Only in York County

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Aerial view of York County Shopping Center
This photo, courtesy of Gene Schenck, shows the York County Shopping Center in 1955, center. Back in 2013, some Ask Joan readers wanted to know what the circle/oval toward the top of the photo was, and in 2018, an answer finally appeared.

Mail call: York County Shopping Center notes, and other memories

Today’s letter, from Terry L. Huber of West Manchester Township, goes into a lot of detail on a place I believe many Yorkers will remember: The former York County Shopping Center, now the York Marketplace – home of Lowe’s, Giant, Red Lobster and more. Readers of this blog might know we’ve talked about it before; Jim McClure’s York Town Square offers even more detail.

Terry begins his York County Shopping Center-area memories: “East York Bowling Center – had 24 A.M.F. lanes, and a snack bar. My late father was the mechanic there for 37 years. I would go with my father Wednesday nights, to watch him and some of the best bowlers in the area bowl in the York Major League. I remember the bowling center hosting the team event of the 1972 Pa. State Bowling Tournament. Super Bowl Lanes (now Colony Park East) hosted the singles and doubles events. Next to the bowling center was Eugene Jacobs Clothing Store. This store had really nice clothing.”

He continues, “There was a pizza shop called ‘Rocky’s Pizza.’ After bowling Saturday mornings in the youth league, a lot of the kids would go to Rocky’s, to relax and have pizza. I remember a toy store called Rodgers Toys. There was a grocery store in the Y.C.S.C, but I’m not sure of the name. Maybe Pantry Pride? There was also a McCrory’s store there. Next to it was a drug store.”

Terry adds, “There was a bank down near the drug store. I think it was Drovers. Near the Drovers, I remember a barber shop with four barbers, also a laundry mat. Shelly Jewelers had a store there. I got my wedding rings there, in 1985.”

He continues, “About Sears, how many people remember paying water and electric bills there? And yes, the hot dogs were great.”

Sears in the York County Shopping Center
Sears, Roebuck and Co. left an outdated store in York's downtown to open with fanfare in the York County Shopping Center in 1955 (seen in this photo). By 1989, it left an outdated store in the shopping center for the York Galleria. But the York County Shopping Center, now the York Marketplace and home of Giant and Lowe's, rebounded.

Terry adds, “I am betting a great number of your readers remember ‘The Embers,’ this was a great place to eat. Gary Nease was a great host. Across the street from the shopping center, was Hills Dept. Store. I remember getting Coke slushies. Man, they were good! Also, there was a Gino’s. Great chicken, and who can forget the Gino Giant? Yummy! I worked there, part time. The manager’s name was Floyd Wise.”

He adds, “R.W. Bowman and sons was next to Sears. I bought 3 autos there. It was a family dealership, selling new A.M.C.s and used autos. Scott Bowman was one of the salesmen. He was always very nice to me. I think the service dept. manager was Scott’s brother – sorry – I don’t remember his name. The service dept. provided great service.”

Back to food, Terry says, “How many readers remember Avalong’s Dairies? The restaurant was located where Rutter’s is, at the Galleria Mall. I remember Dad, Mom, my brother and I driving there. You would order the food from your car. The service was great! On Memory Lane, where K.F.C. is sitting, was Huntley’s Hamburgers.”

“One more memory I have,” Terry concludes, “How many folks remember a softball field in York City, at the corner of E. Princess St. and S. Albemarle St.? I was raised in the 300 block of South Albemarle. The American Chain and Cable Co. was located near the ballfield. They had a team that played in the industrial league. They would play their home games there. Game nights, I think, were Mondays and Wednesdays. I was their scorekeeper. I also took care of the infield. This team was state industrial champions in 1970, 1971. The ball field is now gone, but I will always have memories!”

Terry, thanks for sharing those memories with us. I’m glad we’re able to help preserve them!

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