Jack Brubaker

Jack Brubaker

Dear Dr. Scribblerspring:

The water at the old Brookside Swim Club was always cold. I believe it was fed by spring water. Does spring water also feed the adjacent lake at Long’s Park?

David W. Patterson


Dear David:

Spring water definitely does feed the lake in the park along the Harrisburg Pike. Brookside? Probably.

“The spring that flows into the lake is not near where the pool was,” observes Deb Martin, the park’s maintenance supervisor. “It’s closer to the railroad and the Route 30 tunnel. The spring runs all the time and doesn’t dry up or freeze.”

Martin says the lake also is fed by a well drilled in the 1970s or ’80s by the Sertoma Club (now Civitas) of Lancaster. This is an auxiliary source of water that Martin can turn on or off as needed. This year she has kept the well water running continuously.

Now, let’s walk over to the former Brookside Pool area. Because the first pool there was built in 1914, Martin believes it must have been fed by an artesian well or spring because city water was not piped out that far until much later.

Another indication that spring water fed the pool: Martin says water is always flowing to the surface on the side of the park close to the old pool. “It’s always wet back there.”

Old newspaper articles support Martin’s remarks. A 1946 Intelligencer Journal story notes that Long’s Park features “a spring-fed, artificial lake.” A 1978 Sunday News story says Brookside was “fed with the waters from an artesian spring.”

Catherine Long’s will established Long’s Park in 1900. The lake is formally named Lake Catherine.

Silas Buckwalter built the first pool at the Brookside Bathing Resort and a second pool in 1926. The Brookside Twin Pools closed in 1978. Donnelley Printing Co., which had a plant next door, purchased the property.

Dear Dr. Scribblerivan:

What is the meaning of the town name Rowenna in East Donegal Township? Maybe “Row” because of the river and “enna” sounds like a pretty girl’s name. Only guessing. What do you know that I don’t know?

Joanne Siegrist

Upper Leacock Township

Dear Joanne:

OK, let’s start with the naming of the town. Prior to 1892, that place was called Schock’s Mills, for the mill along the Susquehanna northwest of Marietta. The U.S. Post Office provided the name Rowenna. That’s according to a Lancaster Inquirer story of July 29, 1893.

Now, the name. The Rev. Robert Lescallette, retired minister of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Maytown, explains that in “Round the Square,” a history he wrote for the 250th anniversary celebration of the founding of Maytown.

Lescallette suggests that Rowenna “probably” is named for the flaxen-haired daughter of Cedric the Saxon in Sir Walter Scott’s “Ivanhoe.” Aha! The Scribbler read “Ivanhoe” in high school. Rowenna was a babe!

But this is even more interesting. Lescallette says Scott’s other female lead character, Rebecca, the raven-haired daughter of Isaac, was named for Rebecca Gratz, who had a familial association with Lancaster County.

Rebecca Gratz was the granddaughter of Jacob Simon, a trader in Lancaster. Gratz sold Jacob Downer the land that became Maytown. Rebecca became the belle of Philadelphia society.

One of Rebecca’s friends, author Washington Irving, suggested to his friend and fellow author, Walter Scott, that he use Rebecca as inspiration for the character in “Ivanhoe.”

What a soggy and literary column this has turned out to be!

Jack Brubaker, retired from the LNP staff, writes “The Scribbler” column every Sunday. He welcomes comments and contributions at scribblerlnp@gmail.com.

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