Only in York County

Part of the USA Today Network

Ask Joan: The mulching routine edition


I love that I have written Ask Joan for many years. It’s fun to look back at what changes and stays the same over time. Like, you know, how every two years, I complain about how much mulching I have to do at my house?

You can consider this the 2015 installment, as boyfriend Dan and I spent all of last weekend weeding and laying 21+ bags of mulch, all while I was generally listing in my head the virtues of renting over home ownership. A 2013 Ask Joan as well as a 2011 one mention the same plight.

But it looks SO NICE when it’s finished!

What’s inside

1. Some details on Jerusalem school
2. Recalling trips to Rocky Springs
3. Details found on gas explosion
4. … and seeking info on UFO sighting

1. In East Manchester Township, there’s a road called Jerusalem School Road with an abandoned one room schoolhouse on it. Do you know anything about this building?
– Michael

I’d answered Michael a little while ago about the Jerusalem one-room school, which was in use pre-1950s (when consolidation happened among almost all of York County’s schools). Interestingly, the Starview Sportsmen’s Association used the building as its headquarters from 1953 to 1965, which extended its use a bit!

But I told Michael that I’d seek other memories and details about this one-room school in a future column, as York County’s former schoolhouses are of particular interest to me.

Would love any personal stories of the Jerusalem school that you have to share; in the meantime, those looking for more information might try the I grew up in Manchester/Mount Wolf and surrounding areas – Pennsylvania Facebook group.

And you can read much more about York County’s one-room schools on Stephen Smith’s YorksPast blog and Jim McClure’s York Town Square blog!

2. Reader Jim Herman wrote to me after seeing a past column that mentioned Lancaster County’s Rocky Springs Amuseument Park.

Jim shared the video below, titled “A Rocky Springs Saturday Night,” that is sure to jog memories of others who visited that location!

Jim said he met his future wife, June, in the 1950s. She lived on East Princess Street, and he had just bought a new ’55 Chevy convertible. “Every Sunday evening we would drive to Rocky Springs Park and take 10 rides on the roller coaster,” he wrote, noting that in those days, you’d just stay on the coaster and the operator would come along and collect another quarter. Jim said the operator got to know the couple well enough “he would forget to collect about every third ride. Lots of fun.”

It was great to see that video and learn more about this nearby family and date destination!

3. Earlier this year, reader Jerry Erb asked if anyone remembered gas explosion in the Davidsburg area of Dover Township. He recalled it but could find little to no info, and I similarly struck out.

Well, reader Pat Lehman came to the rescue.

Pat writes, “I found the gas explosion that Jerry Erb asked about. I’ve been thinking about it, too… and nobody else seems to remember it. So… I found it online. 23 January 1957 Spokane Daily Chronicle! (The article read) York, Pa. – The ‘little inch’ natural gas pipeline exploded 15 miles northwest of here today and sent flames shooting 200 feet in the air for more than two hours before the fire was extinguished. There were no casualties and company officials said service would not be disrupted. At first it was believed the ‘big inch’ line had blown up but later the Texas Eastern Transmission corporation, operators of the system said it was the smaller ‘little inch.’ The two lines run within eight feet of each other at the point of the explosion. The explosion occurred on wooded farm land three miles northeast of the small community of East Berlin. The nearest houses were 1500 yards away.”

You can see that small article here. Now that I have the date – Jan. 23, 1957 – I am going to dig deeper into our local archives and see what I can find!

If anyone else has a memory of this explosion to share, I would certainly be interested.

4. And, since that was such a success in turning up past news coverage, here’s another fun one. Reader Carol is seeking info on “a UFO sighting in Thomasville/West York back in the late ’70s/early ’80s.”

Any recollections of this? I’m especially interested in anything that would help me nail down a date to dig deeper!

Have questions or memories to share? Ask (or Tell) Joan using the form at right. I’ll attempt to answer or share 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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.