Author Archives: Stephen H. Smith

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.

Brodbecks amazing Now and Then photos

I’ve helped Cliff Satterthwaite identify precise locations, and/or status of structures, related to selected works of art he created in York County; when he lived here from the mid-1950s until the early 1980s. This is the story of a search … Continue reading

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In search of the Codorus Canal

This is the beginning of a new series of YorksPast posts; as I search for additional details about the Codorus Canal. Two years ago, upon researching my post Codorus Tow Path Railroad to Chickies I uncovered some interesting Codorus Navigation … Continue reading

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Roy Rogers in York and at Valley View Park

Roy Rogers with his Wonder Horse “Trigger”, plus his company of entertainers, performed during the afternoon and evening at Valley View Park in Hellam Township on Sunday May 25, 1941. During that visit, Valley View Park owner, Luther “Shorty” Fincher … Continue reading

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Cars fueled by water sold in York a Century ago

Bob Smyser shared the story that Howard Smyser sold electric cars in York by boasting, “The cars are fueled by Susquehanna River water.” Meaning, the waters of the Susquehanna produce electricity, via the York Haven Hydroelectric Power Plant, which charge … Continue reading

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Tractor Seat Chairs made in York a Century ago

In honor of the opening of the 102nd Pennsylvania Farm Show this post examines Tractor Seat Chairs made in York over a Century ago. Walker A. Dromgold, of York, PA, received a United States Patent for the single bolt design … Continue reading

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Century old ghost sign at 739 West Philadelphia Street

Last month Bob Smyser provided some neat Civil War insight about General Gordon stopping at the house still standing at 3103 East Market Street in Springettsbury Township; prior to his Confederate troops marching to Wrightsville. Bob continues to provide interesting … Continue reading

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Lancaster lawyers utilize Wild Cat Inn as speakeasy

The Blackstonian Club of the Lancaster bar purchased the Wild Cat Inn, in Hellam Township, York County, on November 7th, 1924. They employed Lancaster architect Henry Y. Shaub to draw up alterations to the Wild Cat Inn for their use. … Continue reading

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1914 Mummer’s Parade with King Dodo in Dallastown

The Keystone Marker along Route 74 at the west entrance to Dallastown was not yet erected in 1914, when Dallastown held their initial Mummer’s Parade. During that New Years Day, the parade covered all the streets of the borough. In … Continue reading

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When most vineyards in America were in York County

York County had the most vineyards in America during the early history of this nation. A March 14th, 1891 article, noting that fact, appeared in “The American Settler,” a weekly, published in London, as “a guide to emigration from Europe … Continue reading

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Cotton wrapped sassafras Christmas Trees

Who had grandparents that wrapped a sassafras tree with cotton to create a snow-like covered Christmas Tree? My grandparents, Emanuel and Cora Barshinger, decorated their living room with such a tree for as long as I can remember. They utilized … Continue reading

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