Another 5 neat places to discover in York County’s backyard

People know about Brown’s produce. And gifts. And eatery. And ice cream. But this slice of Loganville’s Brown’s Orchards and Farm Market can be overlooked. It’s a garden filled with natural plants – the Scott Brown Memorial Garden. It’s right behind the stage at the Shiver Shack, the place where you get the ice cream. It’s beautiful – and awaits your discovery or a return visit. (See another view on YDR’s Facebook page.) Also of interest: Discover these 17 neat places in your own York County, Pa., backyard. Actually, make that 18.

People love to travel around this 900-square-mile outdoor playground we call York County. So we’ll continue today with this series of places to discover within its borders – and a bit beyond.


You’ll get a dose of Welsh culture at Old Line Museum in Delta – in York County’s southeastern angle. This is the place to learn about slate quarrying by Welsh people, an industry that started about mid-19th century and extended for about 75 years. A feature of this museum is a tall clock made almost entirely out of slate – the Humphry Pritchard clock. Also, check out these other area museums.


Salem Square Park in York city’s west end isn’t usually this busy. So you won’t have to dodge the athletes as you enjoy the statue there – a rare combination memorial. It celebrates the York Rifles of the American Revolution and Civil War, two early responding units. 


flipside by bil. Coombs' co-owner Ron Marquette scoops out potatoes for Friday's potato skins. SKINS YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS- BIL BOWDEN Coombs Tavern is a neighborhood gathering place in York’s Avenues district. But its fare is much better than typical bar food. Its menu is the most unsung in York. In fact, when you mention that you’re going to write about Coombs and its prime rib, you’ll get a response from those who know: Oh, don’t let others in on this. We’ll never get a table.


New Oxford is almost York County. It’s just a few miles past its western border in Adams. It’s a place of surprises and delight. Where else can you witness a World War II reenactment in the land of Civil War living historians? The epicenter of the town is one of the area’s best coffee houses – the New Oxford Coffee Co. The cozy place also serves as a visitors center in this town of antiques.


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We’ll range far outside York County’s borders to tell about this one. It’s a place that you’ve driven by, in Duncannon, north of Harrisburg. But have you stopped there? It’s worth it, especially to experience the tasty impact of its ‘Bunny Dust.’

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York’s rural Loucks Road has grown into busy Route 30, making this horse-drawn carriage scene rare

Linked in/Neat stuff below: Underground Railroad tour/Tapeworm Road ranch

‘A Horse drawn hearse built in 1913 makes it’s way down Route 30 in York,’ York, Pa., Daily Record photographer Paul Kuehnel tweeted. Before he died, New Cumberland resident and horse lover Carlton Lizotte smiled at the idea of a horse-drawn funeral procession. ‘So on Tuesday,’ the Daily Record reported, ‘Lizotte was taken in a 112-year-old hearse pulled by two Friesian horses approximately 2 1/2-miles from West Manchester Township to Prospect Hill Cemetery. A Korean War veteran who served in the U.S. Navy, Lizotte was buried with full military honors next to his wife of about 50 years. A great story – and photo. No doubt other horse-drawn funeral processions traveled along the route when it was known as Loucks Road. But the road has grown and this sight is rare. To see how Loucks Road looked before it became Route 30 by-pass, check out: My, how Loucks Road has changed. Also of interest: Prospect Hill Cemetery’s architecturally significant office well set among so much history

Neat, unrelated stuff from all over … .

Randy Harris is an authority on the Underground Railroad in southcentral Pennsylvania. So when he is hosting a URR tour – as he’s doing on Oct. 14 – he provides an opportunity to learn. The tour reservation deadline is Oct. 1. Details: AAA Central Penn. Here are some of the  planned stops on that tour, including some in York County, as outlined in an excerpted email from Harris:

York County Underground Railroad paths, as detailed in historian Eric Foner’s new book, “Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad.” Local details were events that took place here in 1855 & 56 and extracted from the private journal of newspaper editor, Sydney Howard Gay (1814-88).  – Mifflin Family Farmhouse – “Hybla,” a drive-by its setting on the York County hillside overlooking the Susquehanna River just north of Wrightsville. From this site at the river level, Robert Loney, the boatsman, would ferry passengers on their way to freedom via stops on the eastern shore of the Susquehanna River and beyond. – The Columbia ​home of Judge Samuel Evans, almost entirely intact in its original form and appearance. – Location of Tow Hill — often confused and debated — where once lived the families of William Whipper, James Loney and other notable Columbia African Americans involved as agents of the Underground Railroad. – Columbia’s early Black settlers by name, ages and physical condition​- those who were formerly enslaved in Richmond, Virginia and manumitted​ in Columbia in 1819, establishing a larger ​settlement of free Africans that served to make Columbia a key Underground Railroad destination for the following 40 years. – Zion Hill Cemetery, Columbia​ – See the Civil War/USCT/Underground Railroad historical marker recently installed here. – Potter’s Field at Shreiner-Concord Cemetery, Lancaster, site of the grave and memorial of Thaddeus Stevens, located next to the burial ground of many African Americans.

 Tapeworm Ranch: Farming in Adams CountytapewormThis is  Leo Lunger, who helps out his daughter and son-in-law at their spread on Tapeworm Road near New Oxford. This story is interest, partly because it involved Texas longhorn cattle, not common around here. And also because of the name of the road. This map might suggest how it received its name. Check out this Evening Sun photo gallery of the ranch.


Mason-Dixon came through here: York County, of course, sits on the Mason-Dixon Line. One of the instruments the British fellows used to run that line that defines the county’s southern border will be unveiled on Oct. 8 at a conference of Maryland professional engineers and surveyors. Details:


History Mystery fireplace

History Mystery: Many a fellow enjoyed the warmth of this fire over the decades. Fellow is right because women were not…

Posted by York Daily Record/Sunday News on Thursday, September 24, 2015

Posted in Archives, all posts, Black history, Explanations/controversy, Farms, fields & mills, For photo fans, Linked in/neat stuff, Local journalism & Web, Local landmarks, Underground Railroad, Unsung/obscure sites | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

York Airport’s runway: A rare view of its other end


Anyone who has driven on Route 30, the old Lincoln Highway, west of York is familiar with the York Airport. Planes come in right over the roof of your car. But what’s at the other end of the runway? That part, few see. But here it is, courtesy of the camera of Rick Ramage of VeloPhoto York. The York Airport is an area icon, finally settling here, under Oscar Hostetter’s ownership, after 1956. Also of interest: First York Airport’s administration building stands today.


Here’s another look at York County’s countryside at the end of the  York Airport runway. That’s Roth’s United Church of Christ’s steeple across the way, as seen over the handlebars in VeloPhoto York. The church is observing its 250th anniversary this year.

Other neat, unrelated stuff from all over … .

Abe in stone: Lincoln is a favorite of artists (and rightfully so).

“This is probably the most important piece I have done.” — Stan Watts, the Lincoln statue’s designer.

Posted by The Evening Sun on Friday, September 18, 2015


Graphics Template

Prevailing winds: This map with a recent story on a proposed Perdue soybean oil extraction plant in Lancaster County explains why some in York County cares. Because of the way the river runs, parts of Hellam Township actually are east of the plant. That means that area is subject to the prevailing winds, and what happens in Lancaster becomes a York County issue. Geography and geology does matter. This map gives another view of things.










Interesting thread: Looks like York was in search of an identity in the 1960s, too. Click on the comments to see the discussion.

From “225th Anniversary Program” in 1966. We didn’t know what to call ourselves then either.

Posted by Blanda Nace on Sunday, September 20, 2015

History Mystery: Where was the York County Academy … .

History Mystery: When York Little Theatre was five years old, it operated out of the late 1700s York County Academy….

Posted by York Daily Record/Sunday News on Thursday, September 24, 2015

Posted in Aircraft & airports, Archives, all posts, Explanations/controversy, Farms, fields & mills, For photo fans, God & York County, Linked in/neat stuff, Local journalism & Web, Local landmarks, Unsung/obscure sites | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

York Little Theatre lowered its arts & acting anchor at the old Elmwood Theater in 1953

York Little Theatre Monday September 14, 2015 Paul Kuehnel - York Daily Record/ Sunday News

This York Daily Record’s photo gallery featuring the York Little Theatre, the former Elmwood Theater makes you wonder about that old, but vastly remodeled moviehouse’s past. Its Belmont Street neighborhood is showing wear and tear, but the York Little Theatre has been a constant. In fact, it has undergone another neat recent renovation. ‘In July, 1953, YLT signed a lease-purchase agreement for the Elmwood Theatre, a former movie house. Here, YLT finally had its own home,’ YLT’s website states. See more photos below. Also of interest: Stand-in stole show in YLT’s “Inherit the Wind”.


A 1938 Playbill for York Little Theatre with a picture of a past home at the former York County Academy Building at 153 N. Beaver Street. The back of the Playbill advertises a Fifth Anniversary Dance, Formal, $1.50 per couple Monday September 14, 2015 Paul Kuehnel - York Daily Record/ Sunday News

Before the Elmwood, York Little Theatre operated its offices in the former York County Academy building on Beaver Street in York, according to YLT’s website. Interestingly, YLT’s first children’s play came in 1934, ‘Alladin and his Wonderful Lamp.’ Alladin Jr. is playing at YLT on Sept. 25-27 and October 1-4.


From the left, Brian Bogovic, age 15, has only experienced the YLT for a couple weeks and is on hand to help where needed, seated next to Judi Miller, on the board of directors, who has worked with YLT for 40 years and Rene Staub, director of artistic services at York Little Theatre Monday September 14, 2015. New purple round back seats, carpeting and the walls and ceiling have been painted. Paul Kuehnel - York Daily Record/ Sunday News

The website, Cinema Treasures, often has lots of information on old theaters. As for the Elmwood, it lists little: ‘The Elmwood Theatre in East York, PA. was operating prior to 1950. It was considered an ‘Art’ theatre, at one time owned by R. Moore.’ Here’s a view of YLT’s auditorium.

An ad from 1975 for the Flamingo Restaurant that used to be across the street from at York Little Theatre, Monday September 14, 2015. It was a popular restaurant before shows and for drinks after. Paul Kuehnel - York Daily Record/ Sunday News

This advertisment from 1975 shows the Flamingo Restaurant in business across from the YLT. The restaurant catered to patrons of the theater. Since then, the Flamingo has had several owners. The YLT remains, in fine form. Maybe that energy will spread to the neighborhood.


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In another theater of renown in York County …

capitalThe Strand-Capital Performing Arts Center is made up of two theater that loaned their name to the complex. The center recently applied for $700,000 in state money to revitalize the Capitol Theater. (Check out what Cinema Treasures says about the complex.) Here, a Greater York Dance Company dancer practices at The Strand. Surely, this is York County at its best.

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This big York, Pa., building stood on the south bank of the Codorus for decades

 This York, Pa., site hosted buildings from the early 1800s until sometime in the first half of the 20th century. Alexander D. Goode School stands on the footprint of this county building complex today. What was this building, standing on the bank of Codorus Creek? What is its successor known as today?  Answer here. Also of interest: More history quizzes and (fun) tests.  

Check out five more History Mystery quizzes below (Click on the date if the photo does not appear on your mobile device).
+++ Continue reading “This big York, Pa., building stood on the south bank of the Codorus for decades” »

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York, Pa.’s signal tower to be preserved: ‘Towers … kept the railroad moving’

Buildings in the 200 blocks of York and Chestnut streets will be destroyed to make way for parking and infrastructure improvements near Think Loud Development's 210 York St. campus. Think Loud owns the properties and is paying about $300,000 for their demolition. The parking and infrastructure improvements are part of the company's plan to bring a large data center to York. Mark Walters -- Daily Record/Sunday News
This tall structure in the York Street area of York City will remain standing as the area around it changes. Buildings in the 200 blocks of York and Chestnut streets will come down. Think Loud Development is looking to make infrastructural improvements around its 210 York St. building to make room for a large data center. The 210 York St. address is headquarters for Think Loud, whose principals include members of the rock band Live. The two-story brick signal or switching tower is a vestige of the old Northern Central Railroad, later Pennsylvania Railroad. Railfan Guide to the U.S.  lists it as one of the remaining railroad attractions in York. Think Loud officials say the tower is considered historic and will be preserved. Such towers were common around busy rail yards, offering a bird’s-eye view the complicated switching activities on the tracks below. Railroad Signals of the U.S. said about such towers: ‘Towers once served as the operational hub at many railroad locations, and kept the railroad moving.  Without them, railroads would have gotten clogged up in short order if the train crews had to go out and align all of the switches for a particular move.’ For more photos, check out: Think Loud Development. Also of interest: How one big York building tells an even larger story.

Other neat, unrelated stuff from all over … .


In New Oxford: The new with the old … .


You see the New Oxford Coffee Co. sign, which is a modern-day mainstay in New Oxford’s square. Then you see guys in World War II uniforms in action. The Evening Sun’s headline helps explain this: New Oxford transforms to a French village in World War II reenactment.

Name these people? For years, a breakfast group has met at the Yorktowne Hotel coffee shop. The group has changed as much as the name of the coffee shop. But it is reportedly still meeting. This drawing captures the group in its prime, about a generation ago. Groups like this help create and maintain community … .

O.K. Jim McClure – so close to Hotel Yorktowne’s 90th birthday, here’s a throwback to a simpler, kinder time…. maybe Gordon Freierich has some things to say –

Posted by Terrence Dutchie Downs on Sunday, September 20, 2015


History Mystery: A famous painting, scrubbing up well … .

History Mystery: This restoration expert works on the area’s – indeed, one of the world’s – most famous paintings. It…

Posted by York Daily Record/Sunday News on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Posted in Archives, all posts, Art & artists, Explanations/controversy, For photo fans, Linked in/neat stuff, Local journalism & Web, Local landmarks, Music & musicians, Nostalgia & memories, Unsung/obscure sites, War, World War II | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Change in York County, Pa.? Yes, here’s one example of how it happens all the time

Linked in/Neat stuff, below: Guess what year these photos were taken?/New museum in Hanover

gr (65)
Glen Rock Historic Preservation Society’s John ‘Otts’ Hufnagel noticed the ‘tunnels’ that carry the old Northern Central Railway – today’s county rail trail – over Route 616 in a recent York Town Square post. He sent along the photo above with this note showing the dirt road a century agaon – in 1915. ‘Maybe route 616 was a bike trail back then since the bike is along the road. Picture taken a bit further south than picture on your blog today.’ Otts is underscoring a historic twist here. In 1915, Route 616 was used by bikes, wagons and early automobiles and the tracks above a right-of-way for trains. Today, the paved road is mainly home to motorized vehicles, and the railroad mainly by bicycles and pedestrians. Well, one train still runs. That’s Steam into History’s excursion service. Who says things don’t change in York County, Pa.? Also of interest: York County artists use brushes to capture Howard Tunnel, preserve landscape

Other neat, unrelated stuff from all over …

Aimee Shaffer, formerly of Red Lion, emailed this memory-filled (and lightly edited) note to me, about the History Mystery photo just below:

“I wanted to thank you for taking me back to my childhood with your post about Red Lion. I actually got a little verklempt when i saw the photograph of the factories and the railroad tracks! In those more innocent times (cue the theme to “The Wonder Years”), I’d play on those tracks and walk them for fun (stopping, of course, at the trestle on the west end). If i remember correctly, my father (Richard S. Shaffer) did much of the electrical contracting work for those companies (we were never close, but do I recall him talking about them). When i grew up in town, friends lived close by those businesses, and I would walk or ride my bike to their homes. What a wonderful trip down memory lane this morning, because of your FB post that I just happened to catch.”

Do you have memories to share?

History Mystery: In its day, #YorkCountyPa was home to numerous fine furniture makers. Red Lion's craftsmen were among…

Posted by York Daily Record/Sunday News on Thursday, September 17, 2015


‘The Marking of a Home’ – Someone tagged me on Facebook about this book.

A review of the book started with: ‘Understanding how people lived in the past is more complicated than it seems, as I discovered while researching The Making of Home.’ I couldn’t help to think about how much York County artist Lewis Miller helped the world in showing ‘The Making of a Home’ in the 19th-century. Here’s just one example: ‘The Weighing of the Butter.’



It’s prep sports time, so it’s also time to quiz you about when this and other photographs of high school sports were captured. Check out: Guess the year these photos were taken!


Preserving Hanover: Another museum on the horizon


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5 more neat places to discover in your own York County backyard


Neat place No. 1: The cafe in New Freedom can be the endpoint for an afternoon out. Or a starting point. Here’s one option. Park on the York County’s rail trail in Railroad, just outside Shrewsbury, and walk the couple of miles to New Freedom. Get some refreshment at this cafe, captured here in a photo from VeloPhoto York. Browse in the museum, also in this restored train station. Maybe walk over to Bonkey’s in the old New Freedom Theater for some ice cream. And then shed the calories by hoofing it back to Railroad. A little exercise. A little eating. A little history. And an opportunity to spend some time in a couple of York County towns energized by the rail trail.  Also of interest: Discover these 17 neat places in your own York County, Pa., backyard. Actually, make that 18.

More in this series of unsung places around York County that will heighten your sense of discovery.

Check out 4 more, plus one from the region, below:


2. This York Rotary-sponsored floating garden in York’s Kiwanis Lake captures the legacy of these two civic groups. You just don’t see such a sight – a floating island – like this around York County every day, especially one that combines beauty with a goal of aiding the environment. The island becomes an isthmus during storms, as a photo in this link shows. And learn about this project: Rotary goes afloat… .


submitted york haven - conewago-bermudian church of the brethren for jim's blog 3. This quiet place rests on the grounds of Bermudian Church of the Brethren in Washington Township. It’s on church property, and the congregation is generous with access to this wonderful place that overlooks Bermudian Creek. Just walk back past the cemetery, and you’ll come to this outdoor chapel.


4. Remember shopping for shoes in a York County downtown on a Saturday? You can still do that in Hanover. Clarks Shoes beckons people to browse and offers an added benefit of a visit: A case exhibit detailing the history of Hanover Shoes. Some shopping. Some nostalgia. Some history.


5. A recent Neat Places to Visit post featured Red Lion’s Fairmount Park as a place to spend time. It’s just a short walk from there to a rebuilding, rebounding Red Lion downtown. The Red Brick Bakery and Tearoom is one of the attractions there. ‘Folks come in for a scone, a slice of quiche, or afternoon tea,’ a York Daily Record story said. ‘And the four-course Chef’s Table dinners have also proved popular.’


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6. Any tour of Neat Places to Visit should include discovery of an unsung site in another southcentral Pennsylvania town. Here’s one: A cozy coffeehouse, eatery and bookstore in downtown Lancaster. It specializes in the Inklings – J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams and others literary luminaries who liked to hang out together. The Rabbit and the Dragonfly offers a new chapter of discovery.

Also of interest:

York makes this fall getaways list.
Other lists of neat York County places to explore and enjoy.

Posted in Archives, all posts, Books & reading, Explanations/controversy, For photo fans, Local landmarks, Nostalgia & memories, Unsung/obscure sites, Wheels of York, York County's towns, YorkEats: Hogmaw & such | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Southern York County tunnels: An over-the-handlebars look


A recent VeloPhoto York blog post, telling about a 52-mile bike trip on and around the Heritage Rail Trail County Park, is headlined ‘3 Tunnels, 2 Firetrucks.’ York countian Rick Ramage covers the Howard Tunnel, which many people know about, above. Then he comes across two other ‘tunnels’ farther south that some rail trail riders might overlook – because they ride atop the tubes. These tunnels amount to wide railroad overpasses. By the way, the land above Howard Tunnel is owned by Kinsley Construction’s Bob Kinsley. Kinsley noted that interesting fact at a York County Heritage Trust event this week.  Also of interest: Seven Valleys – From rail to rail trail.

Check out two additional ‘tunnel’ photos below. Actually, make that three … .

Continue reading “Southern York County tunnels: An over-the-handlebars look” »

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Central York students combine journalism, law to probe historic criminal cases

The remote place just beyond this overpass in East Manchester Township looks safe. But it isn’t. Or wasn’t. Here, William Babner attacked a young man and woman, and after he assaulted and shot them, left them for dead in the Susquehanna River. They survived, and Babner went to prison in what is, in effect, a life sentence. He would be eligible for parole if he lives to be 158 years old. ‘I’m 19 years old,” the young woman told the judge at Babner’s sentencing. ‘I’m not supposed to go through this.’ Central York High School students are studying this moment – and other violent cases – this school year. Also of interest: Check out this list of York County’s most notorious criminal cases in past 50 years.


Two Central York High School classes are probing notorious criminal cases in York County’s past.

This isn’t an exercise in solving old, cold cases. The defendants in these terrible cases have been brought to justice.

“I hope — as a journalism teacher — to help foster an interest in my students’ surroundings,” Cindy Hogentogler wrote. “Sometimes we get too fixated on the ‘here’ and ‘now’; and forget that history plays a huge role in why we live, think, and act the way we do.”

She and law teacher Erin Walker are collaborating to bring in law enforcement officers, historians, victims and others into their classrooms. A model for the project is “Serial,” a compelling NPR project that combines journalism and the law to probe a case that seems far from open-and-shut.

The classes are interested in several notorious cases from York County’s past, particularly those involving:

Hubert Michael, who killed a young York County woman in the Dillsburg area; Zachary Witman, convicted in the slaying of his brother in New Freedom; William Babner, convicted in the assault of two young people in East Manchester Township; and the two victims in the York race riots of 1969.

In a presentation to the two earlier this month, I emphasized a point that they readily understood: It’s easy to dwell on the terrible details of such cases. What is more important is to understand the long-tail impact of these violent acts on the victims, their families and the community.

Below are lightly edited responses from the two teachers and one of the students leading the project:


Journalism and law students get together at Central York High School this week to work on the project.

+++ Continue reading “Central York students combine journalism, law to probe historic criminal cases” »

Posted in Archives, all posts, Cops & courts, Events, Explanations/controversy, For photo fans, Local journalism & Web, School days, Unsung/obscure sites | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment