York Town Square

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Farms, fields & mills Archives

Industrial art has sprouted from sidewalks around York City. Here’s one: Yellow Farm Cat from the hands of Robert Machovec. Using parts from barns around York County, he used a shovel for the head and a pitchfork for the whiskers. The street art, on North George Street, signals the growing presence of artists in York’s downtown and bridges the craftsmanship from York County industrial and agricultural past with the creativity brought forth in York growing art community.

Yes, there is grass and greenery and such below the snow! This photograph remind you of that. It comes courtesy of David Trout and the book ‘Yesteryears in Southern York County,’ and shows contoured land on an East Hopewell Township farm. Interestingly, the widespread practice of contoured farming only goes back 75 years. Farming practices that resulted in the Dust Bowl helped inspire that. ‘Yesteryears’ states: ‘The Penn State Extension service designed conservation plans and strongly encouraged landowners in the 1930’s and 40’s to alternate crops on a hillside to prevent soil erosion.’

The York County Science and Engineering Fair has become a rite of March in York County, Pa., Schools. It follows the school fairs, so it features the best of the best. A York, Pa., Daily Record/Sunday News stories recounts the story of the fair, which goes back to 1984. Thought that was the fair’s first year, it doesn’t mean science instruction wasn’t done in York County Schools. Check out the list of prominent scientists who come from York County, many with international reputations, as proof. One science teacher told the YDR that some York County students have moved to the national level – ‘a rare chance for kids to be treated like “rock stars.”

New Freedom, Pa.’s Ron Wolf is seen with new Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Sherman in 2000. Wolf has gained a spot in the NFL Hall of Fame, the second person with York County roots to do so. York High’s Chris Doleman was voted in last year.

This tall Manna Pro grain elevator has formed part of York, Pa.’s skyline for decades. The city’s Redevelopment Authority is going after state funding to demolish this former agricultural center. One estimate places that job at $500,000. So let’s see what this says about change in York, Pa. A former grain elevator, representing county agriculture, is expendable. The city is looking to use the land for a possible hotel, given its proximity to the York Expo Center, aka the York Fairgrounds. The York County Agricultural Society, sold the land to the Redevelopment Authority. So we have the fair and its board, representative of the agricultural community for 250 years, selling a former agricultural asset to clear way for a hotel. An county agricultural economy, as old as the fair, is giving way to a recreational/tourism economy. The grain elevator and its planned demolition is a symbol of that change. Not that there’s a bad guy in this case. It’s change, and that often is good and needed.

Alpacas such as those seen here on Shady Pine Farms in North Hopewell Township are relatively new to York County, Pa., soil. But as the desire for natural fibers has grown in America, this South American animal is increasingly seen around York County, a county that is no stranger to working in the carding, weaving and spinning business. In fact, a museum is opening to educate and observe York County’s long relationship with textiles.