Dear Dr. Scribblerlily:
From Salunga to Route 230 there are day lilies. Who planted them and when? I remember them as a child and I’m 75.
West Hempfield Township
Day lilies seasonally transform many patches of Lancaster County into an orange extravaganza. Nowhere are these flowers more noticeable than along Route 230 west of Salunga. They were planted before World War II and have delighted generations of western Lancaster County residents.
Who planted these flowers? Some say PennDOT lined the highway. Others claim Harry “Pappy” Blessing, a Salunga resident and a Pennsylvania Railroad employee, planted the lilies when the railroad went through.
In either case, they have spread in a great orange burst of color on both sides of the road — a welcome change of scenery in late June and July. Long may they bloom.
Dear Dr. Scribblerford:
My wife and I live at Meadia Heights and walk regularly on the golf course and in Lancaster County Central Park. We wonder when the county park was started and what is the size of the property at Rock Ford?
David W. Patterson
The county park was planned in the mid-1960s. Its first major feature was the swimming pool, which opened for business in the summer of 1967. Today the park encompasses 544 acres, including the former Williamson and Kiwanis parks and Historic Rock Ford, the 18th-century home of Gen. Edward Hand.
Hand purchased 177 acres in the 1780s and ’90s, so his original land made up a large chunk of the present county park. The property had been reduced to 33 acres by 1958 when the Rock Ford Foundation preserved the house, according to Sam Slaymaker, Rock Ford’s director.
Slaymaker says the 33 acres surround the house and barn and extend to limited frontage on the Conestoga River. There are no boundary lines between the park and Rock Ford, so you walk seamlessly from one to another.
Dear Dr. Scribblerdiss:
What is the origin of the road in Warwick Township named Disston View Drive? I am from the Tacony section of northeast Philadelphia, which was the location of the Disston Saw Works. Is there any relationship between the Disston name here and the saw works? Did part of the family migrate here?
You might have to hire a genealogist to trace the Disston family’s branches, Lew. That’s beyond the Scribbler’s reach.
But here’s how Disston View Drive, southeast of Lititz, got its name.
Long ago, there were two Millports in Pennsylvania — the one that still exists in Potter County and the other south of Lititz. Late in the 19th century, the U.S. Post Office determined that was one Millport too many, so the Warwick Township Millport became Disston.
This account of the renaming of Millport comes from the Jan.9, 1965, issue of the Lancaster New Era. But Lititz historian Cory Van Brookhoven says he has heard that the change went in the other direction — from Disston to Millport — which is why the Millport name is more common in that area today.
In any case, the Disston Hotel operated at that location. Disston View Drive was named to honor the old town, for which the hotel must have been named.
The Millport name survives primarily with the Millport Conservancy. The land preserve’s offices are located on the site of the old Millport Roller Mills off East Millport Road.
Jack Brubaker, retired from the LNP staff, writes “The Scribbler” column every Sunday. He welcomes comments and contributions at firstname.lastname@example.org.