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Memory Lane side of New Eastern Market in Springettsbury Township, York Co., PA (2020 Photo by S.H. Smith)

New Eastern Market celebrates 65 Years on Memory Lane

Friday November 18, 1955, marked the grand opening of New Eastern Market at 201 Memory Lane in Springettsbury Township. On Friday, November 13, 2020, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., the 65th Anniversary of this market house will be celebrated with drawings for prizes throughout the day.

Just as on all market days in the COVID-19 era, masks are required by everyone in the market house, strive to keep 6-feet social distancing, and no handling of any products; the market vendors will show the product to you if you so desire. The complete COVID-19 guidelines are posted on the market doors.

The origins of a market house east of York began in the law offices of C. B. Wallace on November 30, 1885, where a committee was appointed to select the site. George Prowell’s 1907 History of York County (Vol. 1, page 796) notes the early history of Eastern Market: “A site was purchased on East Market Street, near the railroad, and [in 1886] a brick building was erected at a cost of $11,875. This substantial building was blown down during a violent storm, which swept over York on January 9, 1889. Soon afterward the second market house was built on the same site at a cost of $4,500. The bricks and some of the timber of the demolished building were utilized.”

The market stand renters in the 1889 Eastern Market building served the public, at 480 East Market Street, until Friday January 31, 1947. After which the farmers had to find a new market location due to Sears, Roebuck and Company purchasing the building for conversion to a farm store. That Sears store stocked a complete array of farm needs, ranging from feeds to building materials and heavy farm machinery.

One would think the farmers, that tended market in the 1889 Eastern Market building, would not be happy with Sears. However beforehand, Sears had a hand in making sure the market stand renters had a new site, which was virtually right across the street; in the basement of the White Rose Arena. The New Eastern Market opened the following Friday on February 7, 1947, with bigger crowds of customers. And the large crowds continued at New Eastern Market; often touted due to the abundant free parking for hundreds of vehicles in an adjacent lot off of Philadelphia Street; as shown in the following ad placed by Sears.

Map within ad for Grand Opening of the New Eastern Market on Friday February 7, 1947 in the basement of the White Rose Arena (Source: The Gazette and Daily, Feb. 6, 1947, pg. 15)

The New Eastern Market in the basement of the White Rose Arena thrived until fire destroyed that building Sunday night December 13, 1953. A group of farmers, which rented space in that building, decided farmers should control the ownership of a replacement market building, and the new site should have abundant free parking.

Architect Jack Spots was retained to design a 120-foot by 300-foot market house. On April 22, 1955, three adjoining tracts of land were purchased for $78,000. The site was located along the east side of Memory Lane, in Springettsbury Township. Days later, on April 28, 1955, the ground-breaking was held. In the photo, Spencer E. Henry, President of the New Eastern Market Company, Inc. wields the shovel as 11 directors of the organization look on.

April 28, 1955 Ground-breaking for New Eastern Market on Memory Lane in Springettsbury Township. Spencer E. Henry, President of the New Eastern Market Company, Inc. wields the shovel as 11 directors of the organization look on. (Source: The York Dispatch, April 29, 1955, pg. 13)

All officials and directors in the new organization are farmers, except John P. Lentz, who is the contractor for the new market house. In the photo, standing left to right behind Spencer E. Henry, Red Lion R. D. 2, are: John P. Lentz, Dallastown; Norman T. Mohr, Mt. Wolf R. D. 1; Benjamin Wineka, Red Lion R. D. 2; Denton R. Fitz, Red Lion R. D. 2; Raymond E. Shirey, York R. D. 3, vice president; George D. Mohr, Mt. Wolf, Route 1; Nelson C. Fitzkee, 2352 South Queen Street; R. M. Sheckenbaugh, Laurel R. D. 1; Howard H. Fitz, York R. D. 3; Heil L. Markey, York R. D. 8; and Roger E. Markey, York R. D. 3, secretary-treasurer.

Construction progress on Memory Lane side of New Eastern Market (Source: The Gazette and Daily, Sept. 23, 1955, pg. 4)

The above photo shows construction progress, as of September 23, 1955. The 36,000-square foot market house design features the arched laminated rafter roof, with two side wings.

The end of September saw enough applications to fill all space in the building and by early November, wait-list applications reached a level to fill another building of the same size. The following photo shows finishing touches being put on the market stands; two-weeks prior to opening of the New Eastern Market. This is just before stand holders were allowed to customize their stall space, if so desired.

Putting finishing touches on stands; 2-weeks prior to opening of New Eastern Market on Memory Lane in Springettsbury Twp. (Source: The Gazette and Daily, Nov. 5, 1955, pg. 3)

Friday November 18, 1955, marked the grand opening of New Eastern Market at 201 Memory Lane in Springettsbury Township. Door prizes, free bus service from the square, and free parking were highlighted in opening day ads; which listed 117 stand holders (see full list at end of this post). During the early years, market was held every Tuesday and Friday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

When our family moved from York Township into Springettsbury Township in January of 1958, I was eight-years. Friday was grocery day for Mom, accompanied by four children, between four and eight-years-old, at that time. After getting groceries at Food Fair in the York County Shopping Center, we always made a stop to purchase fresh produce at Fitz Brothers stand in New Eastern Market, plus got some sort of treats; provided all of us had behaved.

Starting in the 1970s, almost every Friday, on the way home from work, I stopped at New Eastern Market. There was always a stop at Fitz Brothers for fresh celery. During the 50th Anniversary of the New Eastern Market in 2005, the following photo shows Marlin Fitz piling fresh celery at the Fitz Brothers Farm Fresh Produce stand. His father, Howard, started the family-owned stand when the market opened in 1955.

Marlin Fitz piles fresh celery at the Fitz Brothers Farm Fresh Produce stand at New Eastern Market. His father, Howard, started the family-owned stand when the market opened in 1955. (Source: The York Dispatch, Nov. 17, 2005, pg. 9A)

On all market visits, I’d always get a bag of fresh Martin’s Potato Chips from the couple that started it all; Harry and Fairy Martin. At their stand in the market, they’d always had huge bags of chips that were made the previous day, from which individual bags were filled. During the 50th Anniversary of the New Eastern Market in 2005, the following photo shows Fairy Martin scooping potato chips for a customer at her stand in New Eastern Market. Martin and her husband, Harry, established Martin’s Potato Chips Company in 1941 and kept this market stand; after selling the company to Ken and Sandy Potter in 1971. Fairy Martin lived to be 94-years-old.

Fairy Martin scoops potato chips for a customer at her stand in New Eastern Market. Martin and her husband, Harry, established Martin’s Potato Chips Company in 1941 and kept this market stand; after selling the company to Ken and Sandy Potter in 1971. She says the chips are made fresh on Thursday and delivered to the market for purchase on Friday. (Source: The York Dispatch, Nov. 17, 2005, pg. 9A)

The following photo, by Richard Zook in 2017, looks down the center aisle, towards Memory Lane end of New Eastern Market. At stands, regular customers make their purchase and have a little conversation; nearly always ending with “see you next week.”

Looking down the center aisle, towards Memory Lane end of New Eastern Market (July 2017 Photo by Richard Zook)

The following photo shows the current New Eastern Market signage in front of the market house at 201 Memory Lane. It notes on Friday, November 13, 2020, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., the 65th Anniversary of this market house will be celebrated with drawings for prizes throughout the day.

The New Eastern Market signage in front of market house at 201 Memory Lane, York Co., PA (2020 Photo by S.H. Smith)

Of all the Historic Property plaques displayed on buildings in Springettsbury Township, the method New Eastern Market used to display their plaque has to be the most impressive. Mounting the plaque on a piece of black polished marble is a nice touch to highlight pride in this historic building; as it continues to serve as an important market house in the community.

Historic Property Plaque on front of New Eastern Market at 201 Memory Lane, York Co., PA (2020 Photo by S.H. Smith)

An alphabetical listing of the 117 stand holders during the grand opening of New Eastern Market on Friday November 18, 1955, follows (Source: The Gazette and Daily, Nov. 17, 1955, page 17):

Roy Anderson
Arthur Bear Orchards
Mrs. Lottie Bear
Charles Beaverson
Ross Bell
Harold Burke
Philip Camallari
Edwin Chronister
Clark Foods
Conrad & Sons
Frances Dellinger
Deluxe Pastry Shop
C. J. Dietz
Dixie Cream Donuts
El-Ge Potato Chips
Valentine R. Emig
Lloyd W. Fauth
Cora Fetrow
J. Fred Fisher & Sons, Inc.
Howard H. Fitz
Russel Fitz
Fitzkee’s Home Made Candies
Fox Baking Co.
Warren M. Frey
Gehm’s Pastry Shop
Katie Geigley
Gladwig Candy Shop
Mrs. Dorothy Glatfelter
Aristis Gust
Earl Hannigan
S. K. Harding
John M. Hartman
Mrs. William Haug
Richard M. Heggy
Mrs. Oscar Heiner
Preston Hengst
Spencer Henry
W. J. Henry
Dale Hershey
Holowaka Farms
Raymond S. Hovis
Innerst Bros.
Luther Jacoby
Richard H. Kauffman
Cecelia R. Keefer
Norman Keeney
Norman Keeney, Sr.
S. E. Keeney
Manard Kimes
Kling’s Donut Shop
Mrs. Harvey Knaub
Knaub’s Home Made Cakes
Mrs. John Knisley
Mrs. Nettie Kraft
Guy Larkins
Tony Liberto
Clair Markey
David L. Markey
Dwight R. Markey
Harry Markey
Heil L. Markey
Kenneth Markey
Paul Markey
Raymond Markey
Roger E. Markey
Melvin Marks
Paul Marks
C. Z. Martin & Sons
Harry Martin, Martin’s Potato Chips
John Martin
Vernon Martin
Maw & Paw Flower Shop
John M. McClure
Melo-Cream Donuts
J. L. Miller & Sons
William Miller
George D. Mohr
Mrs. Jeanette Moore
Christ Myers
Ervin Myers, Jr.
H. S. Myers
Quentin Myers
Richard Myers
Neff’s Meat Market
Charles Ness
Paul L. Noel
Dorothy Pritzer
Eli G. Rehm
Donald Reisinger
Warren Robinson
Lehman Schlag
Charles Schrum, Jr.
Sechrist Bros.
E. M. Sechrist
Elmer Stein, Florist
Titus M. Sensenig
R. M. Sheckenbaugh
George Sheffer
Clayton H. Shenk
Raymond Shirey
J. F. Sindlinger
Philip D. Smith
M. S. Quay Snyder
Mrs. Harry Sprenkle
Mrs. John Sprenkle
Mrs. G. A. Stein
Stony Brook Meat Market
Preston Striebig
Jacob Towes
Utz Potato Chips
Ada Weigel
Eli Williams
Benjamin Wineka
D. E. Wolfgang Candies
York Fruit & Oyster Co.
George E. Zech Bakery
Mrs. F. C. Zorbant

Click on this LINK for a yorkblog.com Full View of the photos in this post.

Links to a few other market house posts include:

Market & Penn Streets Farmers Market filled with Fall Colors at Chronister Stand

J. E. Williams & Company in York; From near Central Market to Dauntless within the Carlisle Avenue Market House

Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts

2 comments on “New Eastern Market celebrates 65 Years on Memory Lane

  1. Now in Kentucky I really miss this market! Knaub’s cakes were the moistest I ever ate and Quentin Myers was my mother’s favorite vendor there

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