Only in York County

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Ye Olde York Valley Inn – and the original York Valley Inn

I’m wading into what I already know is an often-confusing set of York County buildings today and looking at “Ye Olde York Valley Inn” and its more historically significant predecessor, the York Valley Inn. (Ye Olde one is the newer one… just keep that in mind!)

The York Valley Inn (no ye oldes about it) was a gray stone building originally built in the 1730s or 1740s that originally sat along East Market Street, near where the Wal-Mart is now. George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette are said to be among its most famous visitors, and it continued in operation for hundreds of years. Unfortunately, progress took its toll, and it was dismantled in 1962. In good news, part of it was relocated to Susquehanna Memorial Gardens in York Township to serve as an office, and there it stands today.

The second, Ye Olde York Valley Inn, was a motel at 3883 E. Market St. in Springettsbury Township, which opened in 1958. It eventually included more than 163 rooms and became a popular local resort. It closed in 1998, reportedly in heavy debt, and was torn down in 2008 after its then-vacant premises were damaged in a fire. The site still sits empty today.

Way back in 2007, Jim McClure tackled the differences on his York Town Square blog.

I’m bringing it up again today thanks to some recent mail on the topic and hoping to continue the process of “sorting out” those memories for people!

For instance, these images were submitted by Regina (Tufarolo) Altland and came from a 1971 edition of “This Month” magazine. While these list “The York Valley Inn,” they’re referring to Ye Olde York Valley Inn (the later property) and its included restaurant, The Sword & Shield.

I also heard from Betsy Baird. She remembered both properties, including “Ye Olde,” which she recalled, “at one time, had wonderful food and rooms; a gift shop with lovely gifts; the ‘Web’ shop with women’s clothes, from which we got some lovely dresses; and other small stores. The owner or manager of the Sword and Shield restaurant showed Mother and I prints of how it was going to be remodeled and expanded in the 1960s. I wish it were still there and active, like before.”

But she was interested in hearing more about the OTHER inn, the original, which, she recalled, “stood around where Wal-Mart and the York Mall now are. It was right along the edge of East Market St., though. It had a strategic location for travelers and members of the Continental Congress. Abraham Hiestand bought it in the 1790s. Its wine cellar might have been a hiding place for runaway slaves. Widening of Market St. and the development of the malls caused it to be dismantled in 1962.”

And I heard from Darton E. Greist Jr., who wrote, “Do you happen to have the complete address of Ye Olde York Valley Inn In its new location? My wife and I would like to visit it. We live in Southbury, Connecticut.” Darton, I think you’re looking for the not-ye-olde version, the one that has moved to Susquehanna, I’m thinking? I hope so – and you can find more specific info on that memorial park here.

Confused yet, or un-confused? I hope more the latter!

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