Old York County
A photo essay on the paving of rural York County, PA

This is here to give a good idea of what rural York looks like, what areas in transition from pastoral to parking look like, what's happened to various lost places so far, and future development plans.

In a chance discussion with a farmer's son in Loganville (I was doing night star shooting from a road in the middle of a field), I learned that many (relatively small) York County farms are finding it very difficult competing with the giant farms in the midwest.  That combined with the severe sustained lack of rain in the summer of 1997 will surely lead to many selling out to developers.

Part of Seven Valleys, Pa., a few miles west of York City

Between York City and Seven Valleys

The following are of the destruction of a farmhouse so a golfcourse and condos next to it can be put up.  The course maintenence facility marked as being near the barn, so I suppose it will be used for groundskeeping equipment storage.

I had driven and bicylcled past the farmhouse many hundreds of times since childhood.  The road in front of it, like all back roads in York County, is simply a paved cow path probably dating back to colonial times.  This means there was no original hazard in placing the house to the steps from the porch led right down onto the road edge.  Then the road was widened a few years ago, and the steps had to go.  To step off the porch then meant a three foot vertical drop onto the road's new edge.  The farmhouse was doomed right there and then.  All that's left of it now is the rubble at the bottom of the first two photos.

FarmhouseThis isn't actually the original farmhouse, but rather a very similar one up the road a ways (except the demolished porch wasn't as fancy and didn't extend around to the side).

When the farm was started, York was probably mostly agricultural with only a smattering of new industry.  It is however within two miles of the edge of an industrial area of York City, and immdiately bordered to its north by more city industry.  The area on both sides of the road (Indian Rock Dam Rd.) leading from the city has miraculously stayed rural until now (having a private school and a public elementary school are on the other side of the road have greatly helped).

In the first two pictures below, notice the tire roped to the oak, to the right of its base.  Although its purpose had vanished by June, the construction workers took a long time to remove it.  I wonder how much they enjoy farm destruction.

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