• Category Archives Story Nights
  • Story Night: My Life on the Edge of Emigsville – George Hay Kain III

    An excellent study on the historical life of one farm on the edge of Emigsville, Manchester, East Manchester Townships, York County, with pictures of many artifacts. Whiskey business, a WWII soldier’s experience PTSD impacts the farm and many more stories beginning with the birth of the nation.

    Mr Kain writes on his facebook page: “For those of you who missed my recent presentation to the Historic Emigsville Project Story Night about “My Life on the Edge of Emigsville”, through the miracle of YouTube you can still experience the dynamism and erudite manner of the speaker. You can also throw rotten vegetables at the screen if you are not satisfied and can’t get your money back (actually, it is free). Don’t wait another moment. Sit back, relax, and go to..”

    Recorded recently during Story Night at St Mark Lutheran Church, Emigsville. (52 minutes)

    Link here if you can’t view video

  • Story night with Andy Rawicz

    Emigsville Heritage Project Story Night series continues 7 pm Wednesday, November 7, at St Mark Lutheran Church at 3293 Broad St Emigsville, PA. Refreshments will follow.

    The speaker will be Andy Rawicz. He was a manager of Shiny Brite ornaments, popular from the 1940’s and were manufactured in and distributed from Emigsville until the 1960’s. Rawicz is the current owner of the former Acme Wagon Works and American Acme Company building.

  • Story Night, April 6 – The famous – and not so famous – people passing (or traveling) through Emigsville

    Otterbein United Methodist Church, 3241 North George Street, Emigsville on April 6 at 7 PM

    Jim McClure will talk about presidential visits and other famous people, but also those passing through on the trolley just to go to swimming at Elm Beach on the Conewago Creek.

    Jim McClure has been the editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News for about six years and served as managing editor of the newspaper for 15 years before that. He has authored five books on York County history and regularly speaks to area clubs and organizations.

    He writes a daily Web story on York County’s history on his blog, York Town Square, found at yorktownsquare.com

  • Fall means it’s time for Story Night !

    The next story night featuring Scott L. Mingus, Sr. tells the story of Emigsville during the Civil War using a PowerPoint presentation. 

    Oct 27 7:30 pm

    Otterbein United Methodist Church
    3241 N George St
    Emigsville, PA


    Scott L. Mingus, Sr. is a scientist and executive in the paper and printing industry, and holds patents in self-adhesive postage stamp products and in bar code labels.

    He has written six books on the Civil War, including Human Interest Stories of the Gettysburg Campaign (Volumes 1 and 2), Human Interest Stories from Antietam, and Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Gordon Expedition, June 1863.

    His latest book, A Spirit of Daring: Hays’ Louisiana Tigers in the Gettysburg Campaign, was published in October by LSU Press. In the works is Gettysburg Glimpses 2: More True Stories from the Battlefield. Mingus also has written several articles, including in The Gettysburg Magazine.

    He maintains a blog on York County, Pennsylvania, in the Civil War for the York Daily Record (www.yorkblog.com/cannonball/), and he is a sanctioned Civil War Guide for the York County Heritage Trust.

    Mingus has written several booklets on wargaming the Civil War, including the two-volume Enduring Valor: Gettysburg in Miniature, the popularly acclaimed Undying Courage: The Antietam Campaign in Miniature, Touched With Fire, and Crossed Sabers: Gettysburg in Miniature. His latest work, Brothers Divided, features a dozen new scenarios from the Gettysburg campaign. He and his wife Debi publish Charge!, the leading international fanzine for ACW miniature wargaming.

    A native of southeastern Ohio, he graduated from Miami University after majoring in Paper Science and Engineering. Mingus spent 23 years working for office products giant Avery Dennison in the Cleveland area before joining Glatfelter, a global manufacturer of specialty papers, in 2001. He and his family live near York, Pennsylvania.

    See the directory at right for highlights of previous story nights

  • Story Night: Sterling Krout

    A newspaper boy’s view of Emigsville in 1942

    My name is Sterling Krout and I only lived in this little village 12 years and I would like to talk about those 12 years that were so good to me. I can’t believe that there is a better place to spend your youth than in Emigsville. I would like to call what I am saying the good ol’ days.

    111508sterlingkrout.jpgThe Krout family moved from Abbottstown to Manchester to Emigsville in 1942. My mother was Purden? And my father was Albert and there were five children, Geraldine, who is here this evening, brother Wayne and brother Ken and myself and brother Gary.

    It was very, very nice coming to Emigsville because in 1942 dad went to an auction to buy a house on Main Street (North George Street) and I was with him that day. It was a two story house, it had four bedrooms, it had a bath, and running water. Dad had $2,500 in his pocket.

    Well the bidding didn’t last longer than 10 minutes and dad was off the bidding already, but there was a man standing right next to dad and he whispered to him and to this day I have no idea who that man was, but he said, “Albert if you want the house, I will give you the money for the rest of the house above the $2500. Well, the house went for $4000 and dad bought the house.

    At that point, I was just so excited because now we were going into a house that I had my own bedroom, we had running water, we had a bathtub and in Manchester we didn’t have any of those things. And inside plumbing…in 1942 there was a lot of outdoor plumbing still available.

    And then I heard a comment from the back of the crowd and a man said, “That man must be crazy for paying $4000 for a house”

    We moved into the house and it was next to Beulah and Bill Dittenhafer. a family of two that certainly didn’t need a family of seven right next to them, but we tried to stay off of Beulah and Bill’s lawn and we became really good friends to that family.

    I remember coming from Manchester to Emigsville in a sheep truck and a Model T Ford and we moved into this house and we had a few wooden beds and mattresses and a few chests of drawers a breakfest set with six odd chairs and a washing machine and a refrigerator and kitchen assesories and hand-me-downs from whomever gave them to you. And that was what we moved to Emigsville with, but that was OK with me. There were no jeans, no sneakers and no sun glasses. This was just the necessary things we had when we came to Emigsville.

    Geraldine went on to High School, bother Wayne worked for dad as a mechanic in Emigsville in the middle of town. Ken was my mentor and historian in the family, he is the one I looked up to all the time. He loved story night and god bless him he would be here today. He would love to hear what I was about to say.

    Gary and I were 10 and 13 and we became the newspaper boys so now you are down to how the newspaper boys saw Emigsville.

    Newspapers were used for everything

    We were out of bed at 5 o’clock in the morning to bring the newspapers to everyone in Emigsville..no fear of walking the streets at 5 Gary will tell you a few that he had. I didn’t even think of fear at that time, but nevertheless it was dark it was 5 o’clock in the morning, no street lights, no sidewalks, no cars. Actually the road was 22 feet across, from North York to Emigsville not much for cars to pass.

    Every morning six days a week we would wait for the truck to bring the papers from York that were delivered to Emigsville, Manchester, Mount Wolf and I guess York Haven. It was a precious cargo it could not get wet. There were 90 newspapers brother Gary and I had to deliver every morning and we were happy to do that.

    I wasn’t aware that we were bringing the news of the world to Emigsville because everyone relied on the newspaper and the guys that were going to work in York they wanted their newspaper early and they wanted to read it before they went to work.

    The newspaper to brother Gary and I were special because the newspaper went between the screen door and the regular door. The first thing you learned was that you did not slam the screen door at 5 O’clock in the morning. (laughing from audience) If you did you can bet someone would tell dad and dad would be right back to you.

    The newspapers were used for everything…sometimes you shared them with the person next door. Can anybody help me with the price of the newspaper? (Voice from audience) Five cents. 

    I started to think about it. The newspaper was used for everything. Geraldine will tell me for sure. Mom lined the cupboards with newspaper. Newspapers were put in your peach basket, to put the things up in the attic. Mom used the newspapers in the pantry because when she had the canned items and the peaches and vegetables, you would put them on the newspaper with that date on it and then those were the ones that you would use first, the oldest date. 

    Mom would wash up the linoleum floor and then she would put newspaper on the floor after it was washed. It was just a ritual that everybody did. It kept the floor clean a day or two longer and then you would pick it up and so on.

    NEXT: The properties of Emigsville

     Story night on October 28, 2008 at St. Marks Lutheran Church. Please comment and add corrections and additions to the comment section below this post. 

  • Story Night: Ray Emig

    Ray Emig, a resident of Emigsville in the in the 1940’s, is interviewed by George Hay Kain II. Please use the comment section below this entry to comment, help with the “?” or add to the stories.

    Video and picture to post soon.

    I was born Aug 11, 1932 in Violet Hill at the Church of the Brethren. I came to Emigsville when I was in the fifth grade when I was about nine or ten. When I come it was amazing to me. My parents were John and Maze? Emig. I had four brothers and two sisters. I had three brothers older and two sisters older, then it was me and my youngest brother Gale? I now live in Selbyville, Delaware.

    There was two brothers that came from Germany, one was Valentine and the other was John Phillip Emig and he settled in Codorus Township. Now John Phillip was my great-grandfather, he had a son named Charles who was my grandfather and then my dad John.

    Well my father was always a farmer and there was a fella by the name of Jay Witmer Emig contacted him that he really needed a farmer on this farm… the Emig farm and we ended up signing a contract and we farmed it until it went into the industrial park.If you come to the center of Emigsville, turn right at the Hess station, under the railroad tracks that is where the farm started. The farm was 145 acres. We were tenant farmers; we never owned the farm. We were related distantly, but we never really owned the farm.

    Charlie Drawbaugh? was our teacher and there were two other teachers, I can’t remember their names. They sorta quizzed me on a few things – they didn’t happen to have a sixth grade so they put me right on through to the seventh grade. Well, I thought that was big time stuff, but later in I wished they wouldn’t have.

    If dad had anything on the farm, you’d just write a note and you’d give it to the principal and he’d say well go head go on home and you were excused. There was no buses and sure remember you had to stamps for everything. (War savings stamps) If you wanted to eat you had stamps if you had to have gas you had to have stamp. Stamps for everything and it created a lot of black market if you weren’t careful.

    What we used to do pretty much so in the evenings we come over, we start our evening at Stricks? gas station there was a fella named Mr Strickler?, he owned the gas station where it is now (Hess) and then there was a Krout, he fixed cars right below it. Mundis store on the other corner (HAFA Construction). We would all meet around and go from there. In the 1940’s.

    There is a fella Lynn Hudson, Smoke Snelbaker. I always credit myself, he was a pretty good race driver you know….well he didn’t have a father and his family lived in them row houses next to the American Acme (current post office) and he spend more time with us than he did at home. Mom would always feed him one, maybe two meals a day and he be out in the field with us or whatever. I tell you how small he was. The bolt, the screw that holds the steering wheel on, he’s have to stand up and when he’d hit a bump his nose would hit that. It was a 1932 John Deere B tractor. I’s stand on the back of the draw bar run the clutch for him he’d steer it.

    I really enjoyed it when we farmed. We milked 45 cows by hand. We had always farmed 10 acres of tobacco, 10-12 acres of tomatoes, and 10 acres of sage tea so it was all pretty labor intensive, but I enjoyed every bit of it. What I really enjoyed is the latter end of the tobacco crop. You’d have to hang it in the shed, let it dry and then after Thanksgiving on a nice rainy misty night you’d get as much as you could get into the tobacco cellar and keep it damp. Then you would have to strip it and size? it, bail it, and I still remember the snow would be blowing and we would be up there stripping and sizing? tobacco. a stove in there and we had neon? lights and we always had hot water and coffee and Bing Crosby playing on the radio and it was always a great time I just hated to go down and do the barn work in the evening.

    A typical day on the Emig farm in the 1940’s: We get up at 5 in the morning and then we’d milk the cows and and feed em’ clean the stables out, re-bed them, then we’d go for breakfast. When you talk about eatin breakfast when you are done all that could you ever eat breakfast and the about 9 0’Clock you get back out and maybe turn the cattle out for a little exercise freshin up everything and if it was winter you’d tie em’ back in and if it was summer you’d turn them out to pasture.

    Then you would start doing the field work. Then you would do that until about 4 O’Clock, then you’d have to bring the cattle back in milk em’, feed everything, about 7-7:30 you’d eat dinner.

    Well you were so tired in the morning after staying out a little late but you know about 4 O’Clock in the afternoon you’d start feeling a little better and by 7-7:30 you were wondering what you were getting into that night.

    Those cows had to be milked and fed even before you went to school. It’s a 24/7 thing you’d have to take turns at it if someone wanted a day off or two we’d just take turns at it. It was a wonderful way of life you never went hungry. I loved it.

    Changes in Emigsville: The growth, everything seems to have taken off. But you know the old underpass you still have to wait til another car comes through. Lookin back at what I done when I was younger some of the things I can remember the first television I ever saw was Chauncy Shaffer? had an appliance store and there was a big world championship fight coming on, I think it was big Jersey Wolcott but wasn’t sure he put a televison out on his porch and he had about 3/4 of Emigsville just watching the fight.

    I can sure remember my brother Roger was an artificial breeder (cows) for Atlantic breeds and he’d run about with as many as nine blow-out patches on his tires and he’d mix a little kerosene with the gas just so he could get to the farms to breed the animals. It was really tough in that respect.

    I do remember very well (the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor). My mother come out, yelled to my dad and said come in here and they were around the radio and then they come out and told us kids and I can say they were both crying.

    Franklin Roosevelt’s fireside chats: We’d listen to everyone one of them.

    You wouldn’t travel far, maybe down to the Maryland line to visit family. That’s what it was back then it was wonderful. Every week it was somebody they come to our house for dinner or we’d go to their house for Sunday dinner and we need to get back to that in this world.

    We went to York all the time. The first thing we had was a ’38 Buick but we didn’t have that at Emigsville. I think a ’37 Ford for sure. In 1949 my dad had a pretty good year it was a pretty good year for tobacco, wheat brought $4.25 and a loaf of bread was 17 cents, but that year he bought a New Holland bailer, brand new for $2,45 , he bought a ’49 Chevrolet Deluxe four door sedan $2150. and a ? rake? for $500 and he still banked $300. He thought he had a great year.

    You did a lot of bartering.

    The band: My brother in-law still plays in it.. I can remember when they had their picnics, their carnivals. I remember when I thought my dad was just as tough as nails when they had that thing with the great big wooden hammer and you can ring that bell up there. And nobody could ring it and he went up and ring it three times. I thought he was tough but he just knew where to hit it.

    Back then there was no diesels it was all coal fired engines and it was very, very busy. I can remember when there be as high as 100 cars on it and it’s up hill the whole way to Harrisburg till you get to Mount Wolf. And sometimes they get stuck. Sometimes you hear them chuckin, chuckin and all of a sudden chug, chug, chug, chugin the wheels would spin and he’d sit there and blow that whistle and 15-20 minutes later there’d a couple more engines come behind him and they’d push him up over.

    Then about once every year they’d start the pasture with a spark coming out, the pasture would catch fire seemed every time that’s where the best grass was. If we couldn’t beat it out.. we’d use pitch forks.. if not we’d call the Emigsville Fire Company.

    At Halloween we really had fun we’d start a month early. We could Halloween pretty good. You remember Herman Nace? well he lived on High Street and the pines were there you know, we get a nice fine little copper wire, somebody crawl up on his porch roof hooked this wire to his spouting and we’d have a big hunk of resin and we’d sit up there in the pines boy we’d serenade him till he couldn’t take it anymore, he’d call the police. The police couldn’t catch us we knew the pines a little better than they did. It was really all in good fun.

    And sledding I can remember sledding on Sinking Springs Lane hill. O that is wonderful, was just wonderful. I can just remember sitting in school in Emigsville and there is an old German fella that come around with a huckster wagon. Had a horse pullin’ the wagon. He’d sell vegtables and fish and I can still heard him com up through. He’s start hollarin to the ladies, “Weeet yur tables, wet your tables, wet your tables, wet your tables”.

    The school had three rooms and they didn’t have enough room for the sixth grade so if your smart enough you went to seventh and if you weren’t you stayed back in fifth another year. You could learn more than way than you could any other way. They just sorta had a knack of handling it. The first school I ever went to was a one room school house and i figured I learned as much in that as anywhere. If you got your grades worked on you could sit there and listen to all of them or if you missed something you could listen to the grade below you. I just thought it was a pretty good way of educating. It was good enough to educate a governor, George Leader. His family and my family were great friends. He just lived up over the hill at Leaders Heights from the New Fairview Church that’s where I was born.

    I think it was some of the best years of my life George and I met a lot of good people and we just had an awful lot of fun.

  • Emigsville Roots part II – Tuesday October 28

    Come out to story night Tuesday October 28 for Emigsville Roots part II at St. Mark Lutheran Church 3293 Broad Street.

    Note the location which is not at the same location as previous story nights.

    Click on place marks for location of St Mark Church, parking and the Emig Mansion

  • 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.

  • Upcoming story nights

    Emigsville Roots Part I – The Emig Farm

    On Tuesday, September 16 at 7pm -Otterbein United Methodist Church, 3241 N George St.,Emigsville

    Ray E. (Jake) Emig was born the son of John and Mazie Emig on the Church of the Brethren Farm just below York along what is now I-83 on August 11, 1932. When Ray was 11 years old, the family moved to the Emig homestead just outside of Emigsville. Ray will talk about the Emig family and life in the village during that time period.

    Ray will be traveling to from his current home in Selbyville, Delaware to tell his story.

    Emigsville Roots Part II – History of the Emig Mansion

    More information to come on this talk held at St Mark Lutheran Church with a luminary walk to the Emig Mansion nearby on October 28, 2008

  • Storytelling Night – March 26 – 7-8:30pm

    Another in our series of Storytelling Nights:

    The Acme Cornet Band of Emigsville at the Otterbein UNited Methodist Church, 3241 North George Street, Emigsville.

    JIM DIETZ has played the clarinet for 53 years with the Emigsville Band and has been serving as business manager for 20 years. He retired in 2005 from his own landscaping business and is a member of Providence Presbyterian Church in York.

    CURVIN KINDIG, JR has played trumpet with the Emigsville band for 50 years and served as secretary and librarian. He retired from the the U.S. Government Naval Depot and is a member of Otterbein United Methodist Church in Emigsville.

    CHARLES JACOBY has played sousaphone for 26 years with the Emigsville Band and played 20 years with the Zion View Band before that. He retired from York Casket with 27 after 27 years and is a member of New Fairview Church of the Brethren.

    JEFF BOLLINGER has played French horn for four years with the Emigsville Band. He is employed by Hively Landscapes, Inc and is a member of Grace Lutheran Church at Roundtown.

    AND YOU our audience sharing your stories

    Admission is free – Bring a friend – Meet your neighbors

    Follow the links at the top of this page to read the stories of Don Dull and W. Bruce Ruby from previous Storytelling Nights.

    The next Storytelling Night will be Tuesday October 28, check back for more details

  • Story Night: In the words of W. Bruce Ruby – Part III

    rubymug.jpgAbout 1934 E.K. Emig donated 9.5 acres to the Emig Athletic Association. We have been gone from Emigsville since 69’ and just came back in 2003 and I was surprised when I came back to see that the ball field is all turned around. The Emigsville Athletic Association doesn’t own the ball ground anymore, but Manchester Township does. Back when E.K. donated it, it was supposed to stay with the Emigsville Athletic Association.

    The men in the town, and the boys… anyone who was interested in baseball brought rakes and shovels and what have ya and we laid out a baseball diamond. Then in 34-35 we had a ball team and the ball team joined the Central York County League. When I first started, I was a bat boy.


    We won the championship in 1936. I am sad to say that all the people on the picture and Ham’s? dad is one of them. There are nine men on there that played baseball and we had three bat boys, Jim Snellbaker?, Paul Juleas? and myself. Every one of those people except me has passed away.

    Now the teams after the war were as good as any B or C professional teams today. We had really hot professional baseball. The teams that were in the league at that time were Emigsville, York Haven, and Mount Wolf, Manchester, North York, Shiloh, Dover and York New Salem. I played center field for the baseball team from 1938-1953 and I am proud to say that every year I played I was on the all-star team.

    Now the old ball field that my dad and Ham’s? dad and other older fellas played in Bill? Shires? field next to the tobacco sheds. It’s in the industrial park now, cause everything now around Emigsville is an industrial park, but back then the ball field was over there. Another fella Harry Hose?, he used to catch for the team, but they weren’t in any league at that time, they played anybody and everybody who came around.

    In the summertime we used the ball field for other than baseball. We played croquet, horseshoes, football, tennis and of course later on the Boy Scout building was built.

    And every fall was a big time in this town, we used to have an ox roast. They’d hire a guy to come in with an oven and he’d put a steer in it and cook it all night long and then next day why he’d sell it. Then they also had carnivals.

    The town always was a happy community as far as I was concerned. It was centered around both churches and the playground.

    To add a comment about this story use the link below.

  • Story Night: In the words of W. Bruce Ruby – Part II

    rubymug.jpgAnother thing people made was home brew. There was prohibition at that time; some people made home brew and some people made wine. My dad liked wine so he made wine. I can remember tagging along with him in the fall of the year. I don’t know if you know where Petey? Schreibers? woods are but it’s up on across from Sam? Shue’s? Field that woods in there was Petey? Schreibers? And we’d go in that woods in the fall and there’d be loads of fox grapes. These were a sour grape, but apparently they were good to make wine.

    Another thing we would do is gather walnuts, hickory nuts crack em’ with an old flat iron or a hammer, my Grammy would use them in cakes. Another thing we got in the spring was dandelion. The ball diamond was a good place to get dandelions.

    Now the America Acme and the box factory were about the only places that provided employment back in those days. The American Acme still made wagons before the 30s, they made sleds and they made lawn furniture. And it was mostly piece work and a lot of the men worked at the American Acme. My mother and most of the women worked at the box factory which was over here on the back road and they made cigar boxes there, made them by the hundreds. And I don’t know when they stopped, but I think it’s an apartment building now.

    What did we do in the summertime? Those of us who went to school went around to different farmers and tried to find some work most of them would hire us. The going wage when you started was $1 a day plus you’d get a cooked lunch. And most of the farmer’s wives made a darn good lunch. Cured ham…home made pies, that was the best part of the day.

    In the wintertime it was pretty hard to find a job, but Bob Strine was township supervisor at that time and I think we got more snow at that time than what we get now. I think the summers were a little bit warmer. In wintertime, Locust Lane and the Black Ridge Road would drift over and the snow would get up higher than the fences. Well the township didn’t have a snow plow so Bob Strine would get all the kids that could shovel snow – if you were 12 years old or over, well he would hire you to shovel snow.

    We would go to school all day then in night time after supper we’d get our shovel, get along with Bob and start shoveling show on Locust Lane or the Black Bridge Road. I think we got 25-30 cents an hour? Charlie answers from the audience, “25”.That’s how we made money in the wintertime, but I tell you some of those nights were pretty long and pretty cold. The next day in school your eyes didn’t stay open all day.

    Another thing we did in winter, the back road (Sinking Springs Road) was a good place to go coasting so we went coasting a lot on the back road. We used the quarry, Emigs Quarry we called it, to ice skate and we go back to the Conewago Creek back the Conewago Inn and we’d skate on the Conewago Creek. I can remember one year Curvin? Kindig?…was one of us… and the ice was that thin that when you’d take a stroke with your foot it would break thought the ice, well “Junior”, we called him at that time, he went the whole way through he got pretty wet that day.

    NEXT: Emigsville baseball

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  • Story Night: In the words of W. Bruce Ruby – Part I


    W. Bruce Ruby was Born in 1922, lived his childhood in Emigsville and was a graduate of North York High School in 1939 (now known as Central), married Mary Mundis in 1945 and raised four children, He attended Virginia-Tech and Penn State University, was a WWII (1942-1945) and Korean War (1950-51) veteran. Retired in 1983, Ruby was executive vice president of the Rishel Furniture Company, in Williamsport, PA — These stories were recorded during Story Night April 24, 2007

    I see a couple old friends out there… (looking at the audience)

    I’ll start out in the beginning of our family. In 1738, three young men decided to come to America. So they left, …Switzerland…. They immigrated to the United States in 1739. They were here approximately a year and they settled in Lower Windsor Township, bought 1,200 acres of land which became Lauxmont Farm. On Lauxmont Farm there are three cemeteries, three Ruby cemeteries… my sister and I found one of those cemeteries.

    I was born in Newberry Township along the old Susquehanna Trail about a mile south of Newberrytown in my father’s, father’s house. When I was six weeks old, we moved to Emigsville (1922) with my dad’s mother and father.

    I don’t remember much until about 1925 when my first sister was born and then along 1928, my otherhousemap.jpg sister was born, Jean. We lived in a home with no facilities, the only thing we had was electricity. In the little row of houses we lived in we were the only one to have electricity we felt pretty proud about that; didn’t have to use a kerosene lamp.

    In 1928, I started school (teacher) Mamie? Lecrone? was in first, second and third grades. Alverta? Fink? was in fourth and fifth, and ? ? was in seventh and eighth. Mamie? Lecrone? was a disciplinarian, she didn’t take any guff from anyone, but she taught us the basics of how to get along in school and what to do and what not to do. I think most of the kids that went to that school enjoyed it.

    We didn’t have any busses to ride on, we used the shoe leather express. School started the second week of August and about the third week of April school was over. So we headed for the swimming pool if it wasruby1931.jpg warm enough other than that we would start playing baseball and do things that kids do in the summertime.

    The town of Emigsville was somewhat different then what we see today. We were surrounded by farms not houses. We had Hinkles? Farm at the south end of the town, Henry Rishel? was up over the Emigsville hill, first farm on the left, and Bill Schreiver? was turn back at Mundis’ store first farm over at the corner with Bill Schreiver? Charlie Schriver? was the next farm down Billy Bruaw? was back Creamery road. That’s where we used to get milk for 5 cents a quart. And Sam Shue?, Charlie’s grandpap was north of town and Jess’s? brothers farmed the farm that Louie Appel owned., Sinking Springs Farm.

    Now the main road going through town was paved. Most of the roads coming into town were dirt roads. They didn’t get paved until governor Pinchot went in. I think it was about 1935-38. Now the traffic through town was pretty minimal in the 20’s and not every family owned an automobile most of them road the street car. (read about the York Street Railway) One of the things us kids would do is sit along the road and identify cars that went through town… Auburn. We had a player in the Central league by the name of Ed Dellinger and Ed Dellinger had an Auburn roadster with a rumble seat and I was one of the bat boys on the team so I would have a ride to the game in Ed’s rumble seat which I pretty much enjoyed. We had Buicks, Chevy’s, Dodges, Durants, Essex, Model-T Fords, Franklin, which was an air-cooled engine, a Gardner, which my dad had a Gardner. Hudson, Hupmobile, LaSalle, Lincoln, Overland, Oldsmobile, Packard, Peirce-Arrow, Plymouth, Oland?-Star, Studebaker, Willys-Knight, the Whippet, Pontiac, and the Crowsley.

    Charlie, (yells to the audience) can you remember any others? Charlie says, “the Moon” That’s right! the Moon had disc wheels.

    Predominant color was black. You can have any color you want, as long as it’s black. Colors didn’t come until about 1930.

    Cars didn’t have heaters in them like they have today. My grandmother had a sister that lived in Baltimore, so in the wintertime we had this Gardner, which was a touring car. My dad would put curtains all around it and my grandpap would get a lantern and light the lantern, put it between his feet and a blanket in the back; and that’s how we kept warm. How he never burned his pants I don’t know but it was always pretty comfortable.

    There were no credit cards in those days, they didn’t come along until the 50’s and the grocery stores were Milt? Shoemyers? Manchester Grange managed? by Ed Fink, Mundis’ store came about around 1936. All stores sold groceries on credit. I don’t know how many people in town used credit; we were one of the ones who did. Go to the store anytime of the week and buy something, get home put it on the tab, then when my dad get paid we would go down the store and pay off the bill.

    Gas was 5-6 gallons for a buck, a market basket of groceries cost you about $2, loaf of bread was 9 cents. Haines has a shoe store in York which sold shoes for $1.98 and you could hear them a half mile away, they screeched like the devil – blue jeans at Penny’s was 69 cents, bib overalls were 89 cents.

    Everyone was poor as church mouse during the depression. I don’t ever remember going hungry. Everyone had a garden in the summertime; the women didn’t have any boxed items, when they baked a cake they made it from scratch. My Grammy made her own noodles when she made pot pie, she made her own dough and people canned after the crops came in, vegetables were picked and that’s how we got along.

    NEXT: Emigsville home brew


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  • The oak tree has arrived…come to the planting, it only happens every 380 years

    Shiloh Nurseries has donated a mature oak tree and offered to plant it on

    April 24th at 6:30 p.m.

    during a tree planting ceremony next to the post office before story night at Otterbein United Methodist Church.

    W. Bruce Ruby will speak at story night
    Hess has offered Emigsville a place to plant the tree. The Emigsville Heritage Project and HAFA Construction plan to repair the fence and plant non-stop roses along the fence line.

    Come out to the tree dedication festivities and story night at 7:30 p.m.

    The tree replaces a four century old oak tree, that fell in the 1990’s, at the intersection of North George Street and High Streets.

    If you have Emigsville news, events or pictures that you would like to see on this site email me at mail@emigsville.org or use the “comment” link at the bottom of each page to share a public comment about this posting.

  • PART X — Don Dull speaks at Story Night


    Halloween pranks in Emigsville

    Well there were two or three people in town that we would like to entertain. Up on High Street, the pines that was up there, if you can recall (they blew down mostly around 1994 and were removed)… there was a gentleman who lived up there in the middle of the block.

    He lived there by himself and out at the wire cloth in Mount Wolf they had that wire on a spool and you would get that wire and tie it fast to the rainspout, stretch it out and take rosin along there and take rosin and … nnneeeeeewwweeeeee neewwwweeeeee (makes the sound of the rosin run along the wire)

    Next to the school house there was a barbershop there and this gentleman would go down to the barbershop and sit and talk to about 8 O’clock when he would decide to come home.

    So that one evening we tired a wire across the street and into the pines and tied it up high that no cars went across and get in it. One guy said, lets tie one to the second rain spout. So he crawled up the roof to the second rain spout. (laughs and says, so your husband didn’t tell you that one)…so we tied one up there.

    So in the meantime, we had an outpost. A fella was down watchin the barbershop when he would leave to come home. Next thing you would know a kid would come runnin up, “hey, he’s comin, he’s comin”. So we went up in the pines and sit there quiet as a mouse.

    And he went in and turned the lights on. Next thing you know the lights up in his bedroom went on…the light in his bedroom went off and all of a sudden… nnneeeeeewwweeeeee…neewwwweeeeee. Next thing you know the light went on, he come downstairs look around took the broom stick – broke the wire like that. And he holler something across the street. I won’t mention the words. And we holler something back to him.

    So he went back in the house turned the lights out and went upstairs, turned the lights out up there and we gave him five minutes and we started the next one. It was hooked up to the second rain spout. Well…. he couldn’t figure that one out.

    He come down look around the spouts and he couldn’t find it. Unfortunately, or fortunately for him, it was a full moon that night and he looked up and that wire was stretched across there and he could see it shining there. So he had to crawl out the second story window and take the wire off the rainspout up there. So we figured that was about enough for the evening and we went home.

    NEXT: Halloween pranking in Emigsville heats up.

    Please use the “comments” link below each story if you would like to add your own recollections of the event in Emigsville history.

  • PART IX — Don Dull speaks at Story Night

    DULL.jpgCorn Husking Bees

    On this one article (see below) it talks about the husking bees. Some of those people you might know. Yeager was involved with the Gross family, him and his brother was the Corn Huskin Bee champions.

    Now in here along North George Street where the Rutters farm is right now (refers to the article) it says next year the contest moved to the farm of Rudolf Snyder, the huskin bee and that’s where his farm was. Where Miller Lane goes back, that was the lane that went back to that farm. Now remember the Interstate 83 wasn’t there at that time.

    That farm was from North George Street clean over to the Susquehanna Trail that’s how big that farm was and I remember they left us out of school and everyone went on over the hill to see the corn husking bee. It was quite an episode. I remember a little about it, I don’t remember all the tents but it was scattered around this area and later on it was down at Frank Dahmers? Farm which is down here on North Sherman Street Extended from where Mundis Mill is up on the left hand side.
    And if you read over that Zach Gross, and the Yeagers were related somehow and they were the ones who were the big corn huskers at that time. They went out west somewhere to be the champion and then in 1941 when automatic corn pickers came in they didn’t need those guys anymore.

    Corn Huskin Contests
    (Karen A. Schaale – excerpts from a article in 1998 – Pennsylvania VOL.21 NO.6)

    The summer of 1934 was quickly slipping away with autumn rapidly approaching. In York County, farm men were preparing to compete in the first York County Corn Husking Contest. Sterl Wise won the contest, and event that would begin an annual tradition continuing until the corn picker machine came into use in 1941.

    The corn husking contests rapidly became so popular that within five years, a state competition was organized and winners were sent to a national contest. By 1941, corn husking had become a favorite national spectator sport with attendance outnumbering that of baseball, including the World Series. Attendance in Iowa in 1941 was more than 150,000.

    At the second annual husking contest in October of the following year, the participants competed for prizes ranging from $10 or a pair of leather hunting boots for first place to $1 for the lower places. Fifty-six contestants entered, of which 20 finalists were selected fro the main competition….

    …Sites for the contest were chosen based on the criteria that included long, straight, level rows of corn and the ability to accommodate spectators.

    Stanley Yeager of Manchester placed first by husking 1,564 pounds of corn.

    The H.J. Myers family hosted the third event at their farm located two miles north of York on the Susquehanna Trail. Fifty-three contestants enrolled with the 15 highest scoring individuals advancing to the finals.

    Standing corn was husked for the first time in this contest. As in previous years, the entrants were given and 80-minute time limit. Helpers, selected by each contestant, opened the shock and tied and shocked the fodder. Nelson Fitz won in 1936.


    Husking Bees began as work parties for communities to get work done before automation. By the 1940’s, years of “training” people yielded some very efficient competitors and that’s where the sport begins.

    NEXT: Halloween in Emigsville

    Please use the “comments” link below each story if you would like to add your own recollections of the event in Emigsville history.

  • PART VIII — Don Dull speaks at Story Night

    DULL.jpgBefore York Water we had a wooden water main that ran from Forge Hill

    One thing about Emigsville before they had the water line here from the water company, that came through in the 30’s…there was a water line that ran up into the Forge Hill area and the piped the water down through and up on High Street near Baker Road, now called Sinking Springs. There was a water tank up there. (You can still see the depression in the hillside from the tank near the intersection of Sinking Springs and High Street-pmk)

    The thing is, you had to plan Sunday evening if you are gunna do your wash on Monday you better start tappin water Sunday evening because if everyone started tappin water on Monday you didn’t have any water pressure.

    When Attorney Kane dug the ponds up there at the other end of Emigsville, he showed me a pipe, a wooden pipe this big around and about eight foot long and they drilled a hole straight through there and then they put a piece of metal stickin in either end, then they put them together. He said that this was part of the water line that came down from the springs and come down through gravity up where the pines are at the other end of Emigsville at Bakers.

    Emigsville was just a village and no matter which way you went from there was just farm houses and farms.

    NEXT: Corn Huskin Bees

    Please use the “comments” link below each story if you would like to add your own recollections of the event in Emigsville history.