Mail call: Memories of Schiding’s Service Store

Today’s letter came in response to this August post on former businesses gleaned from ads in a 1947 cookbook put out by Christ Lutheran Church of York.

Well, among those businesses listed John L. R. Schiding’s Yorktowne Service Store (“We Deliver”), 201 E. Cottage Place, York. And that’s what today’s letter is about.

Barbara Brown writes, “I’m a 1947 war baby and went to Christ Lutheran Church. Can’t recall the cookbook, but I am Barbara Ann (Schiding) Senft Brown, granddaughter of Mary and Big John Schiding. And as a kid, I never realized their store had a name. Just that it was where Na-Na and Pa-Pa lived upstairs. We lived halfway up the block at 232 E. Cottage (Place) Ave. Enclosed a pic of much younger me and the Easter Bunnies. … Thanks for the memories!”

Here’s that photo of Barbara:

Barbara Brown at her grandparents' store

Barbara, thanks for sharing – that’s an awesome picture and I’m so glad to hear a bit more about Schiding’s!

About Joan

My name is Joan and I'm a lifelong Yorker. Throughout high school and college, I swore I was getting out of here as soon as possible. Now, a few years later, I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be. I love my town, and I hear every day from readers who love their towns, too. So please, connect with me and let's share what makes life in York County great. I'm here to help you enjoy this place as much as I do!
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2 Responses to Mail call: Memories of Schiding’s Service Store

  1. Bonnie Douglass says:

    I could not believe what I am looking at. I am Paul Schiding’s care giver. His father was John Schiding. I can’t wait to show this to him. He has been trying to find Barbara. He is 93 and doing well. If you would like to contact him personally please let me know.

    Bonnie Douglass

    • Jim Fahringer says:

      Is this the same Paul Schiding who once had the Hobby/Craft store on the northwest corner of Penn and Market Streets in the city of York? I forgot the name of the store. I think it was called the “Checkered Flag” at one time. I often visited this wonderful Hobby/Craft Shop from about 1966 until it closed – I believe somewhere around the very late 1980’s or early to mid 1990’s when it moved to the 1700 block of West Market Street. In its day, it was THE hobby/craft shop of York, PA.

      I often purchased those large sheets of colored beeswax and rolls of wicking to use in my 4th Grade Classroom to wrap two -tone sheets of beeswax candles. At Christmas time I would get green and red sheets and my students would wrap them around the wick and take a pair of them home for a Christmas gift for their parents. Actually when these sheets were wrapped properly around the wick, the candles would burn about as long as a regular candle. At Valentine’s Day I would buy pink, red, and white beeswax sheets and students would wrap a pair of two-tone candles as a Valentine gift for their parents. The store also sold one -pound blocks of sun bleached pure beeswax or natural beeswax. I bought many pounds of that wax over the years. We would melt the wax in a double boiler over a hot plate in my classroom and students would form a line and hand dip wicks into the hot wax. After about 30-35 dippings, they would have a candle of regular thickness. One time I bought a huge chunk of pure Bayberry wax in the store. It must have weighed about 20 pounds or more. This was not just scented Bayberry wax, this was pure bayberry wax made from the berries of the plant. Actually there is nothing better than pure beeswax and/or bayberry wax candles. First of all, they smell absolutely wonderful. Secondly, they can be buffed with a soft cotton cloth to a wonderful shiny luster. For years we made candles from a mixture of Bayberry wax and beeswax. When I was transferred to another school I had to pack everything up for the move. On the last day of school I told one of my students to take what remained of the huge chunk of Bayberry wax to my car. I also told him to put it where the sun would not shine on it. He placed the chunk of Bayberry wax on my rear dash right under the rear window. The hot June sun beat down on the Bayberry wax all afternoon and melted it. The wax seeped deep down into my vinyl seats and I had the most Christmasy smelling car until I traded it in for another car.

      This hobby shop also helped to turn me on to making heritage wreaths. These beautiful pine cone, nut and pod wreaths were hanging around the store. I believe Paul and his wife made these wreaths. Not only did I start to make them, but I also had every one of my 4th Grade classes, from 1970 until 2004, make them each year for a Christmas present for their parents. I bought the green wire frames and the rolls of florists wire at this Hobby Shop. I would also buy artificial green and red fruit to decorate the wreaths.

      Another wonderful craft I discovered by visiting this hobby shop was the making of jeweled Boutique Christmas ornaments. The store sold many different kinds of Christmas tree ball kits. Customers could see the finished product from these kits openly displayed around the shop. I think that Paul and his wife may have made the balls that were displayed. I probably made a hundred of these special jeweled Christmas balls.

      I will forever remember Mr. and Mrs. Schiding and Loretta and the wonderful hobby shop where they worked and how much it influenced and enriched my life and my students’ lives. Say hello to Paul for me.

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