Readers share more memories of downtown York stores
I’m back after a more-than-two-week vacation across the country, and while my travels took me to a ton of cool places (like the New Orleans Riverwalk, seen above), I’m glad to be back in York County.
Today, I have a selection of letters to share detailing readers’ memories of former York businesses. I hope you’ll enjoy the walk down memory lane!
South George Street
Ed Benovy of Red Lion wrote to me some time ago, saying that “back in the day,” his father ran a men’s shop on South George Street, starting in 1951. “Next to the store was the Brooks Hotel,” Ed added. “A lot of the York White Roses players stayed there. A very young Brooks Robinson used to stop in the store during the day. A real nice guy who was homesick. Isn’t that funny, Brooks at the Brooks Hotel?”
From Lorraine Smith Raffensberger of York, I heard, “You talked about the stores on W. Market St. near Belvidere Ave. … mentioned a radio store that was Fein’s radio store and later Yvonne Strathmeyer opened a dance studio next door. The six hundred block had a lot of different stores and businesses.”
Lorraine mentioned a drapery store on the north side of the six hundred block between Belvidere and West Street that might have been Wherler’s, Wherley’s or something similar, opening in the late ’60s, and then Bennie’s restaurant. She also noted a small gift shop she didn’t recall the name of.
“Next was Dr. Charles Posey, next Dr. William Strine – Dentist, Smittie’s newsstand, an open lot that led back to Reisinger Spring Works, then Daron’s Hardware store, Strathmeyer grocery store… I am not sure but I think there was a photographer, next the V.F.W. and on corner of West and Market was Coover’s drug store. My dad owned and operated Smittie’s news and I worked before and after school. He had two gas pumps and I remember the one was 17 cents a gallon. I would wear an apron that had a change pocket and I was able to give change without going back in store. York Gazette & Daily and York Dispatch was either 2 cents or 3 cents. Coca-Cola was 5 cents for a nice size bottle. Hope my 92 yr. old mind is serving me well.”
From Jean Scantling of Wrightsville, I heard, “H&L Green 5&10 was close to Beaver St. on Market. If I remember, on the corner of Beaver and Market was a women’s hat store (millinery). Next to that east was H&L, where I worked Fri. and Sat. through high school on the wall toward Beaver St. in notions. … But does anyone remember the candy counter? In the middle of store, close to front, they had goat milk taffy. It had to be broken with a hammer… if I’m correct, 3 different kinds, white, pink and chocolate. Best I ever tasted. Hard to break but good.”
Jean also asks, “Does anyone remember Blue Plate lunch in McCrory’s basement? We kids from out of town used to sneak out to eat lunch instead of Bill Penn cafeteria. Also the sandwich at McCrory’s fountain – square pieces of meat – I would love to have a recipe for that. Wasn’t the telephone company on Beaver St. close to Market? … Went to William Penn 1944-48.”
And, also regarding some Market Street locales, I heard from Don Simmons of Dover. Don writes, “I read your article about Dale & Co. Drug Store. I remember it well because in 1956 I worked at Murphy 5 & 10 store on the square and the store ran back to Clerick Alley where we had our receiving docks and Dale & Co. facing on George St. ran back right across the alley from us. It was a good time to work downtown before the malls and shopping centers. I was 18 and a stock boy at Murphy’s. In time you would see almost everybody you knew downstairs.”
He added, “Also, Western Union was across the square and the boys would deliver telegrams by bicycle. Also the Comfort Station was still open on square. What I would like to know is, there was another drug store with a big lunch bar next door to us on East Market Street. But cannot remember the name of it. Maybe some of your readers would remember the name.”
Don, I think that was Morris Drug; does that ring a bell?