Ask Joan: We Wish You A Merry Christmas edition

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, if you celebrate, and I hope everyone is gearing up for a great start to 2012. Many thanks to all who have been taking part in my “Joan Asks You” survey to help me plan for the coming year; I’ll keep it open until the 31st, so if you haven’t yet told me what you think about the content of Only in York County, please do!

What’s inside
1. How to find ZIP codes
2. Seeking name of York hotel
3. Finding rehearsal-dinner location possibilities

1. Okay. This is really trivial. I was looking for the full zip code for (a particular street address) in Stewartstown. … I got a temporary “lets find people” site that doesn’t even know what the full zip code is either.
– Gayle Ambridge

Gayle had been looking to send a Christmas card to her sister and wanted to include the full ZIP+4 code, and as I told her when I responded, that’s not a trivial question at all, but rather something I bet many people would like to know how to do.

My trick? I use Mapquest. If you start typing in the address (say, 1891 Loucks Road, York PA – the address of the York Daily Record/Sunday News offices), then hit “search,” it will return for you the full address; in the case of the YDR, it’s that address with a ZIP of 17408-9708.

Another site I use, kind of as a tangent to finding the ZIP code, is this site, which lets you find what Pennsylvania municipality a mailing address is in. So, for instance, while the YDR’s mailing address is York, it’s not in the City of York – it’s in West Manchester Township, as that site will tell you. That comes in handy at the paper, because we use municipalities rather than mailing addresses so we can be more specific.

Hope you find those tricks as handy as I do!

2. During the Depression, my grandparents lost their business in Harrisburg and eventually came to York and managed a hotel at the corner of N. George St. and North Ave. My parents lived with them, and helped with the work of running the hotel. I have a picture of Grandpa Hervey Brandt, and my father, James Ayres, behind the bar in the hotel. I was born there Dec. 6, 1933. I never heard, or at least can’t remember, the name of said hotel, and wondered if you … could supply the name to me. I would like to be able to tell my children where I was born and something of my history.
– Beverly (Ayres) Landis

Well, this originally came as a letter to Jim McClure, who suggested it would make a good question for Ask Joan. It’s actually not the first question I’ve gotten about downtown hotels of the past; I fielded one back in May on some other establishments!

I admit that neither Jim nor I seem to know this answer right at hand, but we’re hoping someone out there does. Any ideas on the name of the hotel that would have been at North George Street and North Avenue in the mid-1930s? My only other suggestion for Beverly is to commission a search of deeds and records via the York County Heritage Trust, which I’m sure could also turn up that info.

3. Could you recommend a few options for a rehearsal dinner location? Approximately 40 people, would prefer that the place have a separate area for our group. Want to have a cocktail hour before meal and then a served meal. Casual dining. Would like to have something like chicken alfredo and maybe salmon. Looking for the diamond in the rough place that not a lot of people know about that is still reasonably priced. Wedding rehearsal is at St Rose in West York. Cocktail hour from 4 to 5. Also, renting a location and having catered is an option if it is cost effective.
– Jodi

I was thrilled with Jodi’s question, because I’m sure MANY people are planning spring and summer weddings and could use some new ideas, and even if you’re not, I know there are plenty of other events that could use a similar setup.

I suggested to Jodi that she consider Pomodoro’s in York Township, behind York County Tech; I had my own rehearsal there in 2005, when it was still Scotto’s, and we enjoyed it immensely. Another place I thought of was San Carlos (The Hop) on Route 30. Actually, the Lyndon Diner has a very nice back room for groups, too, and now has its liquor license; Alexander’s has a lovely back room as well, though I don’t know about how that would go with a cocktail hour, as I don’t believe they serve and I don’t know that they do BYOB.

Have any other ideas? I know Jodi would love to have them; leave me a comment and I’ll share your suggestions with her.

Got any questions? Ask Joan using the form at right. I’ll attempt to answer them in a future “Ask Joan” column on this blog. I get a large volume, so it might take me a while, but I hope to be able to answer as many as possible!

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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4 Responses to Ask Joan: We Wish You A Merry Christmas edition

  1. Blake Stough says:

    In regard to the question about a York hotel, my 1903 City of York Atlas shows one on the southeast corner of North George Street and North Street. The name is listed as “Northern Central Hotel”, possibly having a connection to the rail lines that were nearby. The owner of the hotel is shown as Fred Rendel or Fred Randel. The printing makes it difficult to tell exactly what the last name is.

    While this is 30 years earlier than the reader asked about, and I’m not 100% sure this is the hotel in question, it may be of some help.

  2. Hubby says:

    Using Blake’s clue as a lead, I found that…

    Volume 23 of “The Railroad Trainman,” published in 1906 by, of course, the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen has a listing for Northern Central Hotel, J.E. Crimins, proprietor, at the corner of George and North streets.

  3. Jo says:

    Great detective work! Now, the next question– is the building still standing? Or has it been replaced? Or an empty lot?

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