Red Lion – Retooling from maker of things to provider of services: The boroughs of York County series, No. 10
This is the type of skilled woodworking that has long been performed in Red Lion’s furniture-making factories. A woodworker cuts away a section of a chair at the Danko division of Persing Enterprises in Red Lion in 2004. One of the borough’s longtime furnituremakers, Yorktowne Cabinetry, is shutting down its manufacturing division in Red Lion. Also of interest: Bataan survivor from Red Lion persevered as POW and Kaltreider Library draws name from noted Red Lion cigarmaker and Red Lion’s Ebert Furniture: From bedroom suites to gunstocks.
Tenth in a series of occasional posts about York County’s 36 boroughs. (Visit the other eight at York County towns.
Red Lion is changing.
Longtime resident Yorktowne Cabinetry, representative of the borough’s venerable furniture-making industry, is closing its manufacturing wing.
The last cigarmaker just auctioned off its assets. At its peak, 150 cigar factories operated in Red Lion.
In the past decade, the Red Lion Grange, a former agricultural collective and meeting place, closed, and its building was demolished to become a bank parking lot.
The Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad, provider of transportation for furniture makers, cigarmakers and farmers, has long been closed.
But the Ma & Pa gives insight about this community – long a market center in southeastern York County benefiting from rail, trolley and highway services… .
Yorktowne Cabinetry started in New York in 1908 as Colonial Cabinets. Its woodworkers made doors, window frames and sashes. It later expanded to make kitchen cabinets. “Red Lion: The First One Hundred Years” states that Yorktowne began operations in the borough in 1952, in the Meads Tobacco Company building. It made kitchen cabinets starting in 1959 in the former Red Lion Cabinet Company building.
Its station has become a tourist destination. And its former right of way in Red Lion is serving as a rail trail.
Red Lion, like much of York County, is retooling from making things to providing services for folks.
Yorktowne Cabinetry’s story is typical.
When it came to Red Lion in 1952, it occupied a former cigarmaker’s building. Cigarmaking was then in decline.
Yorktowne’s complex will now become vacant, no doubt waiting for a tenant.
Will it be warehousing – representing the service sector – York County’s new growth industry?
What others say about Red Lion: George Prowell in 1907: “The enterprising and prosperous borough of Red Lion … is situation on an elevation 900 feet above the mean tide at Philadelphia and 536 feet above Centre Square, York.”
Little known fact: With the exception of Round Top, in Warrington Township, at 1,110 feet above sea level, Red Lion is the highest point in York County, George Prowell reported in 1907.
Better known fact: Red Lion took its name from a local tavern, which stands today as part of a residence.
Population in 2000 – 2000 population:
6,149; 2010 population:
6,373. (Census 2010, York Daily Record/Sunday News.)
Incorporated: 1880. (York County founding dates.)
To learn more: Red Lion published a book in 1980: “Red Lion: The First One Hundred Years.”
Another view of Yorktowne Cabinetry’s plant.
Also of interest:
– York, Pa., Daily Record/Sunday News has aggregated a wealth of 2010 census information about Red Lion and other York County boroughs and townships.
– Other posts in this The boroughs of York County series … .
Sources: George Prowell’s “History of York County,” “Gazetteer of York and Adams Counties.”