Franklin County’s history on July 21st

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 July

50 YearsAgo

July 21, 1995 – Tuesday

“Corn’s here!”

Franklin County’s history
Christopher Cirilo Saldana picks corn at Rich Highland Orchard near Scotland Thursday.

Sweet corn. It’s Silver Queen. It’s Silverado. And it’s here two weeks early. And unlike chickens, turkeys and people, it’s been able to withstand the summer heat wave.

But it has taken a beating from the rain, says one local farmer.

“This was a wet spring,” said Wilma Mickey, co-owner of Shatzer Fruit Market, Chambersburg, who has about four acres of corn. “I don’t think ours is as good as I’ve seen it.” ​

But Bashar Jarjour, manager of Rich Highland Orchard, Chambersburg, said he has about 30 acres producing big, juicy, sweet ears.

Because of the rain and the mud this year, he needed two tractors to pull the sprayer. Corn is early this year because of farming technique, not nature.

Jarjour transplanted sprouts after starting them in a greenhouse.

Both Mickey and Jarjour used plastic sheets to help grow crops in the field. The plastic is laid flat on the soil and the corn is planted through holes in the plastic.

“You could gain two weeks because of the plastic,” Jarjour said. “It makes the soil really hot and that will help the seed to germinate faster. “But hot rain water is not good for the pollination. It invites beetles, he said.

Mickey doesn’t know why she’s had such a problem with birds this year. “The birds have destroyed a couple acres for us and we won’t get anything on it,” she said.

50 Years Ago

July 21, 1970 – Tuesday

Fayetteville – “Holland House ‘Haunted’ Only With Memories”

Franklin County history
Haunted History – This is the new home of Mr. & Mrs. Edgar Wenger in Fayettesville. Rumor has it haunted but no “haunts” have appeared to disrupt the life of its new owner

“We just bought an old home complete with ghosts,” Carolyn Wenger told friends and neighbors in Cocoa, Fla. The Wengers had just returned to Cocoa after a hurried trip to Chambersburg on a house hunting expedition.

The dream house that they found is located in Fayetteville on old Route 30.

In honor of previous owners, the Wingers have named it the Holland House. Edgar D. Wenger, 13 years at Cape Kennedy as a mathematics analyst, decided to move to Chambersburg as Safety Director for the T. M. Zimmerman Trucking Co.

The big problem was long distance house hunting. This was made easier by his grandmother Mrs. Ethel Ruch, who sent the Wengers a classified ad section of the Public Opinion.

Reading the ads over and over, Carolyn found just the house she wanted.

“I just knew it was the house,” she said.

In April they boarded a plane with one thought in mind, buying the house they fell in love with through classified ads. They could hardly wait to see their house.

Being very sensible, they went through the motions of looking at other homes, but all seemed pale by comparison.

Even stories of a hidden tunnel, and ghosts, only added to the beauty and character of Holland House, and made the Wengers all the more determined to buy it.


In fact, mention of a hidden tunnel coming from so many reliable sources, has been of great interest to the Wengers. Stories of the tunnel being used for escaped slaves, and leading from the Holland House to another house farther down Route 30 have caused the Wengers to view the grounds and basement with speculation.

Carolyn has even tried to look up records of old underground railway stations at the library, but has yet to find anything. The young Wengers, David, 14, Kim, 12, Eddie, 9, and Sean, 4, think of the tunnel as exciting.

Eddie especially enjoys playing a game entitled “C’mon let’s find the tunnel,” as he heads for the cellar with a pickaxe in hand. His favorite spot to dig is at the back of a dome- ceiling room connected to the main part of the basement, and used as a fruit room. Although he has a sizable hole in the wall, he has found only solid ground beyond. Oh well, there’s plenty of walls left.


Captivating stories of three different ghost inhabitants of Holland House have reached the ears of the Wenger family. Carolyn said.

“We of course didn’t tell the children about the ghosts for fear of scaring them, but they learned of the ghosts anyhow through other children.”

Although three ghosts have been mentioned, only two have descriptions. The first of which is a young, beautiful girl with long black hair, wearing a long flowing white gown. She was seen standing at the head of the stairs.

The second apparition is an elderly gentleman, slightly on the portly side, who was seen in an upstairs bedroom. Many strange happenings such as lights going off for no reason, cold spots, creaking floors, footsteps in the hall, have all added drama to the Holland House.


“I have been waiting patiently to be haunted,” said Carolyn, “but it appears that the ghosts like us.”

Working hard to restore the Holland House to its original period of time, and using furniture suited to the grand old house, Carolyn feels that not only do the ghosts (if there are any) like the Wengers, but they also like what is being done to the house.

The only parts of the house that make Carolyn feel uneasy, are the cellar and the attic. Only under dire threat will she venture there.

Doves have built a nest in the attic and the sudden swoop of their wings, and their cooing sounds were enough to make Carolyn decide to stay away from the attic.

Having the light go out for no reason only added to her decision.

Her second choice of places to stay out of is the cellar, which is quite dark and dreary. In one place there appears to be a row of mounds such as seen in a graveyard. Need I say more?

Although not having seen the slightest sign of a ghost as yet, Carolyn did have a very unusual dream. It occurred her first night home after a month long trip to Florida. In her dream the ghost was standing by her bed. He threw back his head and roared with laughter. It seemed to Carolyn that he was laughing with pleasure that she was finally home again.

The dream was so vivid that she could describe in great detail what the ghost looked like.

He was short, stout, on the bald side, wearing a grey herringbone suit and vest, with an ornate twisted rope, gold watch chain. The thing that stuck most in her mind was the unusual watch chain. ​


The Holland House is the perfect backdrop for the antiques that both Carolyn and Edgar treasure. They have recently opened an antique shop in their home, which of course is called Holland House Antiques.

Outside of unusual pieces of furniture for her own house, Carolyn’s main interest is in bottles. The shelves of her shop are lined with unusual finds.

The fourth annual antiques and art show sponsored by the Chambersburg Hospital Auxiliary on July 24 through 26 will be the first showing that the Wengers have entered into since moving to Pennsylvania.


Approximately 118 years old, the Holland House was at one time a tavern and stage coach stop. Over tine years, many additions have been built, until it now consists of 13 rooms. Still standing are a garage and summer kitchen, but the stables, barn and chicken house have been torn down for a number of years.

Tall white pillars dominate the front entrance of Holland House. Although the house is not completely restored, it is well on the way to the Victorian decor intended by the Wengers.

The elegant living room is done in soft pastels. The antique satin swag and jobot valances with matching draperies are celery edged with a satin avocado loop fringe. Underneath are matching celery sheer curtains.

In the center of the exceptionally large room is a fireplace, over which hangs an 1846 French Pastel. Behind the 100-year-old blue velvet chair stands a magnificant 1830 grandfathers clock of burled walnut.

The family room is dominated by a 1910 Tiffany shade light dropped from a center beam, featuring colors of green, bronze and creamy gold. The leaded glass sections are a pear an grape design.

The unusual 10-foot fan-shaped window has a lemon yellow color reflected in both the valance and drapes. Mounted between the two front windows is an antique medicine box belonging to one of the former residents, for whom the house was named, Dr. Holland.

The dining room, which is separated from the kitchen by French doors opening into a small butlers pantry, is accentuated by a large gold and crystal chandelier.

The dining room table, chairs and sideboard are hand carved German walnut, in a fruit, leaf and flower design. The marble topped sideboard is a study of fine wood, ​unusual rusty red marble, beveled glass, and mirrors, all of which can be taken apart in three pieces.

Four huge bedrooms and a quaint old-fashioned bath are on the second floor. A decoupage print of a lady delicately lifting her long flowing white gown to wade — seemingly in the Wengers old- fashioned legged tub — hangs on the wall of the bathroom.

Holland House, a house with a personality of its own.

100 Years Ago

July 21, 1920 — Wednesday


Because much fruit must be hauled over the road, which is now in bad shape, seventy citizens met at the bottom of T. C McDowell last night and took action, directing a commute to go to see State Highway Commissioner Sadler and ask that repairs made at once on route 341, the road leading from the Lincoln Highway to Mercersburg through Markes.

J. I. Finafrock presided at the meeting and everybody present agreed that this road now dangerously bad. The fruit, raised In the St. Thomas-Edenville section, is hauled over the road to the railroad depot at Lemasters.

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