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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 August 14th.

25 Years Ago

August 14, 1994 – Saturday

CSX employee Vincent Shambaugh welds rails Thursday along the railroad tracks near Lincoln Way West.
CSX employee Vincent Shambaugh welds rails Thursday along the railroad tracks near Lincoln Way West.

50 Years Ago

August 14, 1969 – Thursday

“Red Bridge Amusement Park: Where Fun and Frolic Reigned”

CHAMBERSBURG – The days of the trolley car are long passed and have been replaced by more revolutionary means of travel. The heyday of the so called “trolley car parks” has also passed into oblivion, leaving remnants of crowded, fun filled days of the past.

Red Bridge Park was one such trolley car park, started by a railway (trolley company) to instigate use of its line from Chambersburg and the neighboring areas to Red Bridge Park.

Red Bridge Park was established early in 1911 as a project of the former Chambersburg and Shippensburg Railway Company, although it was owned at the time by the Franklin Realty Company

H. B M.cNulty, secretary of the railway company, was the promoter of the park development. McNuIty was also a director of the older Chambersburg, Greencastle, and Waynesboro Street Railway, the first trolley company to operate in the Chambersburg area.

The Chambersburg, Greencastle, and Waynesboro Street Railway tried to develop Red Bridge Park into a popular resort park patterned after the successful Pen – Mar Park. The northern end of the C. G. and W line ended at Red Bridge Park, giving the railway an opportunity to establish the resort area.

Red Bridge Park did not begin to become an established resort, however, until 1913 when the Chambersburg and Shippensburg Railway company leased the track to the park from C. G. and W .The train branched from the parent line at Second Street, then to Broad Street, Wilson Avenue, and Ramsey Avenue, crossing Route 11 at the Siloam Road.

In April of 1913, C. and S. purchased 28.47 acres of land from ., the Franklin Realty Company. The tract included the 16 acres of Red Bridge Park and the land to the south used for county fairs. In the same year the buildings were purchased from C. G. and W.

A July 6, 1914 issue of Public Opinion pointed out the growth in popularity of the park, “It is beginning to dawn on local folks that the Chambersburg and Shippensburg Trolley Company management has provided a pretty nifty park for its patrons. The steady work on the part of the management to increase the recreational facilities at Red Bridge Park is beginning to tell in the way it should by an increased use of the park by local people.”

PARK RECREATION

In the early days of the trolley car park, Red Bridge Park offered many forms of recreation for those who wanted to brave the trolley” car ride to the park.

For a fare, ranging from a nickel to twenty cents, any Chambersburg area resident could take a trolley to the park for a day’s outing. The motormen for the trolleys received 16 cents an hour for their work.

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Refreshment Stand was Popular Spot in Park
Refreshment Stand was Popular Spot in Park

A dance pavilion was the main feature for evening entertainment and the park had orchestras to provide the music. W. W. Diffenderfer was the popular dance instructor for those who wanted to learn the dances of that era waltz, polka, gavotte, schottische, and later, one step, fox trot, and Charleston.

Youngsters Enjoyed the Old Carousel
Youngsters Enjoyed the Old Carousel

Picnicking was also a daily activity and picnickers trooped to the park laden with picnic baskets and other paraphernalia.

Only Ride Left in Park
Only Ride Left in Park

Family picnics and reunions were quite popular at Red Bridge Park and pavilions provided an escape from the sun and rain.

100 Years Ago

August 14, 1919 – Thursday

WAYNESBORO NEW BANK ONE STORY

That a one-story bank building, for banking purposes only, is to grace the Hotel Werner corner, was the decision arrived at today by the board of directors of the Peoples National Bank at the regular weekly meeting.

William G. Nolting, of the firm of Wyatt and Nolting, Baltimore architects, was here and met with the bank officers in considering the question that led to the final decision to let the site purchased recently for a fine bank structure.

For a time the bank directors were almost unanimous in their desire to build a building of five or slx stories, the upper floors to be used for living apartments.

The building will front about forty-three feet on Main street and will have a depth of 111 feet. The height will be from twenty-five to thirty feet on the interior, while the exterior height cannot be known until the style of architecture has been decided. It will be of stone, perhaps white marble.

Looking Back

Looking Back: It Happened on August 24th

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 August 24th.

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