Are these Three Schools in or near Potato Town, North Codorus Township?
Last Friday Jim McClure posted at York Town Square: In search of Potato Town, York County, Pa. Sue H. commented to that post, “I always heard Potato Town was along the creek between Stoverstown and Bair Station on Martin Rd. Off Stoverstown Rd.” That is the area I focused on in the 1920 Topographic Map section.
In a follow-up comment to Jim McClure’s post, I noted: “Per Sue H’s comments, the closest schoolhouse, and only schoolhouse in the general area, was the Cherry Grove School. The school was located in the North Codorus Township triangle of land bounded by Stoverstown Road, Salem Road and Cherry Lane. Per my school index at YorksPast, a “P” indicates that something about this school is in the “Photo Clippings Notebooks of York County One-Room Schools” at York County Heritage Trust (974.841 Y61); very likely a photo, so that might be a good place to start.”
In my haste to answer, I only looked carefully at my list of Identified Schools; which turned up Cherry Grove School (in Green Square). I failed to look closely at my cryptic list of unidentified schools; i.e. symbols showing up as a school on a map, however with school name not known. Two unidentified schools, on maps earlier than 1900, fall within a half-mile of Cherry Grove School. The location of one earlier school is pinpointed in the Green Diamond; the location of the other earlier school is pinpointed on Martin Road (in Green Oval)!
All the remaining views of maps and aerial photos are zoomed in, to focus on the red-dotted area of the 1920 Topographic Map. The following 1860 Map of York County shows a schoolhouse, S.H., in my green oval. This schoolhouse is on the south side of Martin Road. Here is a link for post on: The making of Shearer’s 1860 Map of York County, PA.
By the time of the 1876 Atlas of York County, the Martin Road (Oval) location is no longer noted as a schoolhouse. However the 1876 Atlas has a school on the north side of the road nearest to the G. Bear land-ownership (Diamond). The Cherry Grove School (Square) does not appear on either the 1860 or 1876 maps.
For orientation purposes here is an equivalent section of the 1860 map, shown in a 2013 Bing.com aerial photo. I’ve placed an equivalent Yellow Oval, Diamond & Square to identify the locations of the three schoolhouses.
Lets look at an intervening 1941 map and a 1937 aerial photo to check on the status of these three schoolhouse buildings. The following section of the 1941 PA Highway Map of York County shows that the Cherry Grove School in operation as a school; the flag is raised on the symbol. The “Oval” may be the schoolhouse building retired prior to 1876. The “Diamond” schoolhouse and road to it have been totally removed.
The following September 20th 1937 aerial photo is from Penn Pilot’s online collection of historic aerial photos of Pennsylvania. One can see the Cherry Grove Schoolhouse along Cherry Lane. The “Oval” encompasses several buildings that may have been the schoolhouse building, which was retired prior to 1876. The “Diamond” schoolhouse and road to it have been totally removed, confirming information on the 1941 PA Highway Map.
It appears children in this area (possibly known as Potato Town for a period of time) went to school at the Oval location sometime before 1860, but not after 1875. The second school was located at the Diamond location until the Cherry Grove School opened. The earliest records I have for the Cherry Grove School is a listing in Prowell’s 1907 History of York County, however it could have opened anytime after 1876; this school operated until school consolidation occurred in the early 1950s.
The curiosity got the better of me on Monday; I stopped by this area while out photographing some additional York County keystone mystery markers. The house at 2151 Martin Road is the building that Armand Glatfelter identified as an old school house; per the photo in Jim McClure’s post last Friday at York Town Square.
To the Left, the House at 2151 Martin Road is shown; it is likely the “Oval location” schoolhouse on the 1860 Map. The original part of this structure could have been a schoolhouse anytime between 1834 and 1875. In 1834 Pennsylvania passed the law, which essentially established the public school system. And by at least 1876, the “Diamond location” schoolhouse had replaced the “Oval location” schoolhouse.
To the Right is the former Cherry Grove School as viewed from Cherry Lane. When the schoolhouse was built, anytime from 1877 and onward, this was the front of the schoolhouse. Back then what is now Cherry Lane was the principal road to New Salem.
Check back next week, when I’ll discuss the likely names of the 19th Century “Oval and Diamond location” schools in North Codorus Township.Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts