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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 June 30th.

25 Years Ago

June 30, 1995  Friday

“Market Owner:  Full decanters are collectors ‘items”

The owner of the Chambersburg Antique and Flea Market said that the Jim Beam decanters which were confiscated by police Monday were collectors’ items — not hard liquor. 

“I’ve never heard of anything like this,” said Jim Laye, 44, who owns the market at 868 Lincoln Way West in Hamilton Township. “Everybody sells these decanters, not just me.” 

Laye and a 64-year-old St. Thomas woman are being investigated by the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement for possibly selling liquor without a license and possession of out-of-state liquor. 

Monday, an undercover enforcement officer purchased a Jim Beam train set

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He said that is was a gift for his father who collects the decanters,” Laye said. 

Police then confiscated the market’s 24 bottles and went to Laye’s Hamilton Township home and took 71 bottles from his personal collection. 

Police noted that some of the bottles were purchased out-of-state. 

“Most of my collection are personal gifts,” Laye said. “I have no idea where they came from.” 

The decanters are not worth as much money if the seals are broken and the alcohol emptied, he said. 

The seizure was prompted by a complaint and is required by law.

50 Years Ago

June 30, 1970 – Tuesday

“932 Professional Actors Seek Totem Pole Positions”

Franklin County’s history
WHAT A CHOICE: – Bill Putch, producer-director of Totem Pole Playhouse, jokingly says he could use a fishing rod to “cast” for his 20th season in Caledonia. A total of 932 actors and actresses, their “glossies” scattered here in Putch’s living room, have submitted sketches in hopes of landing jobs at Totem Pole. The new theater’s season opens July 18 with “Our Town.”

And everybody said he was opening too late in the season, that there would be little talent available.  


Bill Putch, producer-director of Totem Pole Playhouse, is astounded by the genuine desire of so many actors and actresses in New York who are practically crying for a crack at working at the new “playhouse in the pines.” 

Since February, Putch has received biographical sketches, critics’ clippings and “promo” photographs from 932 p r 0-fessional actors and actresses. All would like to do at least one play this summer at the new 400-seat rustic theater, or get the chance to spend the summer at the playhouse as members of the, resident company. 

Putch, in past years, spent the early part of May in New York in casting sessions for his ensuing season. However, ground was not broken for the playhouse until March 16, and he was not sure when he would be able to open the theater, so dismissed the idea of casting this year.

In lieu of the casting, he is relying on agents and “word of mouth” in obtaining a bumper crop of good talent. 

Totem Pole Playhouse is starting a new decade, its 20th season in the same atmosphere and locale, but in a new facility. The playhouse, sure to become a hallmark in summer theater (it’s the only one of its kind on the east coast) will officially open Saturday, July 18. 

Putch said the only appropriate vehicle to open this momentous season is “Our Town,” the tender play by Thornton Wilder. It will be dedicated to the people who have made this attractive and functional theater possible through eight months of sweat. 

The Totem Pole box office will open this Friday for reservations. 

The entire staff is returning to Caledonia, some already at work. 

The familiar faces include Howard Crampton-Smith, stage manager; his wife, Marilyn Maltby Smith, box office manager; Jake Schaff IV, technical director; Betty Knepper, stage decor; Pam Burcham, scenic artist; Tally Schaff, costume mistress. 

Putch is waiting until contracts are final, before announcing the cast of 28 people for “Our Town,” and the theater’s resident company for the season. He promises both “new and old faces.” 

“Our Town” will continue from July 18-25, followed by “The Front Page,” July 27-Aug. 1; “Boeing, Boeing,” Aug. 3-8: “South Pacific,” Aug. 10-22: “I Do, I Do,” Aug. 24-Sept. 5: Noel Coward’s three playlets, “Tonight at 8:30,” including “Red Peppers,” “Still Life” and “Fumed Oak,” Sept. 7-14, and “Champagne Complex,” Sept. 14-19. 

Shareholders of Totem Pole Playhouse, Inc. are meeting for dinner tonight at 6:30 in Graffenburg Inn. Final details of the season will be worked out. The annual meeting will be conducted, with election of five board members, presentation of the financial report and reorganization of the board. The group will tour the new playhouse, under the direction of Putch and John M. Hull III, who designed the edifice.

100 Years Ago

June 30, 1920  Wednesday

Strikers Place And Will Relieve Situation

Moulders are brought here to local industries”

With no indication that an agreement could be reached with the local moulders to persuade them to work, officials of the Chambersburg Engineering Company and the Wolf Company took action looking towards relieving the strike that had tied up local industries for more than a month. 

Twenty moulders have been employed from other places and divided between the two industries. Others are expected to arrive within a few days. 

A majority of the men who lost employment because of the strike have taken positions elswhere. The arrival of new moulders is expected to lessen the number of men, whose services necessarily would have been discontinued had other workmen not been procured.

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