Encyclopedia 2010

Mapping a Community: Hershey’s Sanborn Maps

Hershey Community Archives has a wonderful collection of maps and plans that document the construction of individual buildings and the development of the town and its infrastructure. While most of the maps and plans in the collection are original prints created by Hershey employees or companies hired by Hershey, the collection also includes maps created by third-party […]

Learning the Business

Milton Hershey launched his first business venture in Philadelphia in 1876, opening a confectionery shop and wholesale business. That year the city was hosting an international exposition celebrating the nation’s centennial anniversary. Hershey’s shop was located at 935 Spring Garden Street, a main pathway to Fairmount Park and the Centennial Exposition. Milton hoped to take […]

Learning a Trade

Many of us are not  familiar with the story of Milton Hershey’s youth; before his financial success. This Milton Hershey was the teenager who first discovered his gift for candy-making at Royer’s Ice Cream Parlor and Garden, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Milton Hershey’s first job was not as a confectioner but as a printer’s devil in 1871 for a […]

Mourning Milton Hershey

Until his death, Milton Hershey’s interest in new ideas and his concern for the well being of others remained a constant thread in his life. He lived to see the end of World War II and died on October 13, 1945, one month after his 88th birthday. True to his priorities, his will directed that his estate be […]

Hershey’s YMCA

The Y.M.C.A. [Young Men’s Christian Association] was first established in London, England in 1844, in response to poor living conditions resulting from the industrial revolution. The goal of the organization was the “improvement of the spiritual, mental, social and physical condition of young men.” YMCAs quickly spread to the United States. A chapter was established […]

Summer Fun: Hershey Park Swimming Pools

Hershey Park’s first concrete swimming pool was added in 1911. Completed in the fall, the pool served as an ice skating rink that winter and opened for its first swimming season in 1912. The pool was a popular destination and attracted 1000s of visitors both as users and spectators. A few years later the pool […]

Working in Hershey, Part 3

Hershey altered its hiring policies when needed. Employment guidelines were often overlooked and ignored when the need for employees was great. During World War II Hershey experienced a significant shortage of male employees as most men enlisted or were drafted into service. Women and teenagers who were often underage were hired to fill those vacancies. […]

Working in Hershey, Part 2

Finding work in Hershey was a simple matter during Milton Hershey’s lifetime. Hershey established a central employment bureau in 1915. From its inception until his retirement in 1962, it was managed by one man, John R. Zoll. This centralized system enabled Hershey to easily relocate employees from one division to another as needed. John Zoll was well […]

Protecting the Town: Hershey Volunteer Fire Company

The need for a variety of town services became apparent shortly after the Hershey Chocolate factory began operating in the summer of 1905. Hershey Volunteer Fire Company, our community’s oldest service organization, was first organized in August 1905 with Frank Snavely serving as the first president and Charles V. Glynn as the first fire chief. The volunteers […]

Working in Hershey, Part 1

Hershey Community Archives’ oral history collection is a rich resource for understanding the history of the community, its industries and activities. Excerpts of oral history interviews with factory workers, Hershey Estates employees, bookkeepers and bank tellers reveal what it is like to work in the “sweetest place on earth.” The stories of how people first got […]

Bigger and Faster: Hershey Park’s Comet Roller Coaster

The end of World War II was celebrated at Hershey Park with the addition of a new roller coaster, the Comet. Opening for the 1946 season, the Comet replaced the 1923 Wild Cat roller coaster. Like the park’s first coaster, this one was designed and constructed by Herbert Schmeck and the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. One unique feature of this […]

The Chocolate Factory is Just a Short Ride Away

By the late 1960s, traffic on Chocolate Avenue during the summer months was overwhelming. Tourists wanting to tour the Chocolate Factory and visit the park often created traffic jams. Downtown parking was limited. To ease congestion Hershey Estates and Hershey Chocolate Corporation agreed share the costs of constructing a Monorail that would link Hershey Park and downtown […]

Launching the sooperdooperLooper

The early years of the newly redesigned Hersheypark were filled with highs and lows. In 1972 Hurricane Agnes had closed the Park for nine days and caused it to suffer significant budget shortfalls. 1973 marked the new Park’s first truly successful season and erased all doubts about the wisdom of redeveloping Hersheypark as a themed amusement park. The energy […]

Taming “The Wild Cat”

Hershey celebrated its 20th anniversary in 1923, and Milton Hershey’s present to the town was a roller coaster. Initially, Hershey Park’s first roller coaster was called “The Joy Ride.” Within a short time its name was changed to “The Wild Cat.” The Wild Cat was nearly a mile in length and it had “more dips […]

“That’s a good bar”

In the 1920s Hershey Chocolate Company wanted to expand its product line and began experimenting with formulas for another nut bar. Samuel Hinkle, who began his career as a plant chemist in November 1924, spearheaded the company’s efforts. He shared vivid memories of developing the formula for Mr. Goodbar in 1925 in his 1975 oral […]

Providing for the Town’s Financial Needs: Hershey Trust Company

April 1905: Construction for the new chocolate factory had been completed during the winter and the factory was gearing up for full production. Construction of the Cocoa House had recently been completed. It provided housing and meals for single men as well as office space for a variety of businesses needed by the new town. […]

Serving Our Country: Hershey Chocolate’s Contributions to World War II

Hershey Chocolate products played a critical role supplying the military during World War II. Before the war Hershey Chocolate Corporation had worked with the United States Army Quartermaster Corps to develop the formula for a survival ration bar, labeled the Ration ‘D’ bar. After the United States entered the war, Hershey Chocolate Corporation produced millions of […]

Playing to Win: The Hershey Open Golf Tournament

Hershey Country Club was formally established when Milton Hershey hosted a dinner party at his home, High Point, for one hundred of his friends on April 27, 1930. Preceding dinner, Mr. Hershey announced he was donating his home to the new Hershey Country Club for use as a clubhouse. He went on to explain that […]

Welcoming Spring in Hershey: Easter Flower Shows

One of the highlights of Hershey’s Easter season were the flower displays presented each spring in conjunction with Easter. First presented in Milton Hershey’s private greenhouse in 1909, the displays grew more elaborate each year and expanded as new conservatories were built. The conservatories were open year round and were a popular destination in the […]

Saving High Point

In 1930 Hershey Country Club was established and Milton Hershey offered his home, High Point, as its clubhouse, retaining rooms on the second floor to use as a private apartment for himself. The Club converted the first floor rooms into dining rooms and built a free standing one-story structure as a men’s locker room. By […]

Golf for Hershey’s Youth: Juvenile Country Club

In 1932 Hershey added its most unusual course. The Juvenile Country Club [today Spring Creek Golf Club] was the only course in the United States dedicated to children under eighteen years old. Youth golf fees were $.35 and for an annual fee of $10, children had unlimited access to the Juvenile course. As a result, […]

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