Skip to main content

People e-mail us...Vol. 1

This is a new feature to the blog. "People e-mail us." It's where we'll share e-mails good bad and inane that just have to be shared. I have to admit this post is a bit of a vent as the writer hit a number of my pet peeves.

Last night, I received this e-mail:

you are incorrect about the misspelling of holsopple.


Charles was my grandfather's grand father and he
spelled it the same way I do now.


the 1970 census taker misspelled the of the town on
the census that year. that is why the signs are
spelled both ways. when a sign needs to be replaced
they have to put the double L on it because the
incorrect census spelling officially changed the name
of holsopple.


my dad was there to the holsopple centinal [sic]
celabration [sic] in the 80's. that was what the city
fathers told him


(name removed)


P.S. please check your facts

Now the town in question is Holsopple/Hollsopple, PA which is featured on my PA Keystone Town Markers Page.

There I write:

HOLSOPPLE or HOLLSOPPLE (taken by Denny Pine) Founded 1880. Named after Charles Hollsopple; however, when the railroad replaced the name of Bethel Station, they dropped one of the 'L's. Both spellings are used for and throughout the town.

The information I found out on the spelling came from a rather detailed genealogy website on the town.

So, I was taken aback by the perceived tone in the e-mail. Especially, the 'P.S. Please Check Your Facts' line. It also had one of my biggest pet-peeves an e-mail from someone I don't know that doesn't have a formal opening (Like 'Adam' or even To whom it may concern', etc.) At least the author did have a subject for the e-mail. An e-mail without a subject is another pet peeve.

So I wrote back and hopefully rather nicely:

(name),

Thanks for the e-mail. I was basing the information from this website (which I linked to on my description):

Which reads:

A post office was established in the town in 1881, and named for Charles Hollsopple. However, when the railroad replaced its sign on the old Bethel Station, they dropped one "L" in the name. Since then, buildings, maps and road signs might have either Hollsopple or Holsopple on them.

Out of curiosity which facts did I not check? When I look up history of the town I do a search for information on how it was named. Your story about the spelling is the first that I have heard.

---Adam
So we'll see how it goes but it just took me aback today. And if anyone knows more on why Holsopple/Hollsopple really had its spelling changed or even reversed, please let me know! (With something in the subject line, please :-p)

Comments

When you has a few [sics] in there, ya has to wonder about the persons[sic] cred.
Adam, I always enjoy reading your blogs.

Some people just can't be pleased, no matter how hard you may try.

You have many more folks such as myself that appreciate your works, so please don't let this get you down, dude.

Peace out! :)
Adam said…
Steve,

The e-mail didn't hurt my feelings or as you put it 'get me down'. It really isn't a big deal, I posted it because of how the guy wrote it.

At the worst, I was more upset about the lack of a formal greeting than him telling me to 'get my facts straight' but the lack of a greeting etc is more of a pet peeve or anything.

So if you thought I was hurt or upset about it, I wasn't.
Bob Malme said…
My pet peeve are folks e-mailing a particular question that is already answered on my web pages. Seems they read the first page, see the e-mail address and don't bother to check for further information. Last week I got an e-mail asking if the Ellerbe Bypass was open. This information has only been listed on my site for almost 5 months now. I decided not to be mean and say 'look there buddy' and just responded to his question.
Ron said…
Adam, I researched this a little bit for my blog. It seems a Charles Holsopple (one "l") founded the town, as confirmed by several rootsweb postings, so the RR Station is in the clear. Somehow over the years it became Hollsopple, so go figure. Maybe the census tale is right; I never found any reason or date regarding the change. - Ron
Galen Miller said…
Adam,

I'm a life-long resident of Hollsopple and a local history buff. Perhaps I can shed some light on the Holsopple/Hollsopple spelling controversy. I emailed you a longer version, but I felt posting this would help explain things to your readers.

The area usually referred to as Hollsopple is Benson Borough, which was part of Paint Township. There is no definitive historical evidence favoring one spelling over another. The keystone marker marker of which you have a picture states, “Holsopple–Named for Founder, Charles Holsopple–Founded 1880”, but research shows that the town was originally named Bethel; it was laid out by Emmanuel Eash on his land, as early as 1874. The first building was the Bethel United Brethren Church. In June 1887 the Johnstown Tribune reported that the village of Bethel was nearly destroyed by a flood. In 1892 the act creating Benson Borough proclaimed “the residents of Bethel wish to incorporate” and the plan of lots for the Village of Bethel were entered into public record.
How the area became known as Hollsopple is unknown. Local lore suggests the U.S. Post Office was responsible, since it has always used the Hollsopple spelling. Early postcards read “A Souvenir of Hollsopple, Pa.” However, the railroad and other businesses did use “Holsopple.” The spelling controversy has existed from the beginning of the town.

Clear as mud, isn't it?

By the way, the family name is spelled Holsopple (one l). It's a derivative on the original German name of Holzapfel, which translates to "crab apple." For what that's worth.

Popular posts from this blog

Small Towns of Virginia Series - Charlotte Court House

This sleepy little rural town in Central Virginia can easily be overlooked.  Located miles from the Interstate or four lane US and Virginia Highways, Charlotte Court House in many ways is easily forgotten.  However, this tiny town of slightly over 400 residents holds a lot of Virginia and American History.

In 1799, Charlotte Court House saw the passing of the torch from an aging Patrick Henry and a young John Randolph.  The great debate over states' rights was the last for the fiery Henry and the first in public for Randolph.  Randolph would go on to serve in the US House of Representatives and U.S. Minister to Russia.  Henry, who was serving in the Virginia General Assembly representing Charlotte County at the time of the debate, died three months later.

Charlotte Court House is not the original name of the town.  Originally named The Magazine, then Daltonsburgh, followed by Marysville (which was the town's name at the time of the Henry-Randolph debate), Smithfield, and finally…

History of the Wawona Road (Yosemite National Park)

Recently I located a portion of the Old Wawona Road that was the original alignment used by wagons and early cars to get to Yosemite Valley from the south before the Wawona Tunnel was built.  Locating the Old Wawona Road was the primary driving force to head to a very dry Yosemite National Park this winter.






Generally I don't talk about the history of a route first, but in the case of the Wawona Road I thought it was particularly important to do so first.  The modern Wawona Road is approximately 28 miles in length from the north terminus of California State Route 41 at the boundary of Yosemite National Park to South Side Drive near Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite Valley.  A good chunk of people entering Yosemite Valley use the Wawona Road which generally is considered to be the easiest route...that certainly was not always the case.

The origins of the Wawona Road are tied to the Wawona Hotel.  The first structure in the Wawona Hotel complex dates back to 1876 which was built by the Wa…

Old California State Route 41 on Road 425B

While researching the history of the Lanes Bridge crossing of the San Joaquin River I noticed an oddity on the 1935 California Division of Highways map of Madera County.  Today California State Route 41 takes a crossing of the Fresno River west of the confluence with China Creek.  Back on the 1935 Map of Madera County the crossing is very clearly east of the confluence crossing on what are now Road 425B and Road 426 in Oakhurst.   CA 41 can be seen traversing southbound from Oakhurst on Road 425B towards Coarsegold on the 1935 Madera County Map.

1935 Madera County Highway Map

After viewing Road 425B on the Google Street Vehicle it was clear that the path downhill from the top of Deadwood Gulch was substantially more haggard than the modern alignment of CA 41.  I finally had occasion to visit Oakhurst today so I pulled off of modern CA 41 at Road 425B.   Immediately I was greeted by this warning sign.






Road 425B ahead was clearly a narrow road but barely wide enough for two vehicles.  T…