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Jamie Kinsley sits in a York County jury box - the same chairs used by her great-great-grandfather in the Hex Murder trials of 1929. This box is part of an exhibit on the Hex Murder and subsequent trials at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

Notable York County history stories, initiatives, 2021

Month after month, the York County historical community regularly produces works of note. So we’re highlighting them!

Here’s a sampling from the last months of 2021:

Sketch of the jurors, from Trials of Hex by J. Ross McGinnis. See Jamie Kinsley’s piece on the Hex murder and trials below.

Sept. 2021

  • The 2021 Journal of York County Heritage, a York County History Center publication, comes off the press. You can order it via the History Center’s online store.

Fourth quarter: 2021

  • Jamie Kinsley spins a compelling story – a true story – about her two great-great-grandfathers. One was a powwow practitioner and the other served on a jury in the Hex Murder trials of 1929: My York County ancestors.
  • Check out this new History Center special virtual project about the Codorus Creek- “Flowing through History: A study of businesses and environmental impacts along the Codorus Creek in York PA.
  • Another informative virtual exhibit from the History Center documenting York County’s and S. Morgan Smith’s pioneering efforts to get into the wind power arena 80 years ago: Energy awaits. A story about this then-futuristic project appears in the 2021 Journal of York County Heritage.
  • The Hometown History series, presented by Jamie Kinsley and Domi Miller, continues to grow, gaining about 6,000 livestreamed views last episode. The show features mills and milling and was presented before a live audience, packing the lower dining area at Blue Sky Tavern, an old mill in Etters: Millers’ Tales.
  • Hanoverian Matt Jackson served as chief editor of 28 outdoor wayside markers explaining and exploring the borough of Hanover: Heart of Hanover Trail.
  • Three Northeastern Middle School teachers tell about all levels of history in an ongoing Youtube.com video series: Bobblehead George.
  • Young historians continue to emerge on the York County history scene. Kyle David Dunlap, a history major at York College and a learning support teacher, tells about his work in exploring his family history: Lau family research feeds this teacher’s interest in York County history. To learn about the work of other young historians, please see: Young researchers re-energizing York County history writing renaissance.
  • Past History Center journals: If you want to see past issues of the Journal of York County Heritage in digital form at no cost, please see: Online bookshelf.
  • African-American Cultural Center award: A proposed African American history center on Crispus Attucks Association’s campus wins a architectural design award even before it’s built: Design Awards – AIA Central Pennsylvania.
  • *Spotlight on historic railroads: York, Cumberland, Adams, Franklin and Carroll County, Md., collaborated in a Regional History Consortium to cover the topic of historic railroads. Such collaboration among counties might be historic in itself. The York County History Center participated, and here is presenter Tina Charles’ in Rails to York.
  •  Cemetery preservation: The initial meeting of Pennsylvania Association for Gravestone Studies (AGS) Chapter took place on Nov. 20. The organization will provide a resource for cemetery presentation efforts. See: AGS.
  • 1000th member: Luke Broersman noted that Goldsboro Historical Association Facebook group has gained its 1,000th  member.  ‘That’s pretty good … the population of Goldsboro is only around 930.” See: Goldsboro. 
  • First Pres series: A conversation between the Rev. Guy Dunham and the Rev. Doug Park is part of York First Presbyterian YouTube series. Parks was pastor of the historically Black Faith Presbyterian Church in 1965, when it merged with First Pres. See: Doug Parks.
  • *Dogs of War: Scott Mingus and James McClure have collaborated on a book that combines history and modern York County Civil War commentary: ‘Dogs of War in our Midst’: Civil War Perspectives from York County.’ 
  • *Keystones Presents: A video overview of African-American curricula already in place in York County schools. See: Keystones.
  • *The Great Migration: Dr. Arwin Smallwood talks about connections between Bertie County, N.C., and York County, Pa. See: African-American families. 
  • *Daisy Myers’ memoirs: She’s called the “Rosa Parks of the North,” and the York County History Center has republished her out-of-print autobiography. See: From Levittown to York.
  • *Pioneering sculptor: Artist Lorann Jacobs has helped shape York’s streetscapes with her public art. To do so, she faced immense hurdles. See: The Tinker.

Please note:

Joe Kindig III, a noted antiquarian from a family of widely respected antiquarians, has passed away.

If you’d like to recognize other noteworthy work in York County history and culture, contact me, jimmcclure21@outlook.com; Jamie Kinsley, jamietyson2442@gmail.com or Dominish Marie Miller, dominishmiller@gmail.com.