York Progressive Dinner Progressed Along Tracks
The March 18, 1908 York Gazette shows that Yorkers could eat with the best of them, traveling from one menu to another by trolley.
Progressive dinners were evidently in vogue at that time. The article relates that 12 couples thought they were going to be feted at homes of friends. Only the host knew differently as the special trolley car he booked picked up the guests, starting at York’s Centre Square at 6 p.m. and continuing out West Market street.
As the car “bowled along the Hanover line, a corps of waiters from Blanchard’s, headed by Edward S. Grey, served fruit, soup and wafers to the surprised passengers.”
When they reached Spring Forge [Spring Grove] at 7:30, they “proceeded to the Aldine hotel, where the following menu was served:
Celery. Gerkins. Olives.
Potatoes. Green peas.
Sounds like quite a nice meal, right? Wait–there’s more.
“An hour later the car started for Hanover. At 9 p.m. the dining room of the Central hotel of that place contained a happy party, who did full justice to the following substantial bill of fare:
Olives. Celery. Pickles.
Roast Turkey. Cranberry Sauce.
Sauerkraut. Mashed Potatoes.
Green Peas. Corn. Tomatoes.
Chicken Salad. Asparagus.
An hour later they piled into the trolley car for the ride back to York. Believe it or not, “ice cream was served on the car, being the finale of a repast covering four hours of time and a score of miles.”
The participants were familiar York businessmen of 100 years ago: “Messrs. James L. Menough, S. C. Frey, E. S. Eyster, W. S. Bond, H. A. Bailey, W. B. Gemmill, P. A. Elsesser, M. B. Gibson, E. P. Stair, N. C. May, A. C. Wiest, G. W. Gross and their wives.” Too bad the wives weren’t acknowledged by name, but then I don’t know if I would want my descendants to know I could eat a substantial appetizer, two full meals, and my third dessert in one evening.
Click the links below to see what else York County people liked to eat over the years.
Oysters and ice cream.
More ice cream.
And more apples.