York Airport memories spawn even more recollections about old York-area airfields
An York County (Pa.) Agricultural and Industrial Museum exhibit features a model of the first York Airport in Fayfield, along Haines Road. John F.M. Wolfe’s ‘Profile of Aviation,’ documents an airstrip operating in Stonybrook in the 1920s. Museum-goers can see the exhibit and other information about early aviation in the county at this York County Heritage Trust museum. Background posts: Beacon helped spot whereabouts of York County town and Just try to resist studying this memory-tugging photograph and It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s cigars with wings.
Recent York Town Square posts, which resulted in a York Sunday News column about past York County airports have prompted readers to share their memories, intriguing information – and questions.
For example, Betty Hirschfield wrote:
“I remember an airport on Haines Road many years ago…Am I right?”
The short answer is yes, it was in Fayfield, now a housing development. Locate Kmart and the Misericordia nursing home along Haines Road and head north. Click here for more.
Also, from Mark Skehan, touching on all kinds of wonderful landmarks:
My family’s business (Dressel Welding Supply), is located on Roosevelt Ave., and I had the opportunity in the early ’80’s to spend a great deal of time with the previous owner, Paul Dressel, who moved to that location in 1960. According to him, the airport moved from the Fayfield area of East York to the Roosevelt location just prior to WWII, due to population growth in East York, and the fact that the western end of the city was still very rural. Development pretty much stopped at Maryland Ave. in those days, and you can see that by virtue of the architecture. According to Paul, everything north of Maryland Ave. was farmland and orchards, with the exception of the airport; the Fireside neighborhoods had yet to be built. He said the airport moved out to Thomasville in the late ’50’s, in order to accommodate larger aircraft and jets, and because the Stewart family wanted to further develop the quarry.
The original airport hangar is still there today; it is the “Quonset” type structure at the U-Haul facility near the corner of Parkway Blvd. and Roosevelt. Some of the additional structures are still there, but more difficult to identify due to structural modification, and I know an original airport building was lost in the Able Tire fire in the mid ’90’s.
I think if you delve further into the Pennsylvania Furniture history, you might find that they had a factory for a time at another West York location, near the intersection of West Princess and Herman St. I think the building has been converted to apartments, but I was told that at one time it was a furniture factory. The building you refer to on Sumner St. (at the 90 degree turn), was for years the office and warehouse of I. Reindollar & Son, a well-known local building contractor.
The genealogy of York buildings fascinates me. I moved to York in 1982, and started selling “on the road” at that time. That recessionary period created a huge turn-over on the York business scene, and many businesses closed or left town, e.g., York Peppermint Patty. I’m afraid we’re seeing it again, but in the meantime, I appreciate your efforts to keep some of the history alive.
And if you want a new project, and in the event it hasn’t been mentioned to you before, it would really be worth saving the floodwater height markings on the Penn St. side of the old Schmidt & Ault plant. Just a thought.
From Mike Baker Frankenberry:
My father, Fred H. Lewis, owned the Sieling (Seiling) furniture co. in Railroad, Pa. He also had a plane which we all enjoyed and kept it at the Roosevelt Ave airport. When I tell people this they didn’t remember it so I’m glad you wrote about it. Also I remember well the York Peppermint Patty Co.
Additional background posts: First York Airport’s administration building stands today and Just try to resist studying this memory-tugging photograph and U.S. 30 Drag-O-Way, Part III: ‘We would watch the dragsters on trailers head for Thomasville’.