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How did the Green Dragon get its name? Why aren't pets allowed on Amtrak's Keystone line? [We the People]

Weather Green Dragon

Jon Stuart, of Lansdale, carries flowers at Green Dragon Friday, May 24, 2019.

LancasterOnline is answering your questions through We the People, a public-powered journalism project.

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Here are a few answers to questions that have not yet made it to the voting round. The date for the next voting round will be announced soon.

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"Why is Green Dragon called Green Dragon, instead of Ephrata Farmer's Market?"

Ephrata's famous farmer's market, Green Dragon, was not always known as a farmer's market.

It was originally a restaurant and later turned into a tavern. Its inception was in 1932, during the Prohibition era, making it one of Lancaster County's speakeasies.

According to the Rohrbach family, who now owns the Green Dragon, the business was originally "Schreck's," the surname of the man who operated the speakeasy.

Schreck, first name not given, decided to rename the speakeasy "Green Dragon" after walking through Atlantic City, New Jersey, and seeing a Chinese restaurant of the same name.

When Schreck came back, he decided to furnish the tavern with Asian decor.

When prohibition agents busted the speakeasy, a man named Noah Burkholder took over the Green Dragon and turned it into a livestock auction that sold horses and cows, among other animals.

The locals continued to refer to the business as the "Green Dragon," so the name stuck, according to a document provided to LNP/LancasterOnline by the Rohrbach family.

Since then, Green Dragon has expanded into a 30-plus acre entity known for being one of the largest farmers markets in the area, according to the Green Dragon's website.

Editor's note: An email from LNP/LancasterOnline to the Ephrata Historical Society about Schreck's first name was not returned.

Question submitted by Tom F.

"Why does Amtrak not allow pets in carriers on Keystone trains when in many other parts of the nation, including the northeast, it's allowed?"

Amtrak can decide what amenities are allowed on a given service line.

Pets are not allowed on the Keystone Service (New York to Harrisburg) or the Pennsylvanian track (New York to Pittsburgh).

"These services are heavily utilized with both high passenger and baggage counts and limited capacity," Beth Toll, a spokeswoman for Amtrak, said. 

"In order to keep the trains operating on time, and the equipment as clean as possible, it's not feasible to include pet service at this time," Toll said.

Service animals are allowed on all Amtrak trains, however. 

Question submitted by Joel (last initial not given).

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