The flowers and trees are blooming and the weather is getting warmer. If you are looking to get outside for a breath of fresh air, how about a trip to NorloPark, located at 3050 Lincoln Way E. Fayetteville, right outside of Chambersburg?
Norlo Park offers beautiful natural areas, vast open spaces, and rich historic heritage. Once a dairy farm, known as Norlo Farm, was owned by the Sollenberger family for more than 130 years, with 143 acres of gently rolling farm land dissected by the English Valley Run, in the Village of Fayetteville.
On September 17, 1998, the Guilford Township Supervisors purchased Norlo Farm from N. Lane and Judy K. Sollenberger for the purpose of creating a public park.
Grab your family and head there for a game of horseshoes or kick the soccer ball around. Take the dog for a walk or let him/her enjoy playing in the dog park–one for large dogs and one for small. There is plenty of open space for kids to run and play. Or, it is great to just stroll around the park, enjoying the beauty of South Mountain. Or visit the Conococheague Audubon’s Native Plants Garden. The birds and pollinators enjoy it! Then, visit the restored railroad station and cars to learn a little bit of Cumberland Valley Railroad history.
Hungry? Then get take-out from Grace Pizza, Mexican/Southwestern cuisine, on Lincoln Way East and enjoy a “ready-made picnic” under one of pavilions the park has to offer.
Memorial Fountain in the center of Chambersburg is beautiful. It sits on the convergence of two major highways, Route 11 and Route 30—the Molly Pitcher Highway and the Lincoln Highway.
The Memorial Fountain has been standing, on the “diamond” since 1878, to honor the men who fought in the Civil War and as an enduring symbol of rebirth. The cast iron fountain is 26 feet tall and 30 feet wide, with five basins. Eight cast iron posts in the shape of cannon barrels were made at T.B. Wood and Company foundry, weighing 600 pounds each. On March 13, 1968, the fountain received extensive damage when the upper four basins collapsed due to heavy snow and strong winds.
In 1977, a restoration was made for the preservation of the fountain that cost nearly $50,000. The fountain was placed on the list of Pennsylvania Historic Places and in May 1978, was also added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Chambersburg was the only town north of the Mason-Dixon Line to be burned during the Civil War. The soldier that stands at the fountain represents the faithful Union soldier guarding the southern gate of the fountain.
Yes, it will be the name of the Franklin County Visitors Bureau’s new home–the 11/30 Visitors Center. But long before the visitors bureau took up residence at the crossroads of downtown Chambersburg, 11/30 was where Molly Pitcher Highway meets the Lincoln Highway. It is the Crossroads of the Country, one of the major American intersection with a storied history told throughout the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. It is Route 11–the Molly Pitcher Highway– and Route 30–the Lincoln Highway. It is the center of Franklin County and the Memorial Square of Chambersburg.
In the 18th century, 11/30 was the crossroads of the nation as Sots-Irish and German immigrants pushed the boundary of the frontier westward. As the century moved forward, 11/30 was a colonial gateway transporting early Americans toward their dreams of a better life. 11/30 was bustling with taverns and inns; liveries, wheelwrights, and blacksmiths, and stores with all forms of supplies for the journey to a new life.
In the 19th century, steam power brought the trains and 11/30 served as a busy hub for the newest mode of transportation. When Civil War touched the nation, the square of Chambersburg was the meeting place of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and his Commander of the Third Corps, General A.P. Hill. On this site, the Confederate leaders conferred on movement of the Union troops, changed plans to move towards Harrisburg, and decided to move east toward Gettysburg. The pivotal history that followed is well-known. Then, on July 30, 1864, a year later Confederates returned to Chambersburg, ransomed the town, and with the ransom not met, burned the core of town. American spirit prevailed, and the town rebuilt.
At the beginning of the 20th century as Americans discovered the automobile and the individual freedom it brought, their paths again traveled through this crossroads of the country–11/30, the meeting point of the oldest east-west road and one of the oldest north-south routes.
11/30 is Main Street America, reminiscent of a scene in a Rockwell painting. It is parades, festivals, and First Fridays. 11/30 is the launching point to explore Franklin County’s Franklin trails of history, arts and architecture, recreation, natural beauty, fresh foods and the warm hospitality of communities like Chambersburg, Greencastle, Mercersburg, Shippensburg, and Waynesboro.