Only in York County

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Memories of the western part of York city

Some time ago, I received a letter from Joyce Brenner Whitcraft, now of New Freedom and formerly of York, regarding some businesses and memories she recalls from the ’50s and ’60s on the western side of York city.

She writes, “You have covered the western York area and also ’50s-’60s. I remember a lot of the businesses etc. you mentioned before. I have a few memories that were from ’50s-’60s era being raised in 900 block (of) West Poplar St. Remembering Hartley Elementary School, currently a CVS store and Turkey Hill mini mart. Hartley was located on land (at) S. Richland Ave. and 900 block of West Princess and 900 West Poplar St.”

Joyce adds that she remembers field days, a Maypole dance and parade and a block party were key features of her time at Hartley Elementary. “The block party was held in spring and the whole block of 900 W. Poplar St. and school grounds were blocked off… dancing in the streets with live DJ and a jukebox,” she recalled. “It was fun for all who attended. I do not remember names of any DJs.”

She continued, “Remembering also Senft Chip Factory on Sheridan … between W. Poplar and W. Princess St. The Senft family lived on W. Poplar also. You could go to factory and pay 5 cents for a bag of chips and you could get them yourself right off the fryer. They were the best chips around. (I’m sure if they were still around they would get vote for #1 chip in York County.) Also on W. Poplar St. at the corner of 800 W. Poplar and Hawthorne St. was what we always called the Cigar Store. Not sure what the correct name of the store was, we just always knew it as Cigar Store. They sold cigars of all kinds, including bubble gum cigars (pink, green and yellow). You could get all of the penny candy there also (mint juleps, Mary Jane’s, fire ball bubble gum hot and spicy, jawbreakers, licorice sticks … and many other penny candy. Some of the candies were sold 2 for 1 cent. At the cigar store, they had a soda fountain counter with bar stools (kind that spun around). You could get a cheeseburger, fries and a Coke for 50 cents. The soda fountain was a true one to get an actual cherry coke (cherry syrup used) for 10 cents.”

She continues, “My brother John reflects on the Parker Sausage Sandwich as the best, I remember the Taylor Pork Roll Sandwich.” This is funny because one family member of mine is a new convert to Taylor Pork, so it’s a staple in our house.

But Joyce adds, “At the corner of S. Richland Ave. and 1000 block of W. Princess Street, there was a store you could get hand-dipped ice cream cones. They also sold comic books. Do not remember name. … In 600 block of W. Market Street was Bievenour Florist, Atland Photographers and Yvonne Ernst Dance Studio. Franklin Discount Store (W. Market and W. King St.) Also there was summer fun at Bantz Park and baseball for boys.”

Joyce, thank you so much for sharing these great memories!

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