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Mike Wendel, a lifelong Yorker, shared this photo of a York Furniture Co. foldable yardstick he found while antiquing. He's hoping to figure out how old it is.

Antiquing finds and hotel follow-ups

Mike Wendel, a lifelong Yorker, shared this photo of a York Furniture Co. foldable yardstick he found while antiquing. He’s hoping to figure out how old it is.
Mike Wendel, a lifelong Yorker, shared this photo of a York Fair banner he found while antiquing. He’s hoping to figure out how old it is.

Today’s “photo question” comes from Mike Wendel, a lifelong Yorker who writes, “I have found a few items while antiquing. (Both in Lancaster County, oddly enough.) Can you help me shed some light on how old these items are? The folding yardstick is the biggest mystery for me. Even my elders do not remember the existence of York Furniture Company on West Market Street. Any help would be greatly appreciated.”

I loved seeing Mike’s photos, and I was able to trace back some history of that furniture store at 9 W. Market St. in York. At one point (in the 1940s; I believe later than this yardstick), that location became Gehly’s Carpet House and Furniture. I’m hoping some of my readers with access to the York City Directories of the past might be able to track down a year of changeover, possibly pre-1940?

I’m also interested in the age of that York Fair pennant. I’ve found similar from the 1940s and 1950s, but this also might be slightly older than those. Any info would be greatly appreciated!

The other thing I want to follow up on today is an older question asked by Thomas Busch about the Stewartstown Hotel. We sure confused a lot of people about that one – because I’d found a postcard labeled with what looked like Stewartstown, PA, and a caption stating that the Stewartstown Hotel stood on what is now the site of Memorial Park. Unfortunately, as many people, including Doug Winemiller, noted, “There is no Memorial Park in S-town.” So it turns out, after looking more closely, the postcard is actually from Stewartstown, NH, in an image that has the last leg of the N rubbed off and the top branches of the H close together, which is how I read it as PA. My great apologies!

Doug did fill in some information about Stewartstown’s hotels of the past; he wrote, “There were two hotels in S-town. Both buildings still stand. One is pictured in a ca. 1880s photograph, served as the post office, and today is used for apartments. I am not sure of the date of the other hotel, but would guess the very early 1900s. This hotel appears in a 1910 photograph. It has housed the American Legion, some businesses, and today it is also used for apartments.”

I also heard more details from Joe Hall of the Stewartstown Historical Society, who wrote that there were three hotels in Stewartstown during the early 1900s. “The oldest was the Fulton Hotel (1 N. Main St.), built by James Fulton in 1884 to house the men who were building the Stewartstown Railroad in 1885,” he wrote. “It became the Trout Hotel under the operation of Adam Trout. It closed in 1915. This building was the home of the Stewartstown Post Office from 1914 to 1967.” (That’s Doug’s first hotel above.)

Then, Joe continued, “The second hotel was the New Leader Hotel (19 N. Main St.), built by George C. Breuninger, c. 1910. It became an apartment house in the 1930s. It was the home of the American Legion after World War II.” (That’s Doug’s second hotel above.)

Joe noted another, too. “The third was Central House. It was opened by Benjamin Fulton Payne in the former William H. Hartman building. This hotel was quite popular with the citizens and businessmen of Stewartstown as it served both noon and evening meals. His daughter Annie was well-known for her good cooking. She married Philip Linderman and moved to a house on S. Main St. in Red Lion during her later years.” He added that this one was at 1 S. Main St., and confirmed that as of 2015, all three were serving as apartment buildings.

I’m glad to finally clear up that hotel mystery! However, I still don’t know which was called the “Stewartstown Hotel” as our original questioner remembered!

Have questions or memories to share? Email me at or write to Ask Joan, York Daily Record/Sunday News, 1891 Loucks Road, York PA 17408. We cannot accept any phone calls with questions or information.