Only in York County

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Ask Joan: Lots of follow-ups edition

When I share Ask Joan questions that I don’t yet have an answer to, when I hear information, I often just pass that info directly on to the original question-asker. There are just so many questions that I could write five times a day for a year and not follow up on all of them in columns!

But today, I do have a few miscellaneous follow-ups to share on topics both recent and older. I hope you’ll enjoy them. (And check back next week for more in the “clearing up some lingering topics” vein, too.)

What’s inside

1. Boeckel’s Landing by the river
2. Another recipe for bacon dressing
3. Lemon sponge pie’s possible location

1. In this post from May, reader Erma Dettinger wondered if anyone remembered Boeckel’s Landing along the Susquehanna River in southern York County. I heard many memories of that area that I do want to share!

Don Chronister wrote, “We are very familiar with Boeckel’s Landing. Parents had a bungalow there and boats. Spent many happy times there.”

Reader Joann wrote and said, “Yes, as a young child, my parents would spend weekends there with aunt & uncle who had a place there. I don’t remember how to get there any more but would like to take a ride.” Joann asked if I could give directions to the area for anyone who wanted to visit again, and I’m glad to help; from Red Lion, take Route 74 south to Route 372 (Holtwood Road, that runs across the Norman Wood Bridge). Turn left onto Holtwood Road/372, then right on River Road just a little bit before the bridge. You can follow River Road back into a small area that leads right up to the river! (Be safe at the river, if you go!)

From frequent commenter Jim Fahringer I heard, “Yes, I remember Boeckel’s Landing quite well. During the 1960s I belonged to Boy Scout Troop 132 of the First Moravian Church in York, PA. We often traveled to Boeckel’s Landing and rented a boat or two and traveled to Big Bear Island, which was about a half-mile to a mile from the Landing. There was a small store there and we we sometimes bought sodas and snacks and bait before we traveled to the island. We would camp on the island for the weekend. I remember one time when a fellow Scout forgot a lantern and his dad and he took the only boat we had and boated back to Boeckel’s. Before they left they took two of my fellow Scouts and me to a large rock that jutted out of the river about 200 to 300 feet off the island where we were going to fish. This rock was about 8 feet wide and about 20 or so feet long. We stood on the rock with our fishing gear and watched as the other scout and his dad sped back to Boeckel’s Landing. Meanwhile a severe thunderstorm came up while we were standing on this rock. I still remember seeing the lightning come out of the sky and strike the water just next to the rock we were standing on. We were so frightened that we dropped our fishing rods into the river. There we were at the mercy of the weather being drenched and very frightened as the lightning was striking around us and the thunder roared. About an hour and a half to two hours later the other Scout and his father returned with the boat and picked us up and took us back to the island.” (Wow, we didn’t have any incidents like that in our recent story about Boy Scout memories!)

Jim also shared another story: “On another occasion I rented a boat from Boeckel’s and took a friend to Big Bear Island. This time I didn’t have an outboard motor and I rowed to the island. My friend was collecting wild water lilies that grew in some of the many ponds on the island and a thunderstorm came up. I told my friend that we have to leave because I didn’t want to get caught in the storm. He wanted to eat supper on the island. He asked me if I wanted to eat with him but I told him I was too nervous and wanted to get off the island before the storm came. He persisted and I watched as he ate. Finally I got him off the island but it was now almost dark because of the impending storm and sunset. We got about 200 feet off the island and suddenly we saw a bolt of lightning come out of the sky and strike the water not too far from us. I was scared stiff. My friend couldn’t swim an inch and we were in waters over 150 feet deep (according to topographical maps). We didn’t have any lights or life preservers. The wind became very fierce. As hard as I tried to row the boat in direction of Boeckel’s Landing, I couldn’t. The wind decided to steer us another way. I kept rowing and praying. After what seemed like days, we finally reached land in front of Boeckel’s Landing. I was so thankful that I wanted to bow down and kiss the solid land under my feet. I think Boeckel’s went out of business after Tropical Storm Agnes in 1972 destroyed much of the landing. Someone told me they opened for a brief period after that but I am not sure about that. I believe another boating busines has opened not far from where Boeckel’s once stood.”

2. Around this time last year, I shared a request from Lindsay Kate for a good hot bacon dressing recipe. Then, I shared a whole picnic’s worth of replies in this July 2012 post.

Today, I have one last one to share, from a Mrs. Williams. Her recipe:

4 slices bacon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg
1 cup cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup vinegar

Fry bacon slowly in saucepan. Add 1/2 cup sugar, salt and cornstarch. Mix thoroughly. Add beaten egg and vinegar and mix well. Add cream, bacon and fat. Cook to desired thickness. Serve hot over lettuce. “Try it, you’ll like it,” she wrote.

So, if you have any get-togethers coming up, there’s a nice change from potato salad you can bring!

3. You remember the Great Lemon Sponge Pie Recipe Quest of 2014, right? In which the longtime nurse at my family doctor’s office, Dawn, wanted to get the recipe for the lemon sponge pie formerly made at the Jay’s restaurants, and to which I got rather a ton of recipes in response?

Well, today I have a quick update on that pie that isn’t exactly a recipe. William Baublitz wrote and said, “I talked to a lady baker who worked at Jay’s about a month ago … and asked her if she ever contacted you. She said no. She told me that Jay’s either gave or sold their recipe to Whitecomb’s Produce stand at 2410 Roosevelt Avenue.”

So, who knows? Maybe we should try out a Whitecomb’s lemon sponge pie, right up the road from me in West Manchester Township, and see if it close to what we’re looking for!

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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