Dirt track racing: It’s a longtime York County-area pastime

Linked in/Neat stuff, below: New owners for old York Post Office/The Golden Glow

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Ah, a spring racing evening at Williams Grove,  just over the York County, Pa., line in Cumberland County.  After a wet beginning to the 2015 racing season – rain doesn’t always mix well on a dirt track – sunshine came at last on April 17. A York Daily Record story put it this way: ‘After a rainy start to the local dirt track racing season, Mother Nature shined on Williams Grove Speedway on Friday night.’ So these fans catch the sunny scene at the track from atop a camper, as Williams Grove enters its 76th year. (See another photo below). Also of interest: 6 links capture big anniversary weekend at Williams Grove.

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A typical Williams Grove racing scene on a Friday night earlier this month. Compare this with this scene from a long-gone York County dirt track, below. Check out this York Daily Record Media Center gallery of Kate Penn’s photos showing an evening at The Grove.

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Bowling Green Speedway, Opening day - 1952. Submitted
Williams Grove was 13 years old on opening day in 1952 at another regional track – Bowling Green Speedway in southwestern York County. The old dirt track operated several years in that decade. The track’s infield is now used for farming.  More: Midget cars bottomed out on opening day at Bowling Green Speedway. Also, to learn more about this region’s love affair with its cars, check out that Eastern Museum of Motor Racing near York Springs. Also of interest: Some of those oldtime cars, and drivers, at Bowling Green and Old Bowling Green today from the air. 

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Other unrelated stuff from all over … .

For years, Rebecca Anstine has studied the life and times of black Civil War soldiers from York County and the region.

Her research brought forth this story, which she shared recently:

It’s about William F. Cole, an African-American Civil War vet, born in York County about 1845.

She wrote:

‘He enlisted as a corporal in Co. C, 32nd Reg. USC  and was transferred to the post band at William Penn on April 19, 1864, serving in the Mus. Brig. Band #2 USCI. In his pension records, he stated that in the spring of 1865, he was suffering from a cold, when the band was assigned to play in the funeral procession as the Lincoln’s train passed through Philadelphia.  It was raining that day and he became short of breath and had to ask to be excused from the ranks. For the rest of his life, he suffered from asthma attacks. When he died in Harrisburg on March 14, 1884, the post mortem showed that he had developed tuberculosis.  Two other men in his company, Joseph Costley of Philadelphia  and William Jones of Harrisburg stated that they had served with Cole in the band at the time of the funeral procession.’

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 Pleading his innocence: And Yorkblogger June Lloyd shared a statement by Ned Spangler after the former York County man pleaded his innocence for any role in the plot to  assassinate Abraham Lincoln: Edman Spangler’s eloquent statement.

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POST OFFICE

Beautiful space: The old York Post Office has new owners. Check out: Hashempour & Sons, Gaithersburg, Md.

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Cliff Satterthwaite captured the scene at this old York County landmark. He wrote: ‘After eating 3 slices of Grape pie at the Golden Glow, I asked Al Knoch “when he opened up”……..he said “1926 on this very day!”‘ More from Cliff: Satterthwaite

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History Mystery: Locate this mural!

History Mystery: This mural, the smallest of the Murals of York, shows the best-known vehicle made in #YorkPa before WW…

Posted by York Daily Record/Sunday News on Wednesday, April 22, 2015

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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