The Bon Ton Store in York, PA – 1919

In 1898, Samuel Grumbacher (and son, Max) opened a one-room millinery store on Market Street in York.

The store eventually filled a handsome building on a main intersection of the downtown.

The family enterprise expanded greatly over the years, eventually swallowing up other department store chains including Carson, Pirie, Scott, Pomeroy’s, Parisians, Hess’s, and the two locations of Watt & Shand.

Like many other department stores, the Bon Ton saw diminished business in the twenty-first century and declared bankruptcy in 2018.

The brand was purchased out of bankruptcy so that there a few stores in the ”new” Bon Ton Company which is now headquartered in Indiana.

I regret that I never visited the magnificent flagship store in York.

This hand-colored postcard photograph was published by the Fair and Square Bargain House of York.

It was mailed in March of 1919 to a serviceman who was stationed at Camp Merritt, New Jersey.

The sender, Bea, was looking for a letter from the serviceman, Johnny.

One hopes that Johnny appreciated the view of the beautiful store and that he completed a letter to Bea.


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