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Sharing information on a one-room school, a candy store and a camp

Reader Sarann C. Boring shared this image from her grandfather Worley Forry Rudisill’s New Written Arithmetic schoolbook, published in 1877 and likely given to him by his teacher at Bott’s School in West Manchester Township.

This week, I have a selection of memories and requests to share on some very varied topics – the former Bott’s School in West Manchester Township, the former Mary Henry Homemade Candies in downtown York, and the still-in-operation Summit Grove Camp near New Freedom.

Bott’s School

Some time ago, Sarann C. Boring shared the image seen with today’s column from her grandfather Worley Forry Rudisill’s New Written Arithmetic schoolbook, published in 1877.

“The writing on the first page is very light but apparently was written by his teacher,” she wrote, who was Charles (Chas.) M. Stauffer. “You can see someone wrote Worley F. Rudisill’s Book, Botts School, West Manchester, York Co., Pa., with a date of Jan. 13, 1892,” she added. “Under that I think it says ‘Remember me when gone’ then the teacher’s signature.”

Sarann added that Worley was born Sept. 20, 1874, so he would have been 18 when he received this book. She and some family members wanted to know more about Bott’s School.

I was able to point Sarann to West Manchester Township’s historical society webpage, which has some information and photos of Bott’s, which had three different locations over the years in the township, all in the area of South Salem Church and North Emig Mill roads, near the Briarwood golf course. I’m interested in any further memories of Bott’s to share as well, so please do share if you have them!

Candy store

Another letter from a while ago that I’d like to share today came from Al Bates. Al wrote about a candy store he had not seen mentioned in previous columns on such businesses, Mary Henry’s Homemade Candy. “This was in the 1950s and 1960s,” he wrote, adding, “She was my grandmother on my dad’s side of the family. She did this with her husband George Henry. She was into this full time and George, after he got off work and on weekends.”

Al noted that his grandparents “had the operation set up in the basement of their home at 443 N. George St. here in York. They also had a stand at the Central Market House, not far inside from the Beaver Street entrances. Wolfgang Candies was the main competitor, just up the hill on George Street.”

He continued, “As business got better, they wanted a store at home. One came up for sale at 661 W. Philadelphia St. It was a butcher shop. So we moved to Philadelphia Street. They set up the entire basement for candy making. The store was open every day except Sunday. They still had the market stand Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. She passed away in 1969 and George tried to carry on, but it was too much for him at his age, so I rented the store room and a room to live in. I opened a deli. That was in the fall of 1969. It was too much for me. I had it open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. I closed it down in 1970.”

Al, thank you so much for adding to our history with both your grandparents’ candy store and your deli!

Summit Grove Camp

Finally for today, I have a request from reader Donna Peace. Donna wrote that she is doing research and writing a book about Summit Grove Camp in New Freedom, which is still an active retreat location. “I have found a lot of information on the history of SGC,” she wrote. “The second part of my book is the memories of people who are or have been connected to SGC. I would love to hear from anyone who has memories of their own or of their family or a fun story or old photos or old postcards or anything related to Summit Grove Camp.”

Donna invited anyone with such information to email her at I will be excited to see what results!

Have questions or memories to share? Email me at or write to Ask Joan, York Daily Record/Sunday News, 1891 Loucks Road, York PA 17408. We cannot accept any phone calls with questions or information.