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We the People: Answers to readers' questions about convenience fees, Belmont-Paradise quarry, village of Oregon and more


The quarry on the Shoppes at Belmont construction site is in this photo. The wetlands next to Red Rose Commons are seen at the top of the photo across Fruitville Pike.

LancasterOnline is answering your questions through We the People, a public-powered journalism project. You ask, you vote and our reporters find the answers.

Here are a few answers to questions that had not yet made it to the voting round.

If you have a Lancaster County-centric question, submit it below and your question may be featured in a future article.

How did the little village of Oregon, located between Lancaster and Akron, get its name?

The village itself was named around 1756 after the then-territory of Oregon, according to a book published in 1883 called "The History of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania," by Franklin Ellis and Samuel Evans.

In 1897, The Reading Eagle reported a list of towns named after states, and Lancaster's own Oregon was included.

Other Pennsylvania-based, state-named towns are California, Indiana, Nebraska and Utah.

How did Intercourse, Bird-in-Hand and Blue Ball get their lewd-sounding names?

I grew up by the Belmont Quarry during the 1960s and 70s. How long was it in operation, what was quarried and what was the depth?

The specific length of the quarry operation is not known. The Scribbler reported in 2015 that the quarry was likely open in the late 1870s, and was last recorded in action in 1912, when a worker was reported dead from a dynamite explosion.

Limestone was mined at the Belmont-Paradise Quarry, according to The Diggings. The depth is not known.

Submit your questions for our We The People series:

Is it fair for every online payment on the county government website you are charged a $2.00 convenience fee. Where does that money go?

A business or company can charge convenience fees for its online services if it offers an in-person means of handling the cost. So, if you go to the courthouse and pay your fine, an additional convenience charge won't be charged to your credit card, according to 10 states have outlawed the process, but Pennsylvania is not one of them. 

The convenience fees collected go directly to the credit card processor, according to Amber Strazzo, communication manager for the mayor's office.

"If a resident wants to avoid service fees, they’ll want to pay by check via mail, or in person at the Treasury Office (39 W. Chestnut Street)," Strazzo said.

What is the 'new' name for the old George's in Mountville?

When the owners of Columbia-based Union Station Grill bought George's Restaurant & Pizza, they renamed it to be the Square Mile Public House. Reporter Chad Umble wrote more about the new restaurant when it opened in 2018.

What happened, exactly, on the day that Lancaster became the nation's Capital for a day? No one knows the exact story of that day.

According to Discover Lancaster, when the previous capital, Philadelphia, was attacked by the British in 1777, the Continental Congress moved west. They settled in Lancaster for the day, then moved across the Susquehanna River to York, where the capital stayed for nine months. The river offered protection from the marching British troops in Philadelphia.

Lancaster was the short-lived third capital of the United States on September 27, 1777.

You can learn more about Capital Day through the reporting of Lindsey Blest.



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