Where you are from or grew up determines many things about you. It reveals what events are important to you because they shaped your childhood. It may determine certain patterns of speech, your favorite haunts or your favorite foods. And those who are from Central Pennsylvania certainly know that this part of Pennsylvania has its own attributes, especially for those persons who are from York.
For those people who are from York, your list is long and varied. Some of the attributes of those who are from York include the following.
- The York Fair is the highlight of your year.
First started in 1765, the York Fair celebrated its 250th year in 2015. This annual fair begins on the first Friday after Labor Day in York, PA, and it is the main event of the year. The nine-day event includes a variety of concerts, rides and delicious foods as well as a livestock arena, a circus, antique tractor display, harness racing and high school band parade.
When the fair first began, it took place over a two-day period and was mostly a market for agriculture. In 1853, the fair lasted for three days and took place on a new seven-acre fairground. But in 1861, those fairgrounds were converted into temporary hospitals for Union soldiers, and the fair was closed until the war ended in 1865.
In 1888, the York County Agricultural Society purchased a different plot of land and moved the fair to a site that was 73 acres. This site was later expanded to become the property of the present York Fair, and it is used for the York Fair as well as over 160 other events.
- Everyone is debating the Sheetz vs Wawa war, and you bring up Rutters.
While Wawa is a popular choice of convenience store in the eastern part of Pennsylvania, and Sheetz is a popular choice in the central and western parts of Pennsylvania, there is also Rutters in the York area of Pennsylvania.
Rutters started in 1921 as a dairy with the production of only 15 quarts of milk. By 1969, Rutters had opened its fourth store in Hanover. Today, Rutters has 60 farm stores and has received accolades from customers about the quality of its milk — especially the chocolate milk.
For those York area residents who are trying to decide if they like Sheetz or Rutters better, some have picked Rutters as a place to get their gas and Sheetz as the place to get food. Plus, Sheetz is a great place to go and just chill after a sporting event — and besides, true York residents don’t even know what a Wawa is.
- You know real chicken pot pie does not come with a crust.
Those living in the York, PA area know true chicken pot pie means it does not have a crust. While the main ingredient is chicken, real chicken pot pie is made with chicken, chicken broth, carrots, potatoes, onion, and homemade noodles — that’s right, homemade noodles — and not a crust. It’s more like a chicken stew, actually.
- You know the difference between the historic courthouse, the old courthouse, and the new courthouse.
The historic courthouse is located on West Market Street and is known as the Colonial Courthouse. The judicial center or new courthouse is where the York County Court of Common Pleas is located. The old courthouse houses administrative offices and is located adjacent to the new courthouse on North George Street.
- You hate it when someone asks where you’re from and you say, “York” and someone says, “Oh, New York!”
Though it is frustrating, you need to educate those who believe you said, “New York” and let them know that York, Pennsylvania was actually the first Capital of the U.S. and was named for York, England.
- You know where someone is going when they say they are going to the Galleria, and mall walking is a favorite past time at the Galleria.
York Galleria Mall, like many indoor malls, is a great place for walking, especially on cold or rainy days. With three anchor stores and many specialty stores and restaurants, it is one of the premier shopping areas in York.
- You buy vegetables or firewood from a stand on the side of the road on the “honor system.”
Where else can you buy from a roadside stand where the prices are listed, and a container is available for cash? The absent seller relies on your honesty to pay what they are charging.
- Chicken barbeques are as common of a weekend presence as church services.
Tasty chicken barbeques can be found at churches, fire halls and the like on many weekends in the spring, summer and fall. Just keep an eye out for homemade signs along the roadside for tasty, inexpensive meals that can’t be beat.
- Eating pork and sauerkraut is a New Year’s tradition in your family.
Going back to the German tradition of their ancestors, York area residents eat pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day. The tradition carried to America from their German ancestors is that if you eat pork on New Year’s Day, you will have good luck for the coming year.
- You went to school named after a direction, such as Northern, Northeastern, Southwestern, Southeastern, Eastern, West York or Central.
It is a fact that many York area high schools have names that symbolize the area of the county in which they are located. So while these names may not seem very original, the high school names were derived from their geographic locations in the county.
- You know what and where TMI and Peach Bottom are.
Both are nuclear power plants. While Peach Bottom is located in York County, TMI or Three Mile Island is located a short distance away near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania along the Susquehanna River. TMI is well known because of the accident in 1979 when there was a partial meltdown there. TMI was given its name because it is located three miles down the river from the town of Middletown, Pennsylvania.
- You don’t “trick or treat” on Halloween night — your town sets “trick or treat” night on a day other than Halloween.
Towns or townships in the York area of Pennsylvania made the decision some years ago to celebrate “trick or treat” night on a night other than Halloween to minimize the threat of vandalism. Whether this has actually worked is anyone’s guess.
- You know what pan haus is, and if you don’t, then you know what scrapple is.
If you are a York area resident, you likely know what pan haus is. This Pennsylvania Dutch term for “pan rabbit” is made when corn meal and pork byproducts are mixed together. If you don’t know what pan haus is, then you definitely know what scrapple is. Scrapple is a Philadelphia staple which is very similar and is made when pork byproducts and corn meal are mashed into a large patty which is sliced and fried.
- Strawberry shortcake is a meal.
Many churches in the York area will have strawberry festivals in the summer where they sell strawberry shortcakes — but this is not merely just any shortcake. They are mounds of shortcake biscuits, strawberries and whipped cream that are so huge, you may not be able to eat one bite of anything else.
- You say you are going to the shore for vacation.
York residents don’t go to the beach. They don’t go to the ocean. They go to the shore. Though these may all seem like the same thing, don’t tell a York resident you are going to the beach. They may wonder what the heck you are talking about.
- You work at Harley or know someone that does.
The Harley-Davidson manufacturing plant was started in 1973 in York, PA and has provided many jobs to York area residents over the last four plus decades.
- You think the traffic on route 30 is comparable to that of New York City.
While this may seem unrealistic if you do not live in York County, those who travel Route 30 between York and Lancaster frequently quickly tire of the endless traffic between these two destinations. If you have only ever lived in York County, why not compare the York traffic to that of New York City, especially if you don’t know any differently?
- You’re proud to be part of the potato chip belt of America and do not understand why every state in the country does not carry Martin’s or Utz.
Pennsylvanians love their potato chips. Martin’s are produced in York County and made from high-quality potatoes and frying oils. Utz is the largest independent, privately held snack brand in the U.S.
- A weekend night out meant you were driving the circuit.
This is something you did as a teen. Hopefully, you grew out of it as you became an adult.
- You have unique names for a variety of things, and you have original expressions.
You call the city of Philadelphia “Philly,” and you love the baseball team, the Phillies. You talk about former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and refer to him as Jo Pa. After all, many of your friends went to Penn State.
You’ll also probably have some original expressions:
- If you are a waitress, you often use the term “awhile” meaning that you will get the drinks “awhile” while your customers are waiting for their food. And you often end your sentences with a preposition. For a body of water that many would call a stream, you refer to it as a “crick” instead of a “creek.”
- “Ret-line” is how you pronounce Red Lion, and the word borough has an “a” on the end.
- The word “suski” is another name you use for the Susquehanna, and instead of using the word slippery to describe the conditions after an ice storm, you use the word “slippy.”
- “Youse” is the plural of you, and if you refer to the past as when CAT was still around, people know what you are talking about.
- Filling is another term for stuffing that you put in a turkey.
- And instead of washing your clothes, you “warsh” them.
- Yet one of the most interesting choices of expressions seems to pervade the entire Susquehanna Valley from Harrisburg to York. You often forget to use “to be” as part of the verb. For instance, you will say, “That needs cleaned” instead of “That needs to be cleaned.”
- Sunny side up eggs have a completely different name. You call them dippy eggs and dip your toast in them.
- Schools close for a variety of reasons.
One of the best parts of the first day of deer season is that schools are closed. Schools also close for only a small amount of snow — sometimes even if there isn’t much snow at all-just the prediction of snow. This may be just another reason York area residents like FOX 43 better than WGAL — their forecasts might be better.
- You love to go places near what you call the Susquehanna Valley.
You have been to the Gettysburg Battlefield many times on school trips, perhaps several times too many.
Let’s not forget about the trips to amusement parks, though. Dutch Wonderland is only a short distance away from York County. You likely love Hershey’s chocolate, too — and what better place to go than Hersheypark, where you can even smell them making Hershey’s chocolate? Even if you don’t like to eat chocolate, it still smells quite amazing.
As far as shopping goes, Giant is your grocery store of choice, and you have unique expressions for the nearby highways that get you there. For example, going north or south pretty much will always start out with the expression, “Get on Route 83.” Or if you are talking about going east or west, you will mention getting on Route 30.
You also can’t wait to go to the shoe house. Who can resist a house that looks just like a shoe?
You love to see the Revs but are not a big fan of the Lancaster Barnstormers.
You are a big fan of yard sales and get up early on Saturday mornings to beat other people out for the best bargains.
- You have a unique relationship with deer.
You hang an ornament with a deer on it from a tree in your front yard every Christmas, and you are very proud of this.
And every hunting season when you were in school, you and your classmates would wear camouflage — and no one would bat an eye. After all, your school newspaper featured a section discussing hunting season.
As an adult, you own a hunting cabin in Potter County, but you won’t hesitate to keep deer meat even if you hit the deer with your car. If someone stops to help you when you hit the deer, they will ask you if you are going to keep the deer meat, and you will answer “yes.”
- You know scary places to go.
Though you know what Rehmeyer’s Hollow is, you really don’t want to go there. Nelson Rehmeyer was murdered there in 1928. Believed by others to be a witch, Rehmeyer was killed by John Blymire and two other men. Blymire believed that Rehmeyer had hexed him. After consulting with a witch, Blymire learned that he could only break the curse if he cut off a lock of Rehmeyer’s hair and buried it in the ground or if he stole the man’s spell book.
Blymire tried this, but his plans went awry. When struggling with Rehmeyer, he and his accomplices beat the supposed witch to death. They tried to cover up their crime by setting the dead man on fire.
After their conviction for murder, stories began to circulate about smoke coming from the empty house, and people believe that Rehmeyer’s spirit haunts the area.
Others claim that they have seen UFOs near the area or even a red-eyed black dog lurking near the property.
- What is it about the diner?
As you think that going to the diner is a totally cool thing to do, you have given the Round the Clock Diner the name, “the diner.” Unbelievably, everyone knows exactly the one you mean.
Why is it that the diner on Route 30 next to the Olive Garden keeps changing names?
When Eat ‘N Park closed their restaurant on Route 30, Themi Sacarellos bought the vacant restaurant and named it Round the Clock Diner.
- Your vehicles are just as unique as you are.
You are the proud owner of a motorcycle, but it’s not just any motorcycle — it’s a Harley, of course. And to go along with the Harley ownership, you have decided to get Harley tattoo.
After sharing these fun and intriguing York County facts with your friends, contact CENTURY 21 Core Partners. If you need to change your York County location, we will be there to help you find the home of your dreams.
And if you don’t live here yet, what are you waiting for?