Only in York County

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Mail call: Three businesses, three memories

As you read this, I’m traveling with the lovely Christopher Otto somewhere across the general Mid-Atlantic region, in celebration of our seventh anniversary, and we are almost certainly having a great time!

But I wanted to leave you with some great memories while I’m off making more. So today, I’ve dipped into the inbox to find three neat tidbits about stores of the past around town!


This came from Greta London, who writes, “I enjoyed your column … about early downtown York. My family had a women’s and children’s store in York city for many years and I often worked there from three years (!) old until college. Our store was at 237 W. Market St. from the early 1900’s until about early 80’s. I wish I was more exact on dates (but probably could look it up). My grandmother and grandfather had established the store around 1910 and my mother and uncle took over until closing in the 80’s. I trimmed the windows and did the newspaper ads for many years. It’s so gratifying when adults today remember going to Hochberger’s for their childhood clothes.”

Greta, thank you so much for sharing! I know I feel the same way when I hear that people bought their candy from Joan’s Candy Corner, where I began helping out as a VERY young child!

Mac’s Hardware

In response to one of my recent antique-store finds, Jim Fahringer shared this memory.

He says, “I remember Mac’s Hardware quite well. Mac’s occupied the same building that Buchmyer’s Pools occupies today. It is the building just west of the Rutter’s Convenience Store on the northwest corner of North Sherman Street and Route 30.”

I had trouble picturing this, so … Google Street View to the rescue! (PS: Street View for our area should be updated pretty soon – the cars have been touring the area like crazy, capturing new images!)

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Anyway, I digress, and Jim continues, “One of the things I remember is Mac, himself. He was always a pleasant and jovial guy who always tried to help the customer in any way he could (quite different than today’s stores). One of the first times I visited his store was for a piece of hemp rope that I needed for a Boy Scout Junior Leader’s Training weekend in the fall of 1959 at Camp Tuckahoe. We didn’t know where to find the rope so we went to Mac’s and sure enough he had it. Much later in 1970 I began teaching at the Pleasureville Elementary School. I used to do many projects in my classroom. One of the projects I had my kids do was a wooden memory box. We purchased much of the material for the memory boxes from Mac’s, including the glass panes for the front of the box. In those days Mac had almost any dimension of window pane glass you could think of. We would also purchase cheesecloth there to strain our beeswax when we hand dipped candles. I also would buy paint there and sometimes Christmas lights and cords. I continued buying many things there during my teaching career at the Pleasureville Elementary School until the school closed in 1983. Mac’s was a wonderful fully stocked hardware store with friendly service.”

Jim, that’s awesome – and I wish I had done some cool projects like that in elementary school!


Linda M. Smith writes, in response to some previous posts, “I remember Woolworth’s very well. My mother was fountain manager from the l950’s thru 1968. I worked there while in high school and typed the menu every day. There was a big kitchen in the basement where all the cakes, doughnuts, pies, sweet buns and food were made. I know all about it.”

Linda, that sounds amazing… and dare I say dangerous, given my love of doughnuts? 🙂

Thanks, everyone, for sharing your memories – as always, keep them coming, though I admit I’m not as fast to publish them as I’d like!

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