Only in York County

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Ask Joan: Homeschooling edition

Big things for the Concilio/Otto clan last week on Leap Day – we filed our paperwork to officially become a homeschooling family. Sarah turns 12 this month and will finish out the sixth grade with a ton of fun things like a trip to the U.S. Mint, making a working robot from a soda can and writing NASCAR fan fiction.

I’m starting a new blog to document our homeschooling journey, so stay tuned for news about that to come! If you like reading about Joan, Chris and Sarah’s adventures with their ridiculous menagerie of pets, that’s going to be the blog for you!

What’s inside

1. Memories of Valley View Park
2. Help regarding fruit farm truck
3. The Gap neighborhood in York

1. This was a sort of “asked-and-answered” question by Wayne Gross. Originally, Wayne had written to me, “Can you find out the name of the ‘Grove’ below Hellam where Country Stars would perform. I remember Roy Rogers & other big name entertainers being there.”

Later, Wayne wrote back, “For some unknown reason, the name of this ‘Park’ just came to me. It was ‘Valley View Park’ and in Google it tells me that it was a stage in Hellam Township that drew Earl Scruggs, Johnny Cash and other country acts including the 101 Ranch Boys and I think Roy Rogers & Dale Evans. I was never there, but I heard about it and maybe some other folks can add to it.”

Any details or memories for Wayne? For my part, I realized that this was a major topic on Jim McClure’s York Town Square in the past, including a column that was published in our print edition around Christmastime; here are some other previous posts where you can read more.

· Nov. 7, 2011: On the happy trails of Shorty, the Prairie Pals and Raw Hide, York County, Pa., entertainment icons
· Nov. 1, 2006: First History Trail stop: Springettsbury’s Camp Security
· Sept. 22, 2006: Roy Rogers took York County stage, but not alone
· Aug. 10, 2006: Shorty Fincher, Elvis, Three Stooges shared Hellam Township stage
· Aug. 1, 2006: The real Elvis sighted in York County in 1956

2. Forty years ago I bought a 32 Chevy coupe from a man in the Spry area. Ten years earlier he found the car, abandoned, in a field owned by Blevins Fruit Farm, Stewartstown. The car was turned into a farm truck by removing the rumble seat and installing a wood bed. I’ve just begun to work on this vehicle and noticed in strong sunlight, faint lettering on the car door which reads:

ORE Valley Fruit & Vegetable Farm
R.E. Markey
York, PA

I’ve had no luck in tracking the history of this farm or the car. Perhaps your readers could help.
– Barry L. Myers, Hanover

I could definitely use some help on this for Barry, because Markey is SUCH a common name in the area around Dallastown, so it’s been hard for me to find much info. There are certainly also plenty of fruit farms in that area currently as well!

Any ideas for Barry?

3. I and some friends have a question maybe you can get the answer to. We are from the area of 400-600 block of N. Pershing Ave., Jefferson Ave., 400-600 block of Smith St., Front St., and have been told as kids that that area of York was called The Gap. There was areas around York called Bull Frog Alley, Girard, and us, the Gap. Any info would be helpful. We were born around 1939. Thanks for any help you can provide.
– Barb Rexroth, W. Manchester Twp.

This is another one I’d love some help with. I’m familiar with the general neighborhood around Girard Ave., but that’s a good bit to the east of Barb’s old neighborhood, which is just a couple blocks north of Penn Park. Any memories about that area, or any of those three neighborhoods – including how The Gap and Bull Frog Alley got their names?

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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