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Some truly random follow-ups to previous reader questions

Today, I’d like to dip into some responses to previous Ask Joan questions shared by readers. These all tie in to older questions (some as far back as 2014!), all of which I was saving in case I got enough other notes on the same topic to make a full column.

For today, though, it’s time to get them out into the world!

What’s inside

1. Details provided on Belmont Pharmacy
2. Were Higgins boats made in Red Lion?
3. Babe Ruth played ball in York
4. Details on Dillsburg High School


Back in 2014, reader Steve Bancroft asked about whether there was a soda fountain at the former Belmont Pharmacy in Spring Garden Township; Steve recalled that the pharmacist there might have been named Ben Lavitan.

Following that, I heard from Judy Orcutt, who wrote, “It was Sid Levitan who was the pharmacist who owned Belmont Pharmacy. His wife, Lil, was the driving force! I worked for Sid when I was in high school (first job) as I wanted to see if I was interested in pursuing pharmacy as a career. I did. Sid told me that I would never make a pharmacist as I ate too many of the profits from his soda fountain. We remained friends throughout the years and I bought his darkroom equipment as both of us also shared a love for photography.”

Judy, thanks so much for clearing that up!


Also way back in 2014, we talked about whether a factory in Red Lion might have made World War II Higgins boats, a type of landing craft.

Fellow Yorkblogger June Lloyd of Universal York had replied to me about this, noting that Red Lion Cabinet Company made many items for defense during World War II, but, “I checked my notes for the column and blog posts I did on them, but don’t see any Higgins boats. They did make pleasure boats in the ’50s.” June also suggested any interested readers might contact Shirley Keeports at the Red Lion Area Historical Society.


Some time ago, a reader had wondered if it was true that Babe Ruth had ever played baseball in or near York. Well, reader Ron McClain wrote, “Well, it just so happens that I have a 18″ x 24″ poster/photograph of Babe Ruth & Lou Gehrig posing & signing baseballs at White Oak ball park in North York, PA, on 5/27/1928 where a game was played between the Knights and Yankees.”

Ron, how awesome – thank you for clearing that up!


Some time ago, reader Deborah Seigman asked for photos and info about the former Dillsburg High School and William Wells Young Memorial High School in northern York County.

I had suggested the Northern York County Historical & Preservation Society as a possible lead, but I heard from some other readers about other possibilities.

Donna Cochran noted that info on these two schools “can probably be found at the Wellsville Historical Society at the converted Wellsville Bank in town… and there is a great book written by Dr. Brian M. Small called The Story of the One Room Schools in the Northern York County School District… or by contacting the Northern High School Alumni Association.” Those are all great suggestions, thanks, Donna!

I also heard from Pat Nesbit Meckley, who wrote of Dillsburg High School, My father, Quay Nesbit, also graduated from the original high school in 1911 with its largest class of 11! The first graduating class was in 1907. Most of the grade school students went to one room schoolhouses and many did not continue after eighth grade.”

Thank you both for your notes on that topic!

Have questions or memories to share? Email me at or write to Ask Joan, York Daily Record/Sunday News, 1891 Loucks Road, York PA 17408. We cannot accept any phone calls with questions or information.