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  • 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 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.


  • Historic Emigsville notecards

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    On the back of the card reads… “Before street lights were installed in Emigsville, the people carried lanterns as they walked to church. The lanterns were deposited on the church porch during the services, to be relighted upon departure. A supply of matches was kept on the porch.”

    Bethany Chapel of Emigsville was chartered in 1871. the affairs were managed and conducted by trustees from the denominations of Lutherans, German Reformed, and United Brethren in Christ. This “Union” chapel had an earlier beginning as a “Union Sunday School” in 1866 and met in the one-room schoolhouse about 100 feet to the north. The land upon which the chapel was built in 1870, was transferred to the trustees by Mr. & Mrs. John Emig Jr. for the sum of one dollar.

    As the congregations grew, and then withdrew to build their own buildings, the Bethany Chapel building was purchased in 1926 by A.E. Baker and torn down. The land reverted to the donors, the Emig family, while the two flanking evergreen trees remain standing today, east of the RR and along Church Rd. The opening quote was found in old 1965 records of interviews with residents of Emigsville who had attended the Bethany Chapel prior to 1926.

    Designed by Maxine Lumsargis – 764-0229 – Manchester Township Historical Society Two sets of note cards, with 10 in a package, are available for purchase. One is pictured and the other depicts Pfaltzgraff pottery, that was prominent in Foustown area. Only 30 packs remain, but Maxine will reprint if there is an interest.


  • Holiday luminaries on the move

    wagon2.jpg If you see Craig’s little red wagon around, it’s just the Emigsville Heritage Project selling luminaries.

    We are stopping by to say say hi and offer to spread the holiday light Christmas Eve night.

    Candles and bags are still available for 50 cents a piece. contact us at mail@emigsville.org

    BTW, the handle on the wagon is bend because Craig and his sister used to ride it down a hill near the old Roundtown School and that made it steer better.

    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.


  • Congratulations Tom Reynolds

    Tom Reynolds of Emigsville has been added to the STAR Wall at the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg for his outstanding volunteer service.

    Reynolds has been a volunteer at the center since 2003 and reached 1,000 volunteer hours.
    Does anyone know Mr. Reynolds? we would love to hear more…

    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.


  • The oak tree is dedicated

    A group gathered next to the post office tonight to dedicate the oak tree. Representatives from the Hess Corporation, who donated the spot, and Shiloh Nurseries who donated the tree were on hand to say a few words along with members of the Emigsville Heritage Project and the pastor of St. Mark Lutheran Church. The tree has begun to bud.

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    The tree symbolically replaces our 380 year old oak that once stood across from My Favorite Deli. The tree fell over in 1994.

    The old tree was around before the birth of the nation
    –When the Iroquois and Susquehanna crossed paths in th the wilderness
    –Our nation was fighting for Independence
    –Through a Civil War
    –Saw the first steam engine and cars pass though Emigsville

    The new tree was born about 2000. Thanks to everyone who came out to mark a new beginning. Look for a plaque and a bench in the area in the near future.

    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.


  • Emig Mansion Victorian Holiday Bazaar

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    Marian Bachman, left, with Shary Smith

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    Paul Kuehnel, left, and Jeremy Maschak were door greeters.

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    The third annual Emig Mansion Victorian Holiday Bazaar was held today.

    About 20 vendors attended with piano music by Greg Maroney. and hand bells by First Presbyterian Church of York.

    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.


  • Listen to Emigsville Story Night – Kain and Rudisill

    lowGeorge Hay Kain III.jpglowJim Rudisill.jpgGeorge Hay Kain III, left, and Jim Rudisill, right, share their insight into Emigsville history at Otterbein United Methodist Church of Emigsville during Story Night hosted November 14th by the Emigsville Heritage Project.

    If you missed the talk live, listen to the sound files of Kain and Rudisill speaking by clicking on the link below. They can be found in the audio directory of this page.

    http://w2.ydr.com/mmedia/

    Note: 10/15/08 – This server no longer exists. Look for this to be updated in the future.
    For more information about the talk and York County history in general visit Jim McClure’s blog, York Town Square at the link below.

    http://www.yorktownsquare.com/2006/11/yes_its_pronounced_yorkshur_ju.php

    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.


  • Story Night a success…thanks to you

    Thanks to everyone who came out for story night! About 50 people came out to hear our two spirited speakers who filled the evening with tales of Emigsville past. Thanks to Otterbein for the use of their sanctuary.
    Look for sound files on this website in the near future in case you missed the evening.

    • A tale of an Emigsville child during the Civil War
    • Lincoln’s funeral train passed through Emigsville
    • In the 1830’s a canal along the Codorus could take you to the Susquehanna…from there you could buy a ticket for Paris, France via boat
    • How is Hayshire pronounced
    • North George Street once crossed busy double railroad tracks and headed to Manchester up the Liverpool Turnpike. The current roadway was once just a right-of-way for the trolley

    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.


    • Visit Shiloh Nurseries’ FALL FEST this weekend !!!!

      Emigsville Heritage Project supporters bake for Shiloh Nurseries’ FALL FEST

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      Shiloh Nurseries 17th Annual FALL FEST is September 30 – October 1

      Come visit our table and introduce yourself. You are our community.

      The festival is located at Shiloh Nurseries
      3100 N. George Street, Emigsville. (717)767-673

      Link here for a mapemigcookie2l1.jpg

      Both Days

      • Horse drawn wagon rides
      • Crafts to make
      • Pumpkins to decorate
      • Food from local vendors
      • Local craft people with demonstrations and displays
      • Guessing games and scavenger hunt – both with prizes!
      • Straw mountain to climb
      • Kids Klub give-away
      • SPCA Booth

      Saturday from 9 am – 5pm

      • Silly Billy the Clown – 11 am
      • Jack Hubley, host of the syndicated show “Wild Moments” “Critters No One Loves” 1pm only
      • Magic! by Watson – a roaming magic show between 3 – 5 pm

      Sunday from 11am – 5 pm

      • Petting zoo and live alpacas
      • Silly Billy the Clown – 1 pm
      • Pops Puppets 2:30 – 4:30 pm

      Visit the FALL FEST link at Shiloh Nurseries for the latest details.

      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.


    • A new group hopes to bring more energy and a sense of community to the village.

      By JOY RUSONIS
      For the Weekly Record
      Jun 8, 2006 —Villages such as Emigsville in Manchester Township have a rich history. Now, a group of residents and business people want to make people aware of that heritage and increase their sense of community.

      Link here to read more about it in the York Daily Record/Sunday News http://www.ydr.com/history/ci_3913387