The adventure below is the latest in a series sharing my quest to explore Pennsylvania by visiting each of the sixty-seven county seats and eating a hot dog while in town.
A trip to York County is filled with good memories for My Jane and Me. The city of York is the twin city to Lancaster. Both communities are named after towns in England known as the Red Rose City (Lancaster) and the White Rose City (York). York played a sizable part in the events around the Revolutionary War most notably serving as the temporary capital of the Continental Congress. The Articles of Confederation were drafted and adopted while York was the capital. Here is something that you may not know. In late 1776 Brigadier General Thomas Conway was involved in something called The Conway Cabal which tried to have George Washington removed as commander-in-chief. Of course Conway was to be the new commander-in-chief. The effort failed and Washington and Conway did not get along very well afterward. Anyway, the Conway Cabal met in some of York’s historical buildings like the Golden Plough tavern and the General Horatio Gates House.
My Jane and I connected at the West Manchester Diner with some of our friends from the East Berlin days in Adams County. If you look real close you can recognize the building behind me as a former McDonald’s. I was very familiar with this particular restaurant once upon a time.
Carolyn will always be connected intimately with us. When the word came that our Sarah was arriving from South Korea My Jane and I were vacationing around Pennsylvania. Carolyn did some detective work attempting to find us. She called half the hotels in York, where we were staying, to get the news to us that our precious bundle would be arriving in two days. We will always be grateful for Carolyn’s love for us.
Mary Jane and Sterling seem like they have been close friends forever. Mary Jane was the driving force behind our Sunday School and Vacation Bible School ministries and Sterling was one of the great leaders guiding the church mission. Unfortunately, you can see that Sterling has lost some of his motor skills as he has aged (he is the oldest one of us) and needs constant supervision. Just kidding! I believe Sterling leaned the ‘food into nose’ activity while assisting me at a Confirmation Camp. I obviously have a lasting effect on folks!
We have known and enjoyed Kent almost since he was born. One of my favorite stories related to Kent has to do with a time during remodeling at the church. Kent was maybe four or five and an aspiring paleontologist (his term) when he noticed holes in the floor left after the steam lines had been removed. I was standing near-by when he inquired as to the purpose of the holes. I replied, “We keep the Tyrannosaurus Rex down there and we feed them through those holes.” Kent has never forgiven me for that. No, no, what I meant to say is he has never forgotten that incident.
When a group of my friends invades a restaurant I feel sorry for whoever has to serve us. But we behaved pretty well-for us. Although I did notice Kaelyn left the building soon after serving us. I hope she was not too traumatized.
Here is something! Do you know why York Peppermint Patties are called York Peppermint Patties? Because they are made of peppermint, of course. Oh yeah, and they were invented in York, Pennsylvania in 1940. Hershey Company now owns this tasty treat.
The York County courthouse has a special memory for our family. About 9 months after Carolyn’s hard work My Jane, Sarah and I visited the courthouse with two other couples we met in the adoption process to legally adopt our precious children. It was a great, great day.
Here is something! Do you know why York Barbell is called York Barbell? Because a long time ago the company cast a bell for the Golden Plough Tavern. Word got around and the company was known as the company in York that made the bell for the bar. Yep! They were the York Bar Bell Company. I should not have had a second cup of coffee this morning! Anyway, York Barbell and the USA Weightlifting Hall of Fame are just north of York on Route 83 toward Harrisburg.
Traveling east on Route 30 (Lincoln Highway) you will find a huge Harley-Davidson plant. When we lived in Adams County Harley-Davidson was almost ready to close its doors. But, this is the place in time when the Baby Boomers began to have money to spend. Suddenly, motorcycles were ‘the thing’ to buy and Harley-Davidson built this plant to keep up with the demand.
A trip along Route 30 in York County would not be complete without a stop at The Shoe House. Mahlon Nathaniel Haines known as the ‘Shoe Wizard’ built the house in 1948-9 as an advertisement for his shoes. He did some neat stuff like giving newly weds (associated with his company) a week free in the house along with two free pair of shoes as a honeymoon gift. The shoe is an ice cream parlor today.
See you next time.