Camp Security, the Schultz House & Henry Ford

I wrote about the interest of Henry Ford in acquiring the Schultz House near Camp Security last year.  A suggestion about this connection was offered when I visited Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village.  I finally got around to some follow-up search.  By happenstance, that long overdue research tied into comments about my post on Camp Security last week; hence the title of this post.

Daniel Brubaker’s 280-Acres when Camp Security established in 1781 is platted on a 2010 USGS York, PA Quadrangle Digital Map (Platting and Annotations by S. H. Smith, 2014)

Daniel Brubaker’s 280-Acres when Camp Security established in 1781 is platted on a 2010 USGS York, PA Quadrangle Digital Map (Platting and Annotations by S. H. Smith, 2014)

The comments about last week’s post on Camp Security are as follows:

Comment:  Why did I make the illustration tiny; i.e. Daniel Brubaker’s 280-Acres & the 173-Acres in the hands of Springettsbury Township, platted on a 1908 Topographic Map?  Answer:  I simply cut a corner off the platting I did in 2012 for the post: Narrow Gauge Railway Along Stonewood Road in Springettsbury Township and Plot of Daniel Brubaker’s 280-Acres; i.e. location of Camp Security.  The illustration in this post remedies that comment; it includes a really neat combination of aerial photo with a topographic map overlay that another reader suggested that I use.  I was not aware these digital maps were available from the USGS … Thanks Dave!

Comment:  You indicated that the unmarked prisoner graveyard might be located someplace west of the creek; i.e. in already developed land within Penn Oaks.  Wouldn’t they have discovered at least some bones when digging the basements?  Answer:  It would be nice to hear from anybody that was involved in digging basements or landscaping the yards in the areas of Rimrock, Thunderhill or Cimmeron Roads about 35 years ago.

I had heard this possibility mentioned throughout the years, however it was bolstered in the recent find of the Shultz House article to support the Henry Ford connection.  Within this article on the Shultz House by Dr. I. H. Betz in the January 27th, 1912 issue of The Gazette, it was also noted that on the property:

Where the stockades were located fine farm fields now are found, without a trace of their former occupation.  Tradition records that such stockades existed, but their location is but vaguely known of by the neighborhood.  Thousands of prisoners were kept here during the time of the stockades’ existence.  A great number of prisoners, probably one thousand in all, died of the fever in question and were buried above, on the brew of the hill.  A considerable space was devoted to this purpose.  Twenty years ago a number of long stones might have been seen, denoting a rude marking of the graves.  Since then the spot has been farmed over and the stones removed.  To the east of this spot a deep gorge many be found.

Yesterday, I looked at one box of Camp Security documents at the York County Heritage Trust.  Just like the Shultz House article, most of the old-timers interviewed, about the time of the 1979 archeological dig (at the location so noted in the illustration), recalled hearing about this graveyard being on the west side of the creek uphill from the gorge.

Related posts include:

Continue reading for the rest of the Henry Ford story and the meaning of the ‘A’ through ‘F’ lines on the illustration.


I visited the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan last summer.  Greenfield Village contains historical buildings from all over the country, which Henry Ford purchased and moved to various sites within this village.

I’m pretty sure I know where Henry Ford intended to situate the Shultz House within Greenfield Village.  This York County building was likely Ford’s first choice for a site in the area termed the Susquehanna Plantation within Greenfield Village (this is along Maple Lane; Building 80 on the Greenfield Village Map Key).

Why Ford’s first choice?  Probably so that Ford could tout, “A well authenticated tradition has it that on Sept. 30, 1777, members of the Continental Congress, fleeing the British invasion of Philadelphia, stopped there,” also “that George Washington stopped there as a guest.”

I was told Henry Ford had Ford Dealers all over the country sending him newspaper clippings or booklets from historical buildings that he might be interested in purchasing for Greenfield Village.  I can just see Henry Ford getting the Dr. I. H. Betz article expounding the history of the Schultz House.

Historic York recently sold the Schultz House to a private buyer.  At least it was sold with restrictive covenants to ensure that preservation best practices are utilized for any future renovation or rehabilitation.

What is the meaning of the ‘A’ through ‘F’ lines on the illustration at the beginning of this post?  These show where elevation cross-sections are plotted, per the following illustration.  I wanted to observe varying cross-sections to see if anyone popped out as a gorge.  I guess I’d say one has to get closer to section ‘A’ as the location of the graveyard, if you believe what Dr. I. H. Betz wrote in the 1912 article.

Elevation Cross-Sections on what was Daniel Brubaker’s 280-Acres when Camp Security was established in 1781 (S. H. Smith, 2014)

Elevation Cross-Sections on what was Daniel Brubaker’s 280-Acres when Camp Security was established in 1781 (S. H. Smith, 2014)

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About Stephen H. Smith

Stephen H. Smith is a design engineer who worked at York International Corp. for 33 years before retiring several years ago to research and write books full time; his second career. The initial emphasis was on family history when he won a national award during 2002 for his first book “Barshingers in America." Positive feedback and that award were influential in his decision to retire early from engineering and start a retirement career.
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