The neighborhood homes and streets are long gone, having succumbed decades ago to an eminent domain order from the government.

But the memories, and many of the people who once lived there, remain.

On Saturday, former residents of the Codorus Street neighborhood in York City will gather to reminisce about a place where friends and family looked out for one another.

The reunion is scheduled for noon to 7 p.m. at Martin Luther King Park, where the tight-knit community of neighbors once lived.

Jeff Kirkland, who lived there until he was 8, said the neighborhood became a destination in the 1920s for black transplants from South Carolina who traveled north looking for work.

Kirkland said his grandfather was actually on his way to New York in 1923, but he stopped in York and decided to stay because jobs were plentiful.

Friends and family members followed. Some Italian immigrants lived there too, Kirkland said.

"It was just a village-type atmosphere," he said. "People looked after each other."

As a child, Kirkland said, he learned the values of respect and hard work on Codorus Street.

For some reason Kirkland does not understand, the government took the homes by eminent domain in the 1960s. Some of the land remained vacant for years. Part of it was sold to a local business, he said.

"It still remains a sore spot to many of the people that grew up there," Kirkland said. "It was sort of yanked out from under us."


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Saturday will be the third annual Codorus Street reunion. Anyone is welcome to attend.

The event is free, though there's a $10 charge for food. Music, spoken word and drill team performances are scheduled, as well as games and a talent show.

Kirkland said there will also be a balloon release to honor family members who have died.

He said the goal of the reunion is two-fold. People want to get together and reminisce.

But, he said, they also want to show younger generations "how families took care of families."

"How people respected each other," Kirkland said.

— Reach Erin James at ejames@yorkdispatch.com.