Franklin County’s history on July 20th
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 July 20th.
25 Years Ago
“Summers heat is brutalonpoultry”
Even though last weekend’s heat wave killed thousands of chickens and turkeys, local farmers are ready to count their losses and move on.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of a thing,” said Ronald Gay-man, co-owner of Hillside Poultry Farm in Chambersburg. “The mortality normally goes up when you have extreme heat.”
Gayman lost 3,000 chickens costing him around $2,000.
Temperatures reached 97 degrees in Chambersburg Saturday, and the humidity made it feel even hotter.
Farmers say the birds can usually withstand such heat for a day, as long as temperatures decline at night.
But that didn’t happen last week. And no method ofcooling the birds worked.
David Boyer, live production manager for Wampler-Longacre Inc., said Pennsylvania probably lost 60,000 turkeys last weekend.
“Hopefully it only happens once a summer.We haven’t had any losses to this magnitude since I’ve been with this company” for 14 years, he said.
The weather this weekend isreportedto be fairwith highs in the 80’s.
James T.Green, who runs a farm in Greencastle with8,200 turkeyssaid the most that ever died on him at one time was 36.On Saturday, he lost 473 about $800 straight out of his pocket.
“It’s a direct loss,” he said. “I could buy loss insurance, but it’snot going to happen enough times that it warrants it.”
The only way to keep the birds cool is to use fans, sprinklers or evaporative cooling systems.
Fans just pull in the hot air and sprinklers dampen the barn area and invite diseases.
“You just can’t cool them down,” Boyer said. “Physically it’s impossible to do anything about it.”
King said the best ventilation system in the world will cool the birds only to a point. He said it’s typical to lose 10 or 12 birds a day in the summer.
The market value of chickens, their eggs, and turkeys may go up slightly to make up for the loss.
But Boyer doesn’t think the loss will significantly affect prices, unless the national supply of turkeys drastically decreases.
“It will affect the price of eggs in the store,” Gayman said.“But it’s not going to be more than the customer can afford.”
50 Years Ago
“Mike Mort Winner of Soap Box Derby”
Zipping down the Soap Box Derby course on McKinley Street in the fastest times of the day, 12-year old Mike Mort swept to the 1970 Ohambersburg Soap Box Derby championshipSaturday afternoon.
In a hot but almost perfect afternoon, the little red-headed son of Mr. and Mrs. James Mort, 559 Rife St.,blistered down the block and a half racing stretch in a blue, streamlined racer sponsored by Dice Body Shop to take the first prize of a $500 U.S. Savings Bond and trophy and an expense paid trip to Akron, Ohio and the annual nationalchampionship.
Mike had to ward off the competition of 21 other youngsters between 11-15 years of age to cop the second annual event sponsored bythe local Jaycees.
Mort defeated Charles Hubley, ITI of St. Thomas for the championship which featured arun-off of two veterans from last year’s initial competition.
Hubley got the second place prize of a $100 U.S. Savings Bond and a trophy while Michael Park nailed down the third spot of a $50 Savings Bond (“It goes toward my college,” he commented) and a trophy.
Rick Vulgamott was the driver of the car winning the “Best Construction Award”which was sponsored by the Record Herald newspaper of Waynesboro.
While most of his opponents were taking their preliminary heats in time of 25.5 seconds or higher, Mont was burning up the 505 foot-stretch with impressive 25 flat time.
He actually kicked off all the competitionwith a first heat victory over DannyAllen and compiled four heat times of three 25 flats and 25.1.
In the semi finals, luckfollowed the young Mort closely as he drew a bye and had no real competition.
At that time, three boys remained and one of them had to stay out.Mart drew the bye andraced down solely to be assured of at least second place.
Then Hubley, who raced along with two of his brothers, guided his WCBG racer past Park’s Frick Co. car and into the championship.
But Mort scored a really impressive length victory over Hubley in competition where the difference of a half length is a big winning margin.The time25 flat, of course.
The race drew only approximately 800 people as compared to 1500 last yearThe drop in spectators, according to Jaycee president Joe Anthony, was due tohaving the event on Saturday this year as opposed to Sunday last year.
100 Years Ago
“To Put IX Safety Switch ON Waynesboro”
WAYNESBORO — Work will be started by the line force of the C. G. & W. trolley company Monday morning on a safety switch just above the curve and below Stop 2 on the Pen Mar mountain line that will preclude beyond doubt a repetition of the frightful accident caused by run away cars there some time ago.
A straight track, the switch of which will be always kept open, will run back up the mountain 600 feet and end against a pile of soft dirt or bumper where all runaways in future will go.