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York County history, food and books coming up

Conrad's Cornet Band, possibly at a St. Luke's picnic
Conrad’s Cornet Band, possibly at a St. Luke’s picnic

It’s time for two of my favorite York County events, and you are all invited too. I’ll be volunteering at each one, and I hope to see you there.

First, tomorrow, Thursday, August 7 is the annual St. Luke’s picnic at New Bridgeville in Chanceford Township, starting at noon. Lots of food will be available along with live music. This is one of the dwindling number of old fashioned church picnics that still serve up lots of homemade chicken corn and ham bean soup, hot sandwiches, cakes and pies. I will be ladling the take out soup, sold by the quart container.

The photo above, from the early 20th century, might have been taken at a St. Luke’s picnic. Conrads (pronounced then as Coon-rods) was a popular name for New Bridgeville. My grandfather, Ed Shelley, is the second from right in the middle row.

St. Luke’s was founded in 1772, so many of you might also have ancestors in the picturesque cemetery. Some of the earlier stones are in German.


Then, next week is the annual Book Blast at the Agricultural and Industrial Museum on West Princess Street in York. Thousands and thousands of donated books of all kinds–fiction, health, history, cookbooks, classics, biography, religious, inspiration, crafts–will be sold to help support York County Heritage Trust’s mission to preserve and interpret our rich history.


Book Blast opens free to the public at 9 a.m. on Thursday, August 14. See above for pricing and hours. As an added bonus, anyone who buys a minimum of $5 in books can then take their time touring the entire amazing Agricultural and Industrial Museum free. Farming equipment, industrial machinery, a covered wagon, a trolley car, automobiles, even an airplane—all with York County connections—fill the spacious galleries.

Here are opportunities to experience and support York County history through the purchase of food and books—two of my favorite things.

York County Heritage Trust's Agricultural and Industrial Museum
York County Heritage Trust’s Agricultural and Industrial Museum