Of dinosaurs and big blue mailboxes in York, Pa.

“Buggies. Milkmen. Now mailboxes?”

The head on a recent York Daily Record/Sunday News’ story gave a good summary about the U.S Postal Service’s survey of which big blue mailboxes around York to eliminate.

E-mail and use of the Web to pay bills has cut into snail mail traffic.

Some might wonder when the last the last bottle of milk was eliminated in the York area.
The answer is 1994, perhaps.

The following from “Never to be Forgotten” tells the story:


“John Schwartz, perhaps the last milkman in the county, retires from Rutter’s Dairy ending a rite of early morning. At one time, milkmen for Rutter’s Dairy covered 41 different routes, and 75 percent of its business was home delivery.
“Schwartz retires after driving a delivery route for 45 years. His last route covers 500 customers.
“Four years later, the dairy discontinues making ice cream at its Manchester Township complex. The company first hand-cranked ice cream in a basement in the 1930s. Ten flavors of Rutter’s Ice Cream are now imported from a Johnstown dairy.
‘It’s part of our life,’ Mike Rutter, company president, said. ‘Ever since I can remember, we’ve been making ice cream. It was no easy decision.’
Today, mail and newspaper carriers are a remnant of the parade of door-to-door services delivered to York County residents in the past. In Felton, for example, Butch Hoffman delivered meats; Smith Bakery, bread, pastries and penny candy (sold from a suitcase on the truck’s front seat); Lutz, green groceries; Seitz, milk; and an ice man delivered blocks to those with refrigerators.”

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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