Ask Joan: Transmission edition

If any Ask Joan readers have a spare Ford Taurus transmission just, you know, collecting dust under your coffee table or something, I could probably find a good use for it!

Barring that, my travels around York County are likely to be curtailed for the next week or so as I get one and have it installed (and somehow fund this endeavor). I told the poor man at the garage that he’s not my friend any more.

What’s inside
1. York Haven, Star Spangled town
2. Restaurant near YLT in 1961
3. Memories of Sleeger & Sons

1. Several years ago, I heard that York Haven was named as the All American City. I believe it was during either WWI or WWII. It was because of the amount of soldiers per capita. I can’t seem to find anything out about this and would be interested in finding info on this.
– Lana Fink

For information on this, I knew right where to turn – I asked Jim McClure, and he directed me to his awesome “Never to be Forgotten” book.

It was, in fact, during World War I that York Haven was honored, though not for the number of soldiers but rather another type of patriotism.

From the book:

(In 1917,) York Haven becomes a “Star Spangled Banner burg” when its 680 residents raise $105,000 worth of bonds, 20 times its allotment.

Lana, I hope that helps – and for more info, Jim cites Carl E. Hatch’s “Essays on York, PA History 1776-1976,” which he referenced in Never to be Forgotten!

2. My parents got married 50 years ago and had their reception at a restaurant that was located near York Little Theater, behind Bentz’s furniture. Do you know what the name was in 1961?
– Kate Sharpe

I am hoping one of my loyal readers with a copy of the Polk York City Directory will help me out with this one… if it’s included, since it is possibly beyond the city limits! Any info for Kate?

3. My father, Levere Ehrhart, often spoke of his working at Sleeger’s in York during the Depression. I noticed a while back that the store front still exists on East Market Street just past Sherman Street. Do you know anything about H. Sleeger & Sons or where I could find some info on it.
– Dave Ehrhart

Dave shared the photo above of the storefront as it appeared earlier this year. Does that jog any memories from anyone who might have information on Sleeger’s for Dave?

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, but I will feature three each week and 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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10 Responses to Ask Joan: Transmission edition

  1. Jim Fahringer says:

    I believe the restaurant that Kate may be referring to was called the Flamingo. It was located in back of that furniture store on the corner of East Market Street and Belmont Street and across from the York Little Theater. In 1961 it may have had a different name. I do know it was called the Flamingo in 1968 because I ate there then and the meal was outstanding. I was actually the guest of Mary and Dave Stephenson. Mary Stephenson was my cooperating teacher when I student taught at Heistand Elementary School. I remember the meal like it was yesterday. My meal was Trout Alexander — absolutely delicious!

  2. Bill Landes says:

    The Flamingo—–for special events only.

  3. Betsy Baird says:

    It was the Flamingo. My Mother and some friends would meet there for
    luncheon at their birthdays. I would be with them. One woman’s birthday was the day after mine. I remember the cake the brought out for out birthdays! (And mine is coming up!)
    Mother’s friend’s and Dad and would also meet with Mother’s friends and
    their husbands a few times at dinner.
    Ray ….. forget his last name…. had the place. And did have very good food.
    WHY did all the good food places have to disappear and close up???

    Ray was manager of a lot of good places in York.

    • Jim Fahringer says:

      Thanks for reminding me of Ray, the manager. His name may have been Ray Bahn but I forget. He would walk around and make sure everyone’s meal was to their satisfaction.

  4. Betsy Baird says:

    I’m not at all sure, but was Sleeger’s where a pinball machine sales/leasing
    company was? I don’t think it’s still there.

  5. bill hoffmeyer says:

    Before it was the Flamingo, it was The Elwood Grill. The East York Lions Club initially met there when I was a kid and my father was a founding member of the Club. It had a soda fountain and was a resaurant with no bar.
    Ray Bahn was the manager of the Flamingo when I was a member of the Club and we met there after having met at The Lincoln Woods for many years where Ray was the maitre’d for many years before he relocated to the Flamingo. Ray’s wife, Mary, was a nurse, a delightful person, who was also well known around York. Further, when The York Little Theatre was The Elwood Theater, a foreign film venue, I spent many Saturdays at the theater since it was only 3 blocks from my childhood home on Manheim St. Finally, the summer before my senior year at York High, I had my front 3 teeth knocked out by a golf club (3 weeks after the braces were removed) at the Elwood Minature Golf Course which was next door to the theater. Almost fond memories, except for the teeth. I had a plate within 3 weeks, just in time to resume my role as a tuba player in the York High Band with good old Spike Sprigel, our tough as nails/heart of gold, band director.

  6. neile couch says:

    The Flamingo was next to Betz Furniture (which set up shop in the Bon Ton) and it served the best filet and french onion soup for a special occasion. The service was impeccable and the neon outside lighting was classic.

  7. Jim Fahringer says:

    Interesting that that furniture store which stood in front of the Flamingo at the corner of Belmont anbd East Market Street was actually originally a super market. My mother and grandmother used to tell me that in the late 1930’s or 1940’s it was, if I remember correctly what they told me, an Acme store — probably one of the first in the area.

  8. Barbara Sleeger says:

    I saw the question in the Sunday News titled “Memories of Sleeger & Sons”. The photo published is of the Sleeger Furniture store that was started in 1848 by my great-grandfather Henry Sleeger Jr. and closed 107 years later shortly after the death of my grandfather, Arthur Sleeger in October 1955. Up to that time it was a combined business with the furniture store and funeral home located next door at 822 E. Market Street. My father, David H. Sleeger and his brother George continued to operate the funeral home until my father’s death in 1972. The three generation family business came to an end in 1975.

    Along with the regular furniture showrooms, I remember the upper floor of the furniture store housed a casket showroom where families could see what they were purchasing. My dad was involved in all aspects of both businesses from furniture sales, deliveries, installations and repairs as well as being a licensed mortician. My dad would have been in his twenties during the depression and most likely would have worked with Levere Ehrhart in some capacity.

    We lived in the apartment above the funeral home and saw many changes over the years. Keyboard Music Studios occupied the building for many years and afterward Monroe Brandt Vending Machines operated a business there. Both businesses had signs that covered up the Sleeger name for a long time. In the 1990s the properties were purchased by John Danner and he opened his funeral home on the premise. It was then that the sign was removed from the old furniture store revealing the H. Sleeger & Sons sign once again. I was really surprised to see it after so many years! It certainly brought back lots of memories for me.

    I would be happy to talk to Dave Ehrhart and see if I can answer more of his questions. I put together an entire history of my family that goes back to 1747.

    ALSO…the question following this one in the paper asked if anyone remembered what the name of the restaurant was behind Bentz’s furniture. I believe it was The Flamingo. The lady who worked for the funeral home was given a retirement dinner that was held there for family and friends. It was in the early 1960s (1960-61?). I was about 12 years old at the time.

    • Edwin Benson says:

      I live in Harry Sleeger’s house about a block east of the store/funeral home. I know that Harry was one of the three sons of Henry Sleeger who operated the business after the death of their father. Harry married his wife Catherine Miller in 1899. They apparently moved into my house about 1907, and lived here until their deaths. They had one daughter, Margaret, who died in 1922. Henry died about 1930 and Catherine in 1939.

      I would enjoy having more information about them, and would love to have a photograph of them to hang in their home.

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