York Town Square

Part of the USAToday Network

Spring Grove Public School: Whose sculpted faces are those poking from this old building?

The Spring Grove (Pa.) Public School was dedicated in 1898 and enlarged in 1921, right, as seen in this photo from ‘The Spring Grove Years.’ Who are the two luminaries in those round fixtures, photo at right, on this Dempwolf building’s side, on either side of the arched entryway?(See answer below). Background posts: John Luther Long: Miss Saigon’s York County connection and Each month, three free history presentations offered to York countians and York countians major makers of Kentucky, make that Pennsylvania, long rifles.

Recent posts have reviewed various sung and unsung sites in the Spring Grove-Hanover- McSherrytown area. (See Mining a rich vein of southwestern York County’s religious history, Part 1 and Part 2.)

But the tour of southwestern York County that spawned those posts touched on non-religious questions as well.
Here are three: … .

Q. What are those faces poking from the side of the old Spring Grove Public School?
A. The school, designed by York’s venerable Dempwolf firm, sports the faces of Benjamin Franklin and William Shakespeare. Its rainspouts include boxes that act as elevated cornerstones, with the date 1897 presented on their faces. The building now serves as the administration building for the Spring Grove arschool district.
Q. Is it Pigeon Hills or Pidgeon Hills?
A. Jim Rudisill passionately argues the latter, named after an early surveyor of those hills splitting Routes 116 and 30. The confusing factor here is that a monument to the long-gone passenger pigeons (no “d”) stands on a knoll overlooking Lake Marburg in Codorus State Park.
Q. What is the village of Nashville doing in Jackson Township?
A. It’s not clear whether there’s a link between this village’s name and the surrounding township’s name taken from Tennessee’s Andrew Jackson. But it’s clear that George Washington halted here in 1791 on his way from Hanover to York. A delegation from York met him there and ushered him to their town. There, he worshipped at the forerunner of Zion and Trinity United Church of Christ congregations. The president later proclaimed that he would not convert to that denomination because he didn’t understand a word of the German-language service.