Following up on last week’s column sharing memories of the Dogtown area of West York, this week I want to share some other memories of the West York area from reader Jim Knaub.
Jim recalled also reading some earlier memories of West York shared by reader Sis James, and wrote, “I thought I would add some more specific memories from West York back in the years (late 1940s and early 1950s) when I grew up.”
Jim writes, “Beginning at the southwest corner of the intersection of Market Street and Belvedere Avenue there was Rehmeyer’s Auto and Appliance store. Going west on Market Street was Carl Beasley Auto dealership, then the Hiway Theatre where we spent most Saturday mornings at the kiddie shows. Next door was the Acme Supermarket. The Royal Fire Co. was across Market St. Going west to Richland Ave. we had Richard’s Esso station which became Kinneman’s Esso and eventually Earl Ness’s Exxon. Behind this gas station was Julius’s dairy which became Sutcliff’s dairy. This building was originally the carriage house for the mansion that sat on the corner where the gas station is now.”
He also asks, “I wonder how many remember the Lafean mansion that sat on the northwest corner, across from the Esso station. This home was empty, and we played in it. Of course, we said it was haunted. Behind this home, in its carriage house, was Helb’s beer distributorship.”
“Going west, next to the Esso station,” Jim notes, “was Ammon R. Smith’s used car lot. In the next block at 1106 West Market Street, Chet Patterson began his sporting good business which eventually moved across Market St. into the building that was originally Richfield Automotive. Continuing west on the corner of Overbrook Ave. was Black Hosiery, which became Franklin Discount.”
He continued, “Further west was the Fairview Café, which is now JR’s Tavern. Next was Herbie Lewis’s Esso station where Earl Ness worked until he acquired the station I already mentioned. 1230 W. Market St. was the family home of Vic Wertz who was a baseball star with the Detroit Tigers and the Cleveland Indians. Further west was the Mays’ home, which is where Paul Falkenroth and Lynn Baublitz began the Lynn/Paul shop (men’s clothing). This building was eventually torn down to make room for Robert Hall’s.”
Jim then writes, “At 1311 Market St. was the home and office of Dr. Earl Romesberg. I believe this is the doctor Ms. James referred to as Dr. Rumsfield. Further west where the Reliance Fire Company now sits was Chris Schmidt’s Atlantic Station. He was the father of Herb Schmidt who is a noted track and field coach and official in York County. Then there was Dr. Hunger’s dentist office and Brown’s Meat Market on the corner.”
He continues, “Just north on Highland Ave. was Art Welcomer’s Grocery Store (we would have gone hungry if Art would not have carried a tab for my parents during these years). Across Market St. from Browns was Lauer A. Gross electrical contractors. West into the 1400 block was the West York Inn, which then had rooms to rent and a restaurant. They did not serve alcohol back then.”
And, he notes, “Continuing in the 1400 block of Market St. was the Reliance Fire Co., the Reliance Café, Koller Funeral Home (run by the grandfather of Bob Koller who moved the business to its current location at 2000 W. Market St. when he took over the business). Next was Dr. Horning and then Evans Drug Store, and next was the office of the dentist Dr. Gibson Stine. On the northeast corner was St. James Lutheran Church. Across Adams St. was Steckler’s Grocery Store (my grandfather and George Steckler were friends). Across Market St. was Bill Myers Café, which became Babe Keller’s.”
Jim concludes, “Further west at 1551 Market St. was where Chet Heidlebaugh had moved his appliance business. At the end of the block was St Stephens Reformed Church. Across Seward St was Lattuca’s grocery store. At 1628 W. Market St. was Bud Lehr’s Meat Market. In the 1700 block were Max Anstine’s funeral home and Dr. Rutland’s home and office. In the 1800 block was Weist Motors (Chrysler/Plymouth dealer). Also at 1815 Market St. was where they moved the Lynn Paul Shop and renamed it Henri Paul Menswear. Further west were the Forest Ice Cream Company, which because the Jolly Cow, and Bury’s Restaurant in the 2300 block. At the corner of the East Berlin Road was Bud Eppley’s used car lot. Further west was the Pine Tree Inn in the 2500 block.”
He also noted that Green’s and Beck’s dairies were at each end of the 1400 block of Stanton Street, and he grew up in that block between the dairies. “Also in this block was the William Shelly Elementary School where we went to school and spent many hours on the playground,” he noted.
I was so thrilled to share all of these great memories of Jim’s! I was driving through these areas of West York today while running errands and it was neat to have this “travelogue” in mind as I did so.
Have questions or memories to share? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Ask Joan, York Daily Record/Sunday News, 1891 Loucks Road, York PA 17408. We cannot accept any phone calls with questions or information.