Only in York County

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Ask Joan: Oh, the weather edition

Lots of rain and thunder hit us earlier today in West Manchester Township. Now, it’s as hot as ever. I remind myself frequently that I hate winter! The only truly bad part about the heat for us is the damage being done to our garden.

Well, if that’s our biggest problem, we’re not doing too bad. Stay safe, everyone, whatever your weather, and keep reading for a random weather-related theme in Ask Joan!

What’s inside
1. Follow-ups on the Regal Store
2. What happened to Girl Scout building?

1. Back on June 13, Hubby – who likes to keep me busy with questions – asked about The Regal Store, based on a book trade label he found.

Turns out, that was the same Regal Store as we’d talked about in some previous downtown business memory posts, and many people were in touch to share their own thoughts about this business.

Dr. Reineberg called me from Country Meadows of Leader Heights. He’s in his late 80s now and a native Yorker; he said the thing he remembers most about the Regal Store is that they sold umbrellas!

Tom Diehl was able to help with a location; he wrote, “The Regal was a stationery store a few doors below Gregory’s.” Shirley Cover was able to get an address of 102 N. George St. from an old phone book and said she thought it might be the same one; looks like it is!

My friend Betsy Baird said, “The Regal Store was on North George St, in the northwest corner building. It was the second store in the building at corner. It sold stationery supplies and umbrellas, attaches, fountain pen, pads of legal column paper, businessmen’s supplies. Mother and I liked the umbrellas they sold, above all.” (Yes, another umbrella reference – wow?!)
She continues, “I think they had some books, but not many. Somehow, I seem to recall that it had another exit around the corner, on Philadelphia St.”

Pat Elicker writes, “The Regal Store was a stationary store located at 102 N. George Street, in 1958. The owners name was Cross. I also found a Regal Clothiers at 152 S George Street, and was owned by Charles Lyons. (Polks York City directory 1958).” Pat, that’s pretty neat – thank you! Bob Keller also owns several copies of Polk’s and found that too.

Paul Summers wins the umbrella trifecta. He writes, “I worked at the Regal Stationary Store in 1943, repairing umbrellas. I was 14 years old and worked for Wilbur Cross, the owner. It was the second building in the 100 block of N George St on the west side of the street.”

Roy Flinchbaugh writes, “They seemed to carry many different things — for some reason I recall that they had” – wait for it – “umbrellas.”

Those of you who remember our trip to Gino’s might also remember my new friends Richard and Audrey Contres of York. It turns out that Audrey’s mother, Florence Werner Myers, worked for the Regal Store before she was married to Audrey’s father (this was before 1925). Richard wrote to me and said, “It seems the owner of The Regal Store had asked Florence if she was interested in buying into the business. The owner’s name was Wilbur Cross. The store was … next to Formprest Cleaners.”

It turns out, by the way, that there was also a Regal Clothiers in business around the same time; another writer, Audrey LeRew, had worked there and I’ve asked her for some more details to share later! (In an “Only in York County” moment, by the way, Audrey is recent commenter Greg Halpin’s aunt!)

2. What happened to the former Penn Laurel Girl Scout Council building near the York Galleria?
– Joan

This question came via phone call from “another Joan” about two weeks ago. When Joan and I chatted, we discussed how the former Penn Laurel Girl Scout Council is now Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania. That group is headquartered in Harrisburg, though there is a local office at 1213 Carlisle Road in West Manchester Township, according to the group’s website.

Joan’s real question was, what’s going to become of the building at Pleasant Valley and Mount Zion roads formerly occupied by the Scouting organization? It doesn’t appear to be listed for sale, and I haven’t heard of any plans out of the Springettsbury Township meetings we cover for any development there. I’ve long shared Joan’s concern about empty “big boxes” around town; in fact, I lamented about three sites in particular in this 2009 post, and unfortunately, two of the three are still vacant. Joan, I guess we’ll have to add this site to that list. If I hear anything in the future, I’ll be sure to provide an update.

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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