This is an interesting little advertising cover with a cross gutter, or centerline, example of a Scott's #26. A 33mm, blue, AUG 17, (1860) "YORK SUL(PHUR) SPRINGS, Pa" CDS ties this stamp to a neat advertising cover from a (very) small town in rural Pennsylvania.
Originally named PETERSBURG, later changed to YORK SULPHUR SPRINGS, and ultimately renamed as YORK SPRINGS.
The water was regarded as medicinal but unpalatable. Analysis claimed 20 parts Epsom salts, 6 parts gypsum, 4 parts common salt, and the balance sulfur. York Sulphur Springs was the first summer resort in Adams County and was patronized by people from Philadelphia and Baltimore who came to the resort by stage coach.
General George Washington and his wife Martha visited the area in the summer of 1799.
As of the census of 2000, there were 574 people, 186 households, and 129 families residing in the borough.
YORK SULPHUR SPRINGS is considered a DPO, or Dead Post Office. The Post Office is listed as being in operation under that name from 1819-1887. From 1887 to the present day, it is YORK SPRINGS.
The "United States Post Offices Volume IV - Northeast", as compiled by Richard W. Helbock, shows Petersburg Post Office being open from 1795-1832. It also shows YORK SULPHUR SPRINGS as being open from 1819-1887 and YORK SPRINGS as being open from 1887 to present day.
The American Stampless Cover Catalog shows manuscript "PETERSBURG(H)" cancel being used in 1849. It also shows a 32mm, red, "YORK SUL SPRINGS" CDS with a possible "PAID" and or a "3".
All of this kind of helps the advertising blind stamp make more sense - and lets us know that in 1860, York Springs went by all three names! They are all on the front of this cover!
J(acob) A. GARDNER
DRY GOODS - GROCERIES
There is a Jacob Gardner buried in the Holy Trinity Church Cemetery
216 Main St, York Springs, PA 17372. Born Aug 23, 1805, died Oct 4, 1862. 57 years. He would have been 55 at the time of this letter and was apparently in the grocery store business.
The envelope is addressed to:
"David McConaughy (July 13, 1823 – January 14, 1902) David was a noted attorney, state senator, cemetery president, and civic leader in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, as well as a part-time intelligence officer for the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was a driving force behind the creation of the Gettysburg National Cemetery following the Battle of Gettysburg. He also led early efforts to preserve the Gettysburg Battlefield for future generations."
"He attended Gettysburg College from 1834 until 1838, when he transferred to Washington College, where his uncle, also named David McConaughy, a former Presbyterian minister in Gettysburg, was the president. After graduating in 1840, he accepted a position as principal of a high school in Maryland, where he remained two years."
"McConaughy then studied law under noted abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens and became an attorney in Adams County. He was active in politics as a Whig. He helped organize the Gettysburg chapter of the YMCA and often sponsored lectures to raise funds for the organization, which often used "McConaughy's Hall" as a meeting place. From 1853 until 1863, he served as president and chairman of the board of directors for the newly established Evergreen Cemetery, and oversaw the construction of its now famous brick gatehouse on Cemetery Hill. He joined the newly formed Republican Party, served as a delegate to the 1860 National Convention, and became an outspoken supporter of President Abraham Lincoln."
It is only about 15 miles from York Springs, PA to Gettysburg, PA.
Overall, a fairly rare Dead Post Office marking on an blind stamped advertising cover. Between the advertising and the postmark - all three names of this town are mentioned (York Springs, York Sulphur Springs, Petersburg)
There is a vertical manuscript marking to the left of the address and under (right of) the manuscript marking showing the sender's information. "Copy of Note"