Shippensburg Swing Band Holds Halloween Dance

Shippensburg Swing Band Holds Halloween Dance

The Shippensburg Swing Band will host the annual “Halloween Dinner and Dance” on Friday October 25, 2019 at Premier Events, 429 East Orange Street. The dinner is a full buffet from salad to dessert and starts at 7:00 p.m., followed by dancing, a basket raffle, and a costume contest starting at 8:00 p.m. Live music for dancing will be provided by the Shippensburg Swing Band. Proceeds from the event support scholarships for local high school musicians.

The Shippensburg Swing Band, under the direction of Vicki Baker, is a swing band located in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. Our musicians hail from Shippensburg, Newville, Chambersburg, Waynesboro, and other surrounding towns. It is part of a three-band organization: the Shippensburg Band, the Shippensburg Blaskapelle German Band and the Shippensburg Swing Band. The music selections span from the 1930s through the 1950s, concentrating on the 30s and 40s styles of music.

Tickets for dinner and dancing are $30 per individual or $10 for dancing only. Tickets can be purchased online at Proceeds from the dance, auction, and raffle goes towards providing music scholarships for local high school musicians. The Shippensburg Band is a 501c-3 non-profit organization.

Author Bob O’Connor Talks About Martin Delany at 11/30 Center at AppleFest 2019

Author Bob O’Connor Talks About Martin Delany at 11/30 Center at AppleFest 2019

The Franklin County Visitors Bureau invites the public to enjoy AppleFest in downtown Chambersburg on October 19 with a presentation of Martin Delany by author Bob O’Connor.

The Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center celebrates AppleFest in downtown Chambersburg on October 19 with a presentation about Martin Delany by author Bob O’Connor. The talk will be held in the second-floor Great Room, overlooking Memorial Square, at 2 PM.

Martin Delany, who was the highest ranking African-American field officer of the Civil War, lived on South Main Street in Chambersburg and attended school nearby. In addition to serving in the Civil War, Delany was a physician and author. He also worked with Frederick Douglass to co-publish the newspaper North Star.

O’Connor authored more than 15 non-fiction and historical fiction books with a focus on American history leading up to and encompassing the Civil War. He shares his interest and knowledge of this period in a podcast called the “The Chronicles of the American Civil War.”

The talk is free. Reserve a seat here.

AppleFest is the annual, autumn celebration of apples, one of Franklin County’s major crops. The festival opens at 9 AM, closes at 4 PM, and includes more than 100 vendors of crafts, arts, food, music and fun for the kids. In addition to the Delany presentation, the 11/30 Visitors Center will be playing five videos in the “video vault,” offer a children’s fall-fun activity, and be showcasing new exhibits in the lobby. Main Street stores will have specials and sales.

Franklin County Historical Society Hosts Haunted Old Jail

Franklin County Historical Society Hosts Haunted Old Jail

The Franklin County Historical Society will host “Halloween at the Haunted Jail” on October 25 & 26 and November 1 & 2 from 7-9:30pm.

Guests will encounter ghosts, goblins, and other haunts as they traverse four floors of the jail, including the three story cellblock and dungeon areas. The event has been expanded from last year, when over 2,000 people attended the event.

The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children 8 and under, payable at the door. Cash and credit are accepted.

The event benefits the nonprofit Society.

Call 717.264.1667 for information or visit

Built in 1818, The Old Jail is the home of the Franklin County Historical Society, founded in 1898. Each year the Society serves thousands through its tours, genealogy library, events, and educational presentations.

Contact:Jenny Shifler, or 717-264-1667

Weekend of October 5-6:  Community Uniting! – Salute to African American Heritage

Weekend of October 5-6: Community Uniting! – Salute to African American Heritage

Join Community Uniting! on Saturday, 10 Am to Noon, for a walking tour of Arican American sites in downtown Chambersburg. The weekend dedication continues on Sunday with Free Festival at the Franklin County Visitors Bureau from 2 PM to  PM. Activities for the African-American Heritage Weekendinclude:

Saturday Oct. 5, 10 a.m. – 12 Noon – Walk thru History!

Meet at St. James AME Church 510 So Main St, Chbg.

 Park on South St. lot btw Main & 2nd Sts. or at SCCAP on So. Main St.

Learn the history of South End Chambersburg:  3 Churches (St. James, John Wesley, Mt. Moriah), Mike Waters Park, Kerrstown Neighborhood, notable residents, & more!

12 pm Lunch at St. James – BYO or place a hoagie order ($8) on Saturday a.m.

Sites included on the walk are: St James AME Church, Marin Delany residence, Kerrstown Square, John Wesley AME, Frederick Douglas-John Brown meeting site, 1967 fair housing march, original Mt Morial Baptist Church, Liberty Street neighborhoods, Mike Waters Playground


Sunday, Oct. 6, 2 – 4 p.m. Free Festival!

at Franklin County Visitors Center on the Square, 15 South Main Street,

Storytelling – Joseph Winters: Local Inventor & Abolitionist

Gospel Dancers – Stepdancers – Music & Book-Talk & Book-Signing

Mask-Making   –   Refreshments   –   & More!

Spotlight on Mont Alto State Park

Spotlight on Mont Alto State Park

The “dog days” of summer are behind us and the crisp, cooler air of the fall season will soon give you an opportunity to enjoy some outdoor recreation among trees, bright with autumn colors.  Now is the perfect time to discover Mont Alto State Park.  Its quiet 24 acres features two pavilions, tables for picnicking, trails for hiking and the west branch of Antietam Creek, which runs through it, for trout fishing.

While it may not offer all the amenities of some larger state parks (i.e. swimming or camping facilities), a father with his six children I met while visiting the park called it, “Franklin County’s secret gem.”  Mont Alto State Park lies on both sides of Rt. 233, adjacent to the Mont Alto Campus of Penn State University.

The land was first occupied by the Mont Alto Charcoal Iron Furnace built in 1807 by Colonel Daniel Hughes and his sons on land granted to Hughes’ father by Lord Baltimore.  In 1864, the iron works was sold to a partnership headed by Colonel George B. Weistling of Harrisburg, who built a summer resort there, and in 1875, established the Mont Alto Park.

The park quickly became a popular mountain retreat.  On special occasions, it was not unusual for 8,000 to 10,000 people to come and enjoy what the park offered – a dance pavilion, kitchen facilities, secluded walking trails, swings, quoit and croquet grounds, a shooting gallery, picturesque springs, an overlook atop Oak Knob and a gymnasium.  The only structure remaining is the unique domed dance pavilion.  But as you walk through the surrounding mountain, you can still see many remnants of the past.

The park outlived the ironworks, which ceased operations in 1893, not long after the death of Mr. Wiestling.  The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania purchased the park and furnace lands, which became part of Michaux State Forest.  The park became Mont Alto State Forest Park, Pennsylvania’s first state park in 1902 and remains is the oldest park in the Pennsylvania state park system.  It was later renamed Mont Alto State Park.  George B. Wiestling’s house became the Commonwealth’s first forestry school, Mont Alto Forestry Academy.  Today it is the Mont Alto Campus of the Pennsylvania State University and the Wiestling home is still in use.

Much has changed over the years, but much has remained the same if you check out the trees, wildflowers, ferns and wildlife.  In my brief visit to the park, I came upon some jewelweed flowers and a reptile I had never seen before or even heard of – a blue-tailed skink lizard!

Go ahead, explore Franklin County!  You too may be surprised at what you will discover.

Special thanks to Franklin County CTA Nancy Godfrey, author of this spotlight article of Franklin County attractions.