What do Fire House, Woozy Moose and Casablanca have in Common?
Last week, on July 10th 2013, ground was broken for the third fire station in the eastern part of Springettsbury Township. The first fire station, in that area, is the one pictured above; located at 2914 East Market Street. The second, and present, fire station at 3013 East Market Street is located within eyesight of that first station.
When completed in 2014 the new $3.8 million fire station, a part of York Area United Fire & Rescue, will replace the present fire station. The new fire station is located about a mile to the east of the initial stations; nearly in the “ghost shadow” of the former Stony Brook Drive-In Theatre’s massive outdoor movie-screen.
Related posts include:
- Springettsbury Fire Stations nearing completion; Then & Now
- Route of the Yorkshire History Walk
- Bridging a Stony Run Tributary on Commons Drive; Springettsbury Fire Station photos
- 1860 Buildings 11-20 in South Region of Springettsbury Township
- Exploits of Mack the Noble Fire Horse
- Memorials to Firefighters and to Mack the Fire Horse
- Royal Firehouse and Meadowbrook Mansion share architects
This post is about the initial fire station and subsequent uses of that 82-year-old building.
Quoting from the “Springetts Fire Company 50th Anniversary (1926-1976)” booklet in the collection of the York County Heritage Trust:
Organization of a fire company in the growing community of Yorkshire was the desire of a number of individuals as early as 1924, but not until Christmas Eve in 1925, when fire destroyed a large residence there, did organization become the concern of practically everyone living in the neighborhood.
At a meeting held in the Yorkshire Elementary School on January 23, 1926 a group of persons gathered to formulate plans to guarantee homeowners some kind of fire protection. During this meeting a volunteer fire company was organized. It was named Springetts Fire Company, deriving its name from the township in which it would be located, and officers were elected to direct its activities. They were President, Mr. Oscar Heckert; First Vice President, Mr. Samuel Smith; Second Vice President, Mr. William Richley; Secretary, Mr. Jacob Hay; Treasurer, Mr. Harry Kissinger.
The first firefighting apparatus was built upon a Buick chassis donated by Mr. William Richley, and it was equipped with chemical tanks and 150 feet of one-inch diameter hose. Interest in the Fire Company grew, and the membership did likewise. Monthly meetings were held at the School until July 9, 1926 when the meeting place was changed to the store of Mr. Robert Dietz in Yorkshire. The apparatus, however, was housed in Mr. Leon Burg’s Garage.
It was Mr. Mahlon Haines, the primary developer of Yorkshire, whose interest in the construction of a community building, which could also serve as a fire hall and a place to house fire-fighting equipment, who donated a plot of ground to the Fire Company. Consistent with the keen foresight previously exhibited, the governing body of the now prosperous Fire Company decided that the location of the proposed fire hall should be on the main thoroughfare, i.e., U.S. Route 30, which is now Pennsylvania Route 462. Consequently, the plot of ground donated by Mr. Haines was offered as part payment for a larger plot of ground on the southern side of the highway at the western end of Yorkshire. The advantages of this location were very apparent because the fire hall would be nearer to the rapidly growing East York community, an area of Springettsbury Township also in need of fire protection.
In July 1931 the Springetts Fire Company building was completed at a cost of $10,000.00. Mr. Haines was the financial benefactor and advisor to the construction.
Thus in July 1931, the first Springetts Fire Company station, pictured above, was completed. Now, during July 2013, the building is 82-years-old. I thought it would be interesting to trace the history of the uses of that building in those 82 years.
Again quoting from the “Springetts Fire Company 50th Anniversary (1926-1976)” booklet to discover when the building at 2914 East Market Street ceased being used as a fire station:
On January 7, 1958 bids were opened for construction of a new building, and contracts totaling $74,975.00 were awarded. One third of the money needed was raised in the community, and the remainder of what was thought to be insurmountable indebtedness was established as a mortgage. A groundbreaking ceremony took place on April 6th and the first stages of construction began April 9th. In October the original fire hall was sold for $13,600.00, and the move to the new premises took place on Thanksgiving Day. On Sunday, April 26, 1959 a dedication ceremony was held on the premises.
For roughly 27 years, the building at 2914 East Market Street was used as a fire station. One can consult City Directories, in the Library of the York County Heritage Trust, to research the string of establishments that have since occupied this building.
Raymond L. Wilhide was the next owner, he initially operated a Used Car Lot on the premises; however by 1960, Ray and his wife Helen turned the old fire station into, what else, the Fire House Tavern. Ray and Helen Wilhide operated the Fire House Tavern until about 1977.
About 1978, ownership of 2914 East Market Street passed to David and Betty Moul. They changed the name of the tavern to the Woozy Moose. This illustration is from a matchbook cover in my collection. The Woozy Moose Tavern operated for approximately four years.
Just about 1882, ownership of 2914 East Market Street changed hands again. Casablanca Restaurant & Lounge was the new name; with Carolyn J. Dietz the manager. Casablanca Restaurant & Lounge operated for nearly nine years.
Roughly in 1991, Richard T. Herman acquired the building at 2914 East Market Street. His establishment operated as Quick Six Beer & Food and eventually became Quick Six II. About 2002, Tom Rojas became the owner and the establishment became Thirsty’s Quick Stop; as shown in a present 2013 photo.
Now you know what Fire House, Woozy Moose and Casablanca have in common. Do any of my readers have any stories associated with any of the establishments located in this 82-year-old fire station?Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts