Mail call: Memories of Stony Brook Garage

Today’s letter comes from Jim Weaver of West York.

Jim writes that after reading a previous column in our print edition based on this post about former service stations, he felt compelled to write about the former Pontiac dealership.

He says, “It was the Stony Brook Garage at the intersection of E. Market St./Pleasant Acres Road. Stuart Strickler owned it.”

Funnily, I almost stopped to snap a picture of this exact place a few weeks ago, while I was at the native plant sale at the Penn State Cooperative Extension offices on Pleasant Acres Road! I was just thinking, “I wonder if that was the garage everyone was talking about.” Should’ve stopped, huh?

Speaking of pictures, Jim also wants to know if anyone has any photos of the old Stony Brook Drive-In Theater. “I would love to have a picture of it,” he says. “Went there a lot when I was a kid.”

Well, Jim, you’re in luck! “Cinema Treasures,” a website about former theaters, offers a great photo and description here, and the person who wrote that, Ross Care, also shared a gallery of images on photo-sharing site Flickr here. Please do check those out!

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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3 Responses to Mail call: Memories of Stony Brook Garage

  1. Jim Fahringer says:

    I remember the Stony Brook Garage quite well. Actually I lived about 2 miles away from it. It was the closest garage to my house. Sometimes we would even walk to the garage. In those days it was not only a Pontiac Dealership and Service Center but also a full service gas station. We often bought gas there. Also, we would buy some candy inside the service station when we stopped for gas. I do not remember when the garage went out of business but I would guess somewhere in the 1970’s. I often visited the station with my mom and dad from 1956 until the garage eventually closed. I used to attend evening Bible School at the Stony Brook Mennonite Church across the street. When Bible School was over, we would cross Route 30 (now 462) and get a soda from the machine at the garage. It was quite a treat. There were no convenience stores, super markets or restaurants in the immediate vicinity in those days. A convenience store was not even invented yet. Actually my father’s brother was married to Stuart Strickler Sr’s sister. Originally the garage was called “Strickler’s Garage”. Stuart Strickler Jr. eventually took over the garage. I remember when it came time for me to buy my first new car. I saw those wonderful Trans-Am Pontiac sportscars at the garage and I just had to have one. I fully planned to purchase either the candy apple red one or the bright yellow one. Well, I found out that my insurance company considered this car to be a high performance car and I was in that 18-25 year old pracket and the insurance rates were prohibitive. Actually Stuart Strickler got very upset with me because he said I promised that I would buy a car from him and I didn’t. Man, I would still like to have one of those Trans-Am’s but alas, no Pontiacs are made anymore. I settled for an inferior car as my first new one — it was a Chevy Malibu and it leaked like a sieve!! By the way, did you ever notice the razor wire coiled around the northern edge of the roof of this former garage by the alley in the back. I guess it is there to deter people from climbing on the roof. This is real razor wire that is used around prisons and on borders?

  2. John Loeper says:

    My father told me many times about buying a brand new 1946 Pontiac sedan from the Stony Brook Garage. He told me his old car was worn out but he had to wait until WWII was over and they started making cars again until he could get a new one. I remember him telling me he waited and waited and waited for that Pontiac to come in . It must have been a grand day in our family when it finaly did. I was only 1 year old at the time so I don’t recall it myself.

  3. I saw Flinchbaugh (Bros.) Men’s Store listed among your downtown stores. I can well remember it, for it was owned by my father, Roy, & his brother, Arch.
    The building is now attached to the former First National Bank building. I remember that during World War II a man had to have a coupon (government issued) to buy a pair of shoes, in the same way as we needed coupons for meat, canned goods, & gasoline. Uncle Arch died in the forties (I think) & then my dad ran the store himself. It was the first store in York to have air conditioning (I’ve been told). Sorry I have no photo of the “modernistic” looking store front in black glass. Next door was the Ramona Restaurant which was owned & operated by Andy Cassimatis (the judge’s father) & Pete Calopedis (who, I think, was Andy’s brother-in-law). They made the best peanut butter sundae ever! These were old buildings, because in the basement of dad’s store you could see wooden pegs which were used in the ceiling beams. Next to the Ramona were two vacant shops. They remained vacant for many years. I understood they were owned by Mrs Frysinger Rohrbach, the daughter of the people who once owned the harness & leather shop across the street. Somewhere around the ’50’s dad moved the men’s store to the Colonial Shopping Center on S. George St. That calls to mind another column of yours about service stations. Next to the Colonial Shopping Center on S. George St, at the corner of Rathton Road was an Esso service station owned by Eddie Dimelow. There is still a station there. I’ll see if I can find any pertinent photos to this material, but I think I don’t have any. If I do, I’ll send them/it to you. Your columns sure stir up the memories. Thanks for that.

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