road to Reservoir Hill in Spring Garden Township. This Part 2 post examines Polk’s Directory listings related to Violet Hill, an historic aerial photo of Violet Hill and A. B. Farquhar’s Estate “Edgecomb.”
In my previous post it was noted that Mr. Rouse, per an 1860 map, owned the Hotel and Factory along the east side of South George Street about where the northbound lanes of Business I-83 now blend into South George Street. It is not known if it was called the Violet Hill Hotel in 1860, however it was known as the Violet Hill Hotel by 1884, per Gibson’s 1886 History of York County, PA.
The 1884 historical account about ownership of the Violet Hill Hotel is the earliest I’ve seen mention about Violet Hill. Have any of my readers seen an earlier mention of Violet Hill?
I spot-checked Polk’s Directories during 1898, 1917, 1925-1926, 1933-1934, 1937-1938, and 1941-1942; the Violet Hill Hotel is consistently along the east side (e s) of South George Street. In 1925-1926 the proprietor was William F. Shearer. In 1933-1934 the proprietor was Joseph LoPiccolo; his ownership continued through at least 1942. Do any of my readers remember eating at the Violet Hill Hotel Cafe? I marked the Violet Hill Hotel as location (3) on the aerial photos later in this post.
This 1941-1942 Polk’s Directory listing includes the Violet Hill Service Station of Martin L. Honsermyer. This service station is on the west side (w s) of South George Street on the south corner of County Club Road. I marked the Violet Hill Service Station as location (5) on the aerial photos later in this post.
The book “All In One Room” published in 2008 by York Newspaper Company contains recollections of Charlotte Halpin of York on pages 81 & 82. Charlotte started school at the Violet Hill Schoolhouse along South George Street, which became part of the York Hospital property. I marked the Violet Hill Schoolhouse as location (4) on the aerial photos later in this post.
An even earlier school in the Violet Hill vicinity is indicated on Spring Garden Township Plate 67 of the 1876 Atlas of York County. This school is located on the south side of Country Club Road approximately where I’ve marked location (2) on the aerial photos. I have not discovered the name of this schoolhouse; was it the original location of the Violet Hill schoolhouse?
The Blue Markers represent the locations per the following list. The following 2013 Bing Aerial Photo shows the exact view as the 1937 Penn Pilot Aerial Photo. A comparison will aid in orientation and show where things are in current terms.
- (1) A. B. Farquhar’s Estate “Edgecomb”
- (2) Mystery One-Room Schoolhouse per 1876 Map
- (3) Violet Hill Hotel
- (4) Violet Hill Schoolhouse
- (5) Violet Hill Service Station
Item (1) in the 1937 aerial photo shows “Edgecomb,” the estate built by A. B. Farquhar in 1875. The 1937 aerial photo shows the extensive grounds surrounding the home; drives and walks adorned with gardens, orchards, trees, shrubbery and flowers. On the 2013 aerial photo the housing development (1) on A. B. Farquhar’s Estate is known as Farquhar Estates.
Based upon looking through a chronological sequence of maps within my first post, Violet Hill appears to start in an area near South George Street and Country Club Road; then gradually shifts south along South George Street as time goes by. At least into the 1940s, there are still businesses named Violet Hill close to County Club Road. Possibly the building of Farquhar Estates and the construction of I-83 in the later 1940s and 1950s had a hand in the southward shift of the Violet Hill during that time period.
This is my 126th post. An inventory of the general topics and locations that have been the subjects of my first 100 posts are presented in a 100-tile mosaic that breaks down these posts into seven general categories.