Mercersburg Academy Chapel

Mercersburg Academy Chapel

Towering over the quaint town of Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, The Irvine Chapel at the Mercersburg Academy was erected between 1924-1926.  Designed by Ralph Adam Cram, The Chapel is filled with oak carvings and contains 36 unique stained-glass windows designed and executed by 8 different stained-glass makers from England, Ireland and the United States.  It was dedicated in 1926 to the memory of the Mercersburg Alumni killed in World War I and to the mothers that had sent their children to the Mercersburg Academy.  The Chapel was rededicated in 1993 as the Irvine Memorial Chapel.

One of 163 traditional carillons in the United States, The Swoope Carillon in Barker Tower contains 50 bells. The original 43 bronze bells were cast in 1926, a gift of Henry B. Swoope (1900).  The bells contain bits of historic metal collected worldwide by alumni and friends of the school, including copper coins, metal from the ship “Old Ironsides,” pieces of artillery shells gathered from the fields of France in World War I, a shaving from the Liberty Bell, and bits from Admiral Nelson’s flagship at Trafalgar, “HMS Victory. “The addition of 6 new upper bells added in 1996, brought the total to 49 bells ranging in size from 10 pounds to more than three-and-a-half tons, which ranks it 43rd in weight of the largest (lowest pitched) bell. The carillon’s tower was named in honor of Bryan Baker, who played it for more than five decades, in 1978. In 2003, the 50th bell was added and dedicated to James W. Smith.

Story contributed by Leisa McCracken

Fun For Kid & Adult Colorers:  Mercersburg Academy Chapel Coloring Sheet

Remembering Veterans in Franklin County

Remembering Veterans in Franklin County

Franklin County Visitors Bureau (FCVB) invites the public to remember veterans throughout Franklin County this November. Waynesboro, in southeast Franklin County, is honoring local veterans with Hometown Heroes banners throughout the downtown. The banner initiative pays tribute to the contributions of Waynesboro area veterans.

The November 2nd First Friday in downtown Chambersburg is dedicated to remembering and honoring veterans. Brussels Café, 55 North Main, commemorates service men and women with a remembrance of the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI. U.S. Army Retired Colonel Doug Mastriano, author of Alvin York: A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne and Argonne: A New History of America’s Greatest Battle will be discussing his work and signing books throughout the evening. Alvin York: A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne received the William E. Colby Military Writers’ Award in 2015.

Allison-Antrim Museum, on Ridge Avenue in Greencastle, is commemorating the end of the Great War with a fall exhibit from its collection of uniform items and photographs of native sons. In addition, WWI recruiting posters, trench art, souvenirs, Prussian helmets, rifle bayonets, a slide show of WWI photographs from France and Germany are on exhibit through November 23, 2018. Allison-Antrim Museum is open regularly Tuesday to Friday, noon to 4 pm and Saturday, 11 am to 1 pm.

On November 24, as part of the grand opening of the Franklin County 11/30 Center, 15 South Main Street, local historian Mike Marotte will tell the story of WWI and its ending through the original source letters of a local resident. In addition, a feature exhibit of the new center will remember the impacts of WWI in Franklin County.

In November and throughout the year, visitors to Franklin County are invited to explore the Franklin County Military Trail of History. In Franklin County and throughout the country the local stories are the national contributions. The Military Trail guidebook is available online here or by contacting FCVB at 866.646.8060.