Emigsville Story Night – Emigsville Band – April 2008

CURVIN KINDIG, JR  – retired band member of the Emigsville Band for 50 years.

(note: this is transposed from audio files. If you can fill in any of the “?” below please comment below this text)


The first action of the Emigs Band was on June 28 1878… the charter was established and it was called the Emigsville Cornet Band. In Sept 6 1906, the band reorganized as the Acme Coronet Band before it was just the Emigsville Band.

At that time they bought uniforms also and usually in those days they bought the uniforms from the uniform company in Philadelphia. A fella came up, one of the representatives and measured each individual person and I know when you got the uniform it was usually a pretty good fit. Uniforms were required at that time.

On June 17th 1921 the band incorporates… on March 1, 1915 the initial land acquisition was from the Thelonius? Tract was purchased for $400 that is where the main band hall is sitting right now.

April 14 we purchased some more land from the Dacheux Tract but it doesn’t indicate how much more land was procured. I asked Jay Dashau? if he knew any of the That owned the property, said he didn’t know anything about it. Maybe his father knew but his father is pasted away a number of years ago.

In November 1918 the building of the Emigsville band was completed and dedicated on Thanksgiving day and the cost in those days was $1,800, actually it cost more than that because we had to ad the labor.

Then December 23 1926, the debt was liquidated, they burned the notes, so it took them eight years to pay off that $1,800.

In 1935 the band hall addition was completed, to the rear of the band hall they put in a kitchen because at that time we were serving a lot of turkey dinners and we thought we may need the parking area and we bought about 25-30 feet behind the band hall.

The kitchen was a fully equipped modern kitchen and the ladies auxiliary paid for that.  They had money in the bank and just up and paid it

In 1939 we bought a little more land front eh Rishel Track…. in the 1940’s some of the land was used for Victory Gardens.

Then in 1948 the merit system was established as a method of compensation for the members

The Acme Coronet Band was around before ??? in York. The band first practiced in the boiler room of the American Acme located on North Main Street in Emigsville. The American Acme first produced 2 and 4 horse wagons for agricultural use, later sleighs and lawn furniture and later still bedroom furniture were built there.

There was an old building in Kreutz Creek that they demolished and arrangements were made to transport the building to Emigsville and the building was reconstructed as the home for the Acme Coronet Band. No one seems to know where that building was.

A local farmer used his team of mules  and wagons to transport the disassembled structure to the site. In addition to using the band hall for band practice many other activities were conducted there. One of the first activities was band fair which as we knew it was a dance so we converted the band hall into a dance hall. The band played music and the dance began. It’s not known what type of music was played perhaps  ???? or was it marches, or waltzes or ????

Band fair was held every Saturday night. The admission cost was 10 cents a person. Band fair was well attended. Many other functions were held at the band hall to support the band’s financial needs. These included elementary school programs, band concerts on Sunday afternoons, business shows, suppers, minstrel shows, shooting matches and worship services. The band hall was also used as a polling location.

Many former member of the Emigsville Band have become doctors, teachers and lawyers and attribute the friendship and associations for their successes.

The Emigsville Band provided entertainment for both Emigsville Church picnics. In those days the churches held their picnics in the first two Saturdays in June at Cold Springs Park near Manchester… Who remembers where that is.. or was? It’s now a housing development.

Typically we would start playing at 6:30pm, play for one hour then take a half hour break and come back and conclude playing at about 9 pm. The band was known for playing marches, polkas, light overtures and show tunes.

At the time the Acme Coronet Band was organized the identity of the director is not known. After the band moved into the band hall, however, Mr. William Eberly, a local York teacher, became the band teacher until his retirement.

The next band director was the Rev. Leon Desenberg, a member of this Church (Otterbein United Methodist) who served for about 50 years. After Rev. Leon Desenberg Became disabled his resignation was accepted and Mr Marlow? Ryan? served as director for about 40 years. After Mr. Ryan’s death his son became band director.

A clown show

In one occasion the Emigsville Band played for the Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church picnic near Sam Lewis State park. They went to their automobiles, dressed as clowns returned and then merged into the concert spectators Alvin Baker? … were natural clowns, everything they did they were funny guys. Alvin stook looking at a person looking for an extended period of time without smiling. He would walk up to you just stand and look at you and just not smile!

Clair Lehman? carried a market basket containing a live Rhode Island red chicken on his right arm Claire?? approached the dining area hoping to purchase a bowl of chicken corn soup. The dining room personal refused to serve him due to his appearance and the contents of his basket. Claire?? insisted that he be served, so they went back and forth. The dinning room personnel told him that if he didn’t leave they would call the police and have him removed. So I don’t think to this day the dining room personnel knew that it was all a big joke.

The Emigsville Band Christmas tradition

Every Christmas morning weather permitting the Acme Coronet Band would gather at the band hall to pick up music for traditional Christmas caroling. Starting about 8 a.m. The band would spread music cheer, Christmas cheer, by playing several selections on each street in the community.


2 Responses to Emigsville Story Night – Emigsville Band – April 2008

  1. Hi Paul,
    Some name corrections for the Emigsville Band piece…

    The tract of land referred to in paragraph 4 would be the Dacheux tract and in paragraph 9, the Rishel tract. Point of interest – the Dacheux and Rishel families were related by marriage.

    The band directors were Leon Denenberg and Marlin Ryan.

    The man with the chicken in the basket may have been Clair Lehman, but I’m not sure.

  2. another correction – Leon Desenberg, not Denenberg.