• Category Archives History and old photos
  • Who made the stone overpass ?

    My Grandfather, Norman E. Rishel, rented the John Emig, Jr. Farm @ 1919.  His first herd of Holstein is shown in this picture. Perhaps you could add it to your Emigsville archives.

    Brief History of the property:  “Became the property of his grandfather, Valentine Emig, in 1802; of his father, in 1806, and his own in 1840.  At present – in 1876- his son’s, W. W. Emig.” The barn was located along the RR tracks.  Pass the Post Office, go through the RR underpass, and the barn was on the right in the industrial park.

    My Great Grandfather Henry Zumbrun was the stone cutter for the 3 underpasses in the area as well as the wall surrounding the Emig mansion. — Dianne Gleim Bowders-York, PA


  • A visitor would like to know more about her Emigsville heritage

    I found your hometown page today and founds it very interesting. My great grand father was Herman Victor Smullen who had a smithy shop set up behind his home there on mains street a few houses down from Emig’s. My mother remembered as a child going to see Mrs Emig or the current resident in the 1930’s.

    I’d be interested if any of the towns people there know anything of this family. Herman “Victor” had married Elmira King daughter of Daniel S King. She was born in Emigsville and was the grand daughter of Adam King who was Starview’s postmaster. In the 1920-30’s Daniel King was a mail carrier for Emigsville.

    Victor and Elmira had 4 daughters, 2 of which died in early childhood. Daughters Harriet and Mary survived, married and had children.  Mary married Stuart Ridgeway and had many children but he was a womanizer and would leave every time she was with child. Mary married him at age 15 and never finished school so she fell on hard times trying to keep the children on her own. Three of her babies were adopted out. One has been located but two more are still lost. All Mary and Stuart’s other children have passed on. Mary privately arranged the adoptions of Wanda Sue, born 3 Aug 1939 and Judy Irene, born 8 Dec 1940. From records found at the Children’s Home of York, where my mother grew up, we found proof that this was the case. It is believed that the adoptions may have been arranged via the Lutheran church of which Mary’s mother attended regularly.

    Any suggestions or information your readers can offer on this family would be greatly appreciated.

    Melissa Hake Fitzkee

    (Use the comment link below if you can add to this)

  • Emigsville bottles soon on display

    ebottles2.jpgThe Manchester Township Historical Society has arranged for a display of bottles collected by Don Hartman. Don has been collecting bottles for 30 years and co-authored the book Bottles & Jugs: with a York, Pennsylvania Perspective in 1998. He will have a number of bottles from the Emigsville Dairy (AKA Emigsville Creamery), Rutters and the Allen May Dairy which was located on the Susquehanna Trail near the radio towers. He also has one bottle from the Henry Free distillery which was located near Emigsville as well as a number of plain distillery bottles and jugs. The display will be available from March 31 through the month of April in the Lobby of the Manchester Township building.

    The following is Don’s description of the display: “Manchester Township has been home to numerous businesses over theebottles1.jpg years. A few of them have left behind tangible evidence of their existence in the form of glass bottles embossed with their names. The Manchester Township Historical Society has arranged for a display of bottles related to the dairies and distilleries located in the township to be displayed at the township building during the month of April.”

    (photos from Don Hartman’s book)

  • Historic Emigsville notecards


    On the back of the card reads… “Before street lights were installed in Emigsville, the people carried lanterns as they walked to church. The lanterns were deposited on the church porch during the services, to be relighted upon departure. A supply of matches was kept on the porch.”

    Bethany Chapel of Emigsville was chartered in 1871. the affairs were managed and conducted by trustees from the denominations of Lutherans, German Reformed, and United Brethren in Christ. This “Union” chapel had an earlier beginning as a “Union Sunday School” in 1866 and met in the one-room schoolhouse about 100 feet to the north. The land upon which the chapel was built in 1870, was transferred to the trustees by Mr. & Mrs. John Emig Jr. for the sum of one dollar.

    As the congregations grew, and then withdrew to build their own buildings, the Bethany Chapel building was purchased in 1926 by A.E. Baker and torn down. The land reverted to the donors, the Emig family, while the two flanking evergreen trees remain standing today, east of the RR and along Church Rd. The opening quote was found in old 1965 records of interviews with residents of Emigsville who had attended the Bethany Chapel prior to 1926.

    Designed by Maxine Lumsargis – 764-0229 – Manchester Township Historical Society Two sets of note cards, with 10 in a package, are available for purchase. One is pictured and the other depicts Pfaltzgraff pottery, that was prominent in Foustown area. Only 30 packs remain, but Maxine will reprint if there is an interest.

  • National Register of Historic Places

    The Emig Mansion and Sinking Springs Farms are part of the fabric of Emigsville heritage, anchor the history of Manchester Township and are on the National Register of Historic Places. There are three properties in Manchester Township that are on the register.

    • Willis House – Colonial period to Civil War – listed in 1979
    • Emig Mansion – Victorian period to 1900 – listed in 1984
    • Sinking Springs Farms – mid 1800 to mid 1900 – listed in 2000

    The National Register is an official list of historic places important to our history and is administered by the National Park Service.

    A registered property is not indefinitely preserved for the future and since the properties are privately owned the owners can do anything they wish to their property. There is no obligation to open the properties to the public, restore them or maintain them.

    We are fortunate that as the listed properties have changed ownership, a sense of pride and realization of local historical importance has gone with them.

  • Listen to Emigsville Story Night – Kain and Rudisill

    lowGeorge Hay Kain III.jpglowJim Rudisill.jpgGeorge Hay Kain III, left, and Jim Rudisill, right, share their insight into Emigsville history at Otterbein United Methodist Church of Emigsville during Story Night hosted November 14th by the Emigsville Heritage Project.

    If you missed the talk live, listen to the sound files of Kain and Rudisill speaking by clicking on the link below. They can be found in the audio directory of this page.


    Note: 10/15/08 – This server no longer exists. Look for this to be updated in the future.
    For more information about the talk and York County history in general visit Jim McClure’s blog, York Town Square at the link below.


    If you have Emigsville news, events or pictures that you would like to see on this site email me at mail@emigsville.org or use the “comment” link at the bottom of each page to share a public comment about this posting.

  • Story Night a success…thanks to you

    Thanks to everyone who came out for story night! About 50 people came out to hear our two spirited speakers who filled the evening with tales of Emigsville past. Thanks to Otterbein for the use of their sanctuary.
    Look for sound files on this website in the near future in case you missed the evening.

    • A tale of an Emigsville child during the Civil War
    • Lincoln’s funeral train passed through Emigsville
    • In the 1830’s a canal along the Codorus could take you to the Susquehanna…from there you could buy a ticket for Paris, France via boat
    • How is Hayshire pronounced
    • North George Street once crossed busy double railroad tracks and headed to Manchester up the Liverpool Turnpike. The current roadway was once just a right-of-way for the trolley

    If you have Emigsville news, events or pictures that you would like to see on this site email me at mail@emigsville.org or use the “comment” link at the bottom of each page to share a public comment about this posting.

    • The old Emigsville Post Office

      If you would like to see your historic or recent photo on this site:

      Attach the photo with some information to an email at mail@emigsville.org or regular mail Paul Kuehnel, PO Box 271, Emigsville

      Please comment using the link at the end of this post if you know anything about the photo.

      1850 The Emigsville Post Office was established in anticipation of the completion of the railroad.


      Isaac Blizzard…………..March 19, 1850
      Smapson N. Quigle…….March 19, 1852
      George Wehrley………..March 28, 1855
      John Emig Jr…………….December 11, 1857
      John A. Emig……………February 1, 1882
      William H. Gable………..August 3,1885
      Andrew J. Myers………. May 6, 1886
      Horace Brillinger………. July 12, 1889
      John T Selsam…………..April 6, 1894
      Horace Brillinger………..March 4, 1898
      Charles B. Lewis………. February 19, 1915
      Robert F. Swartz……… March 11, 1918
      Paul E. Charleston……. January 12, 1920
      Edwin H. Zarfoss………September 11, 1934
      Milton H. Shermeyer…. November 1, 1942
      John F. Rauch…………. January 16, 1947

      ??? Can you fill in the missing dates? Use the comment link below the photo.
      Bernice E. Rauch (Mrs) Officer-In-Charge…. March 17,1969
      Bernice E. Rauch (Mrs) Postmaster………… June 12, 1971
      John E. Boyers Officer-In-Charge……………. February 19, 1982
      Robert J. Kelly Postmaster…………………….. June 12, 1982
      Dianna J. Stevens Officer-In-Charge………… October 27, 1984
      Ann Michele Heuyard Postmaster…………….. April 13,1985
      Lavella S. George Officer-In-Charge……….
      Susan A. Rudacille Postmaster……………….. January 31,1987
      Beverly A. Myers Officer-In-Charge…………… November 10, 1992
      John J. Shumski Postmaster…………………… March 6,1993

      historical list provided by John J. Shumski

      recent list of postmasters

      An old newspaper clipping reads: York, Pa. Oct.8 (Special) Four miles north of this city, in the borough of Emigsville, there is said to be the smallest postoffice building in the Eastern part of the United States, according to the department records. The town has several hundred residents, but the postmaster, Clarence Charleston, has devised such a system, of mail distribution that no inconvenience and congestion has resulted. The building is a pine board one-room structure, which is only 10 feet long and 7 feet wide. The small building is the borough’s only modest claim to fame.

      Photo courtesy of the Manchester Township Historical Society.

    • Once there were two Emigsvilles?

      Emigsville postmaster John Shumski passed these maps along to me today. Former Alert Fire Company Chief Paul L. Schaefer shared interesting historical tidbits with John while picking up his mail.

      Emigsville I:

      Below is an undated map of downtown Emigsville. Notice the Grange Hall building (My Favorite Deli), two coal yards and lime kilns. It’s an old map, but the footprint of downtown Emigsville is recognizable.


      Emigsville II:

      Below is a map of the second Emigsville, somewhere between Thomasville and Nashville in an undated map. The road configurations suggest that the map predates the railroad. A current map is layered over the old map.


      If you know anything about the lost Emigsville, comment below.

    • Trolley service on North George Street

      If you would like to see your historic photo on this site:
      mail@emigsville.org or Paul Kuehnel, PO Box 271, Emigsville
      Please comment using the link at the end of this post if you know anything about the photo.

      Looking north entering Emigsville. Shiloh Nursery would be on the right. These trolley tracks ran street cars though Emigsville in the late 20’s. The York Haven line ran up from Continental Square in York up to York Haven. From Emigsville you could take electric light rail to downtown york, take a side line to visit a friend in the avenues.. catch an electric trolley to Hanover/Mc Sherrystown, Wrightsville, Red Lion clear to Bittersville and all local stops in between. Link here to learn more about the York Trolleys.

      Photo courtesy of the Manchester Township Historical Society.