Only in York County

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Ask Joan: Primary edition

I had an especially fun “Only in York County” earlier today, when I went to vote at my polling place, Normandie Ridge in West Manchester Township.

As I was registering, I heard from a poll volunteer at the table: “Are you … Joan, from the newspaper?” Well, word spread, and before I left, I got a chance to say hello to four devoted readers, all ladies volunteering at the polls who had great memories about life in York County to share.

I just have to take the chance to say, thanks, ladies! You made my day! See, if I could have my cell phone on in the polling place, I could’ve snapped a photo, but instead, hopefully this “shout-out” will suffice.

What’s inside

1. Finding local Sunday school associations
2. Movie theater – was it Rialto?
3. Locating cottages and love nest

1. I know you are writing about different locations. I have a problem finding the York County or Pennsylvania Sunday School Association. Salem United Church of Christ will be observing 100 years on June 3. Maybe some of your readers can help me.
– Phyllis Wolgamuth, Dover Township

As I received Phyllis’ letter in the mail, I’m going to assume she does not have a computer and won’t be reading this answer until it appears in print – but I hope some of my digital friends might value this info as well!

The Pennsylvania Sunday School Association is based in Harrisburg, and its contact info is as follows:

Pennsylvania State Sunday School Association (P.S.S.S.A.)
5915 Fox Street
Harrisburg, PA 17112

Phone: 717-652-1930 or 1-800-358-2303

Their website says the York County Sunday School Association is an affiliate, and to contact the state association using the methods above in order to reach the county group. Phyllis, I hope you can get in touch and that they can get you some info or contacts to help with the 100th anniversary observation!

2. I’m sending this to you to see if there would be any of your readers who would know of a movie theater on West Market St. Not the “Hiway Theatre” but one, if my memories are correct, was located around the old gas company, I believe in the 100 block of West Market St. I recall my father taking me there to see the movie “King Kong” 60 some odd years ago. And that is the only time I recall of ever being in it. I hope my memory is still serving me well!
– Richard A. Bentzel, York

I wasn’t sure originally if I could place a theater in that block, just based on previous movie memories like these. From the map made for me by Richard Staub, seen here, I started wondering if maybe it was the Rialto? Once I found that, I did turn up more Rialto memories here, and I seem to think that’s the place.

Wonder if anyone else saw “King Kong” or any other notable films there? Any memories to share?

3. (In an earlier print edition) there appeared two articles that were of interest to me and I hope you can find out more details.

1. Brook Leaf Love Nest – where in Hellam Township was this, if any of your readers has a postcard they would share with you to get a picture of it, and what part of Kreutz Creek was it located on?
2. The location of the Coulsontown Cottages in Delta or picture of them.

I find local things most interesting and now I am retired I could tour places of interest.
– Carol Senft, Dover Township

You might remember Carol from her memories of Paules Dairy that I shared in this earlier post – a funny “PS” is that she was able to get in touch with Ruth (Paules) Benedick, daughter of the Paules Dairy family, and exchange memories in what Carol described as an enjoyable chat. I’m so thrilled!

But back to Carol’s questions. First of all, for the Brook Leaf Love Nest, I found a WEALTH of information on Jim McClure’s York Town Square blog. (See that here.) The short answer to your question, Carol, is that it was built on the Harold Emig farm, not far from the Hallam/Hellam Township border.

This photo is from a postcard at the York County History Center, and shows a great view of it. While the treehouse burned down, local historian June Lloyd reports the following from one of her neighbors: “The last he knew, part of the tree trunk with one step still stood. It is on private property, well posted with no trespassing signs, so I would advise against checking it out. I’m hoping that it may be visible in the distance from a public area when the leaves are off the trees.”

So, while a “trip” to the tree house is out, hopefully this picture will help, Carol!

Meanwhile, regarding the Coulsontown Cottages, these structures are actually in Peach Bottom Township, outside Delta, and you can read more about them online via the Old Line Museum of Delta here. In good news, those ARE sometimes available to tour during the property’s restoration efforts; to arrange such a tour, the website says, call 717-456-7124.

Reader Robert McClure had shared this photo of the restoration work at the cottages in 2009! Carol (and everyone else), I hope that helps!

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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