National Geographic : 1938 Jul
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE butter with corn bread. My companion said he had not been serious about the potato contract. In Lancaster I found a tobacco shop that has been eight generations in one family. Beside the cash register stood a 20-pound jar of finely powdered snuff, still sold in bulk. Tobacco is an important Lancaster County crop, and the shop uses much native leaf in its factory. There is in Lancaster an eight-room house, built on a wager in a ten-hour working day. At nightfall a family moved into a substantial brick dwelling where a vacant lot had been that morning. THE FACE ON CARTERS HILL On Carters Hill, near Robert Fulton's birthplace, south of Lancaster, stands an old yellow house. Dark-green shutters hide all upper windows, except one in the attic from which a cold, ashen face has looked for more than 30 years (page 45). In Lancaster they said a woman, finding her lover faithless, willed her home to a relative for "only so long as my death mask looks from an attic window for my false lover to see." Then she hanged herself. At Carters Hill an old lady opened the door at my knock. The day was cold; for that reason she asked me in. "Death mask?" she repeated, smiling at my query. "No indeed. There are twenty stories about the 'Face on Carters Hill.' "I was a young schoolteacher when I came to live here. Henry Carter, who studied phrenology, owned a plaster head. Years after her father's death, Miss Kate found it while house cleaning. " 'Poor thing!' she said. 'If you looked out the window, what would people say?' "It's been there ever since. During her declining years, Miss Kate, a shut-in, liked to sit behind the curtain and watch puzzled passers-by. When she gave me this house, she asked me always to keep the face in the window." On my way north that evening, I heard the lively music of fiddlers in a Quarryville hardware store (page 26). "I keep three fiddles handy f'r my cus tomers," said the proprietor, as he passed cider and doughnuts. "It's sociable," I said, "but if you go on like this, aren't you apt to go broke?" "My dad started this store more'n a hundred years ago. I been runnin' it quite a while myself. Haven't gone broke yet!" The man is president of the Quarryville bank. He has been guardian of many an orphan, and looks after affairs of the aged. "I like kids-an' old folks," he said. Quarryville people say that any boy who wants to build a birdhouse can wangle free nails from the hardware dealer. The merchant is widely known for his likeness to Clarence Budington Kelland's "Scattergood," and for his Slumbering Ground Hog Lodge (page 6). A rivalry that began in the 15th century between the houses of York and Lancaster in England is carried on in southern Penn sylvania now in a fashion less sanguine than the bitter Wars of the Roses. The towns of Lancaster and York, some what similar in size, origin, and appearance, are friendly rivals today. They are 20 miles apart, with the Susquehanna River about halfway between them. East of the river bridge, red roses of the House of Lancaster grow beside the highway. West of it are white roses of the House of York. THE TOWN OF LITTLE HEISKELL Near York is Gettysburg, a town of about 5,600, almost surrounded by Civil War battlefields.* From there I drove southwest to Hagerstown, Maryland, to see Little Heiskell (page 14). Months earlier, near Hagerstown, I had watched U. S. Army men re-enact a part of the Battle of Antietam. When the last blank cartridge had been fired, old soldiers spoke into a broadcaster's microphone. "If we'd had the chance the Yankees had," exclaimed one, "the war'd been over in six months, an' I'd still be a citizen of the Confed'rate States of America." "What do you think," he was asked, "of Yankees now?" The gray-clad centenarian kissed the nearest old Yankee veteran. In the hills near Boonsboro is an arch erected by the efforts of George Alfred Townsend, the writer "Gath," to "the army correspondents and artists of 1861-65, whose toils cheered the camps, thrilled the firesides, educated provinces of rustics into a bright nation of readers, and gave incen tive to narrate distant wars and explore dark lands." At Keedysville, south of the Hagerstown Frederick highway, lives a man who boated for 20 years on the Chesapeake and Ohio * See "Most Famous Battle Field in America," NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, July, 1931.