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More memories from Hanover, PA

An aerial view of Hanover's Center Sqaure from the 1950s is seen in this image courtesy of the Hanover Area Historical Society.
An aerial view of Hanover’s Center Sqaure from the 1950s is seen in this image courtesy of the Hanover Area Historical Society.

Last week, I mentioned that I was getting ready to share some reader memories veering into different areas of the couty, and this week’s journey takes us to Hanover and other places in southwestern York County.

I hope you’ll both check out earlier comments on this topic (which I’ll include links to below) and read more today!

Previous posts

In more recent notes, I heard from Gary Brown, former Mayor of Hanover. Gary wrote that he is in his 70s and a lifelong resident of Hanover. “Sorry I missed the earlier articles on Hanover… I remember the stores listed in previous articles and, yes, there was a Holland Restaurant on Carlisle Street and also a Hollander’s Auto Store in Center Square. There was also a Western Auto store on Baltimore Street that my uncle helped manage before he moved to Jersey Shore to have his own store.”

Gary continued, “I put many miles on roller skates at Forest Park and also skated at the
lesser known Willow Beach Park in Hanover. I am an avid collector of advertising pieces of Hanover’s history… I came to town every Saturday with my parents. We would park the car on Baltimore Street, my mother would go to Murphy’s 5 & 10 and purchase a bag of candy that we would share while sitting and watching the people walk by. This was our weekly entertainment.”

Reader William L. Goodling wrote in on that same topic of roller-skating, remembering both Forest Park in Hanover as well as skating in the Shrewsbury fire hall in the late 1950s.

Commenter Mark Nusbaum, meanwhile, wanted to know the location of the Willow Beach Park mentioned by Gary. I can find many references to the park in various archives, but not a specific location, so I’m anxious to hear more!

I also had a question from reader Jim Adams, who wanted to know the location of Shirk’s Hardware in Hanover, as well as the name of the store located in what is now The Sandy Woods home furnishings at 40 Broadway in Hanover.

I believe that Shirk’s was at 22 Baltimore St., which later became The Frame Shop. I’m not sure about the predecessor of The Sandy Woods, though, so I’d love to know more about that!

Finally, also in the southwestern part of the county, I had a request from Willa Lefever, writing on behalf of the Sonnewald Life Institute. Willa noted, “The Sonnewald Life Institute is in the design phase of remodeling the old fire hall in Stoverstown. We are planning to create the Stoverstown Community Center on the first floor and the Stoverstown Whole Life Center on the second floor. We are looking for pictures, newspaper articles or personal memories of the March 1957 ground breaking. Stoverstown resident Bob Boeckel remembers 68 residents showing up with picks and shovels to hand dig the trenches for the footers. When I asked him if anyone took pictures, he responded, ‘I don’t know, I was digging.’ We would love to have copies of photos and any other records of such wonderful community cooperation. Can your readers help us?”

I would love to be able to help Willa and this Sonnewald project! If anyone has such photos, please feel free to email them to!

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.