HOLLSOPPLE — No blame game here.
It’s the name game.
This Conemaugh Township community has had an identity crisis of sorts since it was founded in 1880 by Henry Holsopple.
Note the one “L.”
Now, and for obvious reasons, Ed Holsopple – who takes his family history seriously – is lobbying township supervisors to change the name of the town from Hollsopple to Holsopple.
“I’m a direct descendant of the founder,” he said. “I want to change the spelling to preserve its historical integrity.”
Residents and visitors can be forgiven if they’ve spun into a tizzy. Witness:
• Most locals with the surname spell it with one L.
• But when a blaze breaks out, these Holsopples call the Hollsopple Volunteer Fire Company, which no doubt will send some single L's and perhaps a double L or two to respond.
• And mail your letters at the Hollsopple branch of the post office.
• But when your car insurance bill is delivered by the mailman, pay it over at Holsopple Nationwide Agency. That business, according to the borough sign, is located in Hollsopple.
But Ed Holsopple wants one L made permanent and he went to state Rep. Tom Yewcic, D-Jackson Township, for help.
Changing the spelling is uncomplicated. All it takes is for township supervisors to say yay or nay, Yewcic said.
“It’s entirely up to the supervisors,” he said. “All they have to do is notify the post office and PennDOT to get the appropriate signage.”
Supervisors gave Holsopple no decision when he brought up the moniker mayhem at their meeting Wednesday, requesting more time of puzzle over the problem.
“A lot of questions came up,” Supervisor Wayne Kauffman said. “Some people wondered if they would have to change their drivers license or (property) deeds.”
Supervisors said they will decide on the issue at November’s meeting.
Review of Tribune-Democrat archives shows the controversy first sprang up in 1813 when a family named Holtzapfel moved to the area from York, Pa.
As the Holtzapfel children grew up, they disagreed on the spelling of their own name. Then in 1880, Charles, one of the siblings, settled the matter spelling his name Holsopple.
Residents in this leafy community unsurprisingly are mixed on the name change.
“If they’re going to change it, I’m for it,” said Mike Burkett. “I believe that’s the way it was originally spelled.”
Others sided with two L's.
“I’m so used to writing it this way. I’d like to keep it,” Chad Varner said.
“It doesn’t matter, but I’m used to spelling it with two L's,” added Wanda Rager before entering the post office.
One woman remained indifferent to the spelling dilemma.
“It doesn’t matter to me as long as I get my mail,” said Mabel Fox.
From the post office with two L's.
HOLLSOPPLE — No blame game here.
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