York Town Square

Part of the USAToday Network

What about the original York Airport that operated along Haines Road in the 30s?

This photograph shows the administration building of the original York (Pa.) Airport along Haines Road. It is now a private residence, although it looks vastly different. Background posts: Where was York County’s earliest documented airstrip? and York Airport memories spawn even more recollections about old York-area airfields and It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s cigars with wings dropped by York-based promoters.

Recent York Town Square posts have examined the Roosevelt Avenue airport in west York and the Valley Airways field in east York.
We’ve even looked at what the local student of aviation John F.M. Wolfe views as the earliest documented airstrip.
But what about the original York Airport, the one that many remember operating on the Kindig Farm along Haines Road? …

York Flying Service was the first to operate out of the site in 1930. The service’s organizers – Jack Hespenheide, Addison Millard, Lester Sipe, Roman Smyser and Raymond Ruth – were among the earliest pioneers of local aviation.
According to Wolfe, the York Chamber soon thereafter organized York Airport Inc. and hired Pittsburgh Airways Corporation as airport operators. The displaced York Flying Service started operating out of Hanover’s Forney Field.
The airfield, with its two grass runways, served the York area until 1937. By that time, Oscar Hostetter was starting to offer flight service out of a field in Thomasville, site of the current York Airport. (Those air operations later moved to Roosevelt Avenue and then moved back out to Thomasville, if you can follow all that.)
Wolfe wrote that the Haines Road Airport was later divided into building lots, creating the Fayfield development.
The metal hangar was dismantled and reconstructed at Piper Aircraft in Lock Haven.
And for years, the Pennsylvania State Police used the administration building to receive applicants for drivers license administration.
The drivers exam involved driving on a rutted dirt road from the administration building onto Haines Road.
“Following the policeman’s complaints, Paul Schiding and a group of boys who spent their leisure time at the airport doing odd jobs for free airplane rides, were given the privilege of hauling wheelbarrows of dirt on hot summer days to smooth out the roadway,” Wolfe wrote.
The former administration building was later converted into a private residence, and it’s used as such today.
But be prepared. You have to really use your imagination to see how that house at the southwest corner of 7th Avenue and Haines Road was ever the low, rectangular building pictured above.

*”The Record of the York Chamber of Commerce in the First Half of the Twentieth Century,” the source of the photograph for this post, courtesy of Joe Stein.