North, South, East, West–Where Are These York Streets?
East Street, 1903
Like many cities, York, Pennsylvania has a street named for each direction of the compass. I must admit, though, I had to look at a current atlas to find East Street, even though I go by it almost daily.
I assumed that these four streets made their appearance at the same time, marking the boundaries of the town as it grew. Wrong–as you can see from the information below gleaned from 1850, 1876, and 1903 maps of York.
North Street, 1903
North Street appears first. It is shown on the 1850 map published by S. Moody, but it doesn’t have a name. It seems to run east from the Codorus Creek to Queen Street, with railroad tracks running down much of it from just east of Beaver Street.
In the 1876 Pomeroy, Whitman atlas North Street follows that same route, except it now also picks up west of the creek between Newberry and Penn Streets, much as it does today. In the 1903 Roe atlas, the block of North between Duke and Queen Streets is covered by a multiple-track rail siding. Perhaps you could still drive through at times, between the two long freight houses that are still there today.
South Street, 1903
South Street came next. It appears on the 1876 map, just a little shorter than today from Penn Common (Penn Park) to the Hannah Penn Middle School. The Hannah Penn area then was the site of a lime quarry and a brick yard. In 1903 South Street picked up again east of Vander Avenue and ended just east of Cortland Street, a couple of blocks short of today. That section was evidently added to the city sometime between 1876 and 1903.
West Street, 1903
By 1903 more area had also been added to the west end of the city, and West Street appears on the map. It ran south from the Maryland Avenue to Philadelphia Street into a dead end, and then picked up again at King Street and continued to College Avenue.
East Street? It too appears on land annexed to the city by 1903, and it really does mark part of its eastern boundary. In 1903 it covered just over a block from East Market Street to just north of Philadelphia Street. It has been extended a bit northward since then, but it still stops to the south at Market Street, just opposite Elmwood Boulevard.
The maps mentioned above have all been reprinted by York County Heritage Trust and are available for use in their Library/Archives or purchase.
Click here to read more about York streets of the past.
Click here to read about York’s Wall Street.
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