Posts Tagged ‘Jacob Zook’

When Retro Roadhusband were driving down Route 30 / The Lincoln Highway in Paradise, PA Sunday we were saddened to see that Jacob Zoon Hex Signs store was closed and the property being offered for sale.

jacob zook hex sign store closed realtor information



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 UPDATE: July 2010 – sad to say we drove past Jacob Zook’s this weekend and the place was closed. Sigh.

I admit it, I’m a collector of souvenirs, tchotchkes, dust catchers. They remind me of all of the neat places I’ve gone, and thinking of those adventures makes me happy. One of my favorite places to pick up trinkets is at Jacob Zook’s Family Crafts on Route 30 / The Lincoln Highway in Paradise PA.

Mr Toast goes to Jacob Zooks(this is a snapshot from when Mr. Toast stayed with us for a weekend!

In business since 1942, it is now owned by Jacob Zook’s granddaughter Cindy. The building itself is worth a photo, because it’s a cute little 1973 A-frame nestled into the rural landscape.

Jacob Zook A Frame & Distlfink

That big colorful sign out front is a Pennsylvania Dutch hex sign, a historic motif here in Lancaster County. The bird on this hex sign is a “distlelfink” ( I love that word!) It means goldfinch in German and to the Pennsylvania Dutch (Deutsch) it means good luck & happiness.

Originally painted onto barns as decorations, some say the hex signs were to ward off evil spirits and bring prosperity. Others say they were just for decoration. Each hex design and colors has a special meaning, according to the Zook’s Family Crafts website:

Some of the more popular symbols included: sun wheel for warmth and fertility, hearts for love, birds (called distelfinks) for good luck and happiness, tulips for faith and star for luck. The specific colors used also had meaning: red for your emotions, yellow for love of man and the sun, green for growing things, blue for protection, white for purity, and brown for Mother Earth.

Jacob Zook Hex Signs

While these  hex designs began as hand painted folk art Jacob Zook is famous for their original and hand silk screened signs. We have a “daddy hex” sign in the nook of the Hacienda, as a souvenir from a fun drive to Amish country.

Along with their famous hex signs you can get all sorts of Pennsylvania Dutch and  Amish themed memorabilia- playing cards, cast iron plain folk, charm bracelets, hand made brooms and more.

Table Tallies & Snapshot Prints

Hex Sign Coasters

I love Jacob Zook’s because they have so many of the kitschy old souvenirs that might have been picked up by someone’s grandmother on a weekend drive. Makes me think of the retro roadtrippers from back in the day, and I feel like one of them when I pick up a tacky trivet or Pennsylvania Dutch sayings coasters.Sometimes it’s the little things like a drive in the country on a warm day that can make a day memorable, and it’s nice to have something to remind me of good times.

Trivet Wisdom and PegboardA word to visitors- Cindy would like to sell the A Frame (horrors) and move the business back to where it began next door. I LOVE the A-frame!! It is definitely part of the charm of the place. If you go there please let them know you dig the A-Frame too!

Jacob Zook’s Hex Signs (Zook’s Family Crafts)
3056 Route 30 East – note that if you Google this address the map is wrong, check the Retro Roadmap for the real location!
Paradise PA 17562
(717) 687-8329

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I just had one of the best days of retro roadmap vintage fun today in Lancaster County PA and can’t wait to share it all with you! I will write up proper postings for each place but here’s a sneak peek of some of the retro fun I had in Lancaster and along the Lincoln Highway.

Not only did I go to a most excellent vintage shop in Lancaster, Mommalicious:


I also stumbled upon a great mid century modern home store Zap Home:


Ate dinner in a diner:

bought some hex sign gifts for the Retro Roadkids:

Pennsylvania Dutch Souvenirs

And saw Amish in buggies and on scooters! Even with all that, there’s still loads more to do in that area, can’t wait to go back!

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