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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 Dec. 2nd.


December 2, 1994 – Friday

“Mercersburg to light tree” 

Franklin county history

MERCERSBURG – Santa Claus will land his sleigh at the Mercersburg Montgomery Peters and Warren Fire Company to kick off the Christmas festivities tonight.

Mayor Tom Ralston will light the. Christmas tree about 6:10 p.m., with the Mercersburg Academy singers ringing in the holiday season. 

Mercersburg Jaycees 1 will serve hot cocoa and cookies. The Jaycees will collect donations for Santa’s toy box.


December 2, 1969  Tuesday

“Log Cabin Inn to be Removed”

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Franklin county history
Post Card of The Log Cabin Inn 

The Log Cabin Inn, an established part of Caledonia State Park facilities since its inception in 1924, has been declared a “liability to the Commonwealth”‘ by the Department of Forests and Waters. Steps for its removal have been initiated. 

The Department’s action is results from the Inn’s failure to meet department of Health requirements and physical deteriorations of the building. As a result of a Sanitation Inspection Report dated August 1, 1939, the kitchen and the dining room of the Inn were closed to the “public on August 14 until ten violations had been corrected.

Now according to a Department of Forests and Waters letter to Representative William O. Shuman, “All approvals for removal have been received and the Department will soon advertise, locally, the public sale of the Inn. 

A main argument for removal of the Inn stems from the amount of funds that would have to be invested into repairs and remodeling to meet Health Department requirements. 

In the Department’s letter to Shuman. this reason set forth: “Our estimate to adequately satisfy the Department of Health’s requirements, as well as ether physical deteriorations reported by cur personnel, (generally include: roof, bearing supports, ceilings, plumbing, electrical and heating systems and fire escapes), would amount to an expenditure of $50-60,000 which we cannot provide.” 

A ten-year lease on the Inn to extend from June 10, 19G4, to June 10, 1974, is currently held by Sidney Palmer, but was canceled October 15, 1S69 due to the condition of the building itself. 

The Log Cabin Inn was established in 1924 by Frank E. Etter, Queen Street, who secured a lease from the State on a two-and-one-half-story building which had been used by James Shepard as a combination home, grocery store, and headquarters for his taxi service.

Etter, at his own expense, erected the log inn adjacent to the frame building and operated the Inn until the lease was canceled and the State took control. In the years that followed, the inn was operated by Harold Heckman. Chambersburg: William Flood, Mont Alto: A. V. Rock, Waynesboro: Arthur Burry. York: and Raymond Zwiebel, Chambersburg. in 1933. 

In April of 1934, officials of the State Department of Forests and Waters announced plans to dismantle the Inn were being prepared in the Michaux District Forest office, but no definite date was set. The Leg Cabin Inn seems to have survived these plans, but is once again confronted with removal. 

The Department of Forests and Waters expressed” the opinion the removal of the building “will probably generate private restaurant interests, new and or expansion’, outside the park.” 

The Department aptly slated. “This old structure served reasonably well through the years.” but indicated that the Log Cabin Inn had outlived its usefulness to the Caledonia State Park.

100 Years Ago

December 2, 1919 – Tuesday


-Will Use Old Factory to Start Business 

While Gettysburg has been gaining new industries it has also lost one, for the foundry owns and formerly conducted by Calvin Gilbert, in Buford street, has been sold to a newly organized company and the entire plant will be moved to – Chambersburg. 

The company, whlch composed of H.J. Bendersville  as president,  and John Nute and A. Julian McGehee or Chambersburg, has made final arrangements for the removal of the equipment. The purchase price was $15,000. 

Three carloads of machinery have already been shipped to Chambersburg and the remainder, about two carloads, will be ready for shipment next week. It is the intention of the firm, which will be to know a the Gulden, Nine and McGehee Company, to specialize in foundry and machinery work.

By the above transaction the new firm brings back to town some of the equipment which was formerly her Captain Calvin Gilbert years ago removing his foundry from the Ebersole building in Lincoln Way West to Gettysburg, where he did. much casting work for the U.S. government, making the cannon carriages and markers for the battlefield. 

The new firm has purchased from Jonas Dice the old barrel factory in Broad Street, near Second, and the Gettysburg equipment is now being placed in it.

* EDITOR’S NOTE: A foundry is a factory that produces metal castings.  Metals are cast into shapes by melting them into a liquid, pouring the metal into a mold, and removing the mold material after the metal has solidified as it cools. The most common metals processed are aluminium and cast 

Local History

Franklin County’s history May 25th

Take a look back at Franklin County’s history through news and photos that appeared in local newspapers 25, 50, and 100 years...
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