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Remembering Ahrens and other York County butcher shops of the past

It’s been about two years since we last talked about York County butcher shops of the past. You can read previous posts on this topic here, here and here.

In the intervening time, I’ve received several other notes about butcher shops from the York County area, and I wanted to share those today.

Reader Emma Witmer wrote, “I recall, as Jim Fahringer recalled, the Ahrens Butcher Shop. As a kid growing up in York, there was an Ahren’s Butcher Shop on South Queen Street, which was a block down from where I lived. I also recall the Ahren brothers’ snow white hair. Does anyone recall the Herb’s Brewery located on the corner of South Queen and King Street in York?”

Ahrens hot dogs

I received this photo from William Greenawalt in relation to the Ahrens hot dogs. “Here you can get one on a bun for 5 cents,” he said of this photo, which he said shows the inside of the concession facility at Springwood Park in the early 1940s.

William also added, “I remember Neff’s butcher shop in Yoe. It was located next to the church at the only traffic light in Yoe. I was just a kid but I remember the large wooden butcher tables and the meat hooks. The thing that interested me most was the roll of butcher paper on a cast iron dispenser and the old meat slicer. There was also a blacksmith shop in Yoe, I wonder if anyone remembers it.”

And I also received some great history from a family member, which regular readers will know is one of my favorite things about this hobby of documenting York’s history! Dorothy Ahrens Flinchbaugh wrote, “My grandfather, Paul E.F. Ahrens, lived beside the store for the E.F. Ahrens & Sons Butcher Shop at 363 East King Street. As Jim mentioned, Edgar Street intersected East King Street near the location of the butcher shop storefront. The other gentleman who worked in the butcher shop with the white hair was Al Ruby. They were not brothers, but both had beautiful white hair.”

Dorothy continued, “E.F. Ahrens and Sons Butcher Shops were started by my great-grandfather at 457 South Queen Street, where there was also a storefront. The slaughter areas, meat processing and meat cutting areas were in the buildings behind the Queen Street address. Edward F. Ahrens and his wife lived beside the offices and the store at the Queen Street address.”

She added, “E.F. Ahrens’ son, R. Robert ‘Bob’ Ahrens, worked at the Queen Street store and in the meat cutting areas in addition to the stand at the Central Market in York. E. F. Ahrens’ (other) son, Paul E.F. Ahrens, had the store at 363 East King Street. E.F. Ahrens’ daughter, Charlotte Jacobs Cunningham, worked for them as a secretary/office person at the Queen Street location.”

And finally, Dorothy said, “My dad, Paul E. Ahrens, known as ‘Ed’ or ‘Butch,’ worked at the meat processing facility, drove truck delivering meats to the little county grocery stores, worked at the King Street store, and worked at the Central Market and the Eastern Market at the E. F. Ahrens and Sons meat stands.”

Dorothy, I am so glad to hear more about the history of your family’s business, and so glad for all of the other butcher shop memories we’ve been able to share so far!

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