Only in York County

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A story of the Dover area’s history from a reader

Back in March of 2010, I shared a photo from longtime reader Jo Ott of the former Myers farmstead in Dover Township.

Today, I’m going to do something I’ve wanted to do for a while (see: my recent unfortunate backlog) and share, in Jo’s own words, more of the story of this building and the family that owned it for many years.

Here’s Jo’s story:

“A few years ago I learned about and interviewed for the Greater Dover Historical Society a woman named Janet Myers Schwalm who is now living in a senior residential facility in Langhorne… At the time of the interview she was still living in her sprawling rambler in Langhorne. Janet celebrated her 92nd birthday on January 14th. Janet is a former public school educator and administrator, having served in the Pine Street Elementary School in York as well as in school districts in Lancaster and Bucks counties. She retired from the latter.”

Jo continues, “Janet’s family has a history in education, beginning with her mother, Kate Gross Myers, (1882-1976) who was from Kralltown/Warrington Township, and her father, Spangler E. Myers, (1875-1949) born in Holtzchwam. Both taught in Dover schools in the 1930s and 1940s. Janet and her brother Joe both attended Dover schools and he also was an educator, in Ohio, where he died in 1977.”
(This is notable now, of course, because of the recent decision to close Kralltown Elementary School and bus that area’s children to North Salem Elementary, effective this fall.)

Anyway, more from Jo: “In addition to being teachers, Janet’s parents also operated a 12-acre farm in Dover Township where they grew corn, wheat and grasses, and raised chickens (with chicks bought from George Leader) and always had one cow for milk. There were the other customary farm animals such as a horse for plowing, dogs for hunting and rabbits. The Myers farm was located just outside the Dover Borough line, where presently sits a Turkey Hill, the M&T Bank and the Giant Food supermarket. The old Myers’ farm house was relocated several years ago and sits at the end of a dead-end street almost directly behind the Turkey Hill. Its future is unknown as it sits boarded up after having been vandalized several times. I took several photos of the home that Janet and her brother grew up in and sent several to Janet. She told me later how thrilled she was to have them and how she was even able to pick out the window where her bedroom once was.”

Finally, here’s Jo’s idea, and I agree it’s a good one. She says, “Although the house would require total and expensive renovations to be usable I always thought it would make a great combination museum and office for the Greater Dover Historical Society. Unfortunately, there are no funds to make this happen.”

Any recent lottery-winners out there who’d like to make this happen?

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