Only in York County

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Ask Joan: A half-dozen questions edition

I keep thinking that maybe, sometime, I’ll get closer to “caught up” on Ask Joan questions and memories. But the more questions I put out there, the more answers I receive, and thus the more mail piles up. I’m trying! In that spirit, today I have a quick follow-up and five new questions to share.

What’s inside

1. Following up on weathering steel
2. Memories of Fisher’s restaurant oysters
3. Name of Brodbecks one-room school
4. History of Lockport on river
5. Seeking Mount Rose Elementary photo
6. Connecting with local Slovenians

1. Last week, I shared a neat question from Ed Van Wicklen Sr. about the material of the flyover bridge over I-83 at Leader Heights.

We talked about the bridge being made of weathering steel, a material designed to rust on the surface to strengthen the overall structure. After writing that, I heard from Scott Stock, chief bridge engineer in the Harrisburg office of Mackin Engineering in New Cumberland.

Scott wrote, “To confirm, yes that bridge is constructed of weathering steel. It is a standard type of steel that can be used on any bridge for PennDOT. All bridges are studied to determine what size and type of beams should be used. Commonly in this area weathering steel is not considered the best choice for a variety of reasons. That’s why you don’t see it often. But PennDOT has been using it regularly for 20 years or more.”

I told Scott we were thrilled with this info and would definitely be in touch with future bridge and transportation questions, which I get more often than you might think!

2. Do you remember Fisher’s restaurant on the corner of Penn and Princess streets? They made the best oysters I have eaten. Whenever my father-in-law visited from Tennessee, the first place he wanted to go to was Fisher’s for oysters. Having searched numerous states for seafood, the only place that has come close is Fair’s at Morningstar Markets. Is there a member of the family from Fisher’s or anyone else who can please tell me what they used to bread their oysters? Thank You.
– Jeannette Peery

I’d love to hear more about Fisher’s and their oysters for Jeannette, so please share if you have any info. Interestingly, longtime reader Betsy Baird, who passed away in 2013, had shared a few Fisher’s memories in 2011, including a note that the owners went on to build the restaurant that is now Alexander’s, a favorite of mine, on Carlisle Road near the York Expo Center.

Any Fisher’s memories and, especially, breading info to share?

3. I am looking for the name of the one-room school house that was in Brodbecks, Pa.
– Dot Winter

Dot, thanks for writing! I am very interested in York County’s one-room schools, as is Stephen Smith of YorksPast.

My memory matches his notes, which is simply that there was a “Brodbecks School” or “Brodbeck’s School” in that area of Codorus Township; Stephen pins down that this school was quite long-running as part of his one-room school research; he shows it having been in operation from at least 1886 to 1946-47, the years for which lists are available in general York County histories.

But to confirm, I turned to “Beautiful Codorus, 250 Years of Tradition and History, 1747-1997,” a booklet put together historian Kenneth Baumgardt on Codorus Township. It also confirms the Brodbeck’s School name, and lists all the other one-room schools in the township as well, in case maybe one of the smaller ones is what you might be thinking of, Dot!

Those schools named are Kenney, Sterner, Brodbeck, Seitzville, Krebs, Borner, Fair, Sticks, Bonair, Baltzley, Miller, Roser, Sheffer and Sinsheim. The Brodbeck’s School, per the same section, was built in 1877.

I hope that one of those is what you’re thinking of, Dot!

4. There is mention of Lockport, a village in Chanceford Township on the Susquehanna River. I’d like to know when this village was established and how long it was in existence. Thanks very much.
– Earl McSherry

This was another good chance for me to turn to the YDR’s rather in-depth library of local history works, this time using “A History of Chanceford Township, York County, Pennsylvania, 1747-1997,” put out by the Brogue Community Lions Club. (I guess 1997 was a good year for histories, huh?)

Anyway, per that book comes the following information on Lockport:

“Lockport Road turns north from Route 425 at the former Wineholt’s Store near Bethel Church. Lockport is in Chanceford Township where Boyd and Lockport Roads join, directly opposite the mouth of the Conestoga Creek in Lancaster County. A dam extended over the Susquehanna River here for many years. It was used to aid in transporting boats across the river to Conestoga Navigation, which extended from Safe Harbor to Lancaster. Sarah Rauhauser operated the hotel in the 1830s. In 1860 Hugh Ross had a hotel along the canal at this location. By 1876 Jackson Rauhauser, son of Sarah, operated the hotel. There was also a store in this area. The hotel and store ceased operation upon the closing of the canal. When Safe Harbor Dam was built in 1931, Lockport was submerged. The Ovid Reno and Benjamin Jones families also lived in this area. Apollo Park is presently located near where Lockport Road joins Boyd Road.”

So we can go back at least to the 1830s, and the township itself was founded in 1747 (including what are now Chanceford, Lower Chanceford, Fawn and Peach Bottom townships), so it certainly could be even older.

I’ll note that the Chanceford history book even includes a boat canal photo circa 1906-1911 from the Robert C. Bair Collection of the York County History Center, so if you get a chance to check it out, that might be of interest too, Earl!

5. I am wondering if any of your readers might have a photograph of Mount Rose Elementary School. This school fronted on Mount Rose Avenue several houses east of Ogontz Street. Although the former high school building is still standing, which was to the rear of the elementary school, the elementary school building was torn down, possibly in the 1980s or ’90s. I have checked with York Heritage Trust, which maintains a file of York County and city schools, and they do not have a photo of this building, but would like to have one. If someone could provide a copy of the exterior of this school, I would be happy to pay copying costs and postage.
– Perry Brandt, York Township

Unfortunately I do not have a relevant history book to help with this question! I did find a Facebook page for York Suburban’s Class of 1977 that shows one photo of a class at Mount Rose Elementary, but very little of the building is visible.

Can anyone help me help Perry? I don’t want to share his mailing address publicly, but I’ll be glad to put you in touch with him if you can help.

6. I’m interested in how and where I might advertise for information. I am attempting to research a particular ethnic group and am wondering how to connect with any local members. I would eventually like to organize a trip to the embassy in D.C. and/or cultural and genealogical center in Cleveland, Ohio. Your suggestions/advice are most welcome. Once Austrian, then Yugoslavian, now known as the independent country of Slovenia.
– Metza Yaksha (aka Kim Whitely), Manchester Township

I don’t have any particular advice, except that I am glad to put the request out there, and can get anyone in contact who is of similar descent!

Got any questions? Ask Joan using the form at right. I’ll attempt to answer them in a future “Ask Joan” column on this blog. I get a large volume, but I will feature three each week and answer as many as possible!

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