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York Motorman Goes from Horse-Drawn “Chariots” to Buses

The trolley car was an important step in the evolution of transportation in York County and many other areas. You find a lot on them in the newspapers during the first half of the 20th century. There seemed to be a lot of accidents, especially after the advent of electric motorized trolley cars, including the tragic accident outside Dallastown in 1905.
One of the motormen involved in the Dallastown accident, which was not his fault, was Tempest Meisenhelder. I recently came across the photo above of Meisenhelder stepping into a new bus that was about to make the street railways obsolete. It is from the February 4, 1939 York Dispatch microfilm at York County Heritage Trust. The caption below outlines Meisenhelder’s long relationship with York County public transportation and the amazing changes he witnessed:

Tempest Meisenhelder, 81-year-old veteran of York’s transportation system, has lived to see the beginning of another epoch in local street transit. Prior to 1886 Mr. Meisenhelder was stable man and relief driver for the “chariot line,” the city’s first transportation system, which operated horse-drawn coaches over city streets. When tracks were laid and horse cars came into existence, displacing the “chariots,” Mr. Meisenhelder was employed as a horse car driver. With the advent of the electric car he became a motorman for the York Railways company, retiring in 1932. The picture shows Mr. Meisenhelder, who lives at 621 Roosevelt avenue, as he was about to step into one of the new buses of the York Bus company, which tomorrow morning will replace electric cars on all city and suburban lines of York Railways company.

Click the links below for more on York County trolleys.
York, Dallastown, Red Lion, Windsor and Bittersville line.
The line to Hanover.
Another wreck on the Dallastown line.