Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Where wind blows most here
Dear Dr. Scribblerblow:
I live on Union Grove Road east of Terre Hill. This must be one of the windiest places in Lancaster County.
It's hard to keep rockers on the porch. Potted plants blow around.
I moved from the Ephrata area -- on top of Ephrata Mountain. It was windy there, but I'm amazed at how windy it is here.
We call it Windytown.
Is this the windiest place in Lancaster?
V. M. Hahn
The Scribbler column carried some badinage about a "Windytown'' in New Holland nearly a year ago. There are probably other "Windytowns.''
But which is the windiest?
Eric Horst, director of the Weather Information Center at Millersville University, has some clues.
"It's hard to say with certainty where the windiest place is located,'' he explains. "Lancaster is a big county, and there are only a couple dozen anemometers scattered around the county to record wind.''
But Horst says the windiest place might be determined by two factors:
·The highest points in the county (Texter Mountain, etc.) are windier than lower lands.
n Wind research by the federal government has targeted the best locations for wind turbine installations.
That research shows that the area around Gap and Christiana and south toward Quarryville and Ninepoints "is the most consistently windy part of the county,'' according to Horst.
So, there you are, V.M. You are a bit too far north to fit the feds' criteria for best place to install wind turbines.
That should be a relief to many residents of Terre Hill and New Holland.
Dear Dr. Scribblerville:
In your Jan. 15 column, you mentioned that Dry Tavern Road is a section of Route 897 running from Swartzville to Fivepointville.
We went driving over there. Fivepointville was easy to find, but we couldn't find Swartzville anywhere.
Where is Swartzville?
Troy Boyer, the Ephrata informant who recently provided the origin for the name "Dry Tavern Road,'' has your answer, James.
Swartzville is at the intersection of Routes 897 and 272.
The original Swartz homestead apparently stood just south of there, Boyer explains.
Weaver Markets and Graeff's Store now stand at the Swartzville intersection.
"Swartzville used to have its own post office,'' says Boyer, "and the section of 897 running from Reinholds to Swartzville is called Swartzville Road.''
Boyer says his 1998 ADC map of Lancaster County lists Swartzville.
"The Pa. Dutch name for Swartzville is Schwatzwill,'' he adds. "I'm guessing that with the Schwatz family living nearby, the Dutch name came first, but that might just reflect my own prejudice.''
Dear Dr. Scribblerspeed:
Just where was the Bird-in-Hand Speedway?
The "Bird-in-Hand Speedway" actually was called the Leaman Racetrack.
The track opened in 1936 on the farm of Paul Leaman on Mill Creek School Road, about two miles north of Bird-in-Hand. It closed two years later, according to the book "Bird-in-Hand, 1734-1984.''
Bullet-shaped cars raced around a half-mile-long oval dirt track. They ran 10, 25 or 50 laps, averaging 75 mph.
The races were staged on Sunday afternoons. Spectators sat on bleachers or stood along the track.
Joseph Bob, a 32-year-old driver from Richmond Hills, N.Y., died there in a racing accident in 1937.
In 1984, banks of the track remained visible on Jacob Miller's farm at 631 Mill Creek School Road.
Today it's as hard to imagine Bird-in-Hand having a speedway 75 years ago as it would have been imagining 75 years ago that Smoketown would have an airport today.
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