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Friday, January 6, 2017

The "Dying To Stay In Business" Story

Newspaper feature on the 1st day of every year.
It was an ordinary day.  Sunday, January 1, 2017 and I'm looking at one of my favorite yearly features that my Lancaster Sunday News offers in their newspaper on January 1st every year.  Section is titled BusinessReview: These Lancaster County Businesses Have Been Dedicated to Serving You Since ...  Small 2"x2" boxes tell the history of Lancaster businesses since Lancaster began operating as a city in 1818.  I enjoy viewing all the boxes, or ads, which list in numerical order the dates that the businesses in Lancaster were established.  
Bachman Funeral Home in Strasburg, Pennsylvania.
For years The Bachman Funeral Home, Inc. in Strasburg, Pennsyl- vania has been one of the oldest surviving businesses in Lancaster County.  Today it was listed as the oldest business, still in business, having been established in 1769.  Eight generations of Bachmans have been providing funeral services for Lancaster County since that date.  
Bachman's neat hearse.
The funeral home is located at 7 South Decatur Street, a house from the square in Strasburg.  Beautiful brick house with a sweeping porch across the front of the home and three dormers on the slate roof.  Above every window is a keystone, the architectural signature of Pennsylvania.  The funeral home is a family owned and operated business for over 246 years.  
This is Groff's Funeral Home as I first knew it at 234 W. Orange.
Another business listed 16th on the page is Groff Funeral & Cremation Services located at 528 W. Orange Street and established in 1896.  For years the Fred Groff Funeral Home was located at 234 West Orange Street, but was sold and yet kept the same name.  
The Groff Family Funeral I Cremation Services at 528 W. Orange.
Part of the original Groff family then opened The Groffs Family Funeral & Cremation Services Inc. at 528 W. Orange.  The later business, which I consider the original business, was my choice when both my father and mother died.  In 1794 the newspaper that I am reading was established and is shown in my paper as the second oldest business in Lancaster County.  It is also the 7th oldest newspaper in the United States.  
LPN offices on West King Street.
It was first known as the Intelligencer Journal, Lancaster's morning Democratic paper, then joined The Lancaster New Era, the Republican newspaper, in 2009 and finally rebranded and renamed LNP in 2014.  Three of the earliest established businesses in Lancaster County were newspaper publications.  Speaks well for the written word in Lancaster County.  Also in the top 30 longest lasting businesses in Lancaster County are two glass companies.  Lancaster Glass, first at No. 5 & 6 South Queen Street and now on Ross Street in the city, and Howell's Glass Company at 114 South Queen were both established by 1924.  The youngest business listed in today's paper is called Escape Room having been founded in 2015.  The four pages listed over 150 businesses that call Lancaster County home.  Neat feature which I will most certainly browse next year on January 1, 2018.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.


The original Lancaster Paint and Glass Co. in downtown Lancaster.

Howells as it appears today on South Queen Street.

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