Looking Back: Franklin County’s history Oct 22nd

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 Oct 22nd.

25 Years Ago

October 22, 1996 –  Tuesday

“Clean sweep cuts chances of home fires”

Waynesboro  — Christopher Shatter George Brent of The Chimney Doctors, prepares to clean a chimney at the Jones residence on Geiser Avenue in Waynesboro Monday.  Brent has cleaned chimneys for 14 years.

50 Years Ago

October 22, 1971 – Saturday

“Penn Central to close Chambersburg reclamation plant”

County's history Oct 22nd
Penn Central’s Chambersburg Reclamation Plant

One of the area’s strongest industries in years past will close its last operating facility in Chambersburg early next year.  

The Penn Central Railroad notified 76 employees of the Chambersburg Reclamation Plant Thursday that the operation will be shifted to Canton, Ohio, February 1.  All local employees were urged to consider relocating in Canton at the railroad’s expense.

 A spokesman for Penn Central Corporation, Thomas Hoppins, explained the local reclamation plant is “the only one of its kind anywhere in the Penn Central System.”  Its function is to rebuild track units and materials for the system, thus saving costs of total replacement.

Hoppins said Penn Central officials decided last week to centralize the reclamation unit in the railroad system “to streamline operations.”  

He noted that Penn Central only has access to Chambersburg through Harrisburg.

Moving the plant, he said, would “put it virtually dead center on the system.”  He further explained that Canton was chosen because it is on the Penn Central main line between Pittsburgh and Chicago with easy access to Cleveland and Cincinnati.  This would reduce the cost and time of moving the rebuilt track materials to areas where they are most needed.

Hoppins said Penn Central would provide transportation to those considering the move “so they can become familiar with the town (Canton) and new operation.”  All moving expenses would be absorbed by the company which would also assist in the sale of any property owned by the moving employees.  He added the railroad hoped all would relocate because “we need everyone of them.”

Those not relocating would receive a lump severance pay based on their length of service and their current pay rates.

Local employees with enough seniority will be permitted to choose another location in the Cumberland Valley operation.  That would mean a move to either Harrisburg or Hagerstown.  Only two employees at the reclamation plant have the seniority for such a choice.

Plant supervisor J. J. Lowe said the average age of the 76 local employees is 51 years.  The last person hired was in 1962.

The annual plant payroll is estimated at $642,000.

Several plant employees said they expect to take the bus trip to Canton but noted that such a move would be “difficult” for a middle-aged man.  One added, “it’s just not easy for a man our age to pick-up and find another job.”

Penn Central’s decision to move the plant was apparently sudden.  William T. Coffield of the Chambersburg Area Chamber of Commerce noted that railroad officials indicated to him recently there were no plans to close or move its local operation.

The reclamation plant is the last of what was once a great railroad center.  In the past the old Pennsylvania Railroad maintained a locomotive repair shop and round house in Chambersburg and operated a power plant for commuter passenger service in the Cumberland Valley.  Freight and passenger service was also one of its main functions locally.

Although the power plant was demolished in 1965, many of the ghosts of a once great railroad era are still seen along Grant Street.  However, many of the old warehouses and service buildings are abandoned and in deteriorating condition.

100 Years Ago

October 22, 1921 Friday

“Mike Mowrey Is Picked Manager of 1922 Maroons”

County's history Oct 22nd

As the result of negotiations between the Chambersburg baseball and Mike Mowrey, looking to have Mowrey to become manager of the 1922 season of the Blue Ridge League, Mowery met with the directors last night and agreed to the terms offered.   Mike will be a playing manager, having assured the directors that his physical condition will permit his playing regularly.   It is likely under present conditions, that Mowery will play second base and Thompson will be used on the third sack.

Mowrey is without doubt the classiest player that has ever appeared in Blue Ridge circles.  After his big league experiences he went to Hagerstown as manager and season before last succeeded in copping a Pennant for that team. He resigned as manager there last season, following baseball troubles that developed in that place.  No direct blame was placed on him for the breaking of the league rule of too many class players.

At once the new manager will begin lining up players for next year’s try out.

The directors have received a check for $200 for Mike Mowrey, who was sold to the Louisville team. If Mike makes good in the faster company an additional $500 will be paid for him.

A letter was received from the president of the New Haven team, thanking the Maroons management for sending Pitcher Gramley for a trial, but stating that Gramley did not show up well enough to warrant giving him a berth next spring, in the try-out squad.

The grounds committee has decided to have sand placed on the field, so that the uneven places will be leveled.  

It was decided to stage an amateur minstrel show two nights, likely the second week In December.  The dates depend on when the stage at the Rosedale Theater is completed, made effective.  Technically the strike the show.


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