York Town Square

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York County’s cigarmaking days: ‘I remember that people stripped tobacco in their pantries’

This video, part of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, “Remember” oral history series captures the cigarmaking industry – a major employer in small towns throughout York County. Background posts in ‘Remember’ series: In the shadow of disaster: York County and its newspaper tested 30 years ago and Great Depression work: ‘It was the largest thesis in the history of the history department’ and Readers tell about those blizzards of 1993, 1996.

People don’t think of the rival boroughs of Red Lion and Dallastown working together.
But 84-year-old Flo Neff unwittingly informed viewers of the York Daily Record/Sunday News “Remember” series about an early 20th-century form of regionalization.
It involved the ubiquitious cigarmaking business, the most recent topic in the series.
Here is her transcribed audio clip: … .

I was raised in Dallastown, and we had a number of cigar factories in Dallastown, too. My great-uncle (John Peeler) had a factory of reasonable size, and I have great memories of going there to see my grandmother (Mary Baughman), who worked there. … Some of the factories in Dallastown were affiliated with factories in Red Lion and vice versa. I remember that people stripped tobacco in their pantries, and it was a quite an enterprising thing.

Go to a Red Lion-Dallastown football game sometime and try to envision this type of cooperation between these next-door neighbors on Route 74.
Anyway, cigarmaking has been a topic of numerous York Town Square posts, including the following:
Tobacco usage: Rooted in York County’s past.
Cigarmaking Red Lion on top of York County.
It couldn’t happen in York County? Women were trampled in Depression-era labor unrest.
York County cigars: ‘They contained a vast amount of nicotine’.