Only in York County

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Clearing up the mystery of a North Mall jewelry store

In September of 2014, a reader named Cindy and her grandmother wrote to Ask Joan, seeking the name of a jewelry store in the former North Mall.

That shopping center, which is where The Crossroads (home to Old Navy, LA Fitness and more) is now along Route 30 in Manchester Township, is a popular topic among Only in York County readers, with previous posts available here, here, here and here.

In great news, many readers had names of not just one but several jewelry stores that occupied that center at various times, and I’m glad to say that today, I think we can help Cindy and her grandmother put that question to rest!

Longtime reader Audrey Lerew noted that Delta Diamond Mines Stores was one such jewelry store in the North Mall. “My husband bought my diamond earrings there and I still have the receipt,” she added. Reader Karen Trout also recalled Delta Diamond as the North Mall jewelry store.

Jack Messersmith, a longtime former coworker of mine with an extensive knowledge of the York area, wrote, “In the early to mid-’70s, I was the ad sales representative for the York Daily Record for the North Mall. There was a jewelry store by the name of Van Scoy Diamond Mine in the lower level just inside the mall entrance from J.M. Fields. I remember a handful of the stores in the mall, but have forgotten many. There was DeVono’s Menswear, Fox & Williams Shoes, The Wig Haus, Mirasola Music Store and The Bon-Ton was on the west end of the mall. I remember a drug store, five and dime store and a women’s shop, but can’t remember the names.”

Another regular reader and commenter, Brenda Neff, recalled both that Van Scoy Diamond Mine in the lower level, mentioned by Jack, and a Munchel Jewelers on the upper level, and they were her relatives!

Reader Deb also recalled Munchel’s, a family-owned jewelry shop, and my source Ann Funk at Martin Library’s Information Services Desk noted that a reader named Debbie Steubi (not sure if that’s the same as the Deb who emailed me!) called her and said she remembered the jewelry store at the North Mall being Munchel’s. Ann recalled from her conversation with Debbie, “One of her students’ parents worked there. I found a Yellow Pages ad for ‘Munchel’s Fine Jewelry’ – North Mall in the 1989 GTE phone book. Their entry in the 1988 Yellow Pages reads, ‘Munchel’s York Coin & Jewelry.’ They have listings only in the 1988, ’89, ’90, and ’91 phone books.”

So I’ve nailed down Munchel’s in at least the ’80s and early ’90s, and then I heard from other readers that in the 1970s, there was a family-owned jewelry store by another name there.

Reader Nellie Kann notes, “The name of the jewelry store at the old North Mall was Shaffner’s. I had just graduated from high school and used the money from my mom to buy myself a new watch. I still have it and it still works beautifully.”

And another commenter, Doreen, wrote of Shaffner’s, “It used to be in downtown York and they moved their store out to the mall. I can not tell you exactly when the store opened there, I only know my boyfriend took me shopping there for an engagement ring during our 1973-74 Winter Break from York College. The ring was beautiful, I did say ‘yes’ and we have been happily married for 39 years!” (Probably more now, as I received Doreen’s letter some time ago – congratulations to you both!)

And from Dian Irvin, I received the following note: “The name of the jewelry store that used to be at the North Mall was called Shaffner’s. I had some dealings with them in the ’70s and I think they also had a bridal shop. I actually remembered the name after a couple minutes of thinking, but then had to research to prove to myself that I was right. I found it listed as Charles H. Shaffner jewelers in the York County’s Stores and Restaurants of the past listing. They may have started downtown but when I dealt with them they were at the North Mall.”

And finally, reader Connie Werner said, “It was Shaffner’s Miss to Mrs. Shop. I worked there in high school and college in the early to mid-’70s. One half of the store was devoted to the jewelry sales and the other half was a bridal shop. It was part of the Shaffner’s Jewelry Stores that were located on E. Market Street across from the old court house. There was also a jewelry only store branch in the York Mall at the end by the theaters and also a jewelry and bridal shop branch in the North Hanover Mall.”

Thank you all for your many North Mall memories!

Send questions, memories or responses to or write to Ask Joan, 1891 Loucks Road, York PA 17408. We cannot accept any information by phone.