Looking Back: Franklin County’s history Dec 3rd

County’s history Dec 4nd

 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 3rd.

25 Years Ago

December 3, 1996 — Tuesday

“Trolley rolling towards better service, schedule”

County's history Dec 3rd
Robert H. Murry, Chambersburg, gets on a Green Route bus driven by Penny Smith. The Chambersburg Transit Authority is celebrating its fifth year of public transportation.

Five days a week, Shirley Kendle waits in front of her workplace for a ride home.

Chambersburg’s green and white trolley pulls to a stop, and Kendle steps inside.

“I’ve been doing that ever since the trolley started,” said the 61-year-old Chambersburg woman. “… I don’t have an automobile at home because I don’t need one.”

Kendle depends on Chambersburg Transit Authority to take her to her jobs at the Children’s Aid Society and the Oak Bows factory, both in Chambersburg. Until the trolley started five years ago, she walked to work.

About 80 people ride each of the two trolleys every day year-round. With more routes offered during the holidays, the number of riders increases slightly, according to the transit authority.

“You can go just about anywhere you need to go,” said transit authority worker Eva Verdier.

Kendle said she’s very satisfied with the trolley services but wishes routes would expand to take passengers to places such as Wal- Mart on Lincoln Way East.

Some passengers say there’s also room for improvements along the routes. Karen Barnes, 34, Chambersburg would like to see more stops along Scotland Avenue, so elderly people don’t have to walk as far.


Since she got rid of her car last month, Barnes relies on the trolley. She rides the trolley every week to Food Lion at Franklin Shopping Center.

“(The trolley) helps a lot for people who don’t have transportation,” she said. She decided to ride it instead of driving because “every time I turned around something was going wrong with (my car).”

Without the trolley service, Barnes would have to walk two miles from her Catherine Street home to shop at her favorite grocer.

Two trolleys run two different routes each day, traveling east and west or north and south. Each trolley is handicapped accessible.

“A lot of elderly people use it to get to their doctors appointments,” Verdier said.

Only one trolley runs on Sunday. Its destination: Chambersburg Mall.

“That’s the biggest draw because there are no stores open in downtown Chambersburg,” Verdier said.

Trolleys don’t go to the mall during the week. However, the trolley will make special runs to the mall on Saturday evenings during the holiday season.

Trolley specials during December

The Chambersburg Transit Authority will celebrate the fifth anniversary of starting its trolley services Dec. 9 through 13. Special events planned: ​

  • On Monday, trolley rides will be free for everyone.
  • On Wednesday, every fifth rider will get a fare-saver card, good for 10 free rides.
  • On Thursday, every fifth rider will get a coupon for five free rides.
  • On Friday, every 25th rider will get a Chambersburg Transit Authority sweatshirt.

The transit authority is also providing a special Saturday evening route to Chambersburg Mall during the holiday season.

The trolley will make three round trips beginning at 6:45 p.m. at various Chambersburg stops and ending about 10:30 p.m. when the last shoppers are picked up at the mall.

A Christmas trolley Light Tour will be at 6 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 through 20, and Dec. 23, 26 and 27.

The trolley will take people through downtown Chambersburg and neighborhoods where Christmas decorations are the brightest and prettiest.

People may catch the trolley at Denny’s Restaurant on Wayne Avenue through Dec. 20, and at Olympia Ice Cream Parlor on South Main Street Dec 23, 26 and 27.

Cost is $3.75 for adults and $2.25 for children. Each restaurant will give participants a coupon for a free drink. Reservations must be made by Monday.

Reservations must be made by Monday. . Call 261-0909 for a trolley schedule or to reserve seats for the light tour.

50 Years Ago

December 3,  1971 – Friday

“Tonoloway Baptist Church History Dates back to 1752”

McConnellsburg – – There was nothing much beyond the Susquehanna River but wilderness in 1752, when the ” first little Tonoloway Baptist Church was built on land patented by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The little church is located on Route 655 in the southern part of Fulton County.

The land was patented unto John Stilwell, John Van Buskirk, Nathaniel Hart, Bethuel Covalt, Jacob Mann, Jacob Hart and Jacob Hess, trustees for the sole use and benefit of the Baptists.

In 1754, the church was organized by Elder Samuel Heaton who was driven away by Indians.  The little church, which was built of logs, was burned.  A second little church was built by these brave souls, also made of logs, and this time the Indians not only burned the church, but scalped the people in attendance at church.  The present church which was made of brick is still standing, built in 1802, the third church to be built on the spot.

The present church’s organization was the 10th Baptist church constituted in America.  The first pastor, Elder Joseph Powell, began his ministry there in 1764.  The Baptists refer to their ministers as elders.  Elder Powell was also an officer in the Continental Army and served as one of the delegates who attended the State Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, and ratified the Constitution of the U n i t e d States.  He was buried in the church cemetery in 1804.

During the Civil War, the church was used as a hospital by the Federal Army during the shelling of Hancock, Md.

There are just two members of the church living today.  Mrs. Blanche Woodcock, now residing in John Shook Home, Chambersburg, and Mrs. Tempie Wink, Needmore, who spends her winters in Florida.  Mrs. Wood cock said the church still has the original floors.  There is no electricity.  No musical instruments of any kind were used in their services.  They don’t believe in them.  So all hymns were sung unaccompanied, praising the Lord by voice, Mrs. Woodcock said.

There were never any church councils or church organizations until the church members decided to set aside about an acre of ground and provide care takers for part of the cemetery.

The church members organized the Primitive Baptist Cemetery Association and sold lots.  Today, the entire cemetery is under permanent care and is well preserved and mowed.  

With membership in the church now decreased to only two members, a contract has been drawn indicating that when the last member dies, the cemetery association will continue to care for the church property.  If there should be any money in the treasury, it is to be given to the church, with the suggestion that the church be used for funerals, or in any way it is thought best.

The original deed of the grant of land from the state to the church is in Harrisburg State Museum, according to Mrs. Woodcock.

In the cemetery are many old graves.  Some of the tomb stones are slate with the writing on them invisible.  The grave of Benjamin Truax, a Revolutionary soldier, born in 1731 and died in 1801, has a new marker.

100 Years ago

December 3, 1921 Saturday


County's history Dec 3
Opened as the Rosedale Opera House on November 13, 1888 with the play “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”. In December 1898 it was renamed Rosedale Theatre.  It was remodeled in 1920 to the plans of architect Morris R. Rhoads and reopened on February 4, 1921 with Gloria Swanson in “Something to Think About.”  Still listed in 1955, it was closed on May 25, 1961 with a live production of “The Pajama Game”.  It was demolished in June 1961.


Rex Ingram, director of “The Four-. Horsemen of the Apocalypse”, in the Rosedale Theater, Chambersburg, Wednesday and Thursday, December 14 and 15, developed into his present prominence through a long period of work and preparation.  

Ingram was born in Ireland twenty-nine years ago, and he graduated from Trinity College. Dublin; where his father was a professor.  Since that time, he has been a sailor, an actor on the stage and the screen, a sculptor, a scenario writer, and finally, a director. During the World War, he saw service as a member of the Royal Canadian Flying Corps.  it was in 1911 that Ingram came to the United States.  

While preparing to enter Yale, he worked as a trackman in the yards of the New Haven railroad.  At Yale college, where he was a member of the class of 1914, he studied the principals of sculpture, and learned to model under the direction Of Prof. Lee O. Lawrie.  

His first picture experience was with the Edison Company, writing scenarios and acting for the screen.  Later he played opposite Ionian Walker, Lillian Baird, Helen Gardner, and others.  Since that time, he has directed many notable pictures.

There will be two presentations of the picture each day during the season of the Rosedale theatre