Looking Back: Franklin County history Aug 27th

Franklin County’s history

Take a look back at Franklin County history through news and photos that appeared in local newspapers 25, 50, and 100 years ago on Aug 27th.

25 Years Ago

August 27, 1996 –  Wednesday

“Bye bye, birdie?”

Chambersburg tries to scare pesky flock

County's history Aug 26th

The annual battle against the birds that roost in downtown Chambersburg’s trees began Monday evening with a bang.

Members of Chambersburg Police Department shot cardboard projectiles into the air in an effort to scare away the birds.  The noisemakers sound something like M-80 fireworks.

“We’ve never tried this before,” said Paul Cullinane, executive director of Downtown Chambersburg Inc.  “But we hope this keeps the birds from roosting in the trees.”

For the past several years, hundreds of English sparrows and black birds have descended upon downtown Chambersburg in the fall and bombarded sidewalks, cars and people with their droppings.

“By October, the sidewalks are white,” said Edward Hoffman, manager of the State Liquor Store on South Main Street.  “You can’t park your car under one of these trees.”

The mess irritates customers and potentially drives away business.

Cullinane, along with other downtown merchants, has worked during past years to try to limit the birds’ presence.  Tactics range from fake owls to a grape-smelling tree spray.

But within days, the birds have returned.

This year, the group spent $125 on two pistols that will launch cardboard bangers and sound screamer sirens.  The 2-inch long cardboard projectiles disintegrate in the air.

“They can’t hurt anyone or anything,” Cullinane said. “But we hope it keeps the birds away.”  

Chambersburg is not alone in dealing with the foul mess.

The Borough of Greencastle used orchard guns last year to scare their flocks out of the trees.

“It’s a larger, louder gun” than the screamer pistols, said Borough Manager Kenneth Myers.

But it’s a method that Greencastle considers a last resort, he said.

Myers and other borough officials plan to watch the birds’ response in Chambersburg to determine whether they should use a similar method themselves.

Myers said that they also plan to consider placing a net around the trees.

Chambersburg resident Arlene Newman, who has lived on East King Street for 30 years, does not understand what all the fuss is about.   She said that she has never had a problem with the bird population.

“It’s terrible what they are doing,” said Newman, who loves animals and has two dogs.  “I think that birds need a home, too.”

And while the birds are a nuisance and a deterrent to business, Hoffman has to agree.

“The birds were here before we were,” he said. “Seems that this is their place to come to in the fall.”

50 Years Ago

August 27, 1971 – Saturday

“New Traffic Rules”

new traffic rules

 A new system of traffic controls has been instituted at Washington and Cedar Streets, entering the South Gate Mall parking lot. Cedar Avenue will become a through street for east bound while traffic on Washington Street will be halted by stop signs.  Westbound traffic on Washington Street will be permitted to make a right turn into Cedar Street without stopping.  Northbound traffic on Cedar Street will still have to stop before entering the intersection.

100 Years Ago

August 27, 1921 – Sunday

“County blind boy to teach Seattle blind”

Harry C. Hartman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel W. Hartman, has received an appointment as head teacher and director of work for the blind and partially sighted In the public schools of Seattle, Washington.

The accomplishments of Mr. Hartman qualify him for this work. He is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Institution for the Instruction of the Blind, Overbrook, Pa,, after which he entered Brown’s Preparatory school.  The following three years were spent at Haverford college.  An appointment came from the federal board of vocational education, to assist In teaching soldiers who had been blinded during the war.

Last year application was made by Mr. Hartman to the superintendent of the public school department for the blind as teacher of music in Cleveland, Ohio, and he was accepted.  This summer he has taken a summer course at Harvard university and while there made application for the position In Seattle, Washington. Thursday evening he left for the west


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