YorksPast

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Ad graphic, announcing the Founding of Fayfield, appearing in The Gazette and Daily (York, PA); May 24, 1947.
Ad graphic, announcing the Founding of Fayfield, appearing in The Gazette and Daily (York, PA); May 24, 1947.

Fayfield developed in Springettsbury on site of first York Airport

Fayfield was developed in Springettsbury Township on the site of the first commercial airport in York County. In 1930 the York Airport was located along Haines Road, where scheduled passenger service provided flights to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia or New York.

The first York Airport operated from 1930 to 1937 on turf landing fields adjacent to the west side of Haines Road; then known as Airport Road. At that time, if one traveled south on Haines Road and looked off to the right, between present 7th and 9th Avenues, one would see the pictured airport buildings.

YORK AIRPORT (from 1930 to 1937) as viewed off to the west side of Haines Road, between 7th Ave. and 9th Ave., in Springettsbury Township, York County, PA (S. H. Smith photo of Model constructed by Paul Schiding, Allen Bond and Morris Hendrickson; displayed at Agricultural and Industrial Museum of York County History Center)
YORK AIRPORT (from 1930 to 1937) as viewed off to the west side of Haines Road, between 7th Ave. and 9th Ave., in Springettsbury Township, York County, PA (S. H. Smith photo of Model constructed by Paul Schiding, Allen Bond and Morris Hendrickson; displayed at Agricultural and Industrial Museum of York County History Center)

The pictured airport buildings are from a photograph of an intricate scale model of the airport, constructed by Paul Schiding, Allen Bond and Morris Hendrickson between 1996 and 2003. It is displayed at the Agricultural and Industrial Museum of the York County History Center.

In the extreme lower right is part of the original airplane hanger on the property in early 1930; built by the York Flying Service, Inc. After The York Chamber of Commerce organized York Airport, Inc., several months later, they hired Pittsburgh Airways Corporation as airport operators; to bring scheduled passenger flights to York. A much larger Airplane Hangar was constructed; shown at the top of the photo. The hangar featured a 120-feet wide door on the west side and was 80-feet deep.

Between the hangars a new Airport Office building was constructed. The building contained ticket and operations offices of the York Airport and Pittsburgh Airways; plus a passenger waiting area and a restaurant. The core of the airport office building still stands as part of the residence at 710 Haines Road; on the southwest corner of Haines Road and 7th Avenue.

Scheduled passenger service commenced at the York Airport on October 15, 1930 and the official dedication of the facilities took place October 25-26, 1930. A flight to Philadelphia cost $8.00. A flight to Pittsburgh cost $16.20 and a flight to New York cost $14.40. The airport suffered financial difficulties and in July 1937 a plan showing proposed development of real estate belonging to the York Airport Company, Inc. was recorded.

The initial plan provided for 50 lots along Haines Road; plus showed a possible street layout for the rest of the 157-acre airport property. An auction of the “50 Choice Homesites, Fronting on Haines Road at the York Airport” was held July 24, 1937; per the following ad in The Gazette and Daily.

Ad in The Gazette and Daily (York, PA); Saturday July 24, 1937
Ad in The Gazette and Daily (York, PA); Saturday July 24, 1937

This ad is one of the earliest uses of Haines Road, as opposed to Airport Road, in naming the roadway separating Mahlon Haines farm Haines Acres and the York Airport property. The York Airport property can be seen in the following March 19, 1938 Historic Aerial Photo from Penn Pilot; on which future roads are overplotted. The yellow roads form a grid defining the York Airport property. Features of interest are annotated and pointed out within the photo.

March 19, 1938 Aerial Photo with future roads overplotted; where yellow roads form a grid defining the York Airport property (Historic Aerial Photo from Penn Pilot; Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2019)
March 19, 1938 Aerial Photo with future roads overplotted; where yellow roads form a grid defining the York Airport property (Historic Aerial Photo from Penn Pilot; Annotated by S. H. Smith, 2019)

Click on this LINK for a yorkblog.com Full View of the original photos in this post if details are cut off in the cropping of the photos, or if any photos or links have been removed from the ydr.com site.

Most of the lots along Haines Road were purchased on speculation; with only a few being built upon until the Planning Commission approval of the full Fayfield Subdivision in 1947; under the management of the real estate development firm of Morgan, Zeigler and Philips, Inc.; with York offices at 114 East Market Street.

Before advanced planning for a four lane expressway (I-83) curbed development, the lots in Fayfield originally extended the whole way west to the township line; i.e. 7th and 9th Avenues extended west to Mill Creek. And there were plans for 7th Avenue to bridge Mill Creek and connect with 7th Avenue in Spring Garden Township.

The founding of Fayfield was announced in a May 24, 1947 ad within The Gazette and Daily. Speculation on the name Fayfield, favors Fay as the wife, daughter, or mother of one of the developers.

The following 1949 Birds-Eye Aerial Photo by The Gazette and Daily gives an indication of the progress of building in the Fayfield Development. As of April 9, 1949, it was reported 173 of 415 building lots were sold, and 34 homes were built. I’ve annotated the street names and faintly marked (light brown dots) the field of view of this birds-eye aerial on the previous 1938 Aerial Photo.

Photo utilized in The Gazette and Daily (York, PA); April 9, 1949.  Showing progress of building in Fayfield Development; reporting 173 of 415 building lots sold, and 34 homes built.  (York County History Center photo, Annotated by S. H. Smith)
Photo utilized in The Gazette and Daily (York, PA); April 9, 1949. Showing progress of building in Fayfield Development; reporting 173 of 415 building lots sold, and 34 homes built. (York County History Center photo, Annotated by S. H. Smith)

Zooming in on the upper right of the 1949 photo, shows the former Airport Office building being utilized as a residence; with address at 710 Haines Road and located on southwest corner of Haines Road and 7th Avenue.

Enlargement from The Gazette and Daily (York, PA); April 9, 1949.  Focusing on residence at 710 Haines Road (Southwest corner of Haines Rd. and 7th Ave.) whose core is office building of York Airport.  (York County History Center photo, Annotated by S. H. Smith)
Enlargement from The Gazette and Daily (York, PA); April 9, 1949. Focusing on residence at 710 Haines Road (Southwest corner of Haines Rd. and 7th Ave.) whose core is office building of York Airport. (York County History Center photo, Annotated by S. H. Smith)

A present view of the residence at 710 Haines Road is shown in the following photo. Seeing the window alignment in the Haines Road side of the Model, constructed by Paul Schiding, Allen Bond and Morris Hendrickson, makes it easier to recognize the original Airport building within the residence. I now realize all the photos of the Airport Office building, I’ve ever seen, appear to be of the side facing the airport runway.

Residence at 710 Haines Road, Springettsbury Township, York County, PA (S. H. Smith photo, 2019)
Residence at 710 Haines Road, Springettsbury Township, York County, PA (S. H. Smith photo, 2019)

The building boom hit Fayfield big in the early 1950s. By 1955 the majority of the lots were built upon, except for those bordering the still being planned four-lane expressway (I-83); which would open in 1959. There was such a strong demand for more building lots, such that Mahlon Haines sold, for development, his 205-acre Haines Acres Farm in 1955, on the neighboring east side of Haines Road.

YORK AIRPORT (from 1930 to 1937) as viewed off to the west side of Haines Road, between 7th Ave. and 9th Ave., in Springettsbury Township, York County, PA (S. H. Smith photo of Model constructed by Paul Schiding, Allen Bond and Morris Hendrickson; displayed at Agricultural and Industrial Museum of York County History Center)
YORK AIRPORT (from 1930 to 1937) as viewed off to the west side of Haines Road, between 7th Ave. and 9th Ave., in Springettsbury Township, York County, PA (S. H. Smith photo of Model constructed by Paul Schiding, Allen Bond and Morris Hendrickson; displayed at Agricultural and Industrial Museum of York County History Center)

The next post in a series looking at the twelve township parks in Springettsbury Township will feature Fayfield Park. It will certainly include the York Airport heritage of the property.

Links to related posts:

York Airport building along Haines Road
Earliest York Airfield in 1914 along Dover Trolley Line
Mysteries of Springettsbury Township’s Erb Burial Plot
The Missing Gravestones of Springettsbury Township; Erb Burial Plot
1860 Buildings 21-30 in South Region of Springettsbury Township

Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts

2 comments on “Fayfield developed in Springettsbury on site of first York Airport

  1. Stephen,

    Do you have any idea when the property you identified as the John Erb Homestead was torn down? In a previous post about the location of Erb Burial Plot, I mentioned this property was owned by my ancestor Herman Miller from 1748 through 1777. I’m interested if you have come across any mention of that property being demolished during the construction of the Fayfield development and whether there is any discussion of the age of the buildings.

    The Erb homestead appears to sit along Kershaw St between 7th and 9th street. After the 1938 Penn Pilot photo, the next aerial photo I could find was from 1955 on the York County Archives site and it appears by that time the buildings from the 1938 photo have been torn down.

    1. Thomas,

      I decided to focus on the Erb family ownership of the property, as a tie-in to the Erb Burial Plot. You are correct that Herman Miller owned the property from 1748 until 1777; before several generations of Erb families owned the land from 1792 until 1899.

      Some of the annotated homestead buildings may have gone back the Herman Miller ownership, however most of the buildings which stood when the York Airport operated on the property were more likely constructed during the 1800s as opposed to the 1700s. I annotated that group of buildings “Site of 1792 John Erb homestead” because in 1792 a 23-year old John Erb moved his young family there from Lancaster County and his male-descendants worked that same homestead property in York County for over 100-years. Joe Kindig purchased the property in 1899 and used it to train horses; it is doubtful he added many buildings until selling the land to York Airport, Inc. in 1930.

      If you look at the right side of the 1949 birds-eye aerial photo in the post; it possibly shows some of the annotated homestead buildings laying in ruins at that time. Also, sometimes developers utilized old barns on the property to store construction equipment and supplies; if that happened, the barn may have stood for a few more years, but like you said was gone by 1955.

      Thanks for commenting,
      Stephen

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