Looking Back: Franklin County’s History On April 4th

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 April 4th.

25 Years Ago

April 4, 1995  Tuesday

“Church Fire Is Arson – Official:  No suspects in St Paul’s Blaze”

Chambersburg – The estimated $6 million fire that destroyed St. Paul United Methodist Church Feb. 19 was started intentionally. 

Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal Mike Marchowsky announced the arson ruling Monday, but would not give details, except to say there are no suspects. 

The Rev. Harold Posey, pastor oi me 99-vear-old church at Queen and Second streets, called the ruling saddening.

“We are grieved, again, at the thought that somebody would burn our church. It is difficult to understand. We would certainly know that the person who would do something like that is very ill, and we would pray for that person, that they’d get the help that they need it.” 

Posey said church members also are concerned “that justice be done because of our concern for other churches’ property and other public and private property, for a person who would do this is a threat to others’ property and perhaps public safety. 

Posey had planned to announce the ruling at a congregational meeting of the church Monday night. The meeting at First United Methodist Church, 225 S. Second St., was already planned to name committees and subcommittees to study whether and how to rebuild the church.

The study, required by church policy, will look at projections for future membership, whether a new church is needed, and the design of a church to provide the level of programs and services needed, according to David Black, a church trustee. 

“That building has been there for 100 years,” Black said, “so we’re looking at what’s needed for the next 100 years. We just finished a strategic planning evaluation for the church that was tied in with our centennial celebration that’s coming up in a year or so.” 

Church members will be briefed on the study results and vote on whether, and how, to rebuild. 

“It probably will be two months until we have a decision,” Black said. 

Insurance will cover the cost of “full replacement” of the church, down to its stained glass windows. Trustees plan to meet tonight to discuss details of the fire marshal’s report and to finish tallying the financial loss for insurance purposes.

50 Years Ago

April 4, 1970  Saturday

Franklin county historu
ESQUIRES TO ENTERTAIN – The Esquires, an all-male ensemble, will be a featured group performing in the Chambersburg Area Senior High School Glee Club concert. Members of the group, from left, are Paul Lucas, instructor; Fletcher McClellan, Charles Seiders, Merle Frey, Howard Rife, David Kipe, Clay Criswell, Edward Wiser, Samuel Robertson and Allen Eshelman. The concert will be presented in the high school auditorium April 9 and 10 at 8 p.m. All seats are reserved. Tickets can be purchased from members of the Glee Club.

100 Years Ago

April 4, 1920  Sunday

“Baseball Fair To Be Held April 24.   

Chambersburg – It was the intention of the baseball fair, committee to open the fair on April 8, but owing to the remodeling being done in the room in South Main street another place had to be secured.  Through the kindness of T. Z. Minehart, the Chambersburg Electric Service Company and the Chambers-burg Auto Company, the fair will be held in the room in the Lurgan Building in Lincoln Way East. Back of this room is a large garage which will be used, thus making an ideal place for the fair, which will open on April 24. 

The fair committee Is well organized and is doing some big work to make this the biggest fair ever pulled off in this little burg. All the money will go towards the community field. 

It will be the means of starting what is sure be a great place for Chambersburg in a few years. The people who have already promised the committee to donate something for the fair will please take notice of the postponement of the time of opening.