Mail call: Memories of Sievers & Devers, and Reineberg’s, from Joyce M. Rode

Today’s letter comes from Joyce Rode, who shared these postcards advertising sales at Reineberg’s Shoe Store. The cards were sent in 1980 and 1981, but the photos are from 1925.

On the back, the postcards detail sales in honor of the store’s 103rd and 104th anniversaries respectively, and the one showing the store’s interior points out how different it was than the store of the present day.

Joyce writes, “I found these picture postcards among our treasures recently. My husband I never threw anything away. (Big mistake.) They were sent to him for sales at Reineberg’s in 1980 and 1981, but the pictures go back to 1925. I also noticed Sievers & Devers jewelry store, pictured here, which brought back memories. We bought our wedding rings there 60 years ago (1952). It was on S. George St.”

She continues, “Our engagement was announced at my Jr.-Sr. Prom at Manchester High School on May 29, 1952. They dedicated a song to us – “Too Young” – made famous by Nat King Cole. Maybe we were too young but we didn’t know it. We were only 17. I graduated June 2, 1952, started working an office job and my hubby-to-be joined the Navy in August. When he came home from boot camp leave we got married. It was November 8, 1952 (my sister’s 19th birthday). When he returned to his base, we didn’t know when we would see each other again. It was nice, because he was stationed in Maryland for the next 3 years.”

Joyce adds, “We often laughed because he joined the Navy to see the world and spent 3 yrs. in Maryland. The last year was in Africa and Florida.”

She concludes, “When he died in 1990 at age 55, we were married for 37 years; had 4 children and 4 grandchildren. I still wear my rings from Sievers & Devers because I can’t get them off any longer, and I don’t have the heart to have them cut off.”

Joyce, I loved reading your story – and hearing about your wedding rings! (And don’t worry about never throwing anything out – that’s what keeps this column in business!)

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 Sievers & Devers, and Reineberg’s, from Joyce M. Rode

  1. Betsy Baird says:

    Reineberg’s – Aah! How I must get to that store. Since I was a baby, Mother would buy my shoes there. We lived in Downtown, then, too. There has always been so much trouble finding shoes that would fit me! My feet are too small, and one foot larger than the other. Rob’s grandfather, father and mother, and now Rob have done great services to me. And they nearly always had to order my shoes! The arthritis I now have doesn’t make it any easier. I liked the X-rays they took of my feet.
    I found some trade cards of the old Reineberg’s store, at flea market co-op, and I gave him most of them. Selfishly kept some for myself. They’ve done a great job in properly fitting the feet of many York County residents.
    Betsy Baird
    to Rob.

  2. Jim Fahringer says:

    Thanks for helping me to visualize where Sievers & Devers Jewelry Store was. I knew the address, but didn’t visualize its location. They sold some really neat jewelry. I have seen some of their jewelry in antique shops. My great aunt actually gave me her husband’s aquamarine stick pin which came from Sievers & Devers. Stick pins were actually originally a man’s piece of jewelry from 1800’s until the early 1950’s. Men wore the stick pins just below the big knot in their tie or even sometimes right in the knot. Diamond Jim Brady made diamond stick pins quite popular.

    When I was 4 years old I contracted Polio in my right leg. After some corrective surgery on the back of my ankle, I was required to wear big ugly brown high top corrective shoes. Oh how I wanted to wear those Keds sneakers that everyone else was wearing but I couldn’t. I had to wear those orthopedic shoes. My parents would take me to Reineberg’s to have these shoes correctly fitted and made. I, too, found the x-ray machine fascinating. You stuck your feet under the bottom of the machine and looked down from the top through a view opening. You could actually see your toes and feet through the leather shoes. These machines looked much like the old fashioned viewing machines that were found in Penny Arcades of long ago. The clerks at Reineberg’s were very friendly and understood children and made your visit quite enjoyable even though I hated the big ugly high top brown shoes I had to wear for support. It is interesting to see the large light up “Reineberg’s” sign attached to the second and third story of the building in that early picture. The last time I looked, it was still there – above the “New Hub Store” on South George Street. I believe that sign to be a wonderful collector’s item. I am surprised that Reineberg’s Shoe Store in the former Jay’s Mini Strip Mall on Haines Road didn’t pay to remove that sign and somehow display it at their Haines Road location. It may be too expensive to retrieve, but someone should try to save it for its York commercial historical value.

    • Jim Fahringer says:

      By the way those shoe x-ray machines were declared a health hazard in the late 1950’s and shoe stores stopped using them because of the radiation danger.

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