York Town Square

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Ben Roy’s mayor: Can anyone locate this York County, Pa., hamlet?

This train wreck caused by a mudslide in 1899 put Ben Roy, along the Ma & Pa Railroad, on the map. (See additional photo of the train accident and present and former buildings in Ben Roy below.) The Ben Roy or Benroy station sat near the Ma & Pa between Ore Valley and Enterprise stations in York Township. For more on the wreck, see: Ma & Pa Railroad Locomotive No. 2 lost by a landslide in York Township . Also of interest: 19th-century mines gave Ore Valley its name and Where did Camp Betty Washington Road get its name? and Springwood Pool and its sloping sides: ‘I remember so well how cold it was’.

Carla Reinecker’s father is Carl Billet, the mayor of Ben Roy. He’s proud of his little settlement along Camp Betty Washington Road in York Township, she indicated in an email. Carla provided some insight into Ben Roy, sometimes spelled Benroy. Ma & Pa trains made regular stops at the station there, known earlier as Strickler or Stricklerville. Ben Franklin Strickler, the Ben in the name, later loaned his name to Benroy and operated the post office in his house until 1914. This, from Carla:

Ben Roy (originally Stricklerville) was a little industrial park on the Camp Betty Wash Rd. at the present location of Billet’s Garage. There was a grist mill, saw mill, machine shop & foundry all in that area, belonging to Ben Strickler. The stable is now Billet’s Garage.

Carl and Sara Billet bought the property in 1958. Carla wrote:

“By then all of the old buildings were gone.The original house/post office is still standing. “My Dad, Carl Billet, Sr calls himself the mayor of Ben Roy. “He wanted me to put an article in the paper titled ‘Does Anyone Know Where Ben Roy Is?'”

If York countians didn’t know where the settlement was located before, they do now, thanks to Carla. And does anyone know where the Roy comes from? Carla Reinecker provided the photo above and the following photos, circa 1905:

benroy5House and post office, still standing.

benroy6Ben Roy’s foundry
benroy7Machine shop

benroy2Stable, now Billet’s Garage.


Archives:All York Town Square posts from the start. (Key word search by using “find” on browser.) – Of course, you can always search for York Town Square posts on Google. For example, search for yorktownsquare and Ma & Pa Railroad, and you’ll get this.

Another view of the 1899 train wreck. George W. Hilton’s “The Ma & Pa” said that Locomotive No. 2 was badly damaged, but repaired and returned to service.