York Town Square

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York countian in retirement at Normandie Ridge: ‘It was only fitting that he would return to … his family’s farm’

An article in the Fall 2009 edition of Albright Today profiles York County, Pa.’s, George Spangler. Spangler resides in the Albright Care Services’ Normandie Ridge Senior Living Community in West Manchester Township. Also of interest: No church/school conflict here: Manchester church to shore up deteriorating school and Roundtown in Manchester Township, York County, Pa.? Where did that come from? and Pottery put the other Foustown – the one in Manchester Township – on the map and A West Manchester village center that up and moved.

George Spangler remembers growing up on a farm that straddled the then-dirt
Bull Road in Manchester and West Manchester townships.
His family farm was pretty typical of those in York County in the 1920s. Turkeys, chickens, corn, wheat and hay were the staple products.
An old barn, built with pegged and hand-hewn logs, came with the farm. But one feature made this farm and barn different from most. The barn’s “soul box,” a small door in one of its sides, became a tourist draw… .

Later, the Spangler family removed the siding and learned that the barn had been a house, built of logs chinked with mud.
“Superstition had it that when there was a death, the door would be left open so the soul could get out, and when there was a birth it would be opened for the soul to come in,” the newsletter Albright Today stated. The newsletter told the story of George Spangler and his farm in its Fall 2009 edition, and that piece provided the information for this post.
Others came to the farm for Scout camping and church picnics in the woods that now surround Albright Care Services’ Normandie Ridge Senior Living Community.
Still another delegation came to that area during Prohibition in the 1930s.
They approached George Spangler’s father about storing whiskey in his barn for $100 a month.
A neighbor snapped up the opportunity after Spangler’s father declined.
Then as was common in that day, the law came in, scooped up the neighbor’s contraband and sent him to jail.
The neighbor’s wife, according to George Spangler, received substantial monthly sums, indicating that some well-heeled local folks must have been involved in the whiskey business.
When the neighbor was finally released from jail, he bought a new tractor.
In the late 1980s, the Spangler family sold the farm, and it was divided into parcels. George lived on one of them.
Then in 1987, Lewisburg United Methodist Homes purchased 26 acres of the former Spangler farm and began developing what is today known as Normandie Ridge.
As the years passed, George Spangler decided he wanted to live in a senior living community.
He did not have to move far to find a nice, comfortable setting.
“Normandie Ridge was built on the land he grew up on,” Albright Today reported, “and it was only fitting that he would return to the land that was once his family’s farm.”
SeeAlbright Today for the original story.