Take a look back at Franklin County’s history through news and photos that appeared in local newspapers 25, 50, and 100 years ago on Dec 11th.
25 Years Ago
December 11, 1996 – Wednesday
“Display Brightens the Season”
Darnel McCleary has been decorating his home at Christmastime with his father, Don, for as long as he can remember.
“I have always helped, but as I became more involved,” Daniel, 18, said of the daylong decorating binge. “I think it’s the Christmas spirit.”
He said his father also enjoys the display but won’t always admit it. Daniel’s aunt, Deanna Harris of Chambersburg, wrote to Public Opinion to nominate the home at 505 Cumberland Ave., Chambersburg, for the newspaper’s Bright Lights promotion.
Harris thinks the house is special because of the large wreath Don made and hung in the window. “I also really like the animated Santa and Mrs. Claus in the window this year,” Deanna said.
“They get excited every year and it’s something they can do together.”
Daniel said he’s not sure how much they have invested.
Here’s where you can see other Bright Lights:
- Home of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mower, 325 E. Queen St., has a 30-foot pine tree covered with white lights,
- Home of Dr. and Mrs. Robert L. Fry, 53 Glen St.
The house, which was built in the 1920s, is decorated in style of Christmas at Colonial Williamsburg.
- Oasis of Love Church, 303 S. Washington St., Shippensburg
50 Years Ago
December 11, 1971 – Saturday
“Radio Center Keeps ‘Book’ on Equipment”
Dispatchers at the Franklin County Control Center no longer have to rely on memory and logbook to know what fire and ambulance equipment is available at any given moment.
A status board, consisting of a red or green light for each fire truck and ambulance in the county, now lightens the job.
Each time a piece of equipment goes into service, the light above its code number goes on. It glows on until the apparatus returns and is again available for call.
If a truck breaks down, its light also turns on, glowing brightly until the vehicle is repaired and ready.
The status board is divided into separate sections for ambulances, service trucks, ladder trucks, pumpers, pumper tankers and tankers.
According to T. P. Hawthorne, center director, a similar board with all police cars is planned for 1972.
A computerized uniscope will be installed in 1972 also, Hawthorne said. The device will be part of the Commonwealth’s Law Enforcement Assistance Network (CLEAN).
The CLEAN machine will allow rapid communication with 300 municipal police units, as well as state police units, the Department of Transportation, FBI files, and other law enforcement agencies.
A CLEAN unit was recently installed at the Chambersburg state police substation.
100 Years ago
December 12, 1921 – Monday
Local autoists hurt when car without lights hit them”
Luther Gift of South Fourth Street had his face cut and the automobile, owned and driven by Luther Welker of South Main Street, was badly damaged about 8 o’clock Saturday night, south of Greencastle when Welker’s automobile was struck, according to Welker, by an automobile driven without lights by Abram Stine of near Middleburg.
Welker stated that morning that he was driving south from Greencastle in his Chevrolet automobile, when the Stine car approached without lights burning. When the autos collided, the windshield of the Welker as demolished, the fenders battered and the engine misplaced.
Gift, who was riding with Welser, was thrown forward and had his face cut by broken g!ass. Welker and Stine were uninjured. The damaged auto was brought to Shipphensburg’s garage on South Main Street Street.
Stine accompanied Welker and Gift to the office of a physician at Greencastle and Stine, according to Weiker, paid the physician’s charge for treatment of Gift’s injuries.