Farmhouse located at 2901 Whiteford Road. This eastward view shows the 2-1/2 story 1809 main structure fronting Whiteford Road. The left side of photo shows the original, one story, circa 1755, dwelling. (Early 1960s photo from Springettsbury Township Historic Preservation Committee Archives)
About the Witness Tree along Whiteford Road
The York Financial Center of UNIVEST, 2901 Whiteford Road, is sponsoring a Witness Tree event Saturday morning 5/14/22 at 10:30 a.m. I have been invited to share the story of the Pennsylvania German Farmhouse, repurposed as a financial business years ago, and now the home of the York office of UNIVEST. I’ll talk about the history of the building and the events the huge sycamore tree has witnessed during its lifetime.
In 2014, a certified arborist estimated that Witness Tree was planted about 1755. Is it a coincidence, that in 1989, Historic York estimated the adjacent farmhouse, at 2901 Whiteford Road, is dated circa 1755?
This introductory eastward view of the farmhouse shows the 2-1/2 story 1809 main structure fronting Whiteford Road. The left side of photo shows the original, one story, circa 1755, dwelling. The story of the 1809 addition is a recent find; which will be shared at the talk on Saturday.
The circa 1755 dwelling was constructed on a 247-acres farm owned by John Treichler. The heirs of John Treichler sold that farm to John Treichler, Jr. in 1777. John Flory becomes the owner of this farm in 1800. It is Mr. Flory that built the 2-1/2 story brick addition in 1809.
The following westward view shows the 2-1/2 story 1809 main structure fronting Whiteford Road. The extreme right side of photo shows tiny part of the original, one story, circa 1755, dwelling.
The best view that I’ve seen of the original, one story, circa 1755, dwelling comes from a 1964 sketch by Cliff Satterthwaite. Although done rapidly, if you know Cliff’s work, you know the amazing accuracy of his sketches.
This southward view shows the 2-1/2 story main structure in upper left, which was built in 1809. It adjoins the south side of the original, one story, circa 1755, dwelling.
In 1984, the vacant farmhouse at 2901 Whiteford Road was converted into two offices. The offices housed Holleran Services; also operating as Holleran Associates, Holleran Management Company and Meadowbrook Land Company.
In 1989, the following northward view shows the 2-1/2 story 1809 farmhouse structure. To the rear, the original one-story dwelling is replaced with a new 2-story addition in 1989; as the building is being repurposed to house Meridian Bank. Meridian opened at this location in May of 1989.
In 2014, members of the Springettsbury Township Historic Preservation Committee were allowed to examine the interior of the former farmhouse. We had heard the original, one story, circa 1755, dwelling was a log structure and wondered if any of it still existed; we found no evidence. It was replaced when the 1989 bank conversion was done. However the newer 2-1/2 story farmhouse structure retained much evidence it was an early 1800 addition; for example the following timber framing in the attic.
Today the York Financial Center of UNIVEST is at 2901 Whiteford Road, York, PA. It is located in this historic Farmhouse, dating back to circa 1755 and primarily housed in the 1809 section. The modern section, to the rear, was constructed in 1989 for the first bank to occupy this building.
Here is a rear view of the site.
Come out to the event on Saturday and learn why the Springettsbury Township Historic Preservation Committee considers this giant sycamore tree a Witness Tree; reasons which include important events this tree has witnessed, plus the history of this repurposed farmhouse.
As a result of its setting, this sycamore tree has been pruned back over the years, however it still makes a nice Witness Tree; especially when coupled with one of the oldest buildings in Springettsbury Township sitting next to it.
One really does not appreciate how massive this tree is until you are standing on the sidewalk next to the trunk of this sycamore. That might be a nice photo opportunity.
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Links to related posts include:Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts