Two Early Photos of the First Crispus Attucks Building on West College Avenue in York, Pa.



This building on the intersection of West College Avenue and Oak Lane in York was originally the home of the York Hospital. The leaders of the Hospital arranged for the transfer of ownership of the building to house the newly formed Crispus Attucks Community Center in 1931. It caught fire and most of it was burned down in 1943. Crispus Attucks moved to a new location at East Maple Street in 1944. The remains of the building now house the Shady Maple housing complex.

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1907 York Gazette Newspaper Article Detailing York’s Black Elite community in the Early and Mid 1800’s

Some of York’s Black Elite portrayed in this 1907 newspaper article included;

Mrs. M.E. Joice – Mrs. Joice conducted one of the oldest hair dressing and manicure parlors of its kind in the city. Her trade had a reputation for the very best service. She was a property owner and a very careful businesswoman,

Samuel E. Johnson – Mr. Johnson was a stenographer and secretary to the General Superintendent of the York Manufacturing Company. He was a product of York schools and held the prestigious position for seven years. He was a property owner and had the respect and confidence of both races in the community.

Edward W. Faucett – Mr. Faucett was the proprietor of a barber shop, cigar store and pool room at 122 South George Street. He also conducted a boarding and lodging  house at 118 West Prince Street. He had splendid qualities and his establishment were especially attractive to the traveling public.

Harry G. Woods – Mr. Woods ran a cigar, tobacco and pool room on the corner of George and King Street for more than 12 years. He owned several other nice properties and was a well-respected citizen.

Robert Diggs – After twenty years as a public waiter Mr. Diggs started his own restaurant and lodging business. He had splendid quarters at 201 South Beaver Street which had been tastefully fitted with a soda fountain, confectionary and ice cream bar.

Rev. John Joice – One of the first Black Ministers in York and an original trustee of the Mother Zion A.M.E.Church.

Mr. John Reeves – Father of Mrs. Helen Reeves Thackston. A prominent porter at the National Hotel for over 31 years. Proprietor of the Hot Oyster Sandwich shop. A stalwart supporter of the A.M.E. Zion church. Mr. Reeves was able to earn and save enough money selling oysters that he was able to buy and give each of his three daughters their own home.

Mr. William Butler – Mr. Butler Drove oxcarts to drag lumber to the sawmills. Was the first janitor of the Smallwood School from the time it was built. He also worke for Eli Lewis the President of the First National Bank for about 35 years. Close friend of Aquilla Howard.

Miss Susan Marrs – Mrs. Marrs was born in York in 1809. She worked for the prominent James Lewis Family. She was given a plot of land by the powerful lawyer Charles Barnitz on which she planted mulberry trees to breed silkworms.

Mr. William Wood – A master machinist. A member of A.M.E. Zion since its beginning. Lived on Newberry Street for over 50 years. Designed and built many innovative impliments for steam locomotives and steamships.

The Schales – They were carpet weavers who lived on Water Street.

The Clarks – Lived on Philadelphia Street near George Street. They wer scourers, dyers and tailors.

Mr. Aquilla Howard – Longtime superintendent of the A.M.E. Zion Sunday School. Came to York in 1860. Worked for the Phillip Small family for 43 years.

Mr. Drowery – Mr. Drowery was a shoemaker who made shoes for many of York’s prominent white citizens.


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Another Photo of Historic Scout Troop #11 at Crispus Attucks Center circa 1954


Historic Crispus Attucks Cub Scout Pack #11…….Front Row l – r; Butch Thomas, Benson Beattie, Dwight McKinney, Ray Williams, Tommy Owens, Butch Hawkins, unknown, Leonard Beattie, & Bill Holland. Second Row l – r; Cameron Colston, unknown, McKinley Orr, Ritchie Holmes, Bennett Sexton, Steve Ballard, Dale Saxon, Wayne Holland, unknown, & Buddy Hill. last row l – r; Mr. William Holland, Al Foster, Mrs. Beatrice Ballard, Mrs. Helen Thackston, Mrs. Mae Jenkins, Mrs. Daisy Owens, Leroy Hunter and Mr. Joe Jenkins……


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1929 Photo of York, Pa. Girl Scout Troop #4

Fantastic 1929 photograph of one of York, Pa’s earliest scout troops, Girl Scout Troop #4. This Troop was formed long before the Penn Laurel Girl Scout Council was established in 1959. The first charter for Girl Scouts was presented in York in 1928. Girls identified in this 1929 photo taken at Pine Grove Furnace include standing at rear l – r; Troop 4 Captain Joanna Harris, Gertrude Murray Irons, Alma Ransom, Mildred Butler, Georgianna Smith Hawkins, an unknown camper, & Earl Redman the cook; second row; Rosetta Young Thomas, Lois Lambert Reeves, Francis Holmes Hunter, Ernestine Ransom Thomas, Pansy Irons, Unidentified camper, Harriet Harris Williams & Ruth Hunter, Front Row; Dorothy Handy, Helen Ambush, Carrie Williams, Augusta Sease Hill, Irene Hawkins Felton, Melvina Henderson, Delores Simpson, Carrie Palmer Ford, Viola Palmer, Virgie Hopkins Charms & Mary Dorm Washington.
The girls would meet at the Emergency Girls Club on West Princess Street. The Emergency Girls club was one of two groups which joined together to form the first Crispus Attucks Association in 1931. It was organized out of Faith Presbyterian Church and was led by Mrs. Ida Grayson and Mrs. Alma Montouth. When the original Crispus Attucks was formed in 1931 the troop began meeting there.

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