York Town Square

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York Town Square query: Why was Spring Garden’s Hess School abandoned?

The Hess School on Rathton Road in Spring Garden Township is pictured here in 1926. (See two “after renovation” photos below.) Background posts: How one York County school district emerged from 1950s merger and Northeastern York County’s Paddletown: Children paddled back and forth to visit grandma.

It’s a simple equation.
Old schoolhouse + sweat equity = Lovely private residence.
Col. William H. Beckner of York purchased the old Hess School in 1936, and renovated it into a home in 1937.
The Beckner family sold the 416 Rathton Road building in the late 1960s
William Beckner’s son, Martin, regrets that he did not talk to his father about the old school when the colonel was still alive.
Martin Beckner is looking for one piece of information, in particular… .

The Hess School before renovation into the Beckner residence. For more about Hess School, check out: Rathton Road.
“I have a desire to find out why this school was deserted in the 10 year period between 1926 and 1936,” he wrote in an e-mail
This is a key piece of his family puzzle that has eluded the genealogy enthusiast, thus far.

We’re assuming here, of course, that the researcher has examined resources available at the York County Heritage Trust and Historic York Inc.
A city directory for that 10-year period might suggest who or what occupied the structure,
416 Rathton Road is still used as a private residence. But most people probably don’t know that.
Thanks for Martin Beckner, many people will get an added treat when traveling on Rathton: Hey honey, did you know that nice house used to be a school?
For the York Daily Record/Sunday’s News online repository of one-room school information, click here.

The Hess School as a private residence today.
*Edited 7/10/14