Working in the Family Business; Avalong Farms Dairy Bar
Capt. Dick Wolfe provided memories of his families’ business; Avalong Farms Dairy Bar, which stood on the northwest corner of Whiteford Road and Mt. Zion Road in Springettsbury Township. Dick’s early work experiences provide some neat Avalong recollections and more accurately pinpoint estimated dates in last years post Avalong Farms Miniature Golf & Arnold Palmer Driving Range.
Last year Cliff Satterthwaite submitted this drawing of the miniature golf course, located along Mt. Zion Road, behind the dairy bar; he drew it August 16, 1964. In a previous post, I incorrectly believed he did this drawing when the course opened. Dick Wolfe pinpoints the opening to 1960. If you are reading this on the Ydr.com site, click on this LINK for a Full View of the illustrations in this post on the original YorkBlog site; since the ydr.com site will occasionally cut off important details in the cropping of illustrations.
Quoting the comments submitted by Capt. Dick Wolfe:
“Avalong Fairways Miniature Golf” was constructed in five weeks (from the last week of April to Memorial Day weekend) in 1960. Joanne Long (my sister), her husband Clyde and his brother Ken were partners in the project and hired a firm from Margate, New Jersey to build it. The name of the construction company was “Fairways Miniature Golf” and we had to use their name as part of the contract. Fairways later became part of the Arnold Palmer consortium and also did the construction in 1965 when we remodeled the miniature golf course and built the driving range.
The reason I’m sure of the dates is I was twelve years old in the summer of 1960 and I was the “kid” waiting on customers during that and the following summers. A prominent judge raised the question shortly after we opened, when as a customer; he asked how old I was. He then went to my sister (Joanne) and not so politely asked, “How can you employ a 12-year-old at the golf course?” She responded that I was her brother and since I was a member of the family, the state’s employment laws, working papers requirement, etc. didn’t apply. (I had been an employee since I was seven.)
He went on to push the issue “somewhere” and was told she was correct, but he never apologized to my sister and she remembered and talked about this incident many times until she died in September 1997. My sister’s full maiden name was Elizabeth Joanne Wolfe and my brother-in-law’s full name was Donald Clyde Long. It’s interesting that both went by their middle name. Clyde Long died the same year; in February of 1997.
Dick has memories of where the design of the curb service Drive-In originated. The Springettsbury Township Historic Preservation Committee has a tiny, grainy black and white photo of the Avalong Farms Dairy Bar Drive-In; I enlarged it and added some color. The photo is dated August 12, 1965, and is a view of the Drive-In looking eastwardly from along Whiteford Road.
Continuing with comments submitted by Capt. Dick Wolfe:
In 1961, we built the dining room addition, the curb service roof and installed the “car call” system during that summer. Joanne and Clyde got the idea for the roof design and “car call” system while vacationing in California earlier that year. The “car call” switchboard had room for 60 speakers. Initially we had 40 under the roof and shortly (I would say within two or three months) as dictated by demand, we added another twenty; which we called the “back row” and not under roof, which brought the operational count to 60.
Moving ahead to 1965. I was a senior at Central High School and one afternoon, in I would say mid-April, I reported for work to my usual “cashier/milk and ice cream seller” job and Clyde told me to go out and tear down three sections of fence on Mt. Zion Road, just beyond the miniature golf course because two tractor/trailers were coming with building supplies. I asked what was being built and he explained to me that he and my sister were becoming the principal owners/partners of a new driving range and remodeled miniature golf course.
Continuing with comments submitted by Capt. Dick Wolfe:
At any rate, after the driving range opened, I was the manager during that summer. At the end of that summer I went to college, other work and never returned to the family business. My dad, “Gene” (short for Eugene) Wolfe, was assistant manager of the restaurant; he ordered all of the food and made the soups. His chile and clam chowder were very popular and sold well. He was known by the family and many employees as “Pop Wolfe.” Dad died in 1977, twenty-seven years to the date of Alva Long’s purchasing settlement on the Robertson farm (January 3, 1950).
My mother was Anna Wolfe and just about everybody called her “Mom Wolfe.” Mom was famous for her apple dumplings; she retired from Avalong in 1980 and died in 1992. I went on to a 30-year career, primarily in Human Resources at Caterpillar and retired when the plant closed.
Thanks to Capt. Dick Wolfe for sharing these neat recollections of Avalong Farms Dairy Bar and for setting the record straight on dates associated with the miniature golf course and driving range.
Links to related posts include:
- Avalong Farms Miniature Golf & Arnold Palmer Driving Range (with dates corrected)
- Alva R. Long acquires the Meadowbrook Estate of Harold E. Robertson on January 3rd 1950; and Avalong Barn Remarks
- Historic Courthouse Columns built into Meadowbrook Mansion
- Avalong Dairy drawn by Cliff Satterthwaite
- Location of five One-Room Schoolhouses that closed in 1952; and The Avalong Connection
- A Road Named N.O.P., Arsenal and Whiteford; Part 1 – Avalong