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Dallastown area’s memories keep rolling in

This post from last year, of memories of the Dallastown area from Wade Kehr, has drawn many responses.

In fact, I can’t believe how many Dallastown memories I’ve found!

Today, I want to share a few from my friend Betsy Baird. She wrote not too long ago that Wade’s letter sparked several memories for her.

She says, “Mother was born in Red Lion and the family moved to Dallastown. Her father, Ed Wagman, bought the Commercial Hotel on the Square, 1 E. Main St, Dallastown. I was born after the 1937-1941 era, so don’t know anything of ‘The Park Hill Canteen,’ 19-21 N. Walnut St. What I always will remember is 1 E. Main St.! Maw-Maw had a restaurant and soda fountain in the one half of the first floor. That had been closed by the time I was born (1945). Everyone loved her chicken pot pies. Paw-Paw had, in the other half, had a Cigar & Pool Store. He kept the place clean. Wouldn’t allow the boys to do anything wrong. Posters all along the walls, ‘No foul talk nor swearing allowed,’ ‘Noise, calm down boys,’ ‘No gambling allowed.’ No boys younger than (I think it was) 16 allowed without the consent of their parents, and others.”

She continues, “There were a few die-hards who didn’t like any cigar store. But most parents all said they knew their kids were safe when they were with Ed. Paw-Paw made them behave, and also helped them in their problems. Tried to get them to grow up to do right. They got to shoot pool free because of shooting with Mother! Mother would give them ice cones, 2 cents! But she’d put plenty extra ice cream on them. Paw-Paw said ‘How can I earn any money that way?’ I got to shoot at a very young age. Young boys and old… all were very kind to me.”

She concludes, “The second floor was used by the family, with the back apartment rented either to my Aunt’s family or to some other people. Third floor was for rental rooms or apartments. You never had to worry about someone breaking into your rooms in those days! Gone are those very fond ‘Days of Yore.’ The Coffee Shop at 21 E. Main St. must have later been what you say in your article. Think the name changed.”

Betsy is a member of the Dallastown Historical Society, and she mentioned how much she misses Dallastown’s late Mayor Beverly Scott, a real champion of that area’s history, since her passing in late 2010! Definitely a loss all around, but I hope I can help share some of this area’s memories in her stead. 🙂

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