York Town Square

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Inland York County, Pa., loves oysters: ‘Economical … not bones or waste …’


York County Heritage Trust’s Oyster Festival at the Agricultural and Industrial Museum. Also of interest: Rite of fall in York, Pa.: ‘Feast on oysters – fried, stewed or nude.’

York County, 50 miles from the Chesapeake Bay, has long been acquainted with oysters, the seafood treat still consumed in great numbers at an October Oyster Festival.
Oysters served as more than just good eating.
The shells also served as gravel… .

George Small of the P.A. and S. Small family, for example, shipped oyster shells via rail annually to lay on the driveway of his estate, Lower Grantley.
As for eating, some people probably gulped before downing the slippery seafood. Even 125 years ago, the wholesomeness of the tasty seafood was suspect.
A local newspaper defended the eating of oysters by saying that they grew in deep waters of bays, away from cities.
Not one bushel in 100,000 had any chance to become contaminated, the newspaper opined.
“They are certainly economical, as there are not bones or waste, and the cost is reasonable,” the newspaper asserted.