Part of the USA Today Network

Late 1800s History of East Prospect Assists in Identification of a Period Photo

1876 Map of East Prospect showing Property Owners is from 1876 Atlas of York County, PA (Street Names Added in Purple by S. H. Smith, 2013)

I have an 1896 photo from East Prospect.  I’ll use several resources to assist in a more detailed identification of this photo.  This post explores the late 1800s history of East Prospect, via the 1876 map showing property owners and via quotes from George Prowell’s 1907 History of York County.

Tomorrow I’ll post several other sources that will assist in a more detailed identification of this photo.  On Wednesday I’ll reveal the photo and how I utilized the resources to identify the photo.


Volume I of George Prowell’s 1907 History of York County includes a history of East Prospect on pages 874 and 875.  The following are two quotes from page 875:

Most of the original houses were built on Main Street, extending north and south.  Maple Street, which extends east and west, also contains fine private residences.  The population in 1900 was 292.  Margaretta Furnace and Woodstock Forge were situated a short distance east of the borough.  John Burg opened the first store and was succeeded in order by Henry Burg, L. E. Oleweiler and Edward J. Sitler.  About 1856 David Keller and Peter W. Keller opened a store in the village and conducted it for several years.  Henry Doll and Charles Himes have also kept stores here.  L. E. Oleweiler owned a large cigar factory and was succeeded by Edward J. Sitler in the same business.  George Young owns a cigar factory and Charles Myers a cigar box factory.

The disastrous fire which broke out on July 4, 1900, at one time threatened to destroy the whole village.  Before the flames could be controlled the store of Edward Sitler and about a dozen other buildings were burned to the ground.

The 1876 map shows the Olewiler Store & P.O. on the northwest corner of Main & Maple Streets.  In 1876 this store was a partnership between brothers William E. Olewiler and Leonard E. Olewiler; eventually being run by only Leonard.  The cigar factory located across the alley behind the store, i.e. along West Maple Street, is most likely the large cigar factory noted by Prowell.  The history indicates the Edward J. Sitler succeeded Olewiler in both of these ventures.  I’ve also discovered that Edward J. Sitler was appointed Postmaster of East Prospect on August 9, 1893.  All of this information will factor into a more detailed identification of the photo to be revealed Wednesday.

This is my 122nd post. An inventory of the general topics and locations that have been the subjects of my first 100 posts are presented in a 100-tile mosaic that breaks down these posts into seven general categories.

Links to related posts include:

The mystery of Haines Home Made Ice Cream

Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts