York Town Square

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Dover Township’s historic Brookside Park carousel building v. powderpost beetles: The bugs winning

A carousel turned for years in this building at Brookside Park in Dover Township, Pa. In recent decades, it has sat empty, available for rentals and storage. But it will soon be demolished because of a powderpost beetle infestation. (See additional photos below.) (Update: The building did come down and a new one, designed in its mold, stands there today.) 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.

If you have the opportunity, make a trip to Brookside Park near Dover to what is one of the last remaining visible landmarks that point to the era of the trolley park in York County, Pa.
Trolley companies built Brookside, Highland and Cold Spring Parks early in the 20th century to boost ridership during off-peak hours.
Highland, in West Manchester Township, is now a quarry. Cold Springs, near Manchester, is now covered by an apartment complex… .

This carved animal was part of the Brookside Park carousel. Read the memories of the park from someone who worked on the carousel in the comment area of this post: Farquhar Park pool: ‘Good grief, how long has that pool been here?’
Brookside remains a park, and the carousel building is the most prominent reminder of the days before 1939 when thousands and thousands of people a year rode trolley cars there for excursions.
One truly hopes that the township is doing all it can to preserve the building, that’s its not a matter of expediency or a lack of appreciation for such a historical building.
There’s a hint that a replica could replace it. One idea is for the construction of a miniature of the park in its trolley heyday for public display somewhere in the township.
Here’s the York Daily Record/Sunday News story (10/6/10) of the pending passing of a York County icon:

The carousel building at Brookside Park in Dover Township will be demolished.
The building — which was probably built around 1940 — previously housed a carousel that has since been sold. It has been used for storage for years and rented out for various occasions. Other facilities are being used now, said Kristal Narkiewicz, township recreation director.
Age isn’t the culprit; it’s powderpost beetles.
“They are eating away all the main support beams and other areas of the building,” she said.
Even if efforts were made to salvage the building, “these bugs are still going to be there,” she said.
After a preliminary investigation by the township engineering firm recently, the building was condemned. Upon hearing options for the building at their Sept. 27 meeting, supervisors voted to demolish the building and replace it with a similar one.
“I think our best option is to demolish and rebuild,” Narkiewicz said.
Of the pests, she said, “you really don’t know you have them until it’s too late.” A test was done on the building and, by process of elimination, these microscopic bugs were pinpointed as the source, she said.
Supervisors expressed concern over the loss of the historic building but said they wanted to avoid having reoccurring issues with it.
Chairman Curtis Kann voted no because of concerns about funding. Supervisor Madelyn Shermeyer said that, if the building were demolished, in-lieu of funds could be used for a new building. Decisions have not been made on when to demolish the building.
Township manager Laurel Wilson said demolition will likely wait until next year after the new budget.
Salvaging some parts, such as parts of windows, is possible, some supervisors said.
About powderpost beetles
Powderpost beetle is a term used to describe several species of small, wood-boring insects that reduce wood to a flourlike powder.
Damage is done by the larvae as they create narrow tunnels in wood as they feed. Infestations are detected by noting small, round “shotholes” in the wood surface. These are exit holes where adult beetles have chewed out of the wood after completing their development.
Newly emerged adults mate and lay eggs on or below the surface of unfinished wood. The eggs hatch into tiny larvae that bore into the wood and emerge as adults one to five years later.
Homeowners are more likely to see damage than the beetles themselves, because the adults live short lives and are active mainly at night. Source: University of Kentucky Department of Entomology

– People are discussing the pending demise of the carousel building: ANOTHER HISTORICAL STRUCTURE TO BITE THE DUST Literally!
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Another Brookside carousel animal.