Delroy, the Motherless Child

Delroy sign

Eastern York Neighborhood Series
Delroy— many of us have heard of it and may have a general idea of where it is. There’s a lone sign at Mt. Pisgah and Bluestone Road intersection that direct travelers south to Delroy. To my knowledge, there are no other markers.

Googling the subject proved fruitless, so I took to the cyber streets to contact my friends who may or may not be from Delroy depending on the interpretation.

Former Delroyan Zack Snyder shared his interpretation: “from Canadochly road on the east to the small valley where the Wills School (I think it was torn down to make a strip club that never passed zoning) used to be on the west.” Hey Zack, how do you know about plans for a strip club? The Wills School was not torn down as of today. Zack adds the only element of authority on the subject— the EYC, Eastern York County Youth Sports. Many of you may remember sporting the black & white jackets as a badge of honor. Zack alleges that the EYC dictated that residents east of Canadochly Road played for East Prospect, and west, residents played for Yorkana. Delroyans played for Yorkana.

“Just make sure you don’t get too close to Yorkana. You must never get too close to Yorkana,” says former Delroyan Tony Reachard. Bluestone Road connects Yorkana and Delroy. So… are residents of Bluestone Road Delroyans? Tony considers some of Bluestone Road to be a part of Delroy, but its fuzzy as to where that honor ceases to be bestowed upon these residents.

Perhaps a better authority on Delroy should be consulted on this matter, a Buser. Ethan Buser does NOT bestow the honor on Bluestone residents. Ethan says, “Delroy runs from Bluestone and Barcroft road to Canadochly road and is only the houses and land between those intersections off of East Prospect road. Steve Eaton, resident of Bluestone Road concurs with this interpretation.

My mother and assistant knew who could contribute to this conversation: long time friends Deb Sparler and Cheryl Bastas. Deb and Cheryl gave us a lot of great information about people in the community and stores/shops within the community. They recounted Spyker’s, an ice cream and sandwich shop, the general store, a beauty shop, Leiphart’s Bus Lines, Leiphart’s Store, Canadochly United Church of Christ, Canadochly Lutheran Church, summer picnics, a standing room only annual Christmas play by the youth, Kennedy’s Video/Film, Peter’s. Deb and Cheryl both put the boundaries at Spyker’s (which is near Canadochly Road) on the east, and Bluestone Road to the west. Cheryl was kind enough to turn to “the town elder,” Dot Leber. Dot puts the boundaries at Canadochly Road to the Willis School House just past Bluestone. Deb, Cheryl, and Dot were a wealth of information, but still, there was no knowledge on the origins of the town or name. For more on Deb Sparler & Cheryl Bastas reminiscing their days in Delroy, and Dot Leber’s interview, skip to the end of the article.

Despite some differences of opinion on western and northern boundaries, there seems to be a consensus on the eastern boundary being Canadochly Road, and at least until Bluestone Road, there is a consensus among my experts that you are in Delroy. But perhaps the most resounding response heard from all was that nobody knows any history on the origins. When did it begin? Where does the name come from? Why does it even have a name? This lack of record renders the title of this piece: Delroy, the Motherless Child.

I’m not a journalist, I’m a Realtor. This research was far from exhaustive. What do you know about Delroy?

“Spyker’s was an ice cream ( their own homemade) place. Owned & operated by John Spyker’s. Also had the best subs @ $ 1.25. This was approx. 1961 – 1965. Long before it became a hangout to meet the boys…There was a General Store about mid way in ‘town’ – I can remember going there but the name slips my mind. I can still picture the guy that owned it. Dot [Hibner] owned a beauty shop next door where we would get our ‘summer’ cuts. Leipharts Bus Lines- they ran 2 bus routes from East Prospect to downtown York. Not sure if it was daily or just weekends. Also drove for short trips & school buses. Perry Helder had a paint store & a pond that we would go ice skating. Canadochly United Church of Christ & Canadochly Lutheran church. Think most folks in a 5 mile radius went to either church. The churches’ summer picnics were great times too. Cheryl’s dad, Harold Kise was the choir director at the United Church of Christ. We both belonged there. The Youth Fellowship put on a Xmas play every year to a standing room only crowd. We had Girl Scouts there too with Charmaine Winters as our leader. Prior to that we had Girl Scouts at Sandy Goss’s house in the middle of Delroy, her mom the leader. I had a Girl Scout troop at the Lutheran church for several years & Cheryl helped. We would go trick or treating in Delroy & Yorkana…no designated nights like now. There was Kennedy’s Video/ Film business behind Spyker’s – not sure what they did, possibly commercials, not a video store like Blockbuster. This is all I can think of, of course the cemetery was the meeting place to make out – hey…this is the country!”

“The little store that was across from Bob Leber’s parents house was there as far back as the early 1900’s, when my dad was growing up (my Dad’s family lived on the Buser farm for a period of time). When I was a kid the store was owned by Harold Peters and was called Peter’s Store. I used to love going there for our groceries. At that time, the house to the east of the store was owned by Walter Batt, and he owned an orchard. We used to go there to get apples and peaches. Later he sold the house to Don and Dorothy Hibner…It was Dot Hibner that owned the beauty shop that Deb spoke about.”

Cheryl on a conversation with Dot Leber:
“Ok, This is what I found out from Dot Leber. Some of my info. was incorrect.
She also does not know how Delroy got it’s name. It seems there was always a store at the center of town. It was owned by Walter (Pert) and Catherine Leiphart.(who were Rick Leiphart’s Grandparents). No one remembers who owned the store before them, but I do have a message out to Rick, to see if his Mother remembers anything. The Leipharts sold the store to Harold and Thelma Peters, after they sold it, the building became apartments. Not sure how it is being used now. Back in the day…I will say at least 85 years ago, the house to the east of the store was owned by Howard Crumling. Who later sold to Dot and Don Hibner. The (second) house to the east was owned by Walter Batt, who had the orchard that I wrote about earlier. When I was a kid, Perry and Lillian Helder lived at the pond, opposite Buser Lane. Perry was a painter and sold paint from a little store in the basement.

Of course, on the opposite side of the street from Leiphart’s store, was Leiphart Bus Line, owned by Tom Leiphart’s Grandparents, Bill and Helen Leiphart. Margaret Leiphart (Steve’s Grandmother) also lived in one on the houses in Delroy. (It’s beginning to sound like the town should have been name Leiphartville or something like that.)

Dot said she always thought the boundaries were from Canadochly Road to Wills School House.
Below is a list of people that lived in Delroy that she named off. Some of them I remember, some I don’t, so I am not sure what years we are spanning.

Howard Crumling, Elmer & Carrie Keller, Julia Kline, Bill & Helen Leiphart, Margaret Hengst Leiphart, Annabell Fauth, Bill & Mary Leiphart, Virginia Graham, Paul & Martha Leiphart, Vera Buser, Mildred & Clair Kise, Vernon Waltemyer, Charlie Dietz, Moses Dietz, Erma & Elmer Hilt, Chris and Annie Fauth, Rosie Fake, Melvin and Mary Gilbert, Ottis Paules, Martha & Clarence Paules, Oliver & Carrie Paules, Rachel & Lillian Dietz, Luther Ruby, Wes and Callie Kraft, Perry & Lillian Helder, Elwood Hengst.”