As every day passes, I seem to learn about another historic location around York County, Pennsylvania. Without my readers bringing these places to my attention, they could quickly fade away without a second thought.
My friend Philip Given from Susquehanna Photographic understands my desire to document these properties, and recently told me I should check out the buildings above.
Located at 321 West Mason Avenue is a small building once used by Topper Seafood. It’s not known when the business was in operation, and information about the former business was non-existent. The address is affiliated with “Rose’s Sandwiches” and “321 To Go” according to an online search, but it’s not known what the property is currently used for.
The aging sign hanging on the front of the building – deteriorated from the elements – is difficult to read. After enhancing a photograph its contents are apparent:
FISH OYSTER CRAB
If you don’t take the time to examine the building carefully, you could easily miss another faded feature on the side of the building:
This painted advertisement for Adams Crab Cakes is even more difficult to read than the other. It’s not known if this was a brand of crab cakes sold here, or yet another former business name. Perhaps a reader will have the answer.
Trimmer Printing Company
This fascinating York City building can be found at 323 West Mason Avenue and is currently used as an art studio. “Studio 323” is operated by Steven Heffner, who with his wife co-owns B&E Junction Electric Trains on West Market Street, also in York.
About Trimmer Printing
Trimmer Printing Incorporated
Printers – Offest Lithographers – Binders
According to “The Story of a Dynamic Community – York, Pennsylvania“, published by the York Chamber of Commerce in 1945, this commercial printing business was founded in 1905 by William H. Trimmer, who gained his experience from the weekly newspaper “The Wrightsville Star“.
The company was first located at 203 Park Place and likely operated out of his home. In the 1910 United States Federal Census, William, his wife Florie, and daughter Miriam were shown living next door at 205 Park Place. As the business prospered, a more spacious plant was built at 129-131 North Penn Street in 1914. A mere three years later, this too was expanded.
The ’20s were great for the company, but the depression years of the ’30s were hard. On November 11, 1940 - Armistice Day – a four-way partnership was formed. The three new partners took charge of different areas of the business: John Groome (sales), Raymond Frey (composition), and Chester Stagemyer (press production).
Trimmer Printing is mentioned in newspapers from the 1930s at 324 West Market Street, where Trim-Print Stationary and Gifts was located. This seems to have been some type of “factory store”. The basement was used by a number of other businesses, such as Keystone Travel Bureau and D.W. Wilhelm, who sold new and used apparel.
Newspapers from the 1970s also show the company at 326 West Market Street. The printing operation was probably moved to these adjoining properties, as the buildings are physically connected to the one on West Mason Avenue with the painted advertisement on its fascade.
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The company has printed many publications over the years, including:
- The Kentucky Rifle by John G. W. Dillin (1959)
- Architecture in York County by the Historical Society of York County (undated)
A History of Mercersburg Synod 1939-1962 by Irvin A. Raubenhold (1965)
Can you help?
So what happened to Trimmer Printing? Did it close its doors or merge with another company? And lets not forget about Topper Seafood, which is still a mystery.
- While the Trimmer business on West Mason Avenue was vacant, it was apparently used for many different types of illegal activities (chop shop, “safe-house” for illegal immigrants, drug use, etc.)
- The York Swing Dance Club currently utilizes 324 West Market Street.
- Want to interact with other readers? Feel free to join the Preserving York group on Facebook.