York Town Square

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About Avalong’s and Melvin’s: ‘I am some what familiar with the history of the area’

Springettsbury Township’s (Pa.) Avalong Dairy house, aka Meadowbrook mansion, aka Christmas Tree Hill has long captured the imagination of motorists traveling on Whiteford Road. At one time, it served as the office of the dairy. Also of interest: Before Geno’s made news in Philly, Gino’s headlined in York and Druck Valley, Glades area offers beautiful scenery for Sunday afternoon drive and York-area full of memory-spawning landmarks

As a kid, York, Pa.’s, R. Stephen Bancroft would ride his bike up to Avalong Dairy Farm from his home in East York and help with the cows and play in the barn.
As a teen, he delivered office supplies – for his father’s business, H.G. Bancroft, Inc. – to the back door of the house.
“So I am some what familiar with the history of the area,” he wrote to York Town Square in an e-mail.
He provided insight into that popular Whiteford Road/Mount Zion Road corner plus some information on Melvin’s Drive-In, another nostalgia-inducing landmark for many York countians: … .

– The Meadowbrook Mansion was the residence of Ava Long and his family as well as the office of the Avalong Dairy.
– The west wing of the house was the dormitory for the farm hands.
– There were originally 2 dairy barns to the east of the house but the northern most one was struck by lightning and burned down. The other one was the now-closed Pfaltzgraff pottery outlet.
As for Melvin’s:
– Melvin Kaufman lived in a stone house on the 1st block of North Russell Street in old East York.
– His original store was torn down for the Interstate 83, Market Street South bridge embankment. A Weis Market was across the street where the north embankment is now.
– A blacksmith shop was just to the east of Melvin’s.
– Melvin typically closed for the winter and went to Florida.
– He built a new store on Haines Road several years after the old store was torn down. It closed and a tire distributor moved in. The covered drive-in slots, where motorists ordered food, became the car bays. A new Wachovia bank branch is there.
– There was an auction at the Springetts fire hall of antiques, oriental rugs and other items from Melvin’s estate. Stephen said he bought some of them.

Springettsbury Township – with its Sears, Bury’s Burger restaurant, Avalong Restaurant– and other such sites continues to capture the memories of many York countians, who clearly spent hours in that part of the county.

Was broasted chicken introduced to York County at the Avalong Restaurant, replacing plan fried as the cooking method of choice? Weigh in this blog’s commenting section or on The Exchange?