York Town Square

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E-mailer’s query: When did miniature golf come to York, Pa.?

A teen tries to guide her putt past the horse statue at Putter’s Paradise in Manchester (Pa.) Township. An e-mailer to York Town Square wondered when miniature golf arrived in York County. (See additional York (Pa.) Daily Record/Sunday News file photo below.) Other posts of interest: York-area full of memory-spawning landmarks and Playland plays nostalgic note for York countians and Western York County home owner seeks info on old toll house.

“A crazy question popped into my head today dealing with entertainment in York County,” an e-mailer wrote.
“When did miniature golf come to York and what were some of the early popular venues?”
Dates like that are tough to track down.
I asked history enthusiasts at the York Daily Record/Sunday News Exchange bulletin board.
I received two responses:

Another scene from Putter’s Paradise.

“Elmwood had a miniature golf course and more than one ball ended up in Melvin’s parking lot. Then they ran I-83 thru there and ruined the whole thing.”


“I remember Lil Duffer in the location that now houses The Corner Stables.
“There was also one attached to the driving range where Rutters is, next to the Galleria. Can’t remember the name of that one.” (That would have been the Avalong Dairy Bar and associated recreational businesses.)

So I looked up Lil Duffer’s in “A History of York Township, 1753-2003
The putt-putt course was located on the northeast corner of South Queen Street and Leader Heights Road, where Tollgate Village now stands.
“In the 1940s, one could play a round of miniature golf for 25 cents,” the history book states.
So, that’s as close was we could get to our e-mailer’s query. (Big golf came to York County in the late 1800s in the Springdale area of York.)
An interesting sidenote though:
The toll house opened in 1889. The fare was 3 cents to travel from Leader Heights Road to York. The toll ended in 1920.
But here’s the thing, according to the history:
The toll house, where the gate was operated, was located on the northwest corner, across Queen Street from Tollgate Village. It’s now a used car lot.
So, to be accurate, Tollgate Village would have to take its name from the tail end of the gate landing on its side of the road. Maybe it should have been called Tailgate Village.