Readers recall Fitness America, Washington House, former schools and more
As I did last week, I’d like to use today’s column to share memories on several topics, from Fitness America to the Washington House to two former schools!
I hope you’ll enjoy hearing about all of these topics.
Several times in the past, readers have asked about a former gym in the West Manchester Mall. Walt Frey wrote and confirmed, “The gym in the West Manchester Mall was indeed called Fitness America. It was a chain with two gyms in Lancaster, one being in the Golden Triangle. The other was on the east side of town on Route 30, just off the limited access portion. There was also another one located in the northwest corner of the old Sears shopping center. I believe they also had one or two others. I trained at the two in York for several years. The one in the West Manchester Mall was probably the best gym I’ve ever trained in. The guys running the place were all into lifting themselves and there was a lot of camaraderie among the members, not like the new gyms where even grunting is not allowed.”
This was of particular interest to me recently as my daughter has gotten interested in weight-lifting thanks to one of her heroes, Arnold Schwarzenegger. It sounds like Fitness America would have been her kind of place!
The Washington House
We’ve also talked in the past about the Washington House in Wrightsville. There was also, however, a Washington House on North Street in York, near a Pennsylvania Railroad train station.
It’s regarding that second Washington House that I received this note from an unnamed reader: “Opposite the train station and just up the street from the old Union Hotel was indeed the old Washington House, bar and hotel. Doing work for an older gentleman (a World War II glider pilot) years ago we got into a good history discussion. He told me that one of the bars from the Washington House became the bar of what is now the First Capital Dispensing Company… on the corner of West Philadelphia Street and North Pershing Avenue. Either the bar came from the basement or the first floor but he said for sure a bar from the Washington House is the present bar of the ‘First Cap.'”
Mount Zion School
Delilah Beaverson Hayes of Clarksville, Tennessee, wrote to me some time ago about a photo of students at the former Mount Zion School that was shared by reader Gary Heiland. Delilah wrote that she and her family have the same picture, which includes her great-uncle and two great-aunts, the Beaversons (Earle, Bessie and Naomi).
Delilah also helped fill in some missing information; when we originally shared that photo, we did not have a first name for the person in the front left, but Delilah was able to identify him as Clarence Sipe. “It is wonderful that a picture of this age has all persons identified,” Delilah added.
Mount Rose Elementary School
More than two years ago, reader Perry Brandt of York Township had asked if anyone had a photo of the former Mount Rose Elementary School.
I’m glad to share that I have since received photos of both the front and back of that former school from Carole Haller of Spring Garden Township. She said she took photos when her daughter, Susan, began her school days there. “Mount Rose Elementary School consisted of two buildings,” she wrote. “The lower grades were housed in the older building facing Mount Rose Avenue and the upper grades, through sixth grade, were in the former high school building that faced Ogontz Street and was located across a playground, in back of the older building. When the older building was demolished in the summer of 1978, all of the students were combined in the remaining building on Ogontz Street. After the 1982 school year, Mount Rose School was closed and students transferred to other schools in the York Suburban School District. The remaining building, still standing, was bought and is being used by a church.”