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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 September 7th.

25 Years Ago

September 7, 1994 – Wednesday

“Yard is a sure eye-catcher”

CHAMBERSBURG – Much tended lawn is dotted with antiques –   AS THE SUN CASTS LONG SHADOWS across their lawn, James and Helen Allen sit on their porch and watch the cars drive by. Every ten minutes or so, they smile and exchange waves with a driver. 

“Sometimes I just wave and then ask, ‘Who was that?’ ” said brown-haired Helen, 77, a retired waitress. 

Never reluctant to chat with strangers, the couple is well-known around Chambersburg. 

In his younger, more energetic days, James made extra money by mowing lawns around town. Now he spends his time on his front yard , which has become a conversation piece. 

“People come up to me and say how beautiful the place looks,” said James, 63, a retired railroad worker. “I tell them it takes a lot of work, but it’s worth it.” 

The yard at 546 Wayne Ave. was selected as Public Opinion s Yard of the Month for September. Members of Chambersburg Garden Club, Norland Garden Club and South Perm Area Rose Society participated in the judging. 

The recognition is overdue as far as Helen is concerned. “He deserves it,” she said. “He works hard out there.”

Although the Aliens don’t have a large yard, it’s tough to drive by without noticing it. 

That’s partly because of a 7-foot high antique railroad sign that reads, “Stop Listen Look” and the red and green lights that are turned on every night. 

“It looks beautiful at night ,” James said.

But the yard gets attention mostly because of its colorful flowers and well-trimmed bushes. 

James has planted about a dozen types of flowers in his yard. Impatiens and geraniums are his favorite, but orange and yellow marigolds dominate the yard. The marigolds are the tallest of the flowering plants, even taller than the yews and white pines, which James keeps below 2 feet.

James and Helen Allen have seen to it that motorists on Wayne Avenue have a pleasant view.
James and Helen Allen have seen to it that motorists on Wayne Avenue have a pleasant view.

50 Years Ago

September 7, 1969  Sunday

“Other Scenes Too”

Gettysburg is near the Pennsylvania Dutch country and serves as a center for other interesting activities. 

It can be reached from Pittsburgh by Route 30 through the Allegheny Mountains, which are verdant in late summer, tinged here and there with a brownis1′. hint of autumn. The heavily-laden peach trees are fruitful and remind one of the colorful grandeur of spring. 

A faster route is by the Turnpike to Breezewood, from which the motorist can take Route 30 through the attractive Chambersburg area which includes beautiful peach and apple orchards.

100 Years Ago

September 7, 1919  Sunday

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“FRANKLIN SCHOOL OPENS TODAY WITH OVER 400 PUPILS”

CHAMBERSBURG – After remaining closed for one week, owing to the prevalence of diphtheria in the neighborhood of prospective pupils, the Benjamin Franklin school in South Franklin street, will open this morning. The enrolment will near the 400 mark, and it is thought that some of the students will be transferred to another building. 

Superintendent U.L. Gordy announced last night that the teachers would be prepared to proceed with the medical examination on Tuesday and that it is hoped to begin the examinations not later than Wednesday of this week.

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