Only in York County

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Ask Joan: New round of questions edition

In many of my recent Ask Joan columns in the print edition of the York Sunday News, I’ve been following up with answers to past questions. But today, I want to put a few of the dozens of not-yet-asked questions I’ve received out there. Maybe you can help get one of your fellow readers an answer!

What’s inside

1. Hershey Baking Co., five-and-dime
2. Lion as pet in York
3. Jay’s lemon sponge pie recipe

1. I, too, am a life-long Yorker and have many ancestors from this area, including Jacob Stauffer Hershey, who founded the J.S. Hershey Baking Co. around the year 1889. What can you tell me about this company and do you have any photos of it? … He was my great-grandmother’s brother. I have another question about a former York business that was owned by an ancestor of mine, Abram S. Hershey. The business was a five and ten cent store which, I believe, was located on West Market St. He passed away in 1925, but I remember the store being there when I was a young child in the 1950s. Any info or pictures of this store? Thanks!
– Sharon Mindemann

Sharon asked for these memories QUITE a while ago, and I made some attempts to dig up information on both companies. I did find a photo of a J.S. Hershey Co. bin here on the Fresh Vintage website, which includes the information that it was a bread bakery founded in 1889 in York, but found little on the five-and-dime. Any info on both would be greatly appreciated!

2. This isn’t your normal memory of a store or restaurant, but I remember a lion as a pet in the city of York in the 1970s. I can remember going to parades in the city and the lion would be on a leash and though it was odd, he was around a lot. I’m guessing this was in the early to mid-70s since it was around the time my dad worked at the YMCA. My dad remembers that the owner lived near the YMCA’s half-way house because new tenants would come to live at the house and the lion could easily be seen from the half-way house and would “scare” the new tenants. Does anyone else remember this? My family does, but when I bring it up to other Yorkers, they don’t seem to believe it.
– Cyndi Page

Cyndi, I haven’t heard of such a thing, but I would in NO way have trouble believing it! Anyone have any info? (Also, to my husband, Chris, if you’re reading this: No, we cannot get a pet lion.)

3. Today’s last Ask Joan question is one I have been promising to get an answer to for a LONG time. Dawn, who is the best nurse I could ask for at my family doctor’s office, has been asking me for a year to find out the recipe for the lemon sponge pie they used to serve at the Jay’s grocery store restaurant.

I would love, love, love to help her out! Anyone have that recipe or remember that pie?

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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