Only in York County

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Ask Joan: Famous Faces edition

We’re launching a new feature here on Only in York County. Those who have been reading for a while might remember the Names of York series, which I wrote for more than a year, exploring the people behind some of the names of buildings and parks and so on around town.

Well, an outgrowth of that has been a newsroom-wide concept called Famous Faces. This is a standing list of something of a “hall of fame” – people who hail from York who’ve become well-known, not for their connection to the county but for other feats or notable accomplishments.

You can find the link to this new feature in the black menu bar across the top of all my blog pages, and you can also check it out here. While I’m hosting it on the blog, all departments will be updating and contributing, so you’ll get to see lots of different topics reflected. It’s also a work in progress, so keep checking back as we jazz up the design and add more information and people!

What’s inside

1. Berry’s (and not Bury’s) Restaurant
2. Following up on Lil’s hangout
3. Exact location of Hollander’s store

1. A friend has a photo of a restaurant called Berry’s Restaurant and it was taken in 1944 in York. But no one seems to know where the restaurant was and one 86-year-old we asked said he never heard of it. Can you help?
– Darlene Swords

Darlene and I work together here at the newspaper company, and because she’s a friend, I didn’t deal with her question as promptly as I might have from a stranger. It’s embarrassing to admit, but there you go.

So anyway, it’s a little late in coming, but I confirmed with Darlene that her friend’s photo was definitely “Berry’s” and not the more famous “Bury’s” restaurant, and knowing that, we’re stuck! If anyone has any ideas – we would definitely appreciate them!

2. We originally fielded a question about the former Lil’s Hangout in this November Ask Joan, and we were able to follow up with more memories around the beginning of this year.

I’ve since received a couple more Lil’s memories that I want to share. Loren Levinsky writes, “At age 5 or 6, my father used to take me to Lil’s for fountain sodas. I used to drive her crazy because she had a juke box which was mounted to the counter and I used to always play the ‘Yellow Rose of Texas’ (Mitch Miller) every time we went in the store. I don’t remember Lil too much. Middle aged (to me) I think blonde hair. So, I called good old dad and he told me Lil’s last name was Flinchbaugh. She lived in the 1000 block of E. Market St. near Albemarle. Had a brother whose looks could have landed him in movies had the right scout found him, and she had two daughters (names unknown).”

Thanks, Loren!

Meanwhile, Bill Schmeer passed on the following information. He writes, “My neighbor, Jo (short for Josephine) Bosserman and her husband Charles, grew up on the east side. She called me when she saw my name in your column and added some information about the Market and Sherman Streets businesses. I am passing along the information as she gave it to me. The woman who ran Lil’s was Helen Eisenhart and they had the best beef, pork, and ham barbecues. She said the bar mentioned by Terry Parr was Degen’s, which is still there. Back in the ’70s, Jo ran the Jim and Nena’s in the 900 block of East Market St., where the Thai restaurant is now, Her husband, now retired, was a carpenter/builder and in his younger days worked for the company that built the York Valley Inn in East York. I don’t know if this was mentioned by earlier commentators, but she mentioned that a Mrs. Kauffman ran Melvins at some point and that there was a miniature golf course on the property; and that the theater that now houses the York Little Theater was a movie house called the Elmwood Theater, that showed offbeat films.”

Thanks, Bill (and Jo!)

3. My mother worked at Hollanders on S. George St. in York in the 1950’s when I was in grade school but I can’t figure out exactly where it was; do you know? I know it was on the east side of the street.
– Ted Schaefer

I loved getting Ted’s question, because we’ve talked extensively about the location of Hollander’s in Hanover, but very little about it in York. In fact, I truly cannot turn up a memory of that location at all, not even in the two most detailed recollections I have of the downtown – this “walking tour” from Mykl Lau and this map from Richard Staub!

So, any ideas for Ted are very welcomed!

Got any questions? Ask Joan using the form at right. I’ll attempt to answer them in a future “Ask Joan” column on this blog. I get a large volume, but I will feature three each week and answer as many as possible!

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