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More memories of York County’s farmers’ markets

Many longtime readers know I have a passion for York’s farmers’ markets, since my family tended market for many years at the Market and Penn Farmers’ Market, selling baked goods and Fitzkee’s candy. Today, I’d like to round up some more farmers’ market memories and showcase some of our earlier posts on this topic in case you’ve missed them.

Previous posts
March 1, 2008: Fun in Thomasville
Jan. 2, 2009: Market day
June 15, 2010: Candy-store memories
Jan. 3, 2012: More on the former City Market, and on York’s other farmers’ markets and their history

Now, on with some additional farmers’ market memories!

Speaking of current markets, Jo Ott said “I see Eastern Market losing more ‘farmers’ and acquiring more non-farm/food vendors although the transition does seem to have slowed the past six months.”

And Betsy Bairds aid, “I liked … Audrey’s comments about City Market. I was too young to remember much of that place. Except the first Book Sales of the York Hospital (later held at the York Fairgrounds) were held at City Market. Mother & I and my one teacher (And I think there was someone else with us) were there, sitting outside.” She said that she liked Eastern Market as it was before. “Too many places – Conrad’s, Quentin Myers, Knaub’s – are among those which no longer exist. Even the Shrewsbury Farmers Market House, which I forgot all about in my article of markets, doesn’t have many vegetable/fruit/meat/deli stands. Most of it is ‘flea market’ stuff.”

Nancy L. Reever added, “The City Market… how well I remember it. As a child I lived in the 200 block of East College Avenue and every Saturday morning we would walk to the city market. No matter the weather, come Saturday morning my Great Grandmother and I were off to the market house, market basket in hand. (By the way I still have my market basket!) She had certain vendors that she purchased our food from. Mrs. March was where we got our eggs and chicken. Mrs. Kyle was where we purchased pies, Utz had a stand where you could buy chips; they bagged them as you bought them. We got our bread from Fox bakery. Our vegetables came from Streibig’s. I remember the fish market that was in the back corner of the market. The smell was bad, but I always wanted to go there and see the fish. This was in the late ’40s, ’50s and early ’60’. I remember in 1964 taking my Great Grandmother to the New City Market on South George Street. We went there so she could show her new Great Great Granddaughter to all her market friends. That was the last time I was there, I don’t think it lasted much longer. What a shame we don’t have places like this today. These are experiences that I will never forget.”

Regarding City Market, Janice B. wrote, “I read your blog and was sorry to hear they tore down that wonderful market. When we lived there 25 years ago I used to take my daughter there and to all of the markets wonderful memories. Do you remember the name of the bakery that used to sell cake squares at market? We were reminiscing and can’t remember.”

I also heard from June Lloyd of Universal York, who wrote, “I enjoyed your ‘Do You Remember’ from March 4 about markets. Two years ago I spent about a month having fun researching York markets, eventually doing a column on the wonderful York City Market building and blog posts (about a dozen) on the others. I probably turned up more than anyone ever wanted to know, but I love the markets, still going faithfully to Central Market each Saturday when I come to town to volunteer at York County History Center. The combination of fresh food and striking architecture of the old market buildings is just irresistible.”

She adds, “Anyway, if anyone want to know more, this link will take you to the blog posts. I think I covered just about everything your readers mentioned. The Jan. 23, 2010, post also contains the City Market column. I don’t remember City Market, even though I was around when it still was in use. I grew up in the Red Lion area and we came to town pretty often to shop the department stores and the 5 & 10s, but we went to the Red Lion grocery stores. My parents had a huge garden and canned and froze a lot of vegetables and fruit, so we didn’t have to go to market for produce. Relatives still lived on farms, so my parents bought their meat and things they didn’t grow from them. My late husband did grow up in the city and was one of the boys that hung around City Market with his wagon to help people get their purchases home.”

Regarding the Market and Penn Farmers Market, where my family long shopped and worked, I heard from Seth Weaver, who siad, “I am with Weaver’s of Wellsville’ I saw that you mention us on a post in 2011 and recently talked about butchers. I like to think that we are a bit of a York County tradition. I just wanted you to have my contact information if you ever would like to know anything from our blog. We’ve been in business here in Wellsville since 1889 and my brother and I are the fifth generation in the company. We have been at the market in Penn and Market Street in York for nearly 100 years. Anyway, like I said feel free to email me if I can be of any help to your blog.”

I told Seth how glad I was to hear from him, then asked if he worked regularly at Market & Penn, thinking he and I might have overlapped. He said, “I work there about every other Saturday. We have two crews that alternate each week, but my brother and I do not always stick to that, so sometimes I’ll work three or four in a row, sometimes I’ll have a few off in a row.” As he’s about 7 years younger than me, we don’t think we were there much at the same time, but it really is a small world!

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