York Town Square

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Foustown, a company town now a ghost town, losing its landmark smokestack

This damaged smokestack, part of the long-abandoned Foust distillery, is coming down starting at 7:30 a.m. today. (In fact, part of it was pulled down as these photographs attest.) The stack was left standing is 1979 to honor William Foust. A recent lightning strike mortally wounded the tall stack. (By coincidence, another smokestack, up the railroad in Mount Wolf at the former New York Wire site, is also coming down on an undetermined date.) Also of interest: Rocks in the Glen turns into a town where things happen and A traffic jam on the streets of Foustown in 1912.

York County has company towns, albeit unlike those in, say, coal mining areas. Spring Grove is an example of that.

York County also has ghost towns or at least sites which were much more than what they were. Coulsontown in Peach Bottom Township hosts a few preserved Welsh miners’ cottages.

But Foustown in Springfield Township is an example of a company town and ghost town.

Foustown grew up around William Foust’s distillery. But Prohibition put a fatal crimp in its product line.

An attempt to create alcohol for uses other than drinking in World War II produced a smokestack that was never used.

Demolition workers left the smokestack standing in 1979, marking a settlement of houses that represented what was left of Foustown.

It stood tall until today, when a demolition crew is again visiting the site.

Lightning dealt a lethal blow to Foustown’s smokestack.

For details about the Foustown stack demolition, visit: Two smokestacks coming down in York County.

Also of interest:

Foustown now a ghost town: Raid there once netted 300 barrels of quality firewater

Lightning also damaged smokestack at historic market in Hanover.

Carrie Nation in York, Pa.: ‘I told them that they were maintaining a drunken men’s club’


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