Ask Joan: Fun follow-ups edition

Today I want to follow up on a couple of previous Ask Joan questions, one recent and the other from a while ago.

What’s inside
1. York T&T manhole cover details
2. Following up on Grantley restaurant

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Ask Joan: GRE edition

Just a random sampling of questions to share today. I’m preparing to take the GRE (Graduate Readiness Exam) this weekend, so my brain is FRIED and I can’t write a proper introduction. Hopefully you’ll forgive me!

What’s inside
1. What were those chocolate squares?
2. Seeking Grantley Road restaurant name
3. President Lincoln in Hydra-stone
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Remembering Ahrens and other York County butcher shops of the past

It’s been about two years since we last talked about York County butcher shops of the past. You can read previous posts on this topic here, here and here.

In the intervening time, I’ve received several other notes about butcher shops from the York County area, and I wanted to share those today.

Reader Emma Witmer wrote, “I recall, as Jim Fahringer recalled, the Ahrens Butcher Shop. As a kid growing up in York, there was an Ahren’s Butcher Shop on South Queen Street, which was a block down from where I lived. I also recall the Ahren brothers’ snow white hair. Does anyone recall the Herb’s Brewery located on the corner of South Queen and King Street in York?”

Ahrens hot dogs

I received this photo from William Greenawalt in relation to the Ahrens hot dogs. “Here you can get one on a bun for 5 cents,” he said of this photo, which he said shows the inside of the concession facility at Springwood Park in the early 1940s.

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Receipts from York, PA, businesses of the past


Some time ago, Lorie Redding, a friend from a church my family used to attend, shared some images with me of receipts from former York County businesses.

“My mom, Rosella Linebaugh, still has some of the receipts from the furniture her and my dad, Glenn Linebaugh, purchased when they were just married,” Lorie wrote. “We thought you might find them interesting.”

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Sending memories from Las Vegas to York, PA

Today, I have a fun letter to share that is also thematically appropriate!

It’s from Greg and Dottie Woolridge of Las Vegas, Nevada, and it’s fun for me because I just got back from a short vacation to Las Vegas in the past couple of weeks!

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Remembering C.J. Helfrich Delicatessen



Reader Robert Keller shared the images above with me and wrote, “My wife’s relative had a deli on S. George Street and it seems a blog would help with information from other members of the public about the store. A friend said her grandmother lived over a deli on S. George Street.”

Robert asked if I’d add this deli to our “York County’s stores and restaurants of the past” directory, which I have. “We collect info from the public familiar with the store,” he added, and I’d love to be able to collect any memories of Helfrich’s for him as well!

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Ask Joan: Fitbit edition

Since January, I’ve been using a Fitbit to track my steps. In the past week, I’ve joined some challenges with former coworkers and fellow homeschoolers and high school classmates scattered around the country, and my competitive side is really causing me to freak out when I’m not in the lead in each of them.

But on the positive side, I’ve had the chance to explore wonderful parts of York County this spring, like the newly opened section of the Heritage Rail Trail County Park, where we were treated to the sight of two bald eagles. If you haven’t been there already, I encourage you to check it out, as well as checking out the new Ask Joan questions I’m sharing today.

What’s inside
1. Details on White Roses players
2. Do you remember Legion shows?
3. Seeking Girl Scout cabin photo
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Memories from the York Haven area

Larry R. Good shared this image of an Elm Beach Park photo card

Larry R. Good shared this image of an Elm Beach Park photo card.

In February of this year, I had shared a letter from reader Lynda Shaffer Pendergraft about growing up in the York Haven area, and seeking others’ memories of that part of the county.

I often hear memories of growing up in the city of York, but I really love getting to share stories of other parts of town too, so I was excited when I heard from other readers about the more northern part of the county in response.

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Memories of Alice Hoffer’s dress shop in York

Around the middle of last year, reader Becky Carr asked if anyone remembered Alice Hoffer’s dress shop in downtown York.

Well, wow. The answer was a resounding YES! Today, I have many, many memories of Alice Hoffer’s, also known as The Fabric Shop, to share. What I do not have are any photos of this establishment, so if you have any, please do share… and read on for more memories!

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More music-lesson memories: Recalling Keyboard Studios and Gingerich music


Today, I have a few notes to share about one of my favorite topics and one we’ve discussed in the past – music and music lessons around York County.

From Don Frey, I received the following letter in response to that previous post. “You caught my attention when I read your story on Keyboard Studios, which was very good. I can give you so many, many more names who taught trumpet, french horn and guitar. All those names have history which I can give you. I also can give you the name of the touch up man who did touch ups on pianos and organs and the three men that did electronics on the organ, guitars and amps. Of course I know the names of the girls that worked in the office in the ’50s and ’60s. John Pickard and I opened up the 615 musical lounge and from there I got Don Frey and Naturals, my band practiced on the second floor where they held accordion concerts. Bobby Doran taught guitar there in 1960 and 61, left and went with Guy Lombardo. Lloyd Baddorly, trumpet teacher at Keyboard, married Sue Keeney who worked in the keyboard office. He went with the Hershey Ice Capades. I taught drums 35 hours a week from 1955-1960 and than 1960-1967 I taught 35 hours a week and repaired instruments 35 hours a week for a total of 70 hours.”

Don, I’d love to hear more; please definitely comment and share with everyone so we can all recall those names together!

A commenter named Bobby also recalled Keyboard Studios, which was in the 800 block of East Market Street. Bobby wrote, “They sold musical instruments and gave music lessons. I won free organ lessons at the fair one year and got a small organ and lessons for 6 weeks. Then Monroe Brandt took over the building and sold and serviced pinball and I think vending machines.”

And from Jim Shindler, I heard about another related location. Jim writes that after reading the previous post, “I realized another Market Street music store that gave music lessons was unmentioned. Gingerich Music House was located on the north side of West Market Street west of Newberry Street. Two Gingerich brothers were owners but I can only recall Clair’s name. Experienced youth musicians, students of their school, would demonstrate various instruments in the elementary grades of public schools which would result in creating the desire of the pupils to learn how to play a particular instrument which could be rented from the Gingerich’s. I was one of them and I rented a cornet, took lessons from them and eventually my parents bought me my own cornet. Many children received their early musical education from them at least in the 1940s.”

The photo at the top of today’s post is of the 1947-48 Gingerich Band School band and comes from Royce Campbell, who also recalled that in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Clair Gingerich gave private music lessons and had a band operating out of a studio on West Market Street.

Campbell said he’s in the second row, and among others pictured are Jerry Gingerich, David Goodling, Dale Boyer, Tom Rutland (now deceased), Marlin Krebs, Neil Bentzel, Dwight Chamberlain, Wilbur Wolfe, Barry Albright (now deceased), Donald Zech, Robert Hartsough, Ed Hollinger (now deceased), Red Alwood and Roger Goodling. “It would be interesting to hear how many recognize themselves!” he wrote.

He added, “Eleven of the 28 members shown were from West York. It would also be interesting to know more about Mr. Gingerich and his ‘school'; was it in the ‘Blue Moon’ building, how long did he have a band, anybody remember him, etc.”

I would love to hear more about Gingerich Music School!

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