Part of the USA Today Network

Violet Hill in Spring Garden Township; Assorted Maps, Hotel & Schoolhouses

Spring Garden Township Section of 1860 Shearer’s Map of York County (Current Road Names added in Yellow, future Violet Hill vicinities encircled & Seven Points of Interest noted in Blue—by S. H. Smith)

Last month, while working on further updates to my Index of York County One Room Schoolhouses I discovered the 1884 (or earlier) Violet Hill Hotel.  This discovery came during research on the locations of at least two schoolhouses named Violet Hill in Spring Garden Township.  At the time, I put this information in my pile of folders for future posts.

Saturday I was questioned about Violet Hill, which coincidently appeared in 1908 Topographic Map sections within my posts the past two weekends.  The next day, “seeking Violet Hill info” appeared in Joan Concilio’s column “Ask Joan” in the York Sunday News.  This sudden interest in Violet Hill from two directions has moved this future posts folder to the top of the pile.

The lower-right circled vicinity of Spring Garden Township in this part of Shearer’s 1860 Map of York County shows the range of positions on future maps where one sees the label “Violet Hill.”  Here is a link for post on: The making of Shearer’s 1860 Map of York County, PA.  The label “Violet Hill” starts out at location {1} on the earliest 1900s maps; i.e. a location that eventually becomes Farquhar Estates in Spring Garden Township, and sometimes even extends further west to the location that becomes Reservoir Hill.

Within a 1940s map the label “Violet Hill” next shows up on the east side of South George Street.  As time progresses into the 1950s the label “Violet Hill” continues shifting on maps until it appears at location {2}, south of Tri Hill Road.  As time progresses further, I’ve seen articles indicating “Violet Hill” extending into York Township; i.e. marked location {7} on the map is in York Township.

Here is the link to a follow-up on Violet Hill, Part 2.  Other posts in the series or related posts include:


The following 1908 topographic map section is from my post Yorkco’s Grantley Plant located on an 80-acre 1880s Estate called “Oakland.”

1908 Topographic Map Segment Showing Southwest York, PA and Adjacent Area of Spring Garden Township and Highlighting “Oakland,” the 1880s Estate of William H. Miller; Map Surveyed in 1908 and Printed in 1910 (Road Names added in Red and Yellow Highlighting of “Oakland” by S. H. Smith)

On this 1908 Topographic Map section, Violet Hill is the location that encompasses Arthur B. Farquhar’s Estate “Edgecomb” and extends further west along Country Club Road to Reservoir Hill in Spring Garden Township.  This not an isolated case, all early 1900s maps have the Violet Hill label west of South George Street and south of Country Club Road.

Spring Garden Township Section of 1926 PA Highway Map of York County (Current Road Names added in Yellow & Points of Interest noted in Blue—by S. H. Smith)

This Spring Garden Township section of a 1926 PA Highway Map of York County continues to show the Violet Hill label west of South George Street and south of Country Club Road; even extending all the way west to Grantley Road.  The two circle symbols containing a “+” indicate these are one room schoolhouse locations.  In 1926, Violet Hill Schoolhouse is at location {4} and Hess’ Schoolhouse is at location {8}.  I’ve indicated where {4} eventually is built on the 1860 map; the Violet Hill Schoolhouse is built at this section along South George Street sometime after 1886.

The book “All In One Room” published in 2008 by York Newspaper Company contains recollections of Charlotte Halpin of York on pages 81 & 82.  Charlotte started school at the Violet Hill Schoolhouse at location {4} and transferred to the new Violet Hill Schoolhouse which was built along Tri Hill Road; see location {5} as marked on the 1860 map.

A Section Detailing the Violet Hill area of Spring Garden Township on a 1941 PA Highway Map of York County (Current Road Names added in Blue & Points of Interest noted in Blue—by S. H. Smith)

An even earlier school in the Violet Hill vicinity is indicated on Spring Garden Township Plate 67 of the 1876 Atlas of York County.  This school is located on the south side of Country Club Road, about opposite today’s main entrance to York College.  I have not discovered the name of this schoolhouse; was it the original location of Violet Hill school?  I have marked the eventual (1876) position of this mystery schoolhouse on the 1860 map as location {6}.

A section of a 1941 PA Highway Map of York County details the Violet Hill area of Spring Garden Township.  In 1941, Violet Hill encompassed an area adjacent to South George Street.  The one room schoolhouse is shown at location {4}.  Location {3} marks what was earlier known as the Violet Hill Hotel; also see this hotel noted on the 1860 map.

Mr. Rouse, per the 1860 map, owned the Hotel and Factory along the east side of South George Street about where the northbound lanes of Business I-83 now blend into South George Street.  Was the hotel known as the Violet Hill Hotel in 1860?  We do know that this hotel was known as the Violet Hill Hotel by 1884.

The Violet Hill Hotel is noted in John Gibson’s 1886 History of York County, PA; see page 28 of the biographical sketches, under Benjamin J. King.  Mr. King “… purchased the Violet Hill Hotel, one-half mile south of York, and moved there July 1, 1884, and kept hotel until April 1, 1885, when on account of sickness of his wife he moved to York, Penn.  Mr. King has leased his Violet Hill Hotel to Frank M. Egee for one year, with the privilege of five years.”

This 1884 account about ownership of the Violet Hill Hotel is the earliest I’ve seen mention about Violet Hill.  Has any of my readers seen an earlier mention of Violet Hill?  In an 1954 Topographic Map, the Violet Hill label has shifted to the south side of Tri Hill Road; where I’ve placed location marker {2} on the 1860 map.

Here are a few notes about the 1941 PA Highway Map.  The small numbers next to long buildings indicate the number of dwellings in each building of row homes.  In 1941 Tri Hill Road and South Duke Street were gravel or stone roads.  South George Street, known as route 111, was a concrete road.

Based upon looking through a chronological sequence of maps, Violet Hill appears to start in an area near South George Street and Country Club Road; with the questions: was {6} the original Violet Hill Schoolhouse as early as 1876 or was {3} the Violet Hill Hotel the first use of the name Violet Hill by 1884?  Also why does the area known as Violet Hill gradually shift south along South George Street as time goes by?

This is my 113th 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.

Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts