Only in York County

Part of the USA Today Network

Bea Botterbusch shared this photo of the car dealership/miniature golf course/go-cart business her father used to own on Roosevelt Avenue in York, where the UHaul is now.

Ask Joan: More info on Bierman’s, LoPiccolo’s and more

So has everyone set and promptly fallen off the wagon on New Year’s resolutions already? I don’t do resolutions, but I do a sort of annual review where I set goals for the year ahead and review how I did against the last year’s.

I haven’t done it yet, and I was really late filing this column, so I guess we can go on record that last year’s goal of doing things in a more timely fashion was “not completed.”

Here’s to more timeliness in 2020?

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. Remembering Smith’s car lot and amusement spot
2. Memories of Bierman’s continue
3. More info on LoPiccolo’s

1. Remembering Smith’s car lot and amusement spot

First up today, I have a letter from Bea Botterbusch, who shared the photo you see with today’s column.

She wrote, “I’m sure many of your 60+ readers remember my father’s go-cart and miniature golf course and used car lot on Roosevelt Avenue, where the UHaul is now. The property was formerly the York Airport, Oscar Hostetter. I lived on Boyd Avenue and the planes used to skim the treetops while landing.”

We had just talked about the York Airport’s history in a November column, including that location on Roosevelt Avenue, but I have not yet heard much about N.O. Smith Used Cars or its accompanying miniature golf course and go-cart area! I would love to hear more. (Also fun: If you look closely at the picture, you can see som efun signs in the background, including a Nash dealership.)

2. Memories of Bierman’s continue

I also heard from reader Robert “Bob” Kuhn, who wrote to me from his home in Normandie Ridge. Mr. Kuhn was 97 at the time he wrote to me last summer – possibly 98 now, if his birthday fell in the second half of last year! – and said, “I can give you some more information on Bierman’s Restaurant.”

We had last talked about Bierman’s in a column last June, when a reader from Virginia, who was formerly married to the oldest son of Bierman’s owners Fred and Fairy Bierman, wrote with her memories.

About Bierman’s, Bob noted, “When I was young and my dad worked in Washington, D.C., he came home every weekend and we always went to Bierman’s either on Saturday or Sunday. They had the best fried oysters in York and this was what we always went for. Fred’s wife, Fairy, always mingled with the customers to make sure they were well satisfied with the food, and I’m sure everyone was.”

He continued, “Also, during the week from Christmas to New Year’s, my dad would get a five-gallon can of vanilla ice cream packed in dry ice from Bierman’s. It would be in our kitchen and we would just go and help ourselves to the ice cream whenever we wanted.” (To which I, Joan, say: SIGN ME UP.)

Finally, Bob concluded, “Bierman’s parking lot was also the site of the traveling medicine shows in the summer. My dad had me go and buy rattlesnake oil to rub on his joints to prevent arthritis. I guess it worked because being a bricklayer, he was still laying bricks at age 88… these are just a few of my good childhood memories.”

Bob, I am so grateful to you for sharing those memories. (And for making me hungry for ice cream!)

3. More info on LoPiccolo’s

Finally for today comes a letter from David S. Pfeiffer, who wrote following a column from last year where we talked about LoPiccolo’s, a former restaurant on South George Street in the Violet Hill area.

Earlier commenters had remembered this as being at the left entrance to York Hospital’s emergency room, at the traffic light, but David noted, “the exact location was further south, where Business 83 joins George Street. I grew up in this Violet Hill neighborhood in the ’40s and ’50s and knew it well.”

He also noted, “A short distance south from LoPiccolo’s, before crossing Tyler Run, was the Rouse Woolen Mill. Who today still remembers that enterprise?” That’s not one we have talked about before and I would love to hear more memories of it!

Finally, David recalled, “In the mid-1950s, these two establishments, together with most of the houses in the vicinity, were taken by the state to make way for the 83 spur into York. Later, in the ’60s and ’70s, the lower part of Violet Hill from where LoPiccolo’s stood to about a block before Country Club Road was gobbled up by the York Hospital.”

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.