Enquirer Herald

Sharon bank gets historic designation

SHARON -- From the time it was founded in 1909, the First National Bank of Sharon has brought stability the people of western York County could count on.

"It's kind of been an institution that's been there so long you just expect it to be forever," said Jerry West, local historian and director of the Museum of Western York County. "In such an unstable, ever-changing society that we live in, it's nice to know that something doesn't change."

A state historical marker will be unveiled at the Sharon bank at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to commemorate its place in history.

The bank, located at 4028 Woodlawn St., is only the second location in Sharon town limits to get a state historic marker. The other marker was placed in 1979 to commemorate the town itself, said Michael Scoggins, a historian at the McCelvey Center. This is also the first state marker to be placed in western York County since 2000.

Sharon also has several locations listed with the National Register of Historic Places, including the Hill Complex Historic District added in 2003, (W. L.) Hill Store added in 1995 and the Sharon Downtown Historic District added in 2001.

The First National Bank of Sharon has been continually running since 1909 and was an independent national bank until it merged with First Citizens Bank in 1986.

Historical sites are chosen for their significance on a local, state and national level, Scoggins said, and there are a number of reasons Sharon's bank stands out.

"It was the only bank in western York County that survived the Great Depression, which is pretty significant in its own right," he said.

Through 1935, it also printed national bank notes.

"It looks like a regular issue $10 bill, except it has the 'First National Bank of Sharon' on it," he said.

The bank has a unique architecture style with one single column at the front door, West said.

"It was built by a local man, W.W. Blair," West said. "Blair had done a number of buildings in the county."

After finishing the bank, Blair went on to construct several other large buildings around the county including the old Sharon High School and Sharon ARP Church, West said.

"We hope that in the future these things may be preserved as the county grows and more population move out here," West said. "We're just kind of doing these things to preserve what we have and not get these places torn down as they have been in so many others."

Aside from its importance to preserving history, Tuesday's unveiling also is a chance for people who have ties to the site to get together, Scoggins said.

"In some cases, it becomes almost like a family or church reunion," Scoggins said.

The community is invited to attend the event.

For more information, call the Culture and Heritage Museum at 329-2121.