Only in York County

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Ask Joan: Welcome to December edition

So… it’s December. As in, next up is 2013. I can’t say I feel quite ready, but at the same time, I look back over the year and am pretty amazed at all that’s come to pass.

What’s inside

1. Figuring out the “Gruver’s” pharmacies
2. Christmas “Hide the Line” memories

1. You might remember that when we followed up on the location of a Gruver’s pharmacy, we received multiple responses with possible locations: South George Street and East College Avenue, on East Market Street near the Lincoln Highway Garage, and on the northwest corner of West Princess and South West streets.

Well, I was hoping to hear more and clear some of this up, and in fact I did!

Phil Klinedinst writes, “The pharmacy on West Princess Street was Coover’s, not Gruver’s, I believe.”

Diane Miller said her husband, Brad Miller, was raised on Grantley Road near Dentsply and remembered a Coover’s at West and Princess. Bern Bevenour was also a customer of Coover’s for many years. “600 W. Princess St, Glen Coover, owner, and daughter. Later sold to a Louis Underwood,” Bern writes.

Dave Wolf also confirmed the Coover’s name, saying, “I grew up in the 700 block of W. Princess St., about 1 block away, and would stop there for candy and small toys when I was a kid.” And Henry Dennis said, “My family moved to Salem Ave. in 1947 which is one block from there and I remember Coover’s being there then.”

And friend Ann at the Martin Library reference desk listed these:

  • According to the 1952 & 1958 York City Polk Directories, Coover’s Pharmacy was at 601 W. Princess St.
  • Gruver’s Pharmacy is listed at 1208 E. Market in 1962 & 1976 York City Directories.
  • Coover’s Pharmacy is listed at 597 W. Princess in the1968 York City Directory.
  • The 1968 & 1976 York City Directories list Coover’s Drug Store at 601 W. Princess St.

So I thought we were pretty clear, then, but Bill Landes wrote and said, “Gruver’s Pharmacy was around Mt Rose Avenue but on the York side of 83.” Oh, no, another rabbit trail… was this also a Gruver’s? Or a pharmacy by another name?

Finally, Lynn C. Gruver, the daughter of Carl E. Gruver, the owner of the Gruver’s at 1208 E. Market St., wrote with even more details. She says:

“It’s no wonder that Gruver Pharmacy struck a loving chord with many. Dad was incredible, and had a treasure chest of stories and memories he used to tell. He is so sadly missed by his family and friends. People love to talk about private corner pharmacies that were a truly caring & quaint contrast to current chains & franchises. I’m fairly certain Gruver Pharmacy was a ‘one and only,’ although I was but a toddler in the ’50s. A couple folks were likely thinking of Coover’s Pharmacy; and (one reader) is likely remembering that Dad eventually, reluctantly sold his business to Belmont Pharmacy located near the York Little Theater. Dad continued to work there a couple years, then moved on to West York Pharmacy (always avoiding those ‘big’ drug stores, ‘you know, the ones that sell car parts’), where he worked well into his 70s, when his beloved partner and wife Carolyn became ill.”

She adds that people might remember their jingle, “The values there just can’t be beat.”

Thanks to all for these great drug-store memories!

2. Ask if anybody remembers around Christmas time in York on the sidewalks they used to put a wide piece of tape on the sidewalk and people would ring a bell and yell – hide the line. You were supposed to hide the line with money. York was really special around Christmastime in the city. The decorations and other things going on really meant a lot of things to the Yorkers.
– Jack L. Bupp

It’s December now, so what better way to get in the Christmas spirit than by sharing Christmas memories! Does anyone else recall the “Hide the Line” that Jack mentions?

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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