York Town Square

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Part II: Historic Brookside Park carousel building v. powderpost beetles: The bugs are winning

‘A Century of Reflections,’ tells about the first 100 years of Dover Township, Pa.’s, Brookside Park. The park has been in the news recently because its marquee building, a carousel house, has been found with powderpost beetle infestation. The book is available at Botterbush Jewelers in downtown Dover and at the Greater Dover Historical Society’s website. The Dover Township supervisors have asked that the public remain more than 25 feet away from the carousel house for safety reasons. He indicated that engineers have determined that the building was unsafe and unstable. Also of interest: Trolley ran both ways between Manchester and Mount Wolf and ‘Teapot Dome’ back in York’s Continental Square: ‘It’s the historical significance of it’ and Trolleys helped make York’s Avenues sought-after locale.

Dover Township’s Brookside Park is a remote getaway, little known to many in recent years.
But that has not always been so. In the day of the trolley – between 1901 and the 1930s – it was a destination point for thousands of picknickers.
Today, it’s again in the news after Dover Township officials pointed out that its most prominent feature, a round carousel building, will have to come down because it’s buggy.
I wrote about the historic park in my York Sunday New column (10/24/10): The carousel of history.
Here are some details resources that will help enthusiasts understand this historic park a little better:.. .

This carousel animal – a lion – is the only known animal from the old Brookside Park carousel still in the community. It’s in private hands.
Did you know?

Trolley companies built Brookside, Highland and Cold Springs parks early in the 20th century to boost ridership. Highland, in West Manchester Township, is now a quarry. Cold Springs, near Manchester, is covered by an apartment complex. Forest Park was a Hanover-area electric park.
The popular White Rose Amusement Park near Farquhar Park and Springwood Park near Yoe were not technically trolley parks. They were not affiliated with transportation companies.
According to the Associated Press, 11 former trolley parks operate in Pennsylvania. Dorney Park in Allentown and Kennywood Park, near Pittsburgh, are the two best known.
A restored trolley that rolled in the Brookside Park area and throughout York County is on display at the York County Heritage Trust’s Agricultural and Industrial Museum in York, www.yorkheritage.org.
Fans can ride in an operating trolley car that ran for years in York County. It operates at the Rockhill Trolley Museum in Huntingdon County, rockhilltrolley.org.
Benson W. Rohrbeck’s “York County Trolleys,” provides the best published look at the street railway system in York County. It’s available at the York County Heritage Trust Book Shop.
Dan Meckley’s paper “Time of the Trolley” explores the county’s trolley system and its parks. It’s available in the York County Heritage Trust Archives. Meckley also said the carousel rings, available for the merry-go-round riders to grasp, were one of Campbell Chain’s products. He did not know if Campbell made the rings used on the Brookside carousel.
If you want to scroll through Civil War-era microfilm, as Bob Dylan did at the New York Public Library, visit the Heritage Trust’s Archives. Newspaper microfilm goes back as far as 1815.

Also of interest:
, Part I: Historic Brookside Park carousel building v. powderpost beetles: The bugs winning
Dover Township’s Brookside Park last remaining York-area trolley park
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 post on Google.