Memories of Hanover, the York White Roses, Schmuck’s Dry Cleaners and more
This is the first I’ve sat down to write since taking a two-week vacation, and to help keep my vacation mood going, I just picked a few random emails to share. There’s no particular theme or location to tie them together this week, other than some great memories of York County, starting in the Hanover area!
Reader Fran Rosen-Bizberg wrote to me some time ago with some memories of the Hanover area. She said, “My parents, Phil and Adele Rosen owned a wonderful ladies’ clothing store called The Fashion Shoppe. It was on the main square next to a drug store. It later moved to the Mall. I haven’t seen it mentioned and it was a great shop!”
She continued, “Also, we used to eat lunch at The Lucky Spot restaurant. My parents used to go to music shows at the Lyric. And I remember delicious hand-dipped Breyer’s ice cream from The Terminal, along with all the magazines and newspapers… I think the Lyric and The Terminal were both on York Street.
Anyone remember a two-story toy store on the corner of York Street, close to the square?”
We’ve talked a good bit about Hanover in the past (you can find more by searching for Hanover at www.yorkblog.com/onlyyork), but I don’t know that we had mentioned either The Fashion Shoppe or that toy store, and I’d love to hear more about both!
The Country Peddler
Reader Sherry O’Connor sent me a short note some time ago, saying, “Always loved The Country Peddler! Barbara Smith’s family owned it. They had the nicest clothes for teen girls. Whatever happened to it?”
I believe this was possibly on Beaver Street in York, from a short note from a reader a long time ago, but I’m not sure. I’d love to hear more about this store!
York White Roses
Talking again about sports memories, which we’d touched on a few weeks ago as well, I heard from Richard L. Brown, who wrote, “In 1962, when York White Roses had a Red Sox farm team, was the first baseball team in York since 1959. On a Saturday night in early April before the season began, the White Roses had a night called ‘Meet the Roses.’ The White Roses had a practice with free admission and were giving away 1,000 hot dogs and free coffee. My dad and I went to Meet the Roses that night. I got my free hot dog, but there was no more coffee left for my dad. It was cold that night. It was always cold in Memorial Stadium, even in the summer. After the practice we could get autographs. The first autograph I got was Russ Gibson. I think Russ Gibson was a catcher and I remember seeing him play for York in 1962. Mel Parnell was the manager. He pitched for the Red Sox in the 1950s. I also got Mel’s autograph. I do not remember why the Red Sox moved from York after only one season. Where is that autograph today? It was in a tablet that came from Fantasy Land in Gettysburg. If I hunt enough I just may find it. The tablet had other autographs, such as Jim Parker who played offensive guard for the Baltimore Colts.”
Richard, I hope you’ve since found your autograph! I love hearing about the White Roses.
Schmuck’s Dry Cleaners
My last letter for today comes in response to a brief question a year and a half or more ago. Reader Micah Neff wanted to know who remembered Schmuck’s Dry Cleaners.
I received the following letter in reply, which I have been remiss in sharing until now!
“Joan, my name is Jim Gardner Jr. and my family owned Schmuck’s Dry Cleaners. I saw that one of your readers wanted to hear about the business… Schmuck’s Drycleaners was started by my grandfather, Arthur H. Schmuck, as a tailoring business in a garage at 814 Wayne Ave. in York in 1932. He actually started as an apprentice tailor in York in 1911. He later moved the business to 201 N. Sherman St., where it operated for many years.”
Jim continued, “Arthur Schmuck was known as a fine ladies’ tailor who served many of the ladies of York. He began doing dry cleaning to serve his tailoring customers. Jim Gardner, my father, married Arthur’s daughter, Mary Schmuck and eventually took over the business, which they ran together beginning in 1963. Jim Gardner became a men’s tailor and expanded the business to include custom ‘made to measure’ men’s suits. My mother, Mary, oversaw the bookeeping along with my grandmother, Ruth Schmuck. Mary was involved in managing all phases of the business.”
And, he added, “Schmuck’s added a pick-up station and laundromat in Village Green Shopping Center in the early 1970s and later added another in Shrewsbury. They relocated the office and main plant to 2460 S. Queen St. in Spry in 1977. Schmuck’s Drycleaning became known as the quality drycleaner in the York area. They specialized in wedding gown preservation and worked with The Smithsonian Institute in preserving historical artifacts. Their commitment to quality was without compare.”
Then, Jim noted, “My younger brother, Carl Gardner, had previously started Cameo Services, which pioneered many processes in the disaster restoration field. Cameo Services became very successful, but, Carl decided to sell his business so he could devote his full efforts to Schmuck’s Drycleaners. Carl Gardner became the third generation owner of Schmuck’s in 1991. All three generations worked together in the business. Carl attended trade school to learn more about drycleaning. He modernized and computerized the business. Customer service was the main thread that ran through the business for three generations. Quality was never to be compromised. The family reputation was at stake. Through the years, my brother, Tom Gardner, my wife, Sharon Gardner, and Carl’s wife, Cindy, and I all worked in the business. Customers appreciated the quality and supported the business for over 65 years.”
Finally, Jim concluded, “Carl realized that the business was consuming all of his time and effort. He spoke to his young children who said they would rather spend more time as a family and that they were not inclined to continue the family business in the future. Family happiness prevailed. Schmuck’s Cleaners was sold to Hanna Cleaners in 1997.”
Jim, I thank you for sharing the story of your family’s business!Have questions or memories to share? Email me at email@example.com 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.