On Saturday, February 23, the Franklin County Visitors Bureau, working in conjunction with the Western Maryland African American Association, welcomes Dr. Arnold Hence with his collection of images of Hallowed Grounds, a collection of civil rights and African-American historic sites. The presentation will be held from 1 PM to 3 PM in the second floor Great Room of the Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center. FCVB will give a virtual tour of more than a dozen significant African-American and Underground Railroad sites of Franklin County from 10 AM to Noon.
Dr. Arnold T. Hence has been “taking” pictures since the 8th grade when his mom gave him an old Polaroid camera, and “making” pictures for the past fifteen years. His photographic interests have been shaped by his life experiences. Dr. Hence retired as Executive Vice President of Forsyth Technical Community in January 2010 after serving 36 years in higher education. Since retiring he devotes more time and energy to photography, with one of his pictures having won a first place and judges’ choice award at the Dixie Classic Fair in Winston Salem, NC. While he has “bags and albums” full of pictures from the “pre-digital” era, his photographic interests for the past several years have included a growing civil rights and historic sites collection, landscapes, weddings, special events, and classic cars.. He is a former juried member of the Winston Salem Craft Guild and former Board member of The Associated Artists of Winston Salem. He has had solo exhibitions at The International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, NC and the Apple Gallery in Danbury, NC.
After leaving high school in the 11th grade, he joined the U.S. Army where he served for seven years specializing in radar and computer repair. Following his discharge from the Army he did stints as a salesman, auto mechanic, electronics technician and part time musician to support his family. He once played at the famed Apollo theater behind legendary blues singer Al Green, early in his career. In 1972 he was one of nine people selected from the across the United States by the late Dr. Samuel DeWitt Proctor to receive a Graduate Fellowship to the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education without having a baccalaureate degree based on life experience. He has since earned Master’s and doctoral degrees in education from Rutgers University.
Born in Jackson, Michigan he was raised in Minneapolis, MN. His other hobbies include boating, music, and writing. He and his wife Anna, have two children and three grandchildren. Dr. Hence is also an ordained minister
Franklin County Visitors Bureau invites all to explore African American history in celebration of Black History Month and throughout the year.
Franklin County Visitors Bureau is highlighting February as National Black History Month, Library Lover’s Month, and Great American Pie Month. Of course, on the surface, it may seem there is nothing that these celebrations have in common. But, all of these celebrations bring attention to February, and all are strong focuses for Franklin County PA.
Black History Month is an annual focal point of the Franklin County Visitors Bureau. In 2018, the visitor bureau recommends viewing its Road to Freedom video to understand how important the area was as a route for escaping enslaved. The video can be viewed here. In addition, Franklin County Visitors Bureau recommends the Franklin County Historical Society’s presentation by author, pastor, and teacher Ed Maliskas on his book, “John Brown to James Brown – The Little Farm Where Liberty Budded, Blossomed, and Boogied” on Saturday, February 24 from 1-3pm. Maliskas will discuss the story of a small farm in Washington County from which John Brown led his famous raid. The property was later purchased by the Black Elks and hosted dances featuring James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and many other famous artists. Appropriately, the event will take place at the John Brown House on 225 East King Street in Chambersburg, which was the northern headquarters of John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry. Maliskas will have copies of his book for sale.
Library Lovers Month is a must-celebrate for Franklin County PA. The county is home to more than a dozen libraries—from county-supported libraries, community libraries, bookmobiles, college libraries, and Little Free Libraries. It is a good month to visit libraries, support with donations, and volunteer time. For Franklin County, the newly renovated Coyle Free Library in downtown Chambersburg is an asset to local residents and a welcome destination for visitors to Franklin County.
Finally, with the fresh fruit of Franklin County, celebrating February as Great American Pie Month is easy to understand. Throughout February, Franklin County Visitors Bureau plans to offer its favorite pie recipes on Facebook.com/FCVBen, incorporating the fresh fruits of Franklin County such as peaches, apples, blueberries, raspberries, pears, and even a delicious milk pie to recognize Franklin County cows are the second highest producers of milk in PA.
Explore Franklin County PA and celebrate Black History Month, Library Lovers Month, and Great American Pie Month. Enjoy trails of history, arts and architecture, recreation, natural beauty, fresh foods, and the warm hospitality of communities like Chambersburg, Greencastle, Mercersburg, Shippensburg, and Waynesboro. Franklin County PA is located just north of the Mason Dixon Line and is an easy drive to Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Explore more here or contact 866.646.8060 for help putting together your visit.