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Memories from the Mount Royal area of Dover Township from a longtime friend

Above, Ashley Spangler displays a mechanic’s toolbox in Spangler’s Home Center in Dover Township in this 2007 photo by Kristin Murphy. His family has ties to several stores that used to be in the Dover area!

You might remember, if you’ve been reading for a while, that I spent a lot of my childhood at Mount Royal United Methodist Church, a little church in northern Dover Township.

It’s part of an area very loosely known as Mount Royal, and not too long ago, I received a phone call from one of our family friends, Shirley Weaver, who still attends that church. She wanted to share with me some memories from that area.

Shirley was relating to me some of the past history of what was most recently Hake’s Grocery Store on Route 74 at Conewago Road. Turns out that when Shirley (who’s in her 70s now) was in grade school, that was the site of a store owned by Irvin Myers. She described that store as the type where you still took your list to Irvin or someone else at the counter, and they filled your order for you. She recalls there was a big barrel of King Syrup outside; if you wanted some, you brought your own container and it was doled out for you. You could also get a Delicious apple for 5 cents!

Shirley said that at some point, Irvin Myers sold the store to Paul and Ida Spangler, who actually owned three stores in the same area, there at Conewago and 74. (Two of them were back just a little, where Old Carlisle Road intersects with Conewago.) Shirley recalls there was a bank in that area, too.

Eventually, then, the location was owned by Leon Drawbaugh, and then, probably by the mid-1980s or earlier, changed hands again and went to the Hake family.

The most interesting part is that Shirley relates some fun history of the Spangler family, and how it ties in to our recent discussions about the Weigelstown area.

It turns out that Paul and Ida Spangler didn’t have any children. Their nephew, Ashley Spangler, worked at their original store and later went on to open a Spangler’s store in Rossville, then one in Weigelstown where Advance Auto Parts is now, before moving to Route 74 and Hilton Avenue. That’s the one that was still around when I was younger; I remember shopping there before it became Shur-Fine and then SaveSmart.

The one question I’d always wondered, which Shirley was able to answer for me: Yes, the Spangler’s Ace Hardware, also along Route 74 in Dover Township, is or was owned by the “same” Spangler family as owned the grocery store.

Shirley, I really appreciate the memories – and the tie-ins between two areas of Dover Township where I’ve spent a lot of time, Mount Royal and Weigelstown. Thanks!

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