This time, entrepreneur in York County’s Glen Rock bet on the wrong horse

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The First National Bank of Glen Rock’s building has long been an anchor in the borough’s downtown. It was constructed in 1912, and this photograph was taken two years later. Bob Ketenheim nicely captures Glen Rock, Pa.’s, past in his recently published “Around Glen Rock,” part of Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series. Background posts: Google Images bring life and times of Glen Rock’s Cliff Heathcote, other York County, Pa., memories and Mystery of Glen Rock-area’s Narrow Gauge Road deepens and Glen Rock hilltop farm: ‘You cannot stay stressed here for long’.

Bob Ketenheim’s “Around Glen Rock” contains numerous interesting photos that individually tell the story of this southern York County’s borough history.
And sometimes photos in this book, working in tandem, tell perhaps unintended but rich and revealing stories.
One photo, for example, shows a proud Wesley C. Koller driving his brand new Stanhope make of automobile into Glen Rock on Manchester Street in 1900… .


The steam-powered car topped out at 40 miles per hour, and the photo caption noted this was Glen Rock’s first car.
Another photo shows Koller’s six-story Cosmos Carriage Company building. The caption noted that construction on the six-story structure began in 1900, and it was finished in 1901. It supplemented a smaller buggy-making business that Koller had started a decade before.
By the spring of 1904, Cosmo employed 75 people, but it closed for financial reasons by that summer, the caption states.
So, here’s the story. Or maybe it’s a question.
Why would an entrepreneur who had purchased a cutting-edge self-powered vehicle invest so heavily at the same time in a skyscraping, horse-powered carriage company?
Over the years, York County factories often were at the head of the pack in innovation.
This time, Koller’s Cosmo bet on the wrong horse.
Bob Ketenheim’s “Around Glen Rock,” “Around New Freedom,” and “Around Shrewsbury,” are available at local booksellers, Arcadia Publishing and via York County libraries.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
This entry was posted in Archives, all posts, Books & reading, For photo fans, Genealogy/research, Made in York, Nostalgia & memories, Small-town life, Wheels of York. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to This time, entrepreneur in York County’s Glen Rock bet on the wrong horse

  1. Susan says:

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
    Margaret
    http://businesseshome.net

  2. Anonymous says:

    Quite interesting. I live in the midwest now, but am a York County native and lived in Glen Rock the first few years of my life. My father was born there. Hope to be able to visit the town during the celebration.

  3. Jim McClure says:

    Thanks for writing. Glen Rock is full of history, and there’s a great restaurant there, Magnano Bros., to boot.
    Jim McClure

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