York Town Square

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A neglected traffic island at the Interstate 83/North George Street interchange, north of York. What message is does this send to first-time visitors to the York area? (See additional photo of that intersection at bottom.)

York city’s north entrances needs to be spruced up. Or maybe more than that.

A bit of everything from the Retro York Facebook Group:

So much attention is given to York city’s south entrance near York Hospital that we aren’t looking at what motorists see entering from the north.

You see those weedy, gravelly traffic islands near Interstate 83/North George, that old service station near the I-83/Route 30 ramp and stuff such as the rusty utilities box at Route 30/Pennsylvania Avenue.

This rusted utility box sits at Route 30 and Pennsylvania Avenue, seen by thousands of motorists daily. How about turning it over to artists, as they did in Phoenixville?

The latter seems easy to fix.

Either remove it or turn it over to artists, as they have done in Phoenixville in eastern Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

Tom Davidson responded with an idea on Facebook to make this more than an upgrade in aesthetics.

“I don’t see this simply as a beautification project, but a great opportunity to highlight the transportation history of York City,” he wrote.

In Phoenixville, an artist made even a utility box seem interesting.

A gift for your future self

So much volunteer love goes into curating and preserving York County history.

Paul Wolfgang is just one of many unsung heroes, as cataloguer of thousands of pictures in the York County History Center archives.

I caught him in the act the other day working on photos of World War II’s Pennsylvania Dutch Canteen, a USO operation in the old York County Academy’s gymnasium on North Beaver Street.

Veteran archivist Paul Wolfgang patiently catalogues photos in the rear of the York County History Center’s archives. (Jim McClure, photo).

I have written much about the canteen, which stands today, but never saw these photos.

Paul agreed with what a former YDR photo editor often said: The best gift you can give to your future self is to put names and places on the back of photos.

“And the date,” Paul said.

Gold Scout candidate in search of local leaders

For her Gold Girl Scout project, Anna Lumsargis is reaching York County women with the theme “Trailblazers of the Past and Leaders of the Present.”

She is finding women from the past and is looking for leading women today whom she can interview.

She will create an online guide, which will include video interviews.

Women who are interested in participating should contact Anna at 21alumsargis@cypanthers.org.

Anna’s father, Paul, is a social studies teacher at Dallastown Area High School. Her grandmother, Maxine, was a leader in the Manchester Township Historical Society.

So, when she thanked me for helping her recently, I pointed out that her father taught one of my kids at Dallastown and other researchers and I often benefit from her grandmother’s work in Manchester Township.

That’s the way the local historical community works. We help each other.

The four teen historians go over logistics – yes, scheduling and such – concerning the Red Lion Train Station Museum. The four young historians: Bottom photo, from left, Nate Heffner, Tristan Mundis, Tate Lehman, and Nathan Filak.

York County history has long future

And here are more young people steeped in history.

Four high-schoolers are putting their knowledge – and energy – behind the Red Lion Area Historical Society’s Train Station Museum.

They come from different high schools, but local history ties them together, particularly the stories of railroads.

You will see Tate Lehman, Nate HeffnerNathan Filak and Tristan Mundis around the station, interacting with visitors and operating the extensive model railroad platform at the rear of the old Ma & Pa station.

I asked Tristan, 16, if he would show me his five favorite artifacts at the museum.

“It was hard to choose five things. There are so many things in here that I … like,” he said.

Their enthusiasm for local history is infectious, and their knowledge is deep.

Oh, and the museum’s next open house is July 28.

Calvin Palmer found himself in this photograph of Faith Presbyterian’s North Duke Street congregation in 1944. (He says the photo is misdated.) “I am in the photo sitting on my grandmother’s lap, left front row. Her name is Muriel Hamilton … . I appear to be about six months old in the photo. My mother Helen Hamilton Palmer is at the left end of the 2nd row. It appears that I’m the youngest person in the photo.”

York congregations showed courage, faith

Here’s a reminder that in difficult racial times in the 1960s, there were glimpses of hope in York.

The merger of the black Faith United Presbyterian Church with the large white congregation at First Presbyterian came in 1965.

Some who remember this merger are worshiping at First Pres on Sunday.

First Presbyterian’s the Rev. Allison Beaulieu responded on Facebook that her co-pastor, Kyle Gott, just preached about the courage and faith of the congregations in the merger.

“The merger is part of the ongoing narrative at FPC and is in our DNA as a church. We speak about it often,” she wrote. “It constantly challenges us to be better, do better, and always challenge the status quo. It also reminds us that our foremothers and forefathers were brave, faithful, and bold. We pray to be the same. There’s a lot of work still left to be done.”



Another uninviting view of the Interstate 83 interchange with North George Street.