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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 Feb. 16th.

25 Years Ago

February 16, 1995  Thursday

“Council sees visions for downtown”

Franklin Cpinty history
Herb Dolaway, recreation superintendent, suggested benches in rest areas and a play area for kids.

Downtown Chambersburg: Cultural arts center, bed and breakfast, historical museum, housing for the elderly and small speciality shops. 

For an hour Wednesday night, Borough Council and area residents and business people envisioned what downtown could look like in 10 to 15 years. 

Their strategy: Attract visitors, shoppers, workers and residents. They want to preserve downtown’s small town atmosphere, yet recognize its importance to the growth and economic development of the surrounding area. 

Suggestions were given to council for its consideration in reshaping the borough’s comprehensive plan a guide of what the borough is to be in the next 15 years. Council and the borough’s planning commission refer to it when considering land development, zoning and transportation matters. 

The Select Committee Focus Group, along with Delta Development Group Inc. of Camp Hill, put the suggestions together. 

“Downtown is vital … to Chambersburg and the surrounding area,” said G. Warren Elliott, chairman of the Greater Chambersburg 2000 Partnership. “It must grow and change with the surrounding communities, not in spite of them.”

A few residents had specific ideas: 

• Richard Harris, Montgomery Avenue: A walking-biking trail put in when the railroad tracks are removed, from the south end of the borough to Wilson College. 
• Ray Depuy, North Second Street: Green spaces near Conococheague and Falling Spring creeks. 
• Skip Jennings of Jennings Chevrolet Olds and Geo: Commercial development, especially office space.

Museum, arts center envisioned for downtown

Suggestions for improving downtown Chambersburg over the next 15 years focused on the borough’s heritage, culture and industrial development.  

They were presented Wednesday to Borough Council. 

Some that can be accomplished in a year or two, and possible locations: 

• Lincoln Highway Museum and Visitor Welcome Center: West side of the Conococheague Creek along U.S. 30, parking lot across U.S. 30 from Texas Lunch, West King Street near the Falling Spring, U.S. 30 near Memorial Square fountain. 
• Cultural arts center: Same area as the museum or close to Capitol Theater, which could be renovated to stage professional performances. 
• Bed and breakfast or small hotel: Where the Madden Hotel is on North Main Street, the parking lot across from Texas Lunch or West King Street near the Falling Spring. 
• Relocation of West Washington Street, which is part of Southgate Shopping Center’s expansion project. The street would go across the parking lot of International House of Pancakes, which will be torn down, to meet Queen Street. 
• Wilson College downtown center: Third floor of Valleybank, for computer training and continuing education classes.

Beautification of vacant lots with trees, shrubbery and plants. Long-term suggestions include: 
• Removing railroad tracks downtown. 
• Restore Grant Street roundhouse, a possible site for a new post office, which the committee will pursue with postal officials. 
• Developing a greenway along the Conococheague Creek from Queen Street to Wilson College, for fishing, picnicking and walking. 
• High-rise for the elderly: Washington House, empty lot at Lincoln Way East and Second Street, cold storage building at Kennedy and Grant streets and former Central Junior High School. 
• Extending Third Street through the old railroad yards to Broad Street. Parking facility for all types of vehicles: West side of Conococheague Creek near Hood Street. 
• Upgrading downtown public restrooms. 

The Select Committee Focus Group, along with Delta Development Group Inc. of Camp Hill, put the suggestions together. Members of the group represent government, property owners, business and merchants. 

The committee will look at the feasibility and funding of these suggestions in the next few months.

50 Years Ago

February 16, 1970 – Monday

“Cosmetology at Vo-Tech”

In cosmetology courses at Franklin County Vo-Tech School, students practice skills they will learn in their three-year, 1250-hour course prepares students to take the beautician’s state board examination.  Their studies include manicuring, care of hair and scalp permanent waving, hair styling, anatomy and physiology. 

Both theory and practice are obtained at the Vo-tech school, while the state required high school courses are taken at the students’ individual high school.

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100 Years Ago

100 Years Ago

February 16, 1920 – Monday

“Tests For Pupils Are Favored By School Heads”

Superintendents and Principals Have Profitable Session

The ‘ first ‘ regular meeting of Franklin County Association the School ‘Superintendents and Principals was held in the Waynesboro sensa-High School building on Saturday. 

The morning session began at 10 o’clock with almost every one of the principals of the county in attendance.  

The first topic on the program – “Better Efficiency In Teaching” was presented by J. C. McCullough, superintendent of the schools of Waynesboro. In a very able and interesting manner. At the conclusion of his remarks.

There was a general discussion of the subject in which ex-County Superintendent L. F. Benchoff, W. Morgan Cross, principal of the Greencastle High School and others participated. 

Superintendent of the Chambersburg schools, Mr. Gordy is much interested In this subject and has given it much consideration. Educational measurements are a series of tests given to children by which their mental status may be determined. A child or nine years or age may have the intellect of a child of six; consequently, he can grasp only such subjects as are adapted to a pupil f the former ago. These tests are engaging the attention of prominent educators at the present time and from them, it is hoped that much waste of time and energy may be eliminated.

Prof. Raifanlder, principal of the Lemasters High School, had been assigned the first topic on the program for the afternoon session, which convened at 1:30 but, owing to illness, he was unable to be present. 

The period was occupied by U. L. Gordy, who continued the discussion of “Educational Measurements” and answered numerous questions propounded by those eager to understand the system of tests. 

The last period was occupied by County Superintendent L.E. Smith, who outlined the “Relation Between the Supervisor and the Teacher” to a practical, comprehensive manner illustrated with concrete examples from his own experience. At the conclusion of his remarks the meeting adjourned. 

Both the morning and the afternoon sessions were replete with interest and all present seemed to be imbued with a sincere desire to increase the efficiency of the schools of the county and to advance the cause of education. 

It is probable that the next meeting of the association will be held here. 

Those present from Chambersburg on Saturday were: Supt. U. L. Gordy, A. C. Shuck, W. F. Zumbro, J. H. Shank, and Mlisses Kate Sheet, Bertha Schaff and Pauline Drawbaugh.

Local History

Looking Back: Franklin County’s history April 6th

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Learn what happened in our community 25, 50 and 100 years ago in this daily column by columnist Linda Osborn.
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