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Surveying Hershey

Field Survey Book Cover
Field Survey Book Cover

Last January (2011) the Archives received a collection of 226 field survey books created over the course of 70 years as Hershey engineering crews surveyed newly acquired land and recorded plans for bridges, roads, trolley lines, buildings and residential lots. Beginning with the first entry, dated June 22, 1902, the books document the development of the Hershey community as Milton Hershey planned and built his model town.

Within the books’ pages, you can trace the route of Hershey’s trolley system and see through whose property the trolley lines passed, see the footprint of the new chocolate factory and how it was placed on the designated land, follow the evolution of Hershey Park, the development of Hershey’s residential streets and lots, and see how the town grew and evolved.

In the Archives’ changing exhibit case located in the lobby of The Hershey Story, a new exhibit features four of the field survey books and connects the information in the books with other archival records to tell a story of Hershey’s past.

Hershey Chocolate factory expanded frequently to meet the growing demand for Hershey’s Milk Chocolate. An article in the Hershey Press noted the chocolate factory’s need for new power.

In 1924 the engineering department drew up plans for the new power plant including plans for a new smokestack. Later that year the powerhouse was enlarged with five new boilers and a new yellow-brick smokestack to meet increased demands for power to run the factory. Like Hershey Chocolate Company’s other smokestacks, plans called for “HERSHEY” to be spelled out in darker bricks.

If you are in the neighborhood, stop by The Hershey Story and check out the Archives’ exhibit case to see more examples from the Field Survey Book collection. It will be up through March 2012.

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