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Aerial view of York County Shopping Center
This photo, courtesy of Gene Schenck, shows the York County Shopping Center in 1955, center. Other parts of the picture have also raised questions.

Ask Joan: Following up on trucking company and hardware stores

After hitting a lot of new questions in my last column, I thought this week might be a good time to go back and follow up on some previous queries that I’ve received more details about.

An image shows the phrase Ask Joan in large letters above a line and the phrase What's to love about York County below it.

What’s inside

1. Following up on trucking company
2. Helping solve the hardware mystery

1. Following up on trucking company

Back in 2018, reader Steve McGinnis wrote about a photo I’ve shared several times of the former York County Shopping Center. He was curious about the trucking company pictured in the lower right corner. I did have a reader, Charles Rearich, reply some time ago and mention that it was probably Mason and Dixon Trucking Co. I also heard the same from Jerrold Keyes.

But today, I have a short story to share from another Steve, this one Steve Godfrey. He writes, “I’m responding to Mr. McGinnis’s question about the trucking company pictured in the lower right corner of the York County Shopping Center. It was home of Mason-Dixon Trucking Lines.”

He continued, “My father and uncle worked there beginning in 1954. They eventually moved to Emigsville before going out of business in 1984. After high school in 1971 I became the third-generation family member to work in the trucking industry. My grandfather got the ball rolling by working at Motor Freight Express. We all put at least 30 or more years in the business. As they used to say back in the day, if you bought it, a truck brought it.”

As we enter Year 2 of pandemic living, I thought that was a particularly good sentiment to share. I am so grateful to all the truckers who’ve kept things moving. Heaven knows the steady stream of goods and groceries that come to my door wouldn’t be possible without truckers.

2. Helping solve the hardware mystery

A fun question last week came from a reader named John, who wanted me to settle a dispute with a coworker. John thought the former Hechinger hardware used to be where Sheetz and the Hyundai dealer are in Springettsbury Township, on Memory Lane; his coworker said it was the building later occupied by Wolf Furniture.

Well, fellow Yorkblogger Stephen H. Smith of the amazing Yorkspast was able to play referee for me, as it were! He wrote, “I often shopped at Hechinger and Lowe’s in Springettsbury Township. After Hechinger went bankrupt, Wolf’s eventually moved into their vacant store on the corner of Industrial Highway and Northern Way. Lowe’s was originally in a smaller store when it opened in the mid ’70s along Industrial Highway; that is the building that became a Hyundai dealership; after Lowe’s moved to their present mega-store in the York Marketplace. The Sheetz, next to the Hyundai dealership, replaced a Roy Rogers Restaurant.”

I had mentioned I was particularly interested in this because I thought I remembered a West Manchester Hechinger’s, where the Sheetz is now on Carlisle Road. I was close, but not quite, and was so excited when Stephen was able to provide more details on this as well.

He continued, “When Hechinger had their going out of business sale, I remember also seeing Builders Square tags on items. In looking up that connection, I discovered a paragraph in an April 8, 2000, article in the York Daily Record, which concisely answers the second part of your Hechinger query. ‘Last year, those west-end residents lost Builders Square on Route 30, which closed after its parent company, Hechinger Co. filed for bankruptcy. For years, Builders Square in Northwest Plaza Shopping Center served as the only home improvement outlet within miles. In 1998, a Sheetz convenience store had replaced a Leaner Home Center at the corner of Carlisle Road and Brougher Lane.’

So, it was not Hechinger’s, but Leaner’s, that I remember so fondly. I used to go there on Saturdays with my dad, a woodworker who was always looking for some new tool or project. I told Stephen I was so happy to have that memory made clearer!

Have questions or memories to share? Email me at joan@joanconcilio.com 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.

1 comment on “Ask Joan: Following up on trucking company and hardware stores

  1. I remember working at Mason and Dixon Trucking Lines on Memory Lane right out of high school in June of 1965 to about 1967 when this trucking terminal moved up along Route 83. I continued working at the new location until 1969. I think the name of the road at the new location may have been Board Rd. but I may have the wrong name of that road. I worked night work on the dock loading and unloading freight from trailers. Actually that was the way I paid for my college education. I remember working at the Memory Lane location one night when the temperature was way below zero. While working at the Memory Lane location a terrible accident occurred one night. I am glad I had off that night. A worker was helping the jockey. He was under a trailer and removing a lever that allowed the wheels to slide forward or backward to even the load in the trailer. When he was under the trailer, the jockey pulled forward and the worker was killed. Another interesting memory was that one of the office workers were arrested for embezzling thousands of dollars from the company. It was actually great working for this company. It was hard work but the management treated you well. I was also getting paid $3.65 an hour to work there which was almost twice as much as my friends were making at their jobs. The Mason and Dixon logo which appeared on the sides of all their trailers would probably not be politically correct today. However, I think the logo presented a wonderful message of peace, harmony and forgiveness. The logo showed a fully dressed Union soldier and Confederate soldier shaking hands. They may have been Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant but I am not sure. Their logo portrayed the function of this trucking company. The company connected the northern states with the southern states by transporting freight between these regions of our country. The King family in Knoxville, Tennessee owned this company. This may have been the same King family who presented the Christmas Special each year on TV. The language spoken on the docks was not exactly the kind of language you would use in Sunday School. I remember one of the bosses named Al decided to introduce his visiting father from Tennessee to the workers on the dock. His father was actually a minister but the men didn’t know it. Without a doubt, many of the men used their colorful language to talk to him. It was almost funny.

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