Part of the USA Today Network

The Humpback Bridge at Stony Brook, Part 1: Ettline’s Antiques

Aerial Photo of the Humpback Bridge at Stony Brook (Collection of York County Heritage Trust)
Aerial Photo of the Humpback Bridge at Stony Brook (Collection of York County Heritage Trust)

This aerial photo of the humpback bridge on the Lincoln Highway at Stony Brook was likely taken during the fall of 1952; if not, 1953 at the latest.  In a series of posts, I’m going to look at the history of various families, structures and businesses in this immediate area.  Other posts in this series include:

In this first post in the series, I reveal how I dated this photograph and focus on Ettline’s Antiques.



The humpback bridge was built on the Lincoln Highway in the 1930s to carry traffic over the single line railway tracks between York and Wrightsville.  At that time, these tracks saw steady use.  However by the 1990s, the railway tracks, at that location, saw a train maybe once a week, as opposed to about 8,000 automobiles crossing over the humpback bridge each day.  A grade level crossing made sense. The bridge was demolished in 1998; it was narrow, it was structurally deteriorating and it had become a traffic safety hazard.

The aerial photo of the humpback bridge at Stony Brook is part of a larger photo in the collection of the York County Heritage Trust.  I focused in on only a part of the photo for my lead-in.  Here is the whole aerial photo with my notations.  The view is roughly looking north, therefore left side is “to York” and right side is “to Wrightsville.”

Aerial Photo of the Humpback Bridge at Stony Brook (Collection of York County Heritage Trust; Annotations by S. H. Smith, 2013)
Aerial Photo of the Humpback Bridge at Stony Brook (Collection of York County Heritage Trust; Annotations by S. H. Smith, 2013)

I located this photo in the Archives of the York County Heritage Trust by searching on BendixI did a post about the Bendix Plant in April.  This plant was completed and opened in the fall of 1952.  The future “Yorklyn Barn” and empty fields are seen where the Yorklyn housing development starts to be built during 1953.  Those two facts pretty much narrows when this aerial photo was taken.

Moses F. Waser was the initial proprietor of the Stony Brook Mill; shown on the northwest end of the bridge. The bridge was not yet present when this mill was likely constructed within the mill warehouse Henry C. Hauser had originally built on the north side of the road prior to 1876. The Stony Brook Mill, of Moses Waser, dealt in flour, feed, coal, fertilizers, oils, cigars and tobacco. In later years, many people will remember the large billboards on this building, often advertising paints.

Seen at the southeast end of the bridge is the Kreutz Creek Valley Farmers Co-Operative Association. This business dealt in feeds, seeds, fertilizers, coal lime and cement; they specialized in custom grinding and mixing. One might wonder why these similar businesses were so close to each other. The Co-Op actually started out as a Hauser mill warehouse, then a mill; eventually with Moses Waser as the manager. Moses must have decided he wanted to be his own boss, or he began his own mill, close by, after a disagreement with the Hausers?

In this photo one can still see the remnants of a (past) lane that went south to an early John Hauser Grist Mill on Stony Run.  This Grist Mill will be a subject of another post in this series.

The house and barn that housed Ettline’s Antiques is the subject of the remainder of this post.  Quoting from a September 15th 2011 article in Antiques & Auction News:

Paul and Dorothy Ettline were well known antiques dealers and avid collectors, but were most noted for their involvement in the Original York Antiques Show.  Originally started in 1934 by collector and dealer Mable Renner, the Ettlines purchased the show in 1956 and managed it for 40 years, after which Melvin Arion took over.

Paul opened his first antique shop on [484] Park Street in York, behind his parents’ home.  He continued his vocation by expanding his business to 352 W. Market St., York, Pennsylvania, and finally at 3790 Market Street.  He opened for business there in 1946 and retired in 2000.

After their parents passed away, the Ettline family decided to sell the late couple’s Victorian home, at 3790 East Market Street, and their private antique collection.  Allen & Marshall Auctioneers & Appraisers handled the 2-day on-site Early Americana estate auction sale on September 23 & 24, 2011.  The following are photos of the Victorian home that sold at the auction.

Ettline Victorian Home at 3790 East Market Street in Springettsbury Township (Allen & Marshall Online Notice for 2011 Estate Auction)
Ettline Victorian Home at 3790 East Market Street in Springettsbury Township (Allen & Marshall Online Notice for 2011 Estate Auction)

The ownership has passed through several hands since the 2011.  It is for sale again.  This Victorian Home would make a nice Bed & Breakfast for the right buyer:

  • 4 Spacious Bedrooms
  • 1.5 Baths
  • Large Living Room
  • Large Library Room
  • Formal Dining Room
  • Open Kitchen
  • Separate Laundry Area
  • Spacious Attic with 3 Rooms ready to be finished

Outbuildings include:

  • 2-Story Barn with 2-Car Garage, Overhead Door

Paul & Dorothy Ettline purchased the 3790 East Market Street property, containing approximately 1.1 acres, in 1945.  The property has 244 feet frontage on the Lincoln Highway and 290 feet of the backyard is along seldom-used railway tracks.  At that time their neighbor to the west was the Kreutz Creek Valley Farmers Co-Operative Association and their neighbor to the south and east was Anna Garber.

The Ettline’s purchased the property from William H. Forry.  William was willed the property in 1939 when he outlived his wife Barbara Anna, maiden name Hauser.  Barbara A. Hauser, single at the time, was deeded the property in 1911 upon the death of her mother Nancy Hauser.  Nancy was the widow of Henry C. Hauser.

Nancy Houser attained ownership of the property in 1889 as the surviving spouse of Henry C. Hauser.  In a Partition of land of John Houser (Hauser) after his 1875 death, Henry C. Hauser (Houser) was awarded this property.  All of this information, thus far, comes from the deed made May 22nd 1945 from William H. Forry (widower) to Paul L. Ettline and Dorothy B. Ettline, his wife (Deed Book 31-D, Page 279).

It is John Hauser, the brother (or possibly the father John Hauser after brother died in 1867) of Henry C. Hauser, who owned the Grist Mill on Stony Run.  Both the 1860 and 1876 maps show the “J. Hauser Grist Mill” on Stony Run however no “southeast corner” buildings along the road between York & Wrightsville.  Both the 1860 and 1876 maps also show a lane leading directly from that Grist Mill on Stony Run to the point where the road crosses the railroad.

In 1875, when Henry C. Hauser is awarded this prime piece of property on the southeast corner the road and railroad, how long before he builds on this property?  Which is built first, the new mill building or the house?

Part 2 of this series continues on Monday, however since the Grist Mill along Stony Run is likely still operating satisfactory (it is on the 1876 map), I’d guess that he built the house first.  By 1875, Henry and Nancy Hauser already had five children.

Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts