Another sampling of York County memories: W.T. Grant, 1500 Club and more
Today, I’d like to share another sampling of some York County memories from my mailbox, as well as the awesome photo above that I’ve been holding on to for a while. As always, don’t forget to check out the York County stores and restaurants of the past directory for more!
The 1500 Club
We just talked about this hangout last week. Sheila Myers recalled of it, “I remember it well and was there the night Bill Haley and the Comets performed. What a neat place. Great dance floor. No alcohol. Ask Sis James about our carhop days at Spurg’s in Spry in the late ’50s. Greatest job I ever had.” That was cool, because Sis was the original commenter to ask about this location!
And Ron Gerhart recalls, “As Sis and the rest of us ‘over-the-hillers’ should remember, the 500 CLUB was just one of the many music and entertainment venues that we frequented in the late 50s and 60s. I remember The Teen-Canteen at the YMCA, Friday night dances at the Reliance Firehall with ‘Doc’ the DJ, music and dancing in the barn at the Shady Dell (where, I believe, she met, and eventually married her husband of today). Later on, we enjoyed the local singing groups around town, The Mag-Men, The Delchords, and The Kit Kats, to mention a few. They were the Good-Old-Days!”
Finally, Sarann C. Boring writes, “I sure do remember the 1500 Club! A lot of us kids from West York High went there in the ’50s, had loads of fun dancing and carrying on the whole evening! I remember Bill Haley and the Comets being there but don’t remember the year. I can’t imagine once he got famous he would perform at the 1500 Club.”
The Washington House
We first talked about this eatery in a November column, when reader Patricia Gotwalt recalled the oyster pie. Another reader, Linda Hake, had previously written to me asking for information on this restaurant, on Route 462 in Wrightsville. In Linda’s memory, she recalls, “It appeared to be a private residence and they served a buffet meal. I remember going there on Sunday after church for lunch.”
Albert Weisser of Wrightsville confirmed the location, writing, “There was a Washington House in Wrightsville. It was in the 300 block of Hellam Street. A Turkey Hill Store sits there now. It was located on the East side of the lot. The first Etzweiler Funeral Home and furniture store was across the alley to the East.”
Chris Emswiler added, “I remember in the ’70s and ’80s my parents talking us to eat at the Washington House smorgasbord in Wrightsville. It has been torn down to put the Turkey Hill store in now. It was in a duplex house with the left side as a restaurant and on the right half they tried putting in a bar for awhile. The sign was a double sided plastic sign that was white with red, black and yellow letters that hung above the front entrance if my memory holds true. The food was always the same, Ham, Sausage, mashed potatoes, 2 types of gravy, corn… good old York County fixings and my highlight was a table filled with plates with pie, cake and pudding. Great, now I have a hankering for dessert… I remember getting my drivers license and taking my Dad there to celebrate and I parallel parked on 462. My Dad opened the door and asked if there was a shuttle bus to take him to the curb! I had raised White letter tires and I didn’t want to scrape them on the curb so I parked with PLENTY of room between the tires and curb!”
Finally, of a different Washington House, I heard from Jim Fahringer, a longtime reader. He wrote, “In the May 1904 ‘Knights Templar Picturesque and Industrial York, PA’ book there is a picture of the The Washington House located on North Street opposite the Pennsylvania Railroad Station. The proprietor was Jon Fry.”
He continued that this Washington House “had a corner bar which contained the most beautiful wooden built-in bar and counter and mirror back boards. In the 1970s when the bar closed, I would have liked to buy this beautiful interior woodwork for a possible Christian coffee house. I wasn’t able to do that but I sure hope someone salvaged this beautiful wooden bar and mirror backdrops,” he said!