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Did you know? New photo book on York County’s architecture gives fun facts, too

When builders dug the Howard Tunnel through a southern York County ridge in 1840, they left room for two tracks. The second track was added after the Civil War.This is one of many interesting facts collected by Scott Butcher and included in captions in “York’s Historic Architecture.” Because of the tunnel builders’ foresight, the rail trail is able to follow the path of one of the old tracks today. The other track is still there for rail use. Background posts: Thousands discover formerly unheralded York County rail trail’s Howard Tunnel , No light at the end of this (abandoned) Pa.Turnpike tunnel and York County … ‘A smorgasbord of architectural styles’.

Scott Butcher’s new book “York’s Historic Architecture” is packed with photos.
But it’s also loaded with dates, details and architectural information, including many interesting tidbits about many buildings, well known and not.
Here are five points that are certain to pique your interest:
Did you know ? …

– That the house of Milton Martin of Martin Library fame stands today at 145 E. Market, York. Two prominent grotesques sit above the entryway to the mansion, and the seal of architect J.A. Dempwolf greets those entering the entrance vestibule.
– Many people know that the York YMCA has long provided rooms for boys and men, as do its counterparts across America. When the Colonial Revival style YWCA was built on East Market St. in 1951, it provided housing for up to 28 girls.
– An elk rests over the entrance way of West Market Street’s Royal Fire Company, now the Fire Museum of York County. It was relocated there from the Rescue Fire Company. And the firemen’s statue in its yard was moved from Penn Park. (But the station is an original.)
– The Hermit House near Pleasant Acres in East York is so named because reclusive Curvin Houser subsisted there for years. He lived without modern amenities until well into the 20th century. The 18th-century house is a private home today – with running water, plumbing and heat.
– Harry Yessler put forth the layout for the architecturally diverse Elmwood neighborhood in Spring Garden Township. Streets signs showed the names of colleges attended by family members: Yale, Belmont and Wheaton.
Butcher’s book, “York’s Historic Architecture,” published by History Press of Charleston, S.C., is available locally for $19.99 at Borders Books & Music, 3000 Whiteford Road in Springettsbury Township.
The book can also be ordered online at www.historypress.net, www.amazon.com or www.borders.com.
Photo by York Daily Record/Sunday News