Only in York County

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Ask Joan: The Pittsburgh edition

As you read this, I’m in Pittsburgh, hanging out with two good friends after driving my mom to an event she’s attending this week.

But I will be back later today – can’t stay away from York for THAT long!

Meanwhile, in a real “it’s a small world” kind of thing, Pittsburgh’s a big city, but my friends’ home is only 2 miles from my mom’s hotel. How crazy is that?

What’s inside
1. Following up on sporting goods
2. Seeking a restaurant name
3. Maybe a Melvin’s question

1. Even before there was such a thing as “Ask Joan,” I was trying to field questions, and today’s follow-up actually comes from one of those.


Back in March, John Loeper asked if anyone remembered the name of a sporting goods store next to the Morris Drug Store just off the square in York. “I remember my Dad buying me a basketball there,” he said.

Ben Lightner had a thought; he says, “I am not sure if the one you are looking for is Scott Stevens. I remember I used to get all my cub scout stuff there. Scott Stevens was down closer to Pershing Ave.”

That was certainly one in the area, but I heard from other readers some different suggestions. Yvonne Leiphart writes, “The store next to Morris Drug Store was Webbe and Wolfe Sporting Goods.”

Jim Knaub votes for the same, with a different spelling, and Ginyy Wonders agreed. Jim says, “The name of the store was Webb and Wolf Sporting Goods. I remember it well because we used to go there to look at the baseball gloves and bats along with all the other sporting items. I say look because few of us could afford to buy these items back in the 1940’s. We mostly played with used hand me down equipment. This store was one of two better sporting goods stores in York in those days, the other being Cohen Bros. on South George St.”

That’s the one, though, that some people thought was next to Morris Drug.

Jim Shindler says “My 80 year old ‘questionable’ memory believes it may have been Cohen Bros. Sporting Goods. I bought a pair of CCM figure skates from them. A man by the name of Harry ‘Squab’ Snyder worked there and later bought the business. I bought a Winchester Model 70 .270 cal. rifle from ‘Squab’ which had been his personal firearm. Correct or incorrect? Just my recollection.”

Bob Slagle of West Manchester Township agrees. He says, “The sporting goods store next to Morris Drug Co. was Cohen Bros. Sporting Goods. I purchased merchandise from them in the late 40’s and early 50’s.”

But back to something that ties the two earlier thoughts together, Clyde Armold of the Dallastown area writes, “There was a Sporting Goods store on East Market St., but it was NOT next to Morris Drug. It was next to Weaver’s Music store. The music store was next to Morris Drug and the sporting goods store was next to the music store. … Weaver’s store sold pianos that were made in York. The sporting goods store was Webb and Wolf located at 15 E. Market St. I worked there full and part time while I was in high school. I swept the floor every night and helped out as a sales clerk after school and as a full time clerk on week ends and during the Summer months. All the downtown stores were open every Friday night until 9 o’clock, so while the ladies shopped at the Dept Stores, the men would hang out at Webb and Wolf and tell lies about their hunting and fishing trips. The main Webb and Wolf store was in Harrisburg and we were the Urban store. Dave Hull was the store manager and Scott Stevens was the gun man.” I almost wonder if the idea of “Scott Stevens” as a store name is related to this Scott Stevens?

Clyde continues, “There was another sporting goods store in York at this time, Cohen Bros. which was located in the 100 block of south George Street which was our competitor. I worked at Webb and Wolf until I went in the service in 45. When I got out of the service in 53, the store was gone. I don’t know when it closed. Remembering Webb & Wolf brings back a lot of great memories about when down town York was a beehive of activities.”

Thanks to all who helped with this; I think by the time we got Clyde’s comment, I had pretty well figured out what must have been where!

2. There was a restaurant at the Old York Shopping Center. It was not the Embers but an Italian restaurant that had fountain in the rear of the dining room. Does anyone know the name?
– Connie Morningstar

I’m really excited to see if we can help Connie with this question, because she’s a longtime friend of our family. In fact, when she started writing and commenting, I had to ask her, “Are you THE Connie Morningstar my parents knew?” Indeed she was, and she remembers me from when I was about 4 years old.

Now, I’m hoping we can jog her memory and our own with this. Any ideas? I do have one guess already from my friend Betsy Baird, who also has some other York Shopping Center memories, so we’ll see what everyone else thinks first!

3. Did you ever hear of Mel’s Drive In? It was located close to the market st. exit of 83. I would love some info on this drive in and a picture or two if possible.
– Darlene McCullough

I took a chance that Darlene might mean Melvin’s Drive-In, which was at exactly where Market Street and I-83 now meet, but which later moved to the Village Green Shopping Center, so I sent her information about this previous post – with accompanying photos – about Melvin’s.
Darlene, I’m anxious to see if that matches what you remember!

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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