Stony Brook, Stony Run and the Trolley
In 1882, the Stony Brook area, in what is now Springettsbury Township, received its name from Stony Run; the stream running through that area. Colonial surveys record that name for this stream back to at least 1753 and Stony Run continued to appear on maps well into the 1900s.
This undated, eastward looking, photo from the collections of the York County Heritage Trust, shows a trolley passing over Stony Run where it crosses the Lincoln Highway in Stony Brook; i.e. just east of the Locust Grove Road intersection. The trolley is on the south side of the Lincoln Highway (East Market Street) and is about to travel across the highway and head north beside, and then on, what is now Pleasant Acres Road until bridging the railroad tracks before heading east again. Click on this LINK for a Full View of the illustrations in this post; since the ydr.com site will occasionally cut off important details in the cropping of illustrations.
Trolleys ran from the City of York to Wrightsville, passing through Stony Brook in Springettsbury Township. Trolley service in and near the City of York existed from August 18, 1892 until February 4, 1939. However the York to Wrightsville trolley was in service for a shorter time span, from May 21, 1904 until February 1, 1933.
One of the earliest colonial buildings, in what is now the Stony Brook area, was a blacksmith shop that stood at the southeast intersection of Stony Run and the Monocacy Road. George Prowell’s 1907 History of York County, PA notes that blacksmith shop “was started in 1734 and was the first blacksmith shop west of the Susquehanna.” The Monocacy Road was improved as the York and Susquehanna Turnpike, now known as Route 462. In 1840, a railroad began operating between York and Wrightsville; it crossed the turnpike just east of Stony Run. The railroad station at that point was named Turnpike.
Turnpike became the name of first Post Office in that area in 1877. In 1882, an article under “Hellam Items” in the March 24, 1882, issue of The York Daily reported on the new village of Stony Brook:
Our village [Hellam] has a rival in the form of a village springing up a few miles west of us, known as Stony Brook. This village, although quite recently started, has attained considerable size and importance. Among the improvements are a lot of fine dwelling houses, together with a general store, post office, coal yard, blacksmith and wagon-maker shops, cabinet-maker shop, etc. “Patch” says they have steel works, but up to this writing we could not learn the location of them. It is rumored that Mr. George Blessing is making arrangements to start a first-class hotel to be known as the Stony Brook National Hotel; this would certainly be a move in the right direction, and one which is much needed in that thriving village.
In 1882, the name of the Post Office was changed from Turnpike to Stony Brook and a charter was received to establish the Stony Brook Cornet Band. Stony Brook maintained its own Post Office until 1914.
Stony Run originates in what is now Rocky Ridge County Park. It drains much of the southern face of that rocky hillside. Upon reaching the relative flats of the York Valley, Stony Run passes under a footbridge that connects two sections of Pleasant Valley Road in Springettsbury Township. The following southward looking view shows the upper half of the S-bend in Stony Run, just down stream of that footbridge.
This photo was taken the day following the January 23, 2016, record snowfall. Water was still rapidly flowing under the ice and snow. From this point, Stony Run empties into a large retaining basin, adjacent to the north side of Route 30. The regulated flow, draining the retaining basin, continues as Stony Run through the Concord Business Park and then passing under East Market Street at Stony Brook before flowing into Kreutz Creek about one-fourth mile west of Hellam.
Related posts include:
- Dusman Airstrip and the arrival of the 1952 Bendix Plant at Stony Brook
- Platting the Monocacy Road from Original 1739/40 Survey; Part 1: Eastern York County
- Questions answered on the Road to Monocacy posts
- Monocacy Path used by Native Americans began at Conejohela
- 1860 Buildings 21-30 in East Region of Springettsbury Township