York Town Square

Part of the USAToday Network

Ho, ho, ho – uh, Santa on that York Bon-Ton ladder, hold on

With a one-arm wave as the other firmly grasps the ladder, Santa greets the crowd before his entry into York’s Bon-Ton in his annual visit to York. Background posts: The Grumbachers, Builders and Heroes and York scores another first: Wal-Mart’s entry into Pa.

This photo captures post-World War II York, the day of the Big Three – Bon-Ton and its competitors, Wiest’s and Bear’s. (People often say, don’t forget Sears and Jack’s and Gregory’s and McLean’s and … )
Santa parked his sleigh outside York County in those years. He flew into the area by plane and, later, by helicopter. He was ushered by fire truck to the Bon-Ton where he entered the store’s third-floor window… .

These were also the years when each department store tried to construct the best window displays.
And many kids liked riding Bon Ton’s elevator. And in the 1960s, the Bon Ton added to the fun – adding an escalator between its second and third floors.
And people enjoyed holiday meals at the Bon-Ton’s Tearoom, later the Lamp Post.
These were halcyon days of the downtown.
And one more detail.
Notice in the photo the two women looking down on Santa. No doubt, they were making their Christmas lists right then.