York Town Square

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Springwood Pool and its sloping sides: ‘I remember so well how cold it was’

The demolished building in foreground is the bath house for Springwood Park near Yoe in the aftermath of the Flood of 1933. According to the booklet ‘Picture Memories, York Flood 1933,’ Mill Creek’s waters carried the structure 100 feet off its foundation, and it broke into two sections when it struck a telephone pole. Half of it is in the swimming pool, at left. Nothing is left of Springwood Park, but the still-standing house, right, helps locate it. The house is identifiable today by its distinctive second-story windows. Background posts: Old Ma & Pa Railroad trestle may again carry passengers – on bicyles – some day and 19th-century mines gave Ore Valley its name and One-room schools: ‘That’s when things were good’.
The pool’s sloping sides and cold, cold water make it memorable.
That was the 125-foot by 75-foot Springwood Pool along the road by the same name in York Township, between Chapel Church Road and Yoe.
It operated from the 1920s until 1954… .

Unlike Brookside, Cold Springs and Highland parks, it was not an “electric park.” Those parks were constructed to spark trolley ridership on weekends.
Perhaps Springwood could be known as a “steam park” or “diesel park” because the Ma & Pa Railroad, running parallel to the pool, would stop on a dime, or better, for a dime.
The book “York Township celebrates 250 years of history,” available via the York County Library System, gives some neat facts about the pool and park:
– Some York City residents would make the long trek to the park. “We got there by following the railroad tracks,” Thorma Pentz said.
– James Botterbusch helped clean the pool once a week. “We built a dam across the stream (Mill Creek) that ran along side the pool. We stayed up all night to pump water back into the pool.”
– Donald E. Leonard also aided in its cleaning. “As we swept the pool we would find pennies, nickels and maybe a dime or two that we were allowed to keep. When the pool was filled, I remember so well how cold it was.”
– The park included a concession stand, eating porch, game room with pinball machine and jukebox and a bingo stand. In the 1920s, a skating rink reportedly operated there.
– The park included outdoor movies on Sunday nights. The movies were projected against the hillside. A movie theater also was located south of the park.
– The park played host to picnics for American Chain and Cable, York Safe & Lock and other York County companies. Also Black & Decker and other Maryland companies picnicked there after arriving via the Ma & Pa.
But in 1954, the park closed because the filtering system was no longer up to standards. Some theorize that the dance hall was chopped up and moved to Lancaster for use as an Amish tobacco shed.
Today, the site is overgrown and marked with “no trespassing” signs.
But it’s yet another location in York County that many drive past, never knowing that thousands annually crowded in there on hot summer days.