Jamie and Domi’s York County history: Season 2

Newberrytown

Village of Newberrytown, York County

Hometown History: Season 2, Episode 1- Jamie and Domi’s YoCo Backstory. They talk about York County’s one-room schools. To see all six Season 1 episodes, check out: S1, E1-6.

The situation – Season 2

In Season 2, Episode 1 of “Hometown History: Jamie and Domi’s YoCo Backstory,” Jamie Kinsley and Dominish Marie Miller explore York County’s love affair with one-room schools: “All in one room: These small schools taught big lessons.”

Description: Those were the days when everyone in class drank from the same cup. When the teacher smacked the hands of southpaws, trying to ensure they learned the “right” way. When an orange that came at Christmas was as coveted as a cell phone today. Talk about one-room schools with former students, and you’ll soon be awash in memories. And strong opinions about getting back to basics in today’s schools.  At one point before consolidation in the 1950s, York County led the state in public one-room schools with north of 350 dotting the countryside. Then consolidation set in. Small buildings, they were. But places with outsized influences, even today.

Episode 1, was livestreamed in the Retro York and Preserving the History of Newberrytown Facebook groups at 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 20. The show was presented before a live audience at Blue Sky Tavern in Newberry Township.

Jamie, a teacher, holds a doctorate in American studies, blogs about local history and culture and operates this digital site, WitnessingYork.com. Domi, a federal court archivist, holds a master’s degree in library science and local history and moderates the Preserving the History of Newberrytown Facebook group. She is a re-enactor in the 87th Pennsylvania.

Here are some of the goals driving Jamie and Domi and “Hometown History,” complete with a YouTube channel:

  • To introduce next generations of York County residents to York County history.
  • In so doing, present the history of all people in a way that has weight and is winsome
  • To test, refine and practice a conversational way of storytelling about history.

In Season 2, Episode 2 – Jamie and Domi explore York County’s deep history in textiles: “Stitching secret messages: Fabrics and fiber arts in York County’s homes and factories.”

Hometown History: Season 2, Episode 2 – Jamie and Domi’s YoCo Backstory. They talk about York County’s deep connection with the textiles industry. To see all Hometown History episodes, check out: Hometown History’s YouTube Channel.

Description: It is said that quilts have served as a creative outlet for otherwise voiceless women. The same could be said about all the colorful, useful and necessary fabrics women crafted with their hands from the Susquehanna region’s earliest days. In this edition of Hometown History, Jamie Kinsley and Domi Miller give voice to women who created – who create – for aesthetics or need. They are using the York County book “Quilts, The Fabric of Friendship” as a resource. And they are drawing on the expertise of northeastern York County’s Red Stone Glen Fiber Arts Center to weave stories about how textiles interlock with the larger York County story.

Episode 2: Filmed at 7 p.m., 2/25, the Red Stone Glen Fiber Arts Center, a Facebook Live only event.

Stitching Secret Messages, S2, E2 extra: Sara Bixler of Red Stone Glen Fiber Arts Center talks with Jamie and Domi about all things textiles.

 In Season 2, Episode 3, Jamie and Domi talk about “Bridging the Susquehanna: Ice, fire, wind and man destroyed four spans. Two long bridges stand tall.”

Description: “How the new bridge stretches its pride of length across the wide Susquehanna!” Methodist circuit rider Francis Asbury wrote about the 1814 bridge spanning the wide river between Wrightsville and Columbia. “Will not the father of eastern waters some day rise in the fury of a winter flood, and tear away this slight fetter which the puny art of man has thrown over him?” 

As the good bishop predicted, an ice jam destroyed the bridge in 1832. Five bridges follow this wooden covered bridge connecting Columbia and Wrightsville, all part of the story of the river towns and their river.

Episode 3: Filmed before a live audience at 7 p.m. March 31, at the Burning Bridge Tavern, Wrightsville. With Codie Eash of Gettysburg’s Seminary Ridge Museum.

Season 2, Episode 3: “Bridging the Susquehanna: Ice, fire, wind and man destroyed four spans. Two long bridges stand tall.”

In Season 2, Episode 4, Jamie and Domi talk about “Hellam’s Horn Farm: Growing the Three Sisters, Imperial apples and George’s favorite pawpaw dessert.”

Description: The Horn Farm is taking center row as Hometown History showcases YoCo’s agriculture history. Jamie and Domi explore 3 lessons taught through 3 crop combos, all rooted in county history and still grown at Hellam Township’s Horn Farm. They provide a taste of the three-sister grains planted by Native Americans, long-lasting Imperial apple and flavorful pawpaws. The Horn farm does much more than preserve York County agricultural history. It practices it. And is doing so amid adversity. A 2021 lightning strike claimed most of its historic farmhouse. And a truck stop wants to plant operations a field away. Still, a farmhouse rebuild is planned. “Let the ashes of this tragedy,” the Horn Farm says, “be fertile soil for our future growth and resilient community.”

Episode 4: Filmed at 7 p.m. April 28, at the Horn Farm Center, Hellam Townhip. An interview with Zach Routson, a local grower, served as a Hometown History Extra.

See all six Season 1 episodes, with show notes: Hometown History.

The witness, Season 2

Episode 1: Learn more about the story of one-room schools and their impact on York County’s story, past and present.

One-room schools – A way of life in York County’s past – Witnessing York

Schoolhouses of Strinestown and York County numbers – YorksPast (yorkblog.com)

Episode 2: “Stitching secret messages: Fabrics and fiber arts in York County’s homes and factories.”

Museum of Fiber Arts and Textiles teaches area youth.

Jane Keenheel transformed suit samples into a work of art.

Episode 3: “Bridging the Susquehanna: Ice, fire, wind and man destroyed four spans. Two long bridges stand tall.”

Unsung York County Civil War sites to visit.

River Roots: Bridging the Susquehanna.

A Wrightsville woman’s bravery in the Civil War.

York County should never forget the bravery of this Civil War soldier.

Episode 4: “Hellam’s Horn Farm: Growing the Three Sisters, Imperial apples and George’s favorite pawpaw dessert.”

York County’s Horn Farm: ‘A very special living history memorial to those hardy ancestors’ (ydr.com)

Horn Farm Center hopes to rise from the ashes.

Horn Farm rebuilding will honor farmhouse’s history, serve center’s mission


Related links and sources:
Episode 1: “All in One Room,” published by the York Daily Record, 2008. Stephen H. Smith’s index to York County one-room schools, Yorkblog.com, York County one-room schools. Photos by Shane Lewis Bahn. Episode 2: “Stitching Secret Messages,” York County Quilt Documentation Project and the York County History Center’s book “Quilts, The Fabric of Friendship,” Red Stone Glen Fiber Arts Center and Teaching Museum for the Fiber Arts & Textiles. Episode 3: Scott Mingus’ “Flames Beyond Gettysburg,” and James McClure’s “East of Gettysburg.” Episode 4: June Evans’ history of the Horn Farm: “York County’s Horn Farm: ‘A very special living history memorial to those hardy ancestors’

Jamie and Domi tell the backstory of Hometown History on The Unfiltered Historian’s show on Feb. 23.

The question

One of Jamie and Domi’s goals is to engage the next generation. They’ve found that, if local Facebook audiences are any indication, at least half are above 50 years in age. To fuel local history interest in those south of 50, these videos are meant to reach a broader audience, interesting people of all ages in York County history. However, this is just the first step. How else can we get our kids and grandkids into history?

S2, E1 at the Blue Sky Tavern, a renovated mill, in Newberry Township: All in One Room. Interestingly, York County hosted about the same number of mills and one-room schools in its long history – about 350 of each. This shows the role one-room schools and mills played as integral parts of communities.


— By JAMIE KINSLEY and JIM McCLURE

This was the first episode, first season of Hometown History. The team has added a lot since, live audiences and all. This piece places Hometown History in the digital storytelling revolution erupting in York County: YoCo digital stories.

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