Sep 5, 2011

Labor Day Cigars

(YDR via Firecured) When I was about 10 ... I used to sell crab cakes and fish for a man down Mason Alley. ... I used to go to a place out on Poplar Street and Dewey Street in West York called T.E. Brooks cigar factory, and they were not allowed to have breaks back then. They worked constantly for their eight hours. Anything they needed was right there where they worked. . . . I went to a lot of different factories doing this job selling crab cakes and fish . . . all around York on my bicycle, but T.E. Brooks cigar factory always stands out to me because I (had) to go from person to person. Any of the other factories, they came to me during their break time, but this place here did not have a break. . . . That always stood out in my mind.

Steven A. Hatterer, 46, of York

I was raised one mile below Red Lion off Route 74. I very well remember the cigar factories in Red Lion. They had quite a few, but the thing that I remember mostly was we had a strike (in 1934), and a man was blinded during the strike (reportedly because tear gas was fired by police), and in 1935, he had a Ford coupe . . . and I bought that from him for $150. The man was from Windsor that was blinded. A friend of mine told me about this man that became blinded, and he had a Ford coupe, and I borrowed the money from my father and bought it.

Mildred Knisely, 92, Springettsbury Township