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 31st.
25 Years Ago
May 31, 1995 – Wednesday
“SSVC at 100: A century of second chances”
Scotland School for Veterans Children is not just another private school on a sprawling campus.
The cost of educating a student is about the same, but many students come from the inner city and taxpayers foot the bill.
Although educating and housing students is costly — about $25,000 a year per student, paid for by the state — it is worthwhile, say alumni and students.
Thursday marks the 100th anniversary of the school, a celebration that deserves more a few fireworks.
“The worth has been proven. People just don’t realize it,” said Don Cooper Sr., a 1941 graduate and retired teacher of the school.
About 64 of graduates go on to further education, while 20 enter the military. Once a school for orphans of veterans. Scotland School educates children whose parent or guardian is a deceased or honorably discharged veteran of the armed forces. Most of the students come from single-parent, low-income homes from the Philadelphia area. Some are inner-city youth. They say Scotland provides them with opportunities they wouldn’t have had at home.
Charles Hill, a senior, doesn’t think he would be attending college this fall if he didn’t attend Scotland for the past eight years.
“Scotland is good for kids that don’t really know what they’re doing in school,” he said. “I know with me, I wasn’t a good student. I was a somewhat below-average student. And I think if I was sent to school (at home) I don’t think I would have done good.
“There’s not a lot of distractions that keep you away from your books.”
“I’m just completing exit interviews with 34 seniors,” said C. Frank Frame, the school’s superintendent. “I ask ‘Has Scotland School helped you and how?’ . . . They all say ‘Yes’ . . . and mostly it provides them with consistency, with the opportunity to develop self-discipline, the ability to focus on an education and not worry about what’s going to happen.”
When the state threatened to close the school in 1991, alumni, veterans and parents fought.
They knew the value of the school that nurtured and educated the children of those who served or died for their country.
The fight brought victory to Scotland, but not without a price. They eliminated some programs and the first and second grades.
Many students say the school gives them hope, Frame said. “Before they came here, they had no hope of going on to further education. But once they get here and get established they have confidence in going on.”
Maurice “Cap” Heckler graduated from Scotland ia 1923 and eventually became an assistant superintendent. At age 90, he remembers why his father, a veteran of the Spanish-American War, decided to send him to Scotland. Other parents send their children for the same reason.
“They know that they’re going to have a good education and they know where they are day and night,” Heckler said. “They’re not running around. I always thought the respect for authority was what impressed me.”
Editor’s Note: Beginning as a school for Civil War orphans, the Scotland School for Veterans’ Children became a unique center for education in the heart of Pennsylvania. The school aimed to develop disciplined, patriotic and productive citizens. As the nation became engulfed in the wars of the twentieth century, the Scotland School became even more vital, with a focus on educating the children and orphans of military veterans. Though it was closed by the state in 2009, memories of the school and its community of alumni remain vibrant.
50 Years Ago
May 31, 1970 – Sunday
“State Park Beaches Open”
State parks prepared swimming facilities for me Memorial Day holiday and for the coming summer months, area spokesmen said today.
Caledonia State Park opened its facilities at noon Saturday. The pool will be open daily from 12 noon to 7 p.m. throughout the summer, weather permitting, until the close of the season on Labor Day.
Cowan’s Gap State Park reports that swimming was opened at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. on Memorial Day and daily throughout the summer.
Pine Grove Furnace State Park opened its beaches for swimming Saturday at 10 a.m. and will remain open until 8 p.m. This schedule will be followed during the summer.
100 Years Ago
May 31, 1920 – Monday
“SPACE FOR CLASS DAY IS LIMITED”
Chambersburg – The Class Day exercises at the high school will be held tomorrow night at 8 o’clock in the high school auditorium. Five hundred tickets have been issued for reserve seats by members of the graduating class to friends and relatives.
Superintendent Gordy announced last night that persons arriving at the auditorium before 7:45 o’clock will be ushered to seats, other than the 500 reserved ones, but that those coming after that time will have the choice of any seat then vacant.