York Town Square

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Where exactly was Cottage Hill College in York?

cottageThe Cottage Hill College, north of the Codorus Creek in York, Pa., served as a woman’s school for about 30 years starting in 1849. The building is believed to have been leveled about 1900. But a vestige of the ornate structure remains – Cottage Hill Road. Jim Rudisill writes in “York, Since 1741” that tuition cost $25 in 1856 and five months of board cost $55. The academy sat on the north bank of Codorus Creek, as show in the image from the York County Heritage Trust. Background posts: Little Jimmy’s someday might draw big crowd, Girls touched down in York, Pa., to touch up and Fairmount fit for Roger, Anita and Pongo, Perdita.

The north side of the Codorus Creek has always fascinated me.

Officials continue to peck away at improving that area, overlooking the Northwest Triangle project.

Little Jimmy’s Park is being renovated. The Fairmount area of North Beaver looks a lot better. Habitat for Humanity has rehabbed houses near the Jefferson School… .

And the Susquehanna Commerce Center and surrounding buildings have added a modern touch to that area. Barton Associates, an engineering firm, operate out of restored Columbia Gas buildings.
Labor leader Dick Boyd wrote about the underside of the nearby Codorus Creek railroad bridge in his autobiography, “The Bridge.” One can make the case that the modern labor movement started under that bridge. That’s an interesting contrast to the upscale commercial and residential digs planned for the Northwest Triangle, covering the former factory and blue collar district.
The crown jewel in that sector in the 1800s was the Cottage Hill College, a school for girls from the South and elsewhere to come for a north-of-the-Mason-Dixon-Line education.
I’ve always been interested about the exact location of the school and recently ran across an old clipping giving some direction.
The clipping said the school’s site sat vacant for about 50 years after it was demolished around the turn of the 20th century. Then, Columbia Gas Co. built a one-story service and distribution center there.
Dorgan and Zuck Building Contractors appears to be the present occupant of the 325 Cottage Hill Road building. Interestingly, a specialty of the contractor is renovation of historical structures.
Too bad the company wasn’t around to do its handiwork on the wonderful college building.
So much stream work was undertaken under CCC or WPA programs after the 1933 flood that it’s hard to look at the drawing above and connect it to the Dorgan and Zuck site.
Cottage Hill Road is one legacy of the school.
That historic Cottage Hill area merits a Sunday afternoon stroll.