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Ask Joan: A medley of memories

Today I’d just like to share a variety of notes I received a while ago. I have already received more than a column’s worth of letters about last week’s questions, and while I promise to share those as soon as I can, I wanted to switch gears a little this week and talk about some of the mom-and-pop businesses well-known in the area.

What’s inside

1. Memories of downtown shops
2. Recalling meat market
3. Looking for info on dairy, bakery

1. Memories of downtown shops

First up today, I have a letter I received some time ago from Ike Bowers, who writes, “I grew up in York but moved away many years ago. As a kid I lived in the 100 block of South Beaver Street. In the ’50s and ’60s there was a malt shop on the northwest corner of Beaver and Princess called King’s. All the kids went there. The owner was a real nice man. He had a large penny candy counter and let you take a reasonable time in making your selections. A lot of the older kids from York High and Hannah Penn went there for lunch and he never let the big kids mess with the younger ones. I only knew his name as King or Mr. King. Across the street on the northeast corner was a grocery store owned by Buddy Arcuri and his wife. Another fine gentleman. When my mother passed in 2011 they came to the service. Both stores had been closed for many years and we had moved when the city made half the neighborhood a parking lot! My parents were Wade and Alice Bowers.”

Ike, I appreciate you sharing those memories, and I loved hearing about how it worked out with your mother’s service. My father passed away in 1993 and I still run into people who will say, “Oh, I worked with your father,” or similar. Things like that are part of what makes York County awesome.

2. Recalling meat market

Early last year, we talked about meat markets, and in reply to that I heard from Rodney Poff, who said it reminded him of many things from his youth.

He wrote, “Stony Brook Meat Market was located in East York on a side road behind Stony Brook Mennonite Church. It was owned by Roy Baker and my brother worked for him as a meat cutter. Mr. Baker also owned a small farm in the Locust Grove area. My brother lived there for a time and one summer I lived with him and worked on the farm.”

He continued, “One thing I remember is that they had a refrigerated truck and made home deliveries, much like a milkman. Since it was hard to drive the truck and get out of the seat at each stop and then wait on customers, my brother would ask me to drive so he didn’t have to jump up and down. The interesting part was I was not 16 years old and didn’t have a drivers license but we never had any problems. … Thanks for the memories.”

Rodney, that’s a great story! I’m glad you got to help out; I have a feeling that wasn’t that uncommon at the time, either, as I know my father was driving well before he was 16 too.

3. Looking for info on dairy, bakery

Also on the subject of these specialized stores of the past, like meat markets, I have a question received from reader Rich, who wants to know:

“Can you tell me anything about Beck’s Dairy and Fischel’s Bakery? They were both located in West York and closed many years ago. My parents had milk delivered to our door from Beck’s Dairy and bread delivered to our door by Fischel’s Bakery.”

He continued, “Fischel’s Bakery was located on West Princess St. I remember taking a tour of the bakery when I was in the Scouts. Beck’s Dairy was on the north side of Market Street approximately three blocks north. I don’t remember the name of the street.”

I’d be glad for any memories of those two places to share with Rich!

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.