Above Jefferson, Pa.: Memorable lunch break brings 2 neat aerial views of borough’s square

Linked in/Neat stuff, below: York’s factory tours/Dover’s notables
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Some month ago, Eric Krebs provided us with an aerial look at Jefferson’s Square at Christmas. He’s come through again, with two daylight views of the neat green area in the middle of this southwestern York County borough. In this phot, his camera is pointed from east to west. Below, he captures the square at a lower elevation, or at least with a stronger lens. The square was in the news recently after a longtime exhibit there – a World War I cannon – was restored and remounted in this green area. Also of interest, a story about Jefferson’s square – Controversial mad hatter with colorful York County name tried to topple Old Hickory.

See second aerial photo of Jefferson’s square below … .

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Nazis murdered downed World War II airman from York, Pa., Part 10

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The R.W. Zercher on this monument in Apeldoorn in the Netherlands was known as Bob Zercher in his home county of York, Pa. He worked at York Corporation, served as an airman, survived the crash of his B-17 Flying Fortress in Europe and was executed by the Nazis. Also of interest: The story unfolds: Nazis murdered downed WWII airman from York, Pa., Part 9.

A B-17 crashed in the Dutch hometown of Swiss author John Meurs in 1944, when he was 9 years old. In fact, it crash just behind the schoolboy’s house in Apeldoorn.

The Flying Fortress, from an Allied airbase, was viewed as friendly in a territory occupied by the Germans for so long in World War II.

One of those surviving the crash of the “Karen B.” was York County airman Bob Zercher.

The story of this ball-turret gunner – who shot from a cramped position under the Flying Fortress – has inspired and intrigued John Meurs.

In a recent email, he wrote that his book “Not Home for Christmas” described the fate of the 34 heavy bomber crews of the 8th USAAF that did not return to their bases in England after their mission of November 26, 1944.

Now, he writing a second book on this topic – the crash of the Karen B. and its aftermath.

He’s interested in contacting descendants of one of the crew members with York, Pa., ties – Sgt. Robert W. Zercher. Here’s his contact information. Or comment below with any information or email me: jem@ydr.com.

He tells the story, appearing below, with light editing:

Continue reading “Nazis murdered downed World War II airman from York, Pa., Part 10” »

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The Big Conewago, Part II: Creek serves as physical, symbolic divider of York County culture

Don Roehm, Ganoga athletic director, leads scouts in an exercise drill near the scout altar. The year is 1921. submitted The Conewago Creek has long drawn campers, lodging in small tents and in organized camps such as the Boy Scouts’ Camp Ganoga. Athletic director Don Roehm, seen here, leads Boy Scouts in exercises in 1921. George Prowell’s ‘History of York County’ and the ‘Gazetteer of York and Adams Counties,’  give this background about the Conewago: The creek, drawing from an Indian name for ‘At the Rapids,’ was listed in official Pennsylvania documents as early as the mid-1730s. A small Indian tribe called the ‘Conewagoes’ of various spellings, was the source for the name given to the Conewago Falls or rapids in the Susquehanna above York Haven. And since those early days, the unsung Conewago Creek has shared its name with another waterway that spills into the Susquehanna from its east bank, farther north. Also of interest: Part I: Big Conewago serves as physical, symbolic divider of York County culture.

 

Its drainage area is immense, but the Conewago Creek often receives less public mention than other major York County waterways.

That was so until recently, when nitrate-rich runoff from a chemical fire in Adams County made its way into the creek and moved through 60 meandering miles to the Susquehanna, killing about 10,000 fish along the way.

As we shall see, the usually unsung Conewago Creek played a leading role in York County’s history and how residents have lived.

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These 8 views show how Market & Beaver has been home to key York, Pa., players

A city streetscape mural from the former night club..  Paul Kuehnel - York Daily Record/ Sunday News

The Zodiac Club opened its doors in 1998, replacing The Fenix. And it closed a few short years later. Its rise and fall came shortly before York was banking on Harrisburg-style entertainment clubs along that section of West Market Street. That plan was short lived. Well, the long-gone Zodiac’s digs are set for tenants of a different type. The building is now part of the Royal Square development group. Still, remnants of the Zodiac are around, as this photo attests. Also of interest: Market and Beaver Street intersection is ‘a changin’.’ 

The old  Zodiac Club building at North Beaver and West Market streets has played host to many tenants  over the years.

Check out this somewhat random sampling of photos below:

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Posted in Archives, all posts, Art & artists, Explanations/controversy, For photo fans, Linked in/neat stuff, Local journalism & Web, Local landmarks, Unsung/obscure sites | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

One small plot of Springettsbury Township ground, so many memories. And yes, that’s an airport you’re seeing

York Continental Airways on East Market Street submitted This York County, Pa. land bears several landmarks popular at the time of this 1950 photograph from a York Chamber of Commerce publication. Take your pick among these Springettsbury Township places. What’s can you ID here? Do any of these buildings stand today? Memories? Answer: York Airport operator … . Also of interest: Check out these York County history quizzes and fun tests.

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Check out 6 more fun tests below. (If the photo doesn’t load on your mobile device, click on the date.)

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Posted in Aircraft & airports, Archives, all posts, Explanations/controversy, Farms, fields & mills, For photo fans, Local landmarks, Nostalgia & memories, Quizzes & (fun) tests, Unsung/obscure sites | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sustainable York, Pa.: 6 city views of inside space, at street level and from high above

Pennsylvania State Representative Kevin Schreiber speaks to a group at LSC Design before beginning a green walking tour in downtown York Friday, June 5, 2015. The tour was sponsored by USGBC Central Pennsylvania and hosted by State Rep. Kevin Schreiber, D-York.  Kate Penn — Daily Record/Sunday News

A recent redevelopment tour of York, Pa., centered around sustainable construction throughout the city’s downtown. State Rep. Kevin Schreiber led the U.S. Green Building Council’s Central Pennsylvania chapter tour. Here, the tour begins in LSC Design’s 320 North George Street building. This structure, known for years as the Thomas Somerville building, was built in 1920 and served as a warehouse for the P.A. & S. Small Company. Also of interest: And here’s another tour from the past: ArtSpace.

The fact is that renewal in York City is not always obvious.

Sometimes, the buildings are formidable on the outside but the inside space is alluring.

And sometimes you have to go above and look across the city to understand all that’s going on below.

So here are 5 more views from the recent green tour … .

 

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A York County Flag Day story: Vietnam War friend recalls Eckhard G. Brenker, who died in uniform

Linked in/Neat stuff, below: Hanover Civil War walking tour/Spotting vintage items at yard sales

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All roads, indeed, lead to York. Well-known York countians Charlie  and Mary Anne Bacas were on a getaway in Rehoboth, Del., enjoying the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. They stopped at the visitors center and struck up a conversation with Kit Jaracy, a retiree and consummate  volunteer, from nearby Georgetown. Here’s the rest of the story, as told by Charlie: ‘Once it came up that we were from York he, a Vietnam vet, brought up this guy Eckhard Brenker, who he said was from York and who he was deployed with and they had become good friends. He said they were later given new assignments and separated and at some point he learned Brenker was killed. I told him about the Vietnam Memorial, noting that it is close to where we live and that Brenker would surely be part of it. He asked me if I would send him a picture.’ Charlie wrote that this was the least he could do for old buddies ‘separated in that war that so deeply marked our generation.’ Charlie sent this photo and the one below. Also of interest: York County’s Vietnam Memorial getting ready for its 5th anniversary.

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Posted in Antiquing & artifacts, Archives, all posts, Events, Explanations/controversy, Farms, fields & mills, For photo fans, Local journalism & Web, Local landmarks, Nostalgia & memories, Unsung/obscure sites, Vietnam War, War, Wheels of York | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jefferson Hillclimb: 7 things that might surprise you about this longtime York County motorcycle competition

The crowd.  Paul Kuehnel - York Daily Record/ Sunday News
This crowded scene in York County, Pa., has become common near the Codorus Township of Jefferson. No, these folks weren’t captured via aircraft. The photographer, Paul Kuehnel, was atop a high hill made famous by the event, the Jefferson Hillclimb. See this photo gallery from this year’s events. Also of interest: High climbing in Jefferson.

Seven things to know, some that might be surprising, about the White Rose Motorcycle Club’s Jefferson Hillclimb … .

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Old blue Conrail caboose in Red Lion to receive a good sandblasting – and a coat of red paint

Linked in/Neat stuff: Digging under York’s train station/George Sheets’ book coming out in fall
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Crews prepare to move the old Conrail caboose stored near Dallastown to the Red Lion train station. The late-1940s or early 1950s cab has been sitting in Markey Trucking’s yard since 2009. It’s not in good condition and needs a good sandblasting, a Red Lion Historical Society member told the York, Pa., Daily Record. And yes, it will be painted red, as in Red Lion. (See additional photos below). Also of interest:  Blue caboose in Red Lion? ‘Yes sir – it’s gonna be red.’

Continue reading “Old blue Conrail caboose in Red Lion to receive a good sandblasting – and a coat of red paint” »

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Solomon Meyer founded Die York Gazette, but his newspapering went downhill from there

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This May 20, 1796 edition, is the earliest extant version of Die York Gazette, an anti-Federalist publication that also reflected the dry humor of the Pennsylvania Dutch. It tells about brewer Hannes’  bout with an old hermit. Hannes produced a beer that stopped headaches, created a good appetite and took care of constipation. Now the old hermit, Hannes’ neighbor, had seven pairs of old leather breeches, some that had not been washed for up to 15 years. The hermit mistook Hannes’ brewing vat for a laundry. He didn’t want to be too uncouth, putting one pair in the first brew, another in the next and so on. ‘But heavens above!’ Die York Gazette reported. ‘(T)he story came out, and Hannes lost the title of Doctor, and his famous small-beer acquired the name of breeches-water.’  The German-language newspaper was decisively political, and that focus helped get its owner, Solomon Meyer, into trouble. Also of interest: How Die York Gazette and its successors have viewed political races through the ages.

York County historian Walter Klinefelter had Die York Gazette’s Solomon Meyer in mind when he described printers of the late 1700s.

“He usually arrived with a ramshackle printing press,” he wrote, “and the traditional shirt-tailful of type to establish the first newspaper in the community … .”

That was Meyer, publisher of  the German-language newspaper that is viewed as the earliest predecessor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News.

His four-page weekly newspaper was politically pointed in the anti-Federalist direction and captured the earthy humor of his Pennsylvania Dutch readers.

Newspapers, like people, are known to have black sheep in their family trees. Solomon Meyer was  a rascal or worse, as we shall see. Continue reading “Solomon Meyer founded Die York Gazette, but his newspapering went downhill from there” »

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