5 images reveal appealing slices of life in York County’s past

teachEducation: This photo contains a mystery: Where was this scene of participants in the York County Teachers Institute taken in 1910? Teachers from the far ends of the county met in York, Pa., for this training. They came together for this photographer, submitted by southeastern York County’s Roger Wilson. The original photo is four-feet wide. Roger emailed that the original belongs to Nancy McFadden, a retired teacher, who lives south of Fawn Grove. Her grandmother was a York County teacher and is posing in the photo. Roger explained that Doug Washburn, Nancy’s cousin, makes digital images from old photos. ‘Scanning the original did not work so Doug took four digital photographs and then “stitched them together,” ‘ he wrote. He also provided this detail: 73 people pose in the front row and an estimated 300 people are in the photo. But where is this scene? Could it be at the York Collegiate Institute on College Avenue? The former Hannah Penn Middle School, also on College Avenue? The old York Post Office on South George Street was a venue for photos, but it wasn’t built until 1912. Comment below if you can figure it out. (Update: 3/19/14 – Some readers did figure it out. See comments at the end of this post.) Also of interest: York County’s former Teachers’ Institutes: ‘Head train the hand. Hand train the head’.

4 more scenes of York County life …

bank1. Agriculture: Former York County artist Cliff Satterthwaite sent this scene capturing county farm life: ‘(L)ovely twin bank barns with a romantic clover field in front!’ he wrote. The location is unknown but the artist associated it with Kmart or another such discount retailer. If you can ID this site, please comment below.


playland2. Recreation: Now this scene show has changed but it’s no mystery. It’s the former Playland recreational complex in Springettsbury Township, courtesy of Bob Sallade. For details, check out: Readers share memories of roller skating at Playland.

3. Transportation: Buffy Andrews over at Buffy’s World posted two engaging postcard views of Dover’s Main Street, complete with trolley and its tracks.That just about the end of the trolley line in that direction. The far-flung trolley system ran to and from Bittersville, Hanover, York Haven, Wrightsville – and Dover.

4. Family life: Any album of York/Adams life needs to include a portrait. This one show one of York County’s most accomplished in the 20th century. Can you ID it?

*Edited, 3/15/14

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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5 Responses to 5 images reveal appealing slices of life in York County’s past

  1. Doug Washburn says:

    In the background of the right side of the 1910 school teacher picture is a sign “… J BOLL UNDERTAKER”. A web search shows there was a “W J BOLL UNDERTAKER” in York. An additional web search resulted in a Jan 1906 magazine “RAILROAD TRAINMEN’S JOURNAL” (digitized by Google Books) had a W J BOLL UNDERTAKER listed on page 448 as being a ‘business subscriber’ in April … address was 210 S. George St.

  2. The 1908 Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for York (no 41) shows 210 S George as a “cabinet shop” … so probably the BOLL UNDERTAKER too. Nothing logical from NW corner of map image (NE compass) but if the BOLL sign we see in the 1910 teacher’s photo was visible from the back of the 210 S. George building, then the old York High School could be the logical location of the picture. This now appears to be Wm Penn Sr (west of S. Beaver) and the original location (east of S. Beaver) became the parking lot / play yard for St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. The only other logical building visually (but not socially) would be the old Parochial School building of St. Pat’s at the corner of S. Cherry Ln (formerly S. Cherry Alley) and Hope Ave (formerly W. Baptist Alley). Now need to find some pictures of the old York H.S. or the old Parochial School.

  3. From Jim McClure’s Blog page:
    “Another York, Pa., landmark became a parking lot”

    Certainly seems to have the correct detail of double & single windows. Image at http://www.yorkblog.com/yorktownsquare/2009/11/21/linked-in-nov-20-2009/

  4. g poff says:

    Jim ,The building is the Old York High building on West College ave. In the background is the Eckenrode mansion which was bought and torn down by the city of york to build
    Wm. penn High school in 1927 . The family then moved to the large brick house at 700 N. George St. which is still standing across from Prospect hill cemetary The property had a S Beaver St. address as the front door faced Beaver St. The house and lawn ran the whole length of college ave.to pershing ave .to where the log house stood on the corner of pershing ave and college until it was relocated behind the Plough Tavern.

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