LoPiccolo’s in Violet Hill connection to The Woods in Springettsbury Township
In a question to Joan Concilio’s blog Only in York Country, Ann Brown inquired about Piccolo’s Restaurant where the George Street exit off I-83 is now. Jim Fahringer commented that his mother worked as a waitress at Piccolo’s; he noted my related posts.
- Violet Hill in Spring Garden Township; Assorted Maps, Hotel & Schoolhouses
- Violet Hill in Spring Garden Township, Part 2; plus A. B. Farquhar’s Estate “Edgecomb”
- Violet Hill in Spring Garden Township, Part 3; Violet Hill Cafe, Joseph Lopiccolo
- Recollections of Violet Hill Elementary School
- Pennsylvania’s first Gino’s was in Springettsbury
- Baltimore Colts at Central High and more Gino’s
- Huntleys Hamburgers along Memory Lane
I surmised Piccolo’s was the name of the Violet Hill Cafe following the passing of owner Joseph LoPiccolo in 1946. I wanted some proof, so I did a little digging at the York County Heritage Trust. The obituary of Joseph LoPiccolo had a surprise; LoPiccolo’s in Violet Hill has a connection to The Woods, located along the Lincoln Highway in Springettsbury Township.
Lincoln Highway related posts include:
- Lincoln Highway Centennial Auto Tour at Haines Shoe House
- Walking the Lincoln Highway from Coast-to-Coast
- Haines Shoe House will be a June 23rd Lunch Stop on 100th Anniversary Lincoln Highway Auto Tour
- 20 York Businesses that Built the Haines Shoe House
- ROAD OF REMEMBRANCE Memorial in Paradise Township, York County
- Mystery Ice Cream Bar along the Lincoln Highway
- Melvin’s Drive-In, Lincoln Highway Ice Cream Bar; I-83 Opens
- St. Joseph reports on John F. Kennedy in York, PA
- Lincoln Woods Inn; Mystery of the Medallions
- 1906 York Automobile Owners form York Motor Club; their Club House still stands
- Motels & Restaurants named via the Lincoln Highway; Lincoln View in Paradise Township, York County
- 23¢ per gallon at York’s Only Gasoline Shopping Center
Joseph LoPiccolo’s obituary stated he was a “well-known restaurateur who operated the Violet Hill Cafe since 1927.” Joe died suddenly on October 4, 1946 at the age of 59 years, 11 months and 25 days.
Following Joe’s passing, York City Directories no longer contain the listing for Violet Hill Cafe; instead the listing is LoPiccolo’s Restaurant at 1237 South George Street. The final listing is in the 1957 Directory. An aerial photo taken September 5, 1957 shows that the restaurant had already been demolished to make way for construction of the northbound I-83 off-ramp to South George Street.
Two sentences in Joseph LoPiccolo’s obituary peaked my curiosity further. “Last spring Mr. LoPiccolo purchased ‘The Woods,’ the former home of the York substation, Pennsylvania State Police, along the Lincoln Highway, east of the Haines Road for $60,000. The work of remodeling it into a restaurant had begun several weeks ago.”
My first impulse was to take a look at an aerial photo nearest to 1946. The 1938 aerial photo at the beginning of this post showed only one “Woods” along the Lincoln Highway east of Haines Road. Hill’s Department Store, Gino’s and The Lincoln Woods Inn would soon all be located in the area encompassing these woods.
I wondered what part of “The Woods” Joe LoPiccolo purchased. I had never heard that this area was the York substation of the Pennsylvania State Police. Joe certainly had a lot of foresight in wanting to locate a restaurant in the area, before the impending building boom in these suburbs.
Digging deeper, I located the May 23, 1946 deed in which Joseph LoPiccolo purchased all 11.1 wooded-acres from the Keesey family. I’ve plotted the metes and bounds from Deed Book 31Y, page 377 on a zoomed-in view of the 1938 aerial photo. This plot can be precisely positioned by referring to Deed Book 32B, page 590; where Joe Lopiccolo sells off a 0.6-acre lot within the 11.1-acres on July 26, 1946.
Therefore Joe LoPiccolo owned all the land where Hill’s Department Store, Gino’s and The Lincoln Woods Inn will be located. Here is a comparison 2013 Bing.com Aerial Photo with these 11.1-acres indicated.
I assume that the York substation of the Pennsylvania State Police was in the home that previously belonged to Keesey families, and Hiestand (Heistand?) families before them. If that is the case, Joe LoPiccolo was likely remodeling that house into a restaurant. If he had completed this, Gino’s would have been found at another location in York, since Gino’s was build nearly right over the site of this house.
On the other hand, if Joe LoPiccolo were remodeling the 1878 Stable into a restaurant, he would be doing so before Richard Griffith created the Lincoln Woods Inn in 1953.
Joe LoPiccolo’s neighbors, for the short period of time that he owned the woods, were: on the east side was Eddie Herr, on the south side was Charlotte V. K. Walker and on the west side was Catherine S. Keesey. However with the untimely death of Joseph LoPiccolo, this widow Filomena gave up on this new restaurant in Springettsbury Township and eventually sold the woods in several tracts.Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts