1944: Ralph Spacht donates Advertisements from 1944 building for community center

By on February 20, 2014

A painting of the old Lititz Recreation Center, as it appeared in the 1940s and ‘50s. It was replaced by the Bobst rec building in 1960, which is now an office building for Wilbur Chocolate.

A painting of the old Lititz Recreation Center, as it appeared in the 1940s and ‘50s. It was replaced by the Bobst rec building in 1960, which is now an office building for Wilbur Chocolate.

1944: Ralph Spacht donates building for community center

1934: Airport should be complete by May 1

1924: Smallpox scare at Springs Hotel

10 Years Ago

Thursday’s Record Express

February 19, 2004

• ‘Wild Bob’ &tstr; Bob Wyble’s office at the Warwick High School has the appearance of a wildlife shrine.

A 37-pound king salmon he caught on a fishing trip to Alaska hangs mounted on the wall. There is also a picture of a lion he took while on a safari in Africa. Even his school website has a picture of him catching a trout.

The former biology teacher turned assistant principal said he has always loved the environment and traveling, and in the near future Wyble will have more time to spend on those passions.

After 34 years in education , both as a teacher and as an administrator, he will retire at the end of the 2004 school year.

Wyble said the decision to retire was difficult, but he he wanted to make another life change.

“It was kind of a feeling I had,” he said. “I’ve always made changes when I’ve considered myself to be at the top of my game. It just felt like the right thing to do.”

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20 Years Ago

Thursday’s Record Express

February 24, 1994

• Square Ownership &tstr; Several months after the onset of the Nativity controversy borough officials continue their search for answers.

At Tuesday night’s borough council meeting, president Dennis Stuckey and Mayor Russell Pettyjohn told council that they met with attorney John Pyfer last Friday, but had no new findings to report.

“We’re still trying to find out who owns the square,” said Pettyjohn, noting that they plan to follow up on more leads.

Although the borough officially transferred the title of the crèche to the Lititz Manger Preservation Society, officials are still concerned about the parcel of land where the Nativity scene was displayed and the accusation that the borough is endorsing one religion above all others.

Stuckey recently addressed the Moravian Congregation and the Lititz Springs Park Board about acquiring the land and both groups are considering the option.

But, liability is a major concern. “Whoever owns the land will have to take the liability with it,” said Pettyjohn.

In response to the crèche update, Ellen Dooley, president of the Lititz Manger Preservation Society, questioned the borough’s search to trace the ownership of the land.

“It doesn’t make any difference who owns it,” she said. “That land is public forum.”

50 Years Ago

Thursday’s Record Express

February 20, 1964

• Sutter Rumors &tstr;Prospects that the General Sutter Hotel will reopen again in the very near future as a hostelry took an encouraging upturn this week.

There is an unconfirmed, but reliable, report that a group of businessmen are interested in taking it over as a hotel, and they have a manager lined up.

This is contingent on whether or not a church denomination will take up its option on the hotel. It was said that February 25 is the final date for them to decide. This group has been considering it for a home.

If they decide not to take it, then the group of businessmen would very likely take it over, reports say. In this case, it would reopen March 1, or shortly thereafter. The names of the men in the group are still confidential, and it said they are still studying balance sheets to aid them in making their final decision.

Meanwhile the hotel is being kept in shipshape condition. The familiar flowers and plants on the windowsills of the dining room are still there, windows are being washed, and there is a general air of “spring house-cleaning” about it. The public library and the two stores remain as tenants in the building.

60 Years Ago

Thursday’s Record Express

February 25, 1954

• Steffy Steps Down &tstr; Borough Council Tuesday night accepted “with deepest regrets,” the resignation of John W. Steffy, a councilman for the past two years.

In accepting his resignation council went on record as accepting it “only because we were unable to make him consider withdrawing it. he gave unstintingly of his time and efforts during his tenure on council and always performed his duties with sincerity and conscientiously.”

70 Years Ago

Thursday Morning’s Record

February 24, 1944

• Community Center Donated &tstr; Ralph M. Spacht, well-known local business man, announced this week that he has purchased the former John M. Helman warehouse, located at the Park and Spruce Street, and intends to make a gift of the property to the community as a Community House.

The property, a large three-story frame structure, is ideally located facing the park and containing numerous large rooms which could easily be adapted to the purpose of local organizations.

“I bought the building because I felt it would make an ideal community center and I want to turn it over to the community without any legal restrictions but with certain moral restrictions,” Spacht asserted.

“I want it to be used as a building where the American Legion can make its headquarters the same as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Sportsmen and any other organization or group. My idea is that it should be used as a public building as a memorial dedicated to those boys and girls who are serving in the armed forces during the present war.

“I would like to see such things as bowling and an ice cream bar in order that it can be self-sustaining. I also would like it to be the center of a community youth program. No liquor and no gambling would be permitted – and those are the moral obligations.”

Gift of the building solves a problem which has been under consideration by a large group of local organizations for the past several years. More than a year ago the Chamber of Commerce called together representatives of all local clubs and organizations in an effort to have a community building project launched.

The Helman warehouse originally was built with public funds here around the turn of the century. Built by the borough the structure was turned over to the General Cigar Company when it agreed to locate here. Later it was used for a short period as a club.

The structure was sold at public sale to M.E. Snavely. Snavely sold the property this week to Mr. Spacht.

80 Years Ago

Thursday Morning’s Record

February 22, 1934

• CWA &tstr; Allotment of 1600 more hours by the Civil Works Administration assures the completion of the athletic field project on West Orange Street, according to recent word to those in charge of the work here. No work is going on a present, however, due to the cold weather.

The project will wait until the end of March before resuming, a which time it is hoped that the ground will be thawed out and in shape to work.

The work must be completed by May 1, as that is the deadline for the use of CWA funds. Whatever remains after that will be take care of by Lititz School Board and Borough Council.

Thursday Morning’s Express

February 22, 1934

• Airport Project &tstr; It will be quite a boost for Lititz that the new airport is, as it were, at the southern doorstep of Lititz.

The land is situated at the southeast angle of the cross road just south of Kissel Hill. May 1 is the date set to be completed.

Assurance that the City-County Airport will be located at the Kissel Hill site recommended by federal engineers climaxed a day’s negotiations and conferences last Thursday.

Federal funds totally about $124,250 will be brought to Lancaster in the form of CWA payrolls for approximately 1200 men and an allocation to aid in the purchase of materials.

Henry W. Brubaker, local CWA chieftain, announced Thursday that the entire project must be completed by May 1. According to tentative plans this would necessitate launching the work by March 1, providing jobs for two four-weeks shifts of 600 men each.

90 Years Ago

Friday Morning’s Express

February 22, 1924

• Quarantine Lifted &tstr; Wednesday was the day the quarantine was lifted from the Springs Hotel, which was placed on its inmates a fortnight ago when it was reported that Rev. Newell, the Evangelist, who was ill, had smallpox.

The isolation was very trying, but the occupants bore the ordeal bravely. It is the belief of some that there never was danger so that it was necessary to keep away from Lititz. It is well to emphasize the fact that it is as safe to come to Lititz to shop as any other place in the county.

100 Years Ago

Thursday Morning’s Record

February 19, 1914

• Enlarging the Borough &tstr; Although there has been nothing definitely done several persons are quietly agitating a movement for a greater Lititz. They are advocating the annexation of the village of Warwick and the Broad street addition, south of town, to the borough.

In past years the addition of Warwick has been frequently proposed, but each time it has met with serious opposition on the part of the villagers. At present, however, it appears that several of the leading citizens of Warwick, who formerly were opposed to its annexation to the borough, have changed their minds and would welcome such action.

110 Years Ago

Friday Morning’s Record

February 19, 1904

• Variety Column &tstr; A large surprise party was tendered G.S. Hinsey, proprietor of the Lexington hotel, last Thursday evening in honor of his thirtieth birthday.

In honor of the Chinese New Year on Monday, our only Chinese resident Lee Lang celebrated the event according to Chinese custom. All callers were treated to Chinese cake and tea.

The air was permeated with the odor of Fastnacht cakes on Tuesday. It said all the stores were sold out of yeast cakes.

An interesting, amusing and profitable Valentine sociable was given by the younger members of the Linden Hall Alumnae Association at the school on Monday morning.

The electric fire alarm bell gave one tap about half-past six Wednesday evening for some unknown reason and many people ran out of doors to see whether there was fire.

Friday Morning’s Express

February 19, 1904

• Waterworks &tstr; On Tuesday the voters of Lititz had an opportunity that is seldom presented to them and 300 men registered their opinions on the question as to whether it is better for the town to own its waterworks or whether a private company should continue to own and control its water supply. The verdict was six and one-half to one in favor of the principle of municipal of public ownership..

The change of sentiment is remarkable when one remembers that ten years ago the question was submitted to the voters when a majority of those voting cast their ballots against the measure and public spirited private citizens then took up the matter and established the Lititz Water Company with the basic purpose of fire protection.

120 Years Ago

Friday Morning’s Lititz Record

February 23, 1894

• All Sorts of News &tstr; Henry Greek claims to have the second largest cat in town as well as one of the prettiest. He weights twelve pounds.

The Brunnerville Cornet Band fair is still in progress. On Saturday evening the Denver band will be present and render good music.

Monroe G. Fry, who butchers on Wm. Evans’ Lititz farm premises, cut off the end of his left thumb at Lancaster on Saturday while in the act of cutting beef.

Workmen ditched and laid a pipe from the water main on north Cedar street to the electric light station, to convey water into the boiler.

The residence of Mrs. Mary Kauffman, Broad street, is being wired for electric lights in every department of her handsome mansion.

The borough council and the electric light company have come to terms and the streets of Lititz will shine after night and will be brightened from incandescent lights in a short time.

Friday Morning’s Express

February 23, 1894

• Crusade Against Vice &tstr; Rev. Clarence E. Eberman, pastor of the Moravian church, Saturday evening delivered an interesting address in Temperance Hall. His subject was “Social Purity.” It was an able effort and aroused considerable enthusiasm among his audience, which was fairly large.

Mr. Eberman has been quietly at work for some time gathering statistics and data as to the moral condition of Lancaster, and has come to the conclusion that it is a pretty bad place and greatly in need of reform.

Mr. Eberman’s plans are not fully matured yet, but to an Examiner reporter Monday he said it is his intention to form a society for the suppression of vice.

130 Years Ago

Thursday Morning’s Record

February 22, 1884

• Chair Extraordinaire &tstr; M.D. Roth, the popular barber, has made another accession to his ship in the way of a new chair, known as the “Archer patent adjustable barber chair,” which can be placed in several positions while occupied. It is of walnut wood, upholstered in maroon plush, handsome in appearance and comfortable. IN fact, it is so fine looking that we expect to see a rush for the barber shop to get a chance to try it.

Friday Morning’s Lititz Express

February 23, 1884

• Aborted Burglary &tstr; An attempt was made on Saturday night to break into the dwelling house of Jeremiah Steinmetz. The owner of the house, being indisposed and unable to lie down, kept his chair all night.

Some time after midnight he was aroused from a light slumber into which he had fallen, by a noise as of someone trying to prey a shutter open. He quietly made his way to his son’s sleeping room and informed him of the fact. The young man lost no time in seizing his gun and taking his stand where he thought he could give the unknown parties a proper reception.

He stood and listened for a long time, but nothing further was heard. The next morning the discover was made that the burglars had almost succeeded in forcing the shutters off the hinges.

Research for Out of the Past is compiled weekly by the current Record Express editorial staff.

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