York Town Square

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The Pennsylvania Dutch Archives

York countians like to comment on buildings, that’s proven by their engagement on Facebook. But we like to eat, and we like to share, like and comment about those delicacies that are distinctively Pennsylvania Dutch and York County, Pa.

Mention Jacks and you get memories. Jane Black captured this scene of the popular downtown York,Pa., retailer Jacks in the late 1970s. Barry Black, a regular commenter on my Facebook page, posted this winsome scene and noted that his wife worked for Jacks. She honed her artist’s skills at York Academy in the 1970s. Judy Bono also commented on Facebook that the Jacks Store, pointing to two connections. Jacks brought her to York for a buying job and later her husband, Richard Bono, served as architect for the building’s restoration.

York countian Jacob Zellers spoke to an American University class about ‘charms, cures and curses’ circa 1931. He made a distinction between powwowing and other ‘good influences’ and witchcraft and hexing, both ‘bad influences.’ A reporter sat in on the class, and this story appeared in The Philadelphia Record and other newspapers after the Hex Murder and its subsequent trials in 1928-29.

The cornerstone of York, Pa.’s, Zion Lutheran Church was laid in 1850. The reason for building the church? English was fast becoming the language for services in Lutheran churches in York County. St. Paul’s had separated from the mother church, Christ Lutheran, in 1836 over that issue. Zion formed as an English-speaking part of Christ Church’s congregation in 1847. The congregation worshipped at this site behind the York County Courthouse until 1989, when the congregation moved to Manchester Township and closed its longtime home. Here, a group looks at Zion Lutheran’s former sanctuary for possible Christian ministries use.