Looking Back: Franklin County’s history May 27th

Franklin County’s history

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 May 27th.

25 Years Ago

May 27, 1996 – Monday

“New Visions builds home in Waynesboro”

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Residents on Waynesboro’s West North Street want to be good neighbors to 10 mentally ill people who will move into their new home in October.

However, they have a few worries about their new neighbors: How will they fit into the neighborhood? Will they cause trouble? Where will they park?

“When you don’t know someone or haven’t been in a situation like this, you have concerns,” said Melvin West, of 210 W. North St. “I think everyone is willing to give them a chance … to try to live with them.

New Visions Inc., formerly Chambersburg United Housing Inc., is building the two-story home for people with depression and schizophrenia. Each resident will have an apartment: bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom.

It’s the first home in Waynesboro for the mentally ill. Chambersburg has two. Pennsylvania has more than 100.

The agency, headquartered in Chambersburg, provides mental health services in Franklin and Fulton counties. Its supportive living program gives guidance in areas such as finances, medication management, housekeeping skills, transportation, socialization skills and job-hunting.

“They are not welfare people. They will be able to work and be a part of the community,” said Bonita Zehler, New Visions’ executive director.

“They are capable of living on their own, with some support, and need a home. There’s not much you can do with $6,500.”

Each resident has an average annual income of $6,500.

West, who lives next door to the home, credits the agency’s staff with easing residents’ fears and answering most questions.

They’ve kept us updated on what’s going on. They’ve talked to us individually,” said West, who’s favored the supportive housing project since it was introduced two years ago.

R.J. Fries, 208 W. North St., said she’s willing to give them a chance.

“The best thing to do is not panic,” she said.

However, Fries is still concerned about parking -a premium on West North Street. Most homes have two cars. A few have more.

“There’s already too many cars for this street … in this area,” Fries said. “It’s who gets here first.”

Zehler is aware of the parking problem. The home will have three spaces at the rear.

About 30 of the clients will have cars, she said. If needed, alternative parking will be found.

Joyce Staples, 216 W. North St., is crossing her fingers that everything will be OK. She has a brother with schizophrenia.

“I know about it. It’s not something I’ve read or heard about,” Staples said. “They can be OK. They can be nightmares. It depends on taking their medication. The people here won’t have 24-hour supervision.”

Zehler said that if these people needed 24-hour supervision, they’d be in New Visions’ group home in Chambersburg, which is licensed by the state Department of Public Welfare.

“They’re no more prone to violence than anyone else,” Zehler said.

Staples believes the area has better locations for the home, especially where the people can walk to grocery and department stores and pharmacy.

West North is three blocks from the square.

“There’s nothing left downtown,” she said. “I’m not happy about this but I hope to God it’s OK.”

50 Years Ago

May 27, 1971 – Thursday

“Motel Takes Shape”

Franklin County's history May 27th
The new restaurant, lounge, and motel being built in the Parnell Development of Loudon Road in Mercersburg, is beginning to take shape. Construction is being done by York firm.

100 Years Ago

May 27, 1921- Friday


The Klttochtinny Historical Society was entertained last night at the home of Dr. and Mrs. M. Kauffman of Kauffmans, the event being attended by more than 100 members and guests of the society.

The paper of the evening was read by O. C. Bowers of Lincoln Way Bast, who told Interestingly of Captain Jack, a noted Indian fighter, who resided in the vicinity of St. Thomas and Hamilton townships.

Mr. Bower’s paper was no less informative than interesting and showed the results of much research and careful preparation. Added interest was given the paper by a number of antiques from Captain Jack’s home, presented before the society by Cyrus Rumler of – Hamilton township.

Editor’s Notes: The following was found on the internet about Captain Jack of Pennsylvania:

“Captain James Jack(1731–1822) was a Revolutionary War officer best known for his ride from Charlotte to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia to deliver a copy of the Mecklenburg Resolves. He was the oldest son and one of nine children of Patrick and Lillis McAdoo Jack. His parents lived along the Conococheague River southwest of Chambersburg , Pa.

James Jack’s father, Patrick, was an Irish immigrant who first settled in Pennsylvania and in 1760 moved the family to North Carolina. James married Margaret Houston 1766 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina and to their union had five children.

James was a respected citizen and patriot and was chosen as a captain of the the local militia.
With resentment and tension running high in the colonies on May 20, 1775, the delegates of Mecklenburg County met and passed unanimously the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, aka the Mecklenburg Resolves, the 1st of the colonies to do so.


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