York, Jackson County, Wisconsin
|Elevation||896 ft (273 m)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|Area code(s)||715 & 534|
|GNIS feature ID||1577103|
York is an unincorporated community located in the town of Northfield, Jackson County, Wisconsin, United States. York is located along County Highway G 3.5 miles (5.6 km) east-northeast of Pigeon Falls.
York is a small town that is known for its annual rodeo held every second weekend in August. Since it is such a small town there are no stores or gas stations. There is however a park and a bar. The unincorporated community of York is designated by the Zip code 54758.
York is located in Jackson County at a 44.5 latitude and a −91.145 longitude. The community is at an elevation of 896 feet. It appears on the Pigeon Falls U.S Geological Survey Map and is the Central Time Zone.
History of York Schools
The first York schoolhouse was built in 1926 on the corner of Highway 121 and G. In 1936 the brick schoolhouse burned to the ground. Another building was built the following year, 1937. A sign that was recovered from the fire was hung above the windows of the new school. A man by the name of Theodore Hanson taught at the school from 1949 to 1965 until the redistricting and consolidation of schools lead to closure. The old schoolhouse was used as a community center until 1990 when it was sold and transformed into a private home, which still stands to this day.
Ormand Kinning Memorial Park
The York Park, also known as Ormond Kinning Memorial Park, is owned by the York-Northfield recreation Club, Inc. The Rod and Gun Club also has part ownership in the park. Originally the York Creamery owned the land where an old baseball field had been located. In 1962 the Creamery needed to replace its sewage system, so they told the community members they could more of the land. Ormond “Shot” Kinning and other community members remade the ball field to what it is today. The park includes a baseball field, playground equipment, two stands/sheds, an area for the rodeo, and an area for the gymkhana.
A major event that is held in the York Park is the annual York Rodeo. Ormond Kinning was the one to suggest the idea. The first rodeo was held in 1963. The rodeo is held during the second weekend in August. When the rodeo first started tents were used to sell beer and food, however, when a tornado touched down and destroyed the Kinning’s barn, the first food stand was built with the lumbar salvaged from the barn. This food stand was used until 1972 when committee members decided to burn it down and build a new one, later adding steel sides and converting it into a shelter.
There are many activities to participate in or watch at the rodeo. Throughout the whole weekend there is a Co-ed softball tournament with the championship game being held on Sunday. On Saturday early afternoon there is an antique tractor ride, which starts at the schoolhouse and ends in the park. Late Saturday afternoon visitors are able to watch the Gymkhana which is then followed by a lip-sync contest. Ending the night is a dance with a local band usually playing. On the last day of the rodeo, there’s the grand parade that is held in the morning, starting at the schoolhouse and ending in the park. After the parade there are games for kids, like bingo and a dunk tank, and the rodeo. Sheep and steer riding, egg tosses, sack races, catching chickens and pigs, and a coin find are the activities that make up the rodeo. There is also a horse shoe tournament that anyone can participate in. Ending the weekend is a raffle for $1,000 and fireworks.
The York Rodeo isn’t the only event that is held in the park. There have been baby showers, reunions, graduation parties, wedding, picnics, and much more held in the park.
This park is named after Ormond “Shot” Kinning after he was killed in a farming accident. A sign was hung over the entrance to the park that read “Ormond Kinning Memorial Park” at the 1968 rodeo and still hangs there today.
History of the York bar
The building was built in the early 1900s by Theodore Larson. Originally it was the York Grocery Store, the owners Tom and Bernice Larson bought the store from Emil Neprud in November 1935. Tom and Bernice received their first beer license in July 1936. A kitchen was added to the south side of the building in 1943. The kitchen allowed donuts, cakes, and lunches to be served to workers and other visitors to the town. Before indoor bathrooms were added in the 1950s patrons would have to walk behind the building to an outhouse. Along with indoor bathrooms and bar room was also added to the building. The York Grocery Store tried to carry a little bit of everything to meet the short term needs of the customers. The store carried work gloves, women’s stockings, school supplies, notions, cigarettes and snuff, fresh eggs, a meat counter, groceries, and ice cream. In the 1960s other grocery stores in the area were becoming larger so people were traveling to shop out of the area more frequently. Tom and Bernice then applied for a liquor license in 1967, making a huge difference in their business. The store was open from 7:00 AM to midnight Monday through Saturday and from 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Sundays.
In 1973 the business was sold to Rodney and Joanne Steig in July 1973. The Steig’s ran the business for several years before they sold it to Roger and Sharon Severson. The Severson’s then continued to run the bar until they sold it to Michael Rogstad and Ronnie Moe. The Moe’s then sold it to Lawrence Bloom until 2003 when it was sold to Jamie Pfaff who still owns it today.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: York, Jackson County, Wisconsin
- Jackson County (PDF) (Map). Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 21, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
- York-local area photos and information. (n.d.). Retrieved November 27, 2012, from http://wisconsin.hometownlocator.com/
- “York Schools.” Northfield Township Celebrates Its Heritage 1857–2007. 2007. 46–47.
- York rodeo. (n.d.). Retrieved November 27, 2012, from http://yorkrodeo.weebly.com/
- Kinning, Sonja. “York Ball Diamond and York Local Rodeo History.” Northfield Township Celebrates Its Heritage 1857–2007. 2007. 69.
- Faldet, Dianne. “History of the York Bar.” Northfield Township Celebrates Its Heritage 1857–2007. 2007. 61–62.