Only in York County

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Ask Joan: It’s going to be March edition

So I was lamenting last week that it was sleeting and I wanted it to be spring… but at the same time, I don’t want to be starting the third month of 2013 already.

I’m hard to please, aren’t I?

What’s inside

1. Following up on Markey farm
2. W.T. Grant in York County
3. More memories of Scott Stevens

1. An earlier Ask Joan featured a question from Barry L. Myers of Hanover, who’d purchased a 1932 vehicle to refurbish and was seeking information about the business name listed on it – ORE Valley Fruit & Vegetable Farm, R.E. Markey, York, PA.

He was seeking information about it and was hoping some Ask Joan readers could help. And indeed, they did!

David Snyder wrote, “The Ore Valley fruit & Vegetable Farm was owned by Roger E. Markey. It is located on the Springwood Road near the intersection of Camp Betty Washington Road. Currently the farm is owned by The Fitz’s who operate it as a vegetable farm and have a nice roadside stand there. I was born & raised in the area and remember the farm but I don’t have many details.”

I also heard from Carla Reinecker, who says, “Roger & Anna Markey’s fruit farm was on the Springwood Road across from Schaeffer’s. My mother worked at their Eastern market stand & my brothers worked on the farm… Roger & Anna were both killed in a car accident 30+ years ago. He was also a preacher.”

And Nancy (Markey) Swonger said, “I may have some answers for Barry about the Ore Valley Farm. The Markey listed on the truck was my uncle, Roger. He and his wife Anna had the Ore Valley Farm for many years and the farm is still there today and is owned and farmed by the Fitz brothers. Roger was also instrumental in starting and building the New Eastern Market and served as its first market master.” I also heard from Dale Markey, who described himself as the brother of the original owner!

I love hearing from family members more than almost anything, so thank you both, and thanks to everyone who responded with this info for Barry!

2. I know in one of your blog posts you talked about where retail stores used to be in York. Is is true where Kmart is on Haines Rd., the building used to be W.T. Grant Company? I worked for them in Altoona, PA from 1974 to 1976. I would be interested in knowing.
– Rami

This is a tough question, only because I have heard that spot where Kmart is now described as SEVERAL different businesses in the past, and since it’s been a Kmart for my whole life, I can’t confirm which are correct! The most accurate description I’ve heard had Weis in that shopping center where the Salvation Army store now sits, and Kmart next to it, as the original tenants.

So if that’s the case, I don’t believe there would have been a W.T. Grant’s there. Any ideas where there might HAVE been a Grant’s on that end of town for Rami?

3. Reader Sis James had asked about Scott Stevents Sporting Goods in an earlier Ask Joan.

My friend Linda Harlow said she remembers Scott Stevens very well. “When I bought my first pair of downhill skis I got them at Scott Stevens. I also got my ski goggles and gloves there as well. Although the goggles and gloves have been gone for some time I still have the skis and poles. I had to replace the bindings due to a recall but otherwise they are still the same. That was in the mid 80s and I used them up until 2005. Bad hips have put my skiing days behind me.”

Steve Eaton wrote, “I was a schoolmate of Jeff Stevens at Edgar Fahs Smith Jr. High in the sixties. Jeff was the grandson (I believe) of Scott. Jeff’s dad, Jack, ran the store, in later years, and Jeff worked there after school. I also bought my first set of skis there, as well as all my sporting goods. After shopping there, you could buy some peanuts next door at Mike’s Nut Shop; or get donuts at Dixie (Creme?) Donuts. Those donuts were my favorites and I would stop there on my walk home from York High. Jeff’s family moved to the West York School District in our high school years, but we stayed in touch at the store.”

And Dennis said, “Scott Stevens Sporting Goods was located at 160 W. Market St. We bought many guns and other sporting equipment there in the mid-sixties until the mid-seventies. Scott owned the place, and his son Jack worked there and later took over the store. A great place and nice people.”

Tom Strickler writes, “I believe at one time Scott Stevens might have worked at Cohen Bros on South George Street prior to opening his own store on West Market Street. The store was operated by Jack Stevens and his son Jeff. Prior to the big box stores, Scott Stevens Sporting Goods had it all. There were many ski packages sold there. They also sold top quality sport clothing. Hunting, fishing, baseball/softball, golf. skiing, sneakers, etc., they packed a lot into that store by today’s standards. I might add they were very nice people, and great to work for. Like a number of businesses in downtown York, they took a pretty good hit from Agnes in 1972.”

Dick Puckett said that he remembered Scott Stevens working at a store other than his own – but not Cohen Brothers. Dick writes, “I worked at Webb and Wolfe in the 40s and 50s. It was managed by Dave Hull, John Grove had sports, and Scott Stevens had hunting and fishing. The two main sporting stores were Webb and Wolfe on East Market Street and Cohen Brothers on South George. The major profit end of the business was securing contracts with all local schools on their athletic equipment and uniforms. In later years after Webb and Wolfe was sold, Scott Stevens did open his own store on West Market Street, just east of the railroad tracks. And, of course, John Grove opened his own store on East Market and Sherman which is still in existence. As an aside, my first wife was the daughter of Dave Hull. Years after she passed away I remarried and my second wife is related to John Grove.”

Talk about Only in York County – I love it!

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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