York Town Square

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Plaques offer historic insight into ‘The Swamp,’ before Sovereign Bank Stadium drained it

Students at the Second Arch Street Public School are ready to celebrate May Day in 1952. The old one-room school, then used as a church, was torn down to make way for the children’s play area of Sovereign Bank Stadium. Background posts: Season 2 of York’s long comeback campaign, York has Brooks Robinson statue. Where’s Baltimore’s?.
Fans arriving a bit early at Sovereign Bank Stadium should take a moment to enjoy 10 plaques displayed around the ballpark’s perimeter.
This walking tour highlights some of the rail-related and other historic sites that marked the stadium area.
For example, the outer stadium fence that parallels the outfield fence tells about: … .

Former students visit their old school, York’s Second Arch Street Public School, in 2006 The structure was torn down thereafter to make way for Sovereign Bank Stadium. But its story appears on a plaque hanging on the stadium’s outer fence.

– The Hart-Kraft Motor Company, producer of commercial delivery vehicles from 1908-1913 in a now-demolished Arch Street factory. Excerpt from plaque: “The Hart-Kraft Motor Company was working at full capacity and even had to extend the work day just to stay six months behind orders.”
– The Second Arch Street Public School, a one-room building, used for educational purposes between 1919 until after World War II. Excerpt: “Teachers acted as the janitor, nurse, secretary as well as the teacher for students ages 6 to 16.”

Former York County Heritage Trust Archivist June Lloyd, in her Universal York blog post Historic mitigation comes to York, Pa, writes that the signage is an example of historical mitigation.
That is a process designed to cover the loss when a structure that might have some historical value is demolished.
She explained that some of the structures torn down to make way for the stadium were linked to railroads.
So York County Industrial Development Authority, assisted by former York County Heritage Trust researcher Justine Landis, put together the walking tour plaques.
And a free brochure, “History of Rail in York, Pennsylvania,” is also available around town.
Of course, those interested in this area, known locally as “the Swamp,” can see the easily accessible plaques even when the Revs are not in town.

For a Web page devoted to York/Adams one-room schools, click here.