Why are Hallam Borough and Hellam Township spelled differently?

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A caption with this York Daily Record/Sunday News photograph from 2007 tells about Stanley Ebersole of East Manchester Township and his recollection of riding the train from Hellam to Lancaster when he was 10 in about 1950. His uncle, a conductor, would stop at the station and tell him to ask his mother if he could go along. For three years he rode between Lancaster and York when he had the chance. It cemented his love of trains for a lifetime. The train stopped at Hellam station, which sat in at the southern edge of the present day Hallam six times a day and one could get to New York City in just over three hours. He is seen here with a group of railroad enthusiasts, meeting in Hallam. Also of interest: 8-foot Shoe House constructed in Hallam and War memorials stand proudly in towns throughout York County and Hellam Township’s Chimney Rock threatened

When Hallam borough was incorporated in 1908, organizers made a decision about its spelling.
The new municipality would be spelled differently than its older and much larger big sister, Hellam Township, founded in 1739.
Hallam was used because it was the original English spelling… .


So says the York County Heritage Trust exhibit, “Then and Now.”
Even before incorporation, Hallam was a busy tobacco growing and a transportation system to ship such products to market in mind, historian George Prowell writes this about the village that would become Hallam borough:
“The central point of interest in this township is the thrifty and prosperous town of Hellam.”
For information on the founding and size of all York County municipalities, click here.

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.
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