Only in York County

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Remember our downtown walking tour?

In early March, I posted a copy of something Jo had passed on to me; the source, at the time, was unknown, but it was a detailed walking tour of downtown York.

I have since found the original author and gotten even more memories from the same area.

First, regarding the author. The interesting this is, the author had not SEEN my blog post, but wrote to me separately after seeing some other memories printed in the York Sunday News! He’s Michael “Mykl” Lau!

He wrote and says, “Back in the ’80’s and ’90’s I was a mobile DJ in the York area. Two friends of mine (Brenda Hamme and the late Karyl Dehoff) and I put on some Oldies/Doo Wop dances. At one of those dances I had put together a thing that I called, “Do You Remember … York”. This was a trip around downtown York in the late 50’s and early 60’s naming the stores, shops, swimming pools, movie theaters, bowling alleys, hangouts, etc. I’m going to attach a copy of this list. I hope you like it.”

Not only did I like it, I was a little bit kicking myself – because I’d spent about two weeks off and on typing it in from printouts, and here Mykl emailed it to me! (Oh, well, it was good for my typing practice!)

So on behalf of all of us, Mykl, THANK YOU for that awesome walk down memory lane!

Newswanger’s, seen in this drawing from “Greater York in Action,” was a landmark shoe store on York’s Continental Square and typical of the small retail shops that prospered in the downtown in the middle part of the 20th century. You can read more over on the York Town Square blog by Jim McClure.

Interestingly, almost every person who wrote in about Mykl’s walking tour had their memory jogged by a different business or place. Here are some of the highlights.

G.C. Murphy’s was one of the “hot” topics from that walkthrough. Christine Minnich wrote to tell me she worked there. So did John McNeal, who writes, “While I was in high school, I worked part time at the G C Murphy store on East Market Street for $1.00 per hour. It was my very first job. My dad was a store manager for Murphy’s in Red Lion and, later, in the Queensgate Shopping Center.” Then there’s Jane Kerchner, who writes, “I worked at G.C. Murphy 1952-1953. I was in the Distributive Education class at Wm. Penn we did our school studies in the AM and worked afternoons. I was a window trimmer in afternoons and worked wherever needed in the store Friday evenings ,the ONLY night stores were open, and Sat, 9:00 – 5:30 … Yes, Morris Drug store was next to Murphy’s; my father loved Mike’s Nut Shop. I also worked at Kresge 5 and Dime, where the police museum is now; only worked at Christmas, as my Aunt was asst. manager there. I was only 15 then. … What memories!”

Sue Deffendall had some shopping thoughts. She writes, “The Deb Shop … between Bear’s & Jack’s (was) my favorite store as a teenager. I also think there was a store called Leed’s but I am not sure about that one.” (The walking tour lists a “Reed’s Millinery,” maybe that could have been it?)

My friend Lorie was glad to see the memories of Mike’s Nut Shop downtown. She writes, “I remember Mike’s nut shop used to be around Beaver and Market Sts.

Close by there was a donut shop. When Mom would take us kids downtown, we would get donuts then on the way back to the car, we would get roasted nuts to take home. Yummy!”

Bill Landes says of the “tour,” “This is really thorough… A few remembrances, at Walker’s you could buy Orioles tickets and wasn’t Webb and Wolfe on East Market? I remember buying my first baseball cap there when Scott Weaver tipped me off about it.”

Bonnie Peters recalls, “JACK’S, ah, how I missed that dress shop! Knew when I made the trip from my home in Harrisburg I’d always find exactly what I was looking for.”

Brother-in-law Mike adds to the list. He says, “The Sunshine Corner was at the corner of East Phila. and Franklin Street, about a block west of the Delphia.”

And commenter “New Yorker Too” writes, “I did not grow up in York nor am I from here, but I find these bits of history and photos to be fascinating. I wish I had been able to see York in its heyday.”

That’s exactly what I’m hoping these posts do – give everyone a little “look” at York as it was at various times in its past!

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