GENERAL STORE TRADITION ENDS ~August 19, 1977 Wellsville Daily Reporter
Transcribed by Sheila L. Kalkbrenner
-A General Store Tradition Ends- by Matt Leone
YORKS CORNERS—For 133 years, four generations of the same family have lived and worked in the building known as York’s Corners Store at the intersection of Rte 19 and Beech Hill Road south of Stannards.
In a very few days, that unbroken family tradition will end.
The present occupants of the house and operators of the store, Darwin and Alice Loring, will be moving out. It will start with an auction of household and store goods this Saturday morning.
The auction will feature innumerable antique items, not because the Lorings are collectors of antiques, but because the house holds furniture and books and papers and tools from four generations of the same family.
“No one ever moved out of this house,” Mr. Loring said, “they just died and passed the place on.”
The builder of the house and its first occupant was Icabod Hiram York in 1844, after whom the intersection-York’s Corners- was named. The house was not the earliest structure in the Town of Willing, but it is certainly one of the most architecturally interesting and historically significant.
In 1852, the first meeting of the town board of the newly established Town of Willing was held there. The trading post Hiram York operated across the street was said to have been a stage coach stop.
Hiram passed the homestead on to his son, Elza York, who was a farmer and discontinued the trading post. Elza York’s daughter married Milton Loring who moved into the old house with his family upon Elza’s death.
In 1929, Milton Loring transformed the front parlor of the huge old home into a general store. From that day to now, the store has changed little, if at all.
In 1959, upon Milton Loring’s, death, the house passed to his son Dennis who lived up Beech Hill nearby. Brother Darwin came home from Pennsylvania to take over the store and moved his family into the house.
Darwin Loring, now nearly 77, has spent the better part of a month rummaging through the accumulated books, papers and household goods of more than 125 years of family life.
Much of it will be sold at auction Saturday, but trucks have carted away many items the Lorings want to keep, to their new house up Beech Hill near brother Dennis’s place.
“Maybe someday I’ll have another sale,” Darwin Loring said, “you know, we haven’t really found too many things we didn’t know were here. But there were plenty of things we had lost track of.”
Among the items the Lorings will sell Saturday are the original brass National cash register which still sits atop the old wooden display case in the store and is still used to ring up sales today.
Old advertising signs, many of which have faded with the years but are still tacked up on the store front will also be sold. Among the household goods at auction will be pianos, a cello, an oak banjo, a post office desk, several oil lamps, churns, a spinning wheel, muzzle loading rifle, a crack wall telephone, a blacksmith’s anvil, a stove pipe hat and a sterescope.
Some buyer might be lucky enough to stumble on something which dates back to the days of Hiram York himself.
As to the future of the historical landmark and family treasure trove, new owners from New Jersey plan to arrive in mid-September.
Frank Polsenberg, a sheriff’s deputy in Cape May County, said he had been looking for some time for a rural area to move to, combined with a business he could operate for income.
He found both in the York’s Corner’s Store, which he said he plans to extensively renovate as well as expand the store itself.
He will certainly be welcomed to his new house and community. But there will be a lingering sadness over the passing of a 133-year old family tradition.