York Springs, Pennsylvania

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York Springs is a borough in Adams County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 574 at the 2000 census. York Springs is served by the Bermudian Springs School District ([1]).



York Sulphur Springs, the first summer resort in Adams County, was patronized by persons from Philadelphia and Baltimore who came to the resort by stage coach.

The land upon which the Springs was built on a tract owned by the Wiermans. When first settlements were made, the original building conformed to the plan of too many of the older taverns and housed only fifty guests. The later building was erected partly on the old foundation about 1790. A cross wing or section in the rear made a perfect T formation. A colonnade extended along both sides of the main building, forming delightful balconies. The hotel was beautiful, most attractive and symmetrical. The lawns, walks, rustic bridges and arbors were kept in perfect condition. Not only the lawns but the nearby woods were swept with brooms.

Arnold Gardner and Charles Kettlewell first leased and later bought York Sulphur Springs from the heirs of Robert Oliver and it was during their nine years of ownership that the place reached the height of its popularity. One-hundred-fifty guests could be accommodated, but at times the hotel was so crowded that rooms had to be secured at nearby farm houses for guests.

From records of the Hamilton and Dill families, we find that General George Washington and his wife Martha did spend some time at the Springs during the summer of 1799 when John Hamilton was proprietor of the place. This was the last summer of the old General's life as he died the following winter.

Bowling, croquet playing, dancing, and drinking from the famous spring were the amusements for the guests. The water was very unpalatable but highly medicinal in value. An analysis showed that it contained 20 parts Epsom salts, 6 parts gypsum, 4 parts common salt, and the balance sulphur. This sulphur vein extends as far as Wierman's Mill and is especially noticeable in very warm weather.

The first balloon ascension in Adams County was made from York Sulphur Springs for the entertainment of its many guests.

The main building survived the others for some years but was finally destroyed by fire January 8, 1896. Donald Miller's stone bungalow is built on the exact site of the old hotel so famous nearly two hundred years ago. After railroads were built, the Springs popularity decreased rapidly and finally the numerous buildings that made up the site fell into decay and gradually disappeared.

Although the information for York Sulphur Springs exists within what is considered the boundaries of York Springs, the existing information now encompasses Latimore Township. In the last decade there has been a large increase in the Hispanic population, with workers from Mexico coming to the area to work in the local apple orchards.

York Springs previous names were: York Sulphur (Sulfur) Springs and Petersburg.

Local government

Borough of York Springs
311 Main Street
P.O. Box 222
York Springs, PA 17372
Phone: 528-4032 Fax: 528-7640
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.;
Closed Monday and Friday

Borough Council:
Sally Vance, President
Jeffrey L. Shull, Vice-President
Melissa Smith, Secretary
Doug Deibler
Bob Megonnell
Noel Potter
Meetings: 7:00 p.m., First Thursday

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