Only in York County

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Ask Joan: Helping friends edition

This weekend’s highlight was going to see the performance of Behold the Lamb, the original “visual oratorio” created by some friends of mine. In addition to watching the show, we were able to help by hosting three of the student singers last night into this morning. As you read this, we’ll all be having a pretty tasty breakfast before sending them home. It was cool to be able to help my friends, even though my musical talents are more than a little rusty! That’s a different kind of “Ask Joan” that I can really get into.


What’s inside
1. Hechinger and hardware redux
2. Before Charlie Brown’s
3. How Oil Creek got its name
4. The Pine Tree Inn
5. Construction in the Shrewsbury area

Q1. You might remember last week that Linda Miller asked where the Hechinger Home Center was in York. I had a guess, but wasn’t sure, and you guys were kind enough to help me!

It turns out that Hechinger was in Springettsbury Township, in a spot that’s now one of my favorite stores!

Scott C. was a big help; he writes, “The Hechinger in York was located at 380 Northern Way. It opened in October 1978 and closed in 1999. It became a Wolf Furniture store in April 2002.” Dale Boyce and Jack Bupp also weighed in and helped with that answer!

But this raised another question, about Triangle Hardware, which both Scott and my friend Lorie remember as being where Dick’s Sporting Goods is on Route 30 in West Manchester Township. Can we confirm that for sure, and wasn’t there ALSO a hardware store, maybe Leaner’s, near where the Sheetz is now on Route 74 in West Manchester Township? All info is welcome!

Q2. Anyone remember the name of the restaurant in the building where Charlie Browns (was)?
Greg Halpin

Greg asked this question back in February, and I unfortunately didn’t answer it very promptly. But this is one I know, at least in part. Before it was Charlie Brown’s (from about mid-2005 to late 2010), that restaurant was Pargo’s, from December of 1994 to early 2005. (Pargo’s, around the time of its York opening, was actually owned by the same company that owned the Shoney’s, right nearby near where Texas Roadhouse is now!)

Q3. My dad and I have been searching for some mystery cemeteries, and we starting talking about how Oil Creek in Menges Mills got its name. He has been unable to locate anyone who knows, so I started my own search, with unsuccessful results. I posted a message on The Exchange, and someone stated there was a discussion in the 1950s or 60s about oil in the Dover area, and said maybe they are related. I’ve read records from the late 1800s to early 1900s mentioning Oil Creek but nothing on its origin. Is it possible for you to assist with this?
– Blake Stough

Blake, I’m not sure I have any particular insight, but hopefully some of our readers here who haven’t visited The Exchange can help! (You can read what’s been suggested so far for some background!)
Some of the people involved over there did a LOT of research work, only to come up empty-handed. The only things I found were references to oil in New Salem, not super-far from Menges Mills. One last person you might check with is Jeri Jones, local geologist, whose website details a lot of geologic history around the county. I know that general area was home to a lot of iron mines, and as a long shot, I guess it’d be possible that while digging for iron, they found some “black gold” instead?

Any other ideas for Blake?

Q4. I remember a rather elegant place out on West Rt. 30 called the Pine Tree Inn. Seems to have disappeared. Any info to confirm my memory?
– Sylvia Lee

Sylvia writes from Springfield, Missouri, and says, “I love this news from ‘home.'” I searched for the Pine Tree Inn in our archives and found reference to an eastern York County school that had its prom at a place called the Pine Tree Inn in 1952. They certainly could have headed across town for it, so I wouldn’t rule it out as the right one!

I also found an anniversary listing for a couple who celebrated in 2007 at Fireside Caterers, and their announcement said that was formerly the Pine Tree Inn. But I can’t place Fireside Caterers or find anything further about them at all! So, again, any ideas from someone with a better memory and/or better search skills than mine?

Q5. Do you know what they are building in Shrewsbury across from the M&T bank? A lot is being cleared now. Also do you think more retail and food places are coming to Shrewsbury in the future? Thanks.
– Dave

Thanks, Dave, for asking! I do not know, and can’t find anything in our reporting archives, but I’ve passed this on to my southern York County correspondent and friend Barb Krebs, who I’m hoping can let me know. (I also tried to see if I could come up with anything from the borough council minutes, but didn’t see anything at a quick pass.)

In general, do I think there will be more retail coming to the borough itself? Can’t be sure. I would say that in the past decade or so, most of the development in that area has been outside the borough in Shrewsbury Township, home of Shrewsbury Commons Shopping Center and many businesses that have sprung up beside I-83. But I do know that the Historic Shrewsbury folks have been working hard to draw more people in town, so it’s always possible!

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’m already getting a big volume, so it might take me a while, but I hope to be able to answer as many as possible!

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