Art: ‘Doodle-Bug’ motor car of Mountville

Doodle-Bug in Mountville by JA Ruof
Doodle-Bug in Mountville by JA Ruof


The morning sun raised the icy temperature only a few degrees on this December day in the 1930s as the Pennsylvania Railroad gas-electric car stops momentarily to drop off Christmas mail for Mountville residents.

Whenever the train was due, someone was at the station on the corner of Froelich Avenue and South Manor Street, to haul the mail to the post office. On days when the mail was heavy, it was a struggle to push the load up the steep hill to the town’s main street. By the time the man reached the post office, he was in need of a good rest.

The Pennsy provided passenger service several times each day between Lancaster and York with stops at Mountville, Columbia, Wrightsville, and Hellam until replaced by buses on January 4, 1954. Affectionate names such as “doodle-bug” and “guinea killer” were given to the motor car by the old-timers. The old station was torn down in 1959.

Drawing by JA Ruof. See other drawings by JA Ruof here.

Never Miss a New Posts!

Never miss a new article by signing up for email updates below. Be sure to follow Uncharted Lancaster on Facebook or Instagram for additional exclusive content.


Here’s your chance to purchase a beautiful reproduction map of West Hempfield.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: