York County Courthouse Spouting Stolen, Sold for Scrap
This map, from the 1876 Pomeroy, Whitman Atlas of York County shows the location of the Lutheran Burial Ground.
Sounds like familiar headlines from today’s papers, doesn’t it? Unfortunately stealing for the salvage value is nothing new. In fact, the following article from December 29, 1874 Gazette reports that the York County Courthouse was the victim:
“MALICIOUSLY DESTROYING A SPOUT–Jacob Frey was arrested by detective Powell, charged with having maliciously and unlawfully cut, and otherwise destroyed the copper spout, attached to the Court House sometime last week. Also with feloniously stealing part of said spout, and disposing of it–Frey was taken before Justice Metzell, who committed him to jail to answer.”
Copper wasn’t the only metal up for grabs in the 1870s. The October 30, 1877 Gazette reports:
“THE OLD BURYING GROUND– The fence enclosing the old Lutheran burying ground on South Duke street was sold by auctioneer Sipe for $21.35, to eight different parties. The fence was immediately removed by the purchasers to prevent it from being stolen, and nothing now remains on the lot except about a dozen and a half trees of various sizes, and some bushes.”
This would refer to the south-east corner of Duke and Princess streets, where City Market would soon be built. Since the tombstones seem to be already gone, the former inhabitants of the burial ground must have already been moved to Prospect Hill Cemetery. City Market was torn down some years ago and the lot was mostly vacant the last time I noticed.