More memories of the North Pole
Today, I’d like to follow up on last weeks’ post about The North Pole (not the Santa version!)
You can read many earlier memories of the North Pole here, and then you can read more below!
From Nancy Reever, I heard, “In the early ’60s, there was a North Pole at the corner of Carlisle Road and Emig Mill Road (Weigelstown) in Dover. It was owned by Ernie McCall. I moved to Weigelstown in 1962 and it was there at that time, I am not sure when it was torn down and replaced with a Turkey Hill, which is still located at that spot.”
Reader Tim Roelke wrote after reading one of the previous articles about the North Pole and Florida Room at Sherman Street. He said, “In the 1960s, I grew up ‘across the street’ on Canterbury Lane and when I was 16 (1964), I applied for a job at the Sherman Street location, but Ernie said he didn’t have any openings there but that he had an opening at his other store which I’m pretty sure was located on the corner of Carlisle Road (Route 74) and Emig Mill Road in the Weigelstown area. The Grandview Golf Club was a little south of the location, but pretty much “across the road.” As I recall, there was a small transmission shop across the street, and I think years later, Turkey Hill had a very small store where the North Pole Drive in was located in the early to late sixties. I only worked there one summer and really can’t say when this sub shop closed. I remember spending hours cleaning the ice cream machine, slicing veggies for the subs and especially remember slicing the top of my thumb while cutting tomatoes. Sad but true, when that happened, I walked up the road a little ways to a doctor’s office who patched me up, so I walked back to work and when I asked about the tomatoes I was slicing, my co-worker told me she put them in the cold-trays and even made a couple of subs with them. I threw out the remaining tomatoes but worried all day about the subs that were sold in my absence.”
Yikes, Tim! This reminds me of our restaurant health inspections…
In happier news, I heard from Bonnie (Sipe) White, who writes, “I once worked at the North Pole Drive-in for two summers. I was only 12 and 13. Usually I worked in the back part filling customers’ orders of burgers, French fries and such, along with other teenagers. Back then, I think it would have been 1951 or 1952, there were no child labor laws like there are now. I was a very mature young lady and looked older than my years. No one ever questioned my age as I got the job done. I remember Ernie well. He was usually on the premises to supervise us youngsters. We were allowed as much ice cream as we could eat. Of course, Ernie was smart, he knew we would get tired of eating it and we did. After a while, it was ugh, I don’t want any more. It was a fun time for me. I learned a lot about working, as this was my very first job. During my second summer there, sometimes Ernie would have to leave for a very short time for an errand and I would be the only one there for a time. I was so proud that by then he trusted me enough to take care of the very few customers we had at the times he left, all by myself. I would run to the front to dish out ice cream or run to the back to cook a burger. I wasn’t left alone very long, but it sure did make me feel grown up and very responsible. He said he would be back shortly and always was. He was good to us youngsters. I loved working there and it taught me so much. I was never in the Florida Room as I was too young to be in there, but I do remember it. … That was a long time ago, but the memories of working there are happy ones.”
With regard to that location at Sherman Street, Rose Stein wrote, “I do believe the North Pole turned into the Florida Room, which had the pool and palm trees. I remember my parents doing nights out at the bar there.”
About the Weigelstown location, Don Wagner wrote, “It opened about 1958 on the corner of Emig Mill Road and Carlisle Road, on the corner where the Turkey Hill is now. Ernie McCall opened it after he opened the North Pole Drive In on Loucks Road. While I worked in Weigelstown he also opened the Florida Room on the Loucks Road property. He had liquor license for the Florida Room. His son-in-law, Ed, supervised the Weigelstown location. I worked at the Weigelstown location from 1959 until September of 1961 after I graduated from high school. Believe it or not, I worked 36 hours a week, six nights a week (6 to 12), during my whole senior year in high school at Dover. No work permits then! I made over $3,600 that year, which was quit a bit for a high school student.”
Don continues, “We made subs (before Subway), pizza burgers and other sandwiches (before McDonald’s), french fries from real potatoes, and lots of frozen custard and shakes and sundaes. I think that the first McDonald’s was on East Market across from the original York County Shopping Center. The building in Weigelstown was sort of an oversized garage which actually had two regular roll-up garage doors in the front. On hot summer days we would open them, no screens! I actually went back to work there for a short time after I married in 1963. I do not know the actual date it closed. It was the go-to place in Weiglestown for fast food and good ice cream. About these same years there was another hot spot in Weigelstown – Beecher’s Drive In. What was famous about that place was the jukebox and pinball machines in a pavilion, which served as a teen hangout and dance floor in the summer. It was literally the ‘Al’s Place’ of the Fonzie Happy Days generation, in the late 1950s… It was the place!!”
Don, as my teenage daughter is a huge Happy Days fan, I loved your description.
Of the food at the North Pole, Georgia Sprenkel noted, “They had the best subs EVER!”
And I also heard from Barbara Brunner Small, who is Ernie McCall’s niece! She writes of the Weigelstown location, “I was at this one approximately three times during the time it was open. … It was owned and operated by Ernie and Ethel McCall. My brother, Stacy, and I used to work at the Sherman Street location when we were in high school. In the summer my Aunt Ethel would come over to the restaurant around 2 p.m. and tell my brother and I we could go swimming next door at the Florida Room which they also owned. We had lots of good times working. When I turned 21 my Uncle Ernie gave me my first legal drink and my Aunt Ethel had a birthday cake for me.”
Finally, I owe a huge thanks to Stephen H. Smith of Yorkspast. Not long after I shared memories from my third-grade teacher, Shirley (Coble) Hite, about the Weigelstown North Pole location in this 2014 post, Stephen found the 1959 ad you see at the top of today’s post while doing an unrelated search, and he also made the map you see above! Talk about York County history serendipity!