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HersheyArchives@30-17 Meet you at the movies: Seeing Wonders

 

Specially sized postcards promoting the town of Hershey were included with Hershey's Milk Chocolate bars. ca1915-1920

Specially sized postcards promoting the town of Hershey were included with Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars. ca1915-1920

 

While he did not make use of print or radio media advertising, Milton Hershey was interested in promoting his model town and its amenities and attractions. He believed that the town and the chocolate business were intertwined and promoting one benefited the other.

 

Milton Hershey was an innovator and was inspired by new ideas and methods.

 

The immense popularity of movies in the 1930s encouraged Milton Hershey to experiment with them to promote his model community, and his chocolate business.

 

Hershey hired Don Malkames, a successful filmmaker from Hazelton, Pennsylvania, to create a film about Hershey.

 

In 1932, “The Gift of Montezuma” was released.  Distributed to public schools and community groups across the United States, this film told the story of Milton Hershey’s model town, the process of making milk chocolate and the beneficiary of Hershey’s success, Hershey Industrial School (today Milton Hershey School).

 

The following year, buoyed by the success of his first film, Milton Hershey decided to make a second film.  Once again directed by Malkames.

 

 

Unlike “Gift of Montezuma,” this short (less than 11 minutes) film, “Seeing Wonders,” was more like a travelogue. The film promoted Hershey as a model town and a destination. Significantly, Lowell Thomas, a nationally known broadcaster, was tapped to narrate the film.

 

“Seeing Wonders” celebrated Hershey’s continued growth and success during a period of national economic collapse. The film was designed to inform, inspire and encourage viewers to visit Milton Hershey’s model town.

 

 

The movie takes viewers on a tour of the model town’s comfortable homes and happy children.  The newly built Hershey Community Building, with its extensive recreational facilities is highlighted.

 

 

Hershey Park’s extensive recreational facilities were also featured including the zoo, amusement rides, entertainment, and recently built swimming pool.

 

 

The movie was filmed just after The Hotel Hershey opened.  In his narration, Lowell Thomas referred to The Hotel Hershey as “a palace, a palace that out-palaces the palaces of the maharajas of India.”

 

 

Throughout the movie, there are continual references to the Hershey Industrial School and the boys that are being cared for there.  As Lowell Thomas notes, the school “is the real meaning of the city that is a dream come true.”

 

#HersheyArchives@30

HersheyArchives@30-16 Building a year round destination for entertainment: Hershey Theatre

Hershey Theatre, opening weekend program, September 1-4, 1933

Hershey Theatre, opening weekend program, September 1-4, 1933

 

In 1915, Hershey had his architect, C. Emlen Urban, draw up plans for a new community building.

 

Architect's drawing, Hershey Community Building. 1915

Architect’s drawing, Hershey Community Building. 1915

 

The building was to include a dining room, cafeteria, gymnasium, swimming pool, assembly rooms, a dormitory, a hospital, and two theaters: a small theater for local productions and a large, 2000 seat professional theater.  Groundbreaking was scheduled for early 1916 but the arrival of World War I delayed the start of the project.  The architect’s plans were put away and virtually forgotten.

 

Community Building and Theatre construction crew, 5/6/1932

Community Building and Theatre construction crew, 5/6/1932

 

As the 1930s Great Depression overwhelmed the country’s economy, Milton Hershey responded to the economic crisis by initiating a local building program, better known as the Great Building Campaign.  Hershey’s building boom provided employment for over 600 workers who otherwise would have been unemployed and built many of this community’s most impressive structures.

 

Hershey Theatre, Auditorium outer wall elevation. 12/30/1931. Origianl drawing by architect C. Emlen Urban

Hershey Theatre, Auditorium outer wall elevation. 12/30/1931. Origianl drawing by architect C. Emlen Urban

 

The original 1915 plans for the Community Building and Theatre were dusted off and workers broke ground in 1928.  Work was completed in 1933. Hershey dedicated its new Community Center and Theatre, during the town’s thirtieth anniversary celebration held September 1-4, 1933.

 

Hershey Theatre stage, with fire curtain visible. 1934

Hershey Theatre stage, with fire curtain visible. 1934

 

Hershey Theatre was built just about the time that New York City’s Radio City Music Hall was constructed.  That performance hall’s stark art deco’s design stands in sharp contrast with Hershey Theatre’s interior.  Since the Theatre was built from plans developed 18 years earlier, its design more closely resembles the opulence of early twentieth century theaters.

 

Hershey Theatre Grand Lobby, ca1935

Hershey Theatre Grand Lobby, ca1935

 

The grand lobby is a lavish entrance to a romantic, European space. The lobby floors are laid with polished Italian lava rock.  Four different types of marble shape the walls and arches.   Solid brass doors open to the inner foyer, with its intricate blue and gold mosaic ceiling, patterned after St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice, Italy.

 

In the orchestra, or main level of the auditorium, the theatre’s design theme is fully revealed as the grand style of Venice, Italy. The six-ton fire curtain features a painting of the city of Venice, with its Grand Canal slowly flowing past Doge’s Palace.  The Theatre’s ceiling was specially constructed to create the illusion of being in an outside space.

The Theatre features a four-manual 78 rank Aeolian-Skinner concert organ.  The organ’s more than 4,715 pipes and 25 bells are concealed behind the French doors of the front balconies facing either side of the stage.

 

Hershey Theatre, opening weekend program, September 1-4, 1933

Hershey Theatre, opening weekend program, September 1-4, 1933

 

To showcase the new Theatre, a series of concerts, lectures and performances were scheduled throughout the weekend. The celebration began with a grand organ dedication and recital on Friday, September 1.

 

Hershey Theatre, opening weekend program, inside pages. September 1-4, 1933

Hershey Theatre, opening weekend program, inside pages. September 1-4, 1933

 

The next day, Saturday, was the Community Theatre’s official opening day.  The program, a popular movie with a vaudeville revue was offered three times during the day.  The first movie shown at the theatre was “Pilgrimage” with Henriette Crosman, Norman Foster, and Marion Nixon.

 

The vaudeville show featured nationally popular singers, comediennes, dancers and acrobatics.  The show also featured “The Hersheyettes,” promoted as “a line of Beautiful Girls:” sixteen dancing girls performing precision routines.

 

Sunday, September 3, 1933, the celebration was a bit more serious with then Secretary of Agriculture (later Vice-President of the United States) Henry A. Wallace offering remarks at the official dedication ceremony. The theatre was overflowing, necessitating loudspeakers to carry the message to the crowd outside.  The gala weekend festivities concluded on Labor Day with three more movie/vaudeville performances.

 

To learn more about the history of the Hershey Theatre, visit the Archives website.

 

HersheyArchives@30

 

 

 

HersheyArchives@30-15 Hershey Bears: Champions in Every Decade

 

Hershey B’ars game program. 12/13/1933. The program includes an announcement of the formation of the EAHL.

 

Hershey Bears hockey fans were disappointed their Bears did not advance in the Calder Cup tournament this year, but Bears fans know their team is a team of champions.  Milton Hershey recognized hockey’s popularity in early 1931, constructed an ice rink, sponsored a team, and by 1936 built a new sports arena with a seating capacity of approximately 7,200 to house all the fans.

 

Hershey Convention Hall was completed in 1915, but it wasn’t until 1931 that an ice plant and rink were installed allowing the building to be utilized during the winter months.  The Ice Palace, as the building became known when the ice rink was operating, quickly became the playing surface for teams from as far away as Philadelphia.

 

An ice rink was installed in the Hershey Convention Hall during the winter of 1930-1931.

An ice rink was installed in the Hershey Convention Hall during the winter of 1930-1931.

 

During the 1932-1933 season the Tri-State League was formed and featured the Hershey B’ars as one of the league clubs.  The next season the Tri-State League reformed to the Eastern Amateur Hockey League (EAHL).  The Hershey B’ars began to outgrow the Ice Palace and as the team transitioned to the newly completed Hershey Sports Arena in 1936 their name was changed to the less commercial Hershey Bears.

 

Hershey Bears ice hockey team with ice skater Sonja Henie. 1/18/1937

Hershey Bears ice hockey team with ice skater Sonja Henie. 1/18/1937

 

At the conclusion of the 1937-1938 season the Bears won their third straight EAHL title and the United States Amateur Championship.  It was also their last year in the amateurs.  Hershey was granted a franchise in what was then known as the International-American Hockey League, now just known as the American Hockey League (AHL), in June 1938.

 

In the AHL the Hershey Bears continued to play well and reached the playoffs their first eight seasons in the league.  In 1946-1947, the Bear’s ninth season, they took home their first Calder Cup after being down three games in the series and winning the seventh game with a 5-0 shutout against the Pittsburgh Hornets.  Replacement goalie Gordon “Red” Henry, who had played only five regular-season games, allowed only one goal in the three final games of the series.

 

Hershey Bears goalie, Gordon "Red" Henry, ca1946-1955

Hershey Bears goalie, Gordon “Red” Henry, ca1946-1955

 

The Bears have won a championship in every decade since their organization.  After their initial victory in the Calder Cup tournament, the Hershey Bears have gone on to win eleven total to date.   In 2002, their fans transitioned with them from the “Old Barn” to the Giant Center, a 12,500-seat arena.  Mr. Hershey realized hockey was a popular attraction and today Hershey is proud to be the longest consecutive running club in AHL history.

 

Championship Seasons

 

1935-1936:

 

Hershey B’ars win their first Eastern Amateur Hockey League Championship under the leadership of coach Herb Mitchell.

 

1936-1937:

 

Hershey Bears win their second Eastern Amateur Hockey League Championship under the leadership of coach Herb Mitchell.

 

1937-1938:

 

Hershey Bears win their third straight Eastern Amateur Hockey League Championship under the leadership of coach Herb Mitchell.

 

1937-1938:

 

Hershey Bears defeat the Detroit Holzbaugh-Fords to win the United States Amateur Championship.

 

1946-1947:

 

Hershey Bears win their first Calder Cup Championship under the leadership of Coach Don Penniston.

 

1957-1958:

 

Hershey Bears win their second Calder Cup Championship under the leadership of player-coach Frank Mathers.

 

1958-1959:

 

Hershey Bears win their third Calder Cup Championship under the leadership of player-coach Frank Mathers.

 

1968-1969:

 

Hershey Bears win their fourth Calder Cup Championship under the leadership of general manager-coach Frank Mathers.

 

1973-1974:

 

Hershey Bears win their fifth Calder Cup Championship under the leadership of coach Chuck Hamilton.

 

1979-1980:

 

Hershey Bears win their sixth Calder Cup Championship under the leadership of player-coach Doug Gibson.

 

1987-1988:

 

Hershey Bears win their seventh Calder Cup Championship under the leadership of coach John Paddock. This success completes the team’s 50th Anniversary season.

 

1996-1997:

 

Hershey Bears win their eighth Calder Cup Championship under the leadership of coach Bob Hartley.  Mike McHugh is named Most Valuable Player of the Playoffs.

 

2005-2006:

 

Hershey Bears win their ninth Calder Cup Championship under the leadership of coach Bruce Boudreau.  Goalie Frederic Cassivi is named Most Valuable Player of the Playoffs.

 

2008-2009:

 

Hershey Bears win their 10th Calder Cup Championship under the leadership of coach Bob Woods.  Goalie Michal Neuvirth is named Most Valuable Player of the Playoffs.

 

2009-2010:

 

Hershey Bears win their 11th Calder Cup Championship under the leadership of coach Mark French.  Left winger Chris Bourque is named Most Valuable Player of the Playoffs. It is the team’s first Calder Cup victory in the Giant Center.

 

#HersheyArchives@30

HersheyArchives@30-14 Building a Museum for Hershey: The Danner Collection

Insurance Register detailing purchase of the Danner collection, 1935-1936

Insurance Register detailing purchase of the Danner collection, 1935-1936

 

From 1903 until his death in 1945, Milton Hershey was committed to creating an exemplary model industrial town for his workers and their families. Historically, model industrial towns featured housing and an infrastructure built and maintained by a company and inhabited by the company’s workers. Milton Hershey’s vision for his model town was broader and he created a culturally rich community through the construction and continued funding of an array of educational and cultural institutions.

 

While the establishment and funding of the Hershey Industrial School (now Milton Hershey School), is well-known, Hershey’s support of education actually began with the Derry Township Public School District. Mr. Hershey funded the construction of a consolidated public school in 1904, while the chocolate factory was under construction. Over the next four decades Mr. Hershey financed the construction of additional public school facilities on Granada Avenue and established Hershey Junior College. Hershey residents also benefited from the addition of cultural attractions that were unusual for a rural Pennsylvania community, including: Hershey Zoo, Hershey Theatre, Hershey Gardens, and the Hershey Museum.

 

Hershey's first museum was located on E. Derry Road, not far from Hershey Park. ca1933-1938

Hershey’s first museum was located on E. Derry Road, not far from Hershey Park. ca 1933-1938

 

Hershey’s first museum, the Hershey Indian Museum opened in 1933 in a residential building on Derry Road adjacent to the chocolate factory. It displayed Native American artifacts collected by John G. Worth. Milton Hershey purchased the collection, wanting to establish a museum for his community.

 

The museum’s collection expanded on October 28, 1935, when Milton Hershey purchased the George H. Danner Museum Collection from Monroe M. Pfautz, Danner’s business partner, executor, and family friend to the Hershey family, for $50,000. George H. Danner, a Lancaster County native intrigued by objects from the past, collected artifacts related to everyday aspects of traditional Pennsylvania German life from the late 1800s until his death in 1917.

 

From The Hershey Story's George Danner collection: Gaudy Dutch ceramics, sunflower pattern, 1780-1820

From The Hershey Story’s George Danner collection: Gaudy Dutch ceramics, sunflower pattern, 1780-1820

 

From The Hershey Story's George Danner collection: Pennsylvania German Blanket Chest, 1792

From The Hershey Story’s George Danner collection: Pennsylvania German Blanket Chest, 1792

 

Danner’s collection featured everyday items from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; most notably, 2,000 pieces of English ceramics, glassware and textiles. The collection also contained traditional Pennsylvania German furniture and Danner family heirlooms.

 

Originally, George Danner displayed his collection on the top floor of his general store in Manheim, Pennsylvania.  Danner had hoped that his heirs would establish a proper house museum for his collection using funds from his estate. Unfortunately, this plan never came to fruition. Milton Hershey’s interest in the Danner collection was spurred by the success of the Hershey Indian Museum. Milton Hershey arranged to purchase the collection for the cultural enrichment of the community.

 

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Sign advertising the Hershey Museum, placed on the side of the remodeled Convention Hall. ca 1953-1970

 

 

 

In 1938, both collections were put on display in the new Hershey Museum after it moved  into the recently renovated Convention Hall.  Hershey’s purchase of the George H. Danner Collection is merely one of many examples of Hershey’s dedication to creating a rich cultural environment for the people of Hershey, Pennsylvania.

 

Pennsylvania German living room exhibit at the Hershey Museum. 1950-1959

Pennsylvania German living room exhibit at the Hershey Museum. 1950-1959

 

The Danner Collection has been a key component of the Hershey Museum’s collection since Milton Hershey purchased it in 1935.  While the Archives holds the insurance ledger, documenting the acquisition of the collection, the artifacts and documentation of this collection continue to be held by The Hershey Story, the Museum on Chocolate Avenue.

#HersheyArchives@30

HersheyArchives@30-13 “Hire the Forty Men”

Over thirty men carry a single wooden support structure during the construction of the Arena. 1936

Over thirty men carry a single wooden support structure during the construction of the Arena. 1936

 

Milton Hershey launched  his “Great Building Campaign” to bolster the local economy during the Great Depression. Townspeople found work building the structures that would eventually become some of the major tourist attractions in town, (Hershey Community Building and Hershey Theatre, The Hotel Hershey, Hersheypark Arena and Stadium) and the result was a town that offered facilities and features unheard of for a community of its size.

 

The October 1929 stock market crash launched a long economic decline that grew into the worldwide Depression of the 1930s. But the town of Hershey stood in sharp contrast to much of the United States during these years. While most industries struggled to keep from shutting down, throughout the Depression Mr. Hershey’s affordable chocolate products enabled his company to enjoy sustainable sales and profits.

 

There were good business reasons for Mr. Hershey to pursue a construction campaign when he did. Prices for building supplies were at an all-time low, and the labor force was certainly available. It seemed an ideal time to revisit building projects he had delayed for years. The Hershey Community Building was originally conceived in 1915, for example, and putting a hotel up on Pat’s Hill had been planned as early as 1909.

 

Detail view of the Hotel Hershey first floor plan. Note the support column placed in the center of the circular dining room. As the plan indicates, Mr. Hershey ordered its removal. 1932

Detail view of the Hotel Hershey first floor plan. Note the support column placed in the center of the circular dining room. As the plan indicates, Mr. Hershey ordered its removal. 1932

 

But there was another driving force behind the campaign – a more altruistic one. Throughout his life, the community Mr. Hershey built around his factory remained an enduring passion. He cared deeply for “his” town and the people who lived and worked there. When the Depression threatened to bring economic disaster right to his doorstep, Milton Hershey met the challenge with his unique brand of benevolent paternalism.

 

“We have about 600 construction workers in this town,” Mr. Hershey is reported to have said. “If I don’t provide work for them, I’ll have to feed them. And since building materials are now at their lowest cost levels, I’m going to build and give them jobs.”

 

Mr. Hershey kept close tabs on these construction projects. It’s said that when the excavation began atop Pat’s Hill as the first step for building the Hotel, Mr. Hershey watched intently as two huge steam shovels tore apart the earth. His foreman told him, “These machines do the work of 40 men.” And Mr. Hershey simply replied, “Take them off. Hire 40 men.”

 

Group portrait, Hershey Community Buildilng construction crew. 1932

Group portrait, Hershey Community Buildilng construction crew. 1932

 

In addition to the major buildings, Mr. Hershey also initiated smaller projects to provide employment while developing the community, including Hershey Gardens, new rides and attractions for Hersheypark and new facilities for the Zoo were also completed during these years.

 

Mr. Hershey also used the Great Building Campaign as a time to further promote the sports of golf and hockey in town. In 1930, he started the Hershey Country Club and retained golf architect Maurice McCarthy to design what is now known as the West Course. He also opened Parkview Golf Course for the public and a nine-hole course at the Hotel. And he introduced the first golf course in the nation dedicated to junior golfers, now called Spring Creek Golf Course. The Hershey Ice Palace began hosting hockey games in 1931, and in 1936 the Arena opened. It was the first home to the Hershey Bears, now the oldest club in American Hockey League history.

 

The addition of these attractions built on the community’s image as a center for entertainment and relaxation. By the end of the decade, the town of Hershey had emerged as a nationally known tourist destination and was called “Pennsylvania’s Summer Playground.” Today the majority of the projects that began as part of the Great Building Campaign continue to exist and stand as memorials to Mr. Hershey’s vision, generosity and dedication to his town and its residents.

 

Brochure marketing Hershey as "Pennsylvania's Summer Playground." ca1940

Brochure marketing Hershey as “Pennsylvania’s Summer Playground.” ca1940

 

“As far as I know, no man was dropped by reason of the Depression,” Mr. Hershey is reported to have said. “And no salaries were cut.”

 

#HersheyArchives@30

HersheyArchives@30-12 Designing a Course Fit for a Pro

In 1928 Milton Hershey Hired golf architect, Maurice McCarthy, 1st page.

In 1928 Milton Hershey Hired golf architect, Maurice McCarthy, to design 2 golf courses for Hershey. 1st of 2 pages.

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In 1928 Milton Hershey hired golf architect, Maurice McCarthy to design two golf courses for Hershey. page 2 of 2.

 

Hershey’s first golf course opened in 1909.

 

Hershey's first golf course was nine holes and was located along Chocolate Avenue. ca1915

Hershey’s first golf course was nine holes and was located along Chocolate Avenue. ca1915

 

Located along Chocolate Avenue, the 9-hole golf course was built near Milton Hershey’s home, High Point. However, the chocolate factory’s continual eastward development encroached on the golf course, shrinking its size to 5 or 6 holes. Local golfers were forced to go to Harrisburg or Lebanon to play a round.

 

In the late 1920s, Milton Hershey decided it was time to bring golf back to his community. He asked his engineer, Harry N. Herr, to develop a new 18-hole course on Pat’s Hill. The site was chosen because Mr. Hershey planned to build what would become The Hotel Hershey adjacent to the course. Though he was a golfer, Herr had never designed a golf course. Undaunted, he proceeded to lay out an exceeding difficult course for the steep and hilly terrain on Pat’s Hill.

 

Drive to Pat's Hill. ca1915-1924

Drive to Pat’s Hill. ca1915-1924

 

Before construction could commence, Milton Hershey met with Maurice McCarthy, a nationally known golf architect. Hershey took him to view the proposed course on Pat’s Hill. McCarthy discouraged its construction, suggesting that it was better suited for mountain goats rather than people.

 

In 1928 Milton Hershey Hired golf architect, Maurice McCarthy, 1st page.

In 1928 Milton Hershey Hired golf architect, Maurice McCarthy, to design two golf courses for Hershey. 1st of 2 pages.

Trust001B14F33.1B

In 1928 Milton Hershey hired golf architect, Maurice McCarthy, to design two golf courses for Hershey. page 2 of 2.

 

Initially, McCarthy was hired to develop two courses. The first was for the soon to be established Hershey Country Club and incorporated the land of the original 9-hole course along Chocolate Avenue. The second course was the Hershey Park Golf Course along Park Boulevard.

 

Aerial, Hershey Country Club golf course. ca1930

Aerial, Hershey Country Club golf course. ca1930

 

The country club course was expected to surpass the National Golf Links of America in Southhampton, New York. The expectation was that the great tournaments would come here and Hershey would have the honor of hosting the United States Open Championship, commonly known as the U.S. Open. In 1930, Milton Hershey’s home, High Point, became the clubhouse for the new country club.

 

Aerial, Hershey Park (Parkview) golf course, 7/28/1932

Aerial, Hershey Park (Parkview) golf course, 7/28/1932

 

The second course designed by Maurice McCarthy was the Park Golf Course. Hershey Park Golf Course (later Parkview) was designed to serve as Hershey’s public course. A challenging course, incorporating Spring Creek and its surrounding hills, the Park Golf Course, was reasonably priced and popular with community residents and visitors alike. For $1.00 ($1.50 on weekends) a player was entitled to play all day. Greens fees also included swimming privileges in the Hershey Park Pool.

 

Children golfing on the links of the Juvenile Golf Course.  left to right: Virginia Phillips, watching; Helen Snavely, holding flag; Aimee Witmer, putting. 4/10/1937

Children golfing on the links of the Juvenile Golf Course. left to right: Virginia Phillips, watching; Helen Snavely, holding flag; Aimee Witmer, putting. 4/10/1937

 

The success of these courses sparked a demand for golf in Hershey. Encouraged by the public’s interest, Milton Hershey commissioned Maurice McCarthy to design and build two more courses for the community. In 1932, the 9-hole Juvenile Golf Course (today Spring Creek Golf Course) opened. This course, built around the meandering Spring Creek, was developed to serve boys and girls under the age of 18.

 

The Hotel Hershey's executive golf course. ca1935-1950

The Hotel Hershey’s executive golf course. ca1935-1950

 

The last course developed by McCarthy for Hershey was an executive 9-hole course for The Hotel Hershey. This course opened May 4, 1934.

 

With Maurice McCarthy’s help, Hershey became a mecca for golfers offering 54 holes of golf for every skill level and making Hershey the “Golf Capitol of Pennsylvania.”

 

#HersheyArchives@30

 

HersheyArchives@30-11 “The Gift”

On November 13, 1918, Milton Hershey transferred his ownership of Hershey Chocolate Company to the Hershey Industrial School.

On November 13, 1918, Milton Hershey transferred his ownership of Hershey Chocolate Company to the Hershey Industrial School.

 

On November 15, 1909, Milton and Catherine Hershey signed a deed of trust establishing Hershey Industrial School (now Milton Hershey School).  Approximately 486 acres of land were transferred to the School together with all assets contained on the property.  All income, revenue, and rents derived from the property were to be used to support and maintain the School.

 

The previous day, November 14, 1909, Milton Hershey had signed a last will and testament directing the settlement of his estate.  The will provided for his wife Catherine, various friends and relatives, and also the School.   Under the terms of the will, the School would have acquired 3,000 shares of Hershey Chocolate Company stock and derived income from that investment.

 

Companies issue stock to raise money by selling a small part of the company to an investor, who is then referred to as a shareholder.  Hershey Chocolate Company and a few other Hershey area businesses acquired or established by Milton Hershey, such as Hershey Transit Company, were all privately held companies wherein a small number of private shareholders could trade or exchange stock privately. Other Hershey businesses, such as the Hershey Laundry, Hershey Park, and Hershey Store Company were funded by personal investments made by Milton Hershey.

 

Although Milton was the primary owner of the Hershey Chocolate Company and the other businesses created to manage the town, these businesses operated as separate entities. That all changed in 1918. On January 5, 1918, but retroactively effective as of January 1, 1918, Milton Hershey assigned his ownership in all of the disparate businesses to Hershey Chocolate Company.  Real estate, totaling approximately 7,695 acres, was also transferred to the chocolate company at the same time.

 

A list of the companies included in the transfer of Milton Hershey's assets to Hershey Chocolate Company.

A list of the companies included in the transfer of Milton Hershey’s assets to Hershey Chocolate Company.

 

With his investments and property consolidated under one organization, a company in which he was the primary shareholder, how Milton Hershey chose to divest his shares could impact not only the Hershey Chocolate Company, but the entire community.

 

Following the death of his beloved wife, Kitty, Milton decided to “execute” his will during his lifetime.  As it was Milton and Kitty’s desire that Hershey Industrial School operate in perpetuity, on November 13, 1918, Milton Hershey “executed” his will and quietly gifted the School his stock in Hershey Chocolate Company.  “I have no heirs—that is, no children.  So I decided to make the orphan boys of the United States my heirs.”  Hershey Industrial School became the majority shareholder in all the enterprises established by Milton Hershey and the majority landowner in Derry Township.

 

Milton Hershey with Hershey Industrial School students, seated on the steps of The Homestead.  1923

Milton Hershey with Hershey Industrial School students, seated on the steps of The Homestead. 1923

 

#HersheyArchives@30

HersheyArchives@30-10 “I Never Expected to Marry”

Catherine Hershey was interred at The West Laurel Cemetery Receiving Vault between 1915 and 1919

Catherine Hershey was interred at The West Laurel Cemetery Receiving Vault between 1915 and 1919

 

Catherine Sweeney Hershey died on March 25, 1915. Kitty, as she was affectionately known, and Milton Hershey shared a brief 18 years together before her death. A bachelor at the age of 40, Milton met the 26 year-old Kitty while on a sales call in Jamestown, New York. Something about Kitty must have instantly charmed him. They were married a year later on May 25, 1898.

 

Milton Hershey was a private individual who preferred to communicate via telegram and telephone. Receiving a telegram rather than a hand-written letter, frustrated Kitty, “You never saw anyone who disliked to write letters as he did.” By word-of-mouth accounts, Milton and Kitty had a happy marriage and the couple doted on one another; yet in the absence of passionate love letters, what evidence exists to document their adoration?

 

Kitty was known to have a lively spirit and a warm and outgoing personality. With her, Milton had a refuge from the demands of work and the opportunity to be lighthearted and playful. Kitty enjoyed traveling and especially enjoyed meeting new people. Traveling the world together they could both let down the guard they maintained while in Hershey. Those who worked beside a serious and determined Milton Hershey in the caramel factory or the experimental plant might not recognize the man posing in a bathing suit cut-out.

 

Milton and Catherine Hershey pose with friend Adeline Jackson (on left) at Coney Island. ca1910

Milton and Catherine Hershey pose with friend Adeline Jackson (on left) at Coney Island. ca1910

 

Milton provided for Kitty’s every need and wish. Not only did he buy her furs and Tiffany jewelry, but he brought her flowers every day. Raised by a strict Mennonite, Milton thought flowers were frivolous, but to Kitty they were a sign of beauty and happiness. She supervised the landscaping around High Point that included extensive gardens that were open to the public. After her death, Milton directed the construction of Hershey Gardens, remarking to horticulturist Harry Erdman, “The more beautiful you can make the place look, the better life the people will have.”

 

Catherine Hershey. ca1914

Catherine Hershey. ca1914

 

At Kitty’s funeral, Milton confided to her sister Agnes Smith, “I never expected to marry.” Their marriage, although tragically brief, had a tremendous and everlasting influence on Milton. In 1909, unable to have children of their own, Milton and Kitty had established the Hershey Industrial School (now Milton Hershey School). Milton would always say that the school was, “Kitty’s idea.” Three years after her death, Milton gifted the school’s trust fund with the bulk of his fortune, ensuring that her idea would continue on in perpetuity.

 

He also continued to bring her flowers.

 

Milton Hershey arranged for flowers to be placed at his wife's crypt twice a week until she was moved to the newly established Hershey Cemetery.

Milton Hershey arranged for flowers to be placed at his wife’s crypt twice a week until she was moved to the newly established Hershey Cemetery.

 

#HersheyArchives@30

HersheyArchives@30-9: Hershey Zoo: From Angora Goats to Zebus

Pages from Hershey Improvement Company, Transfer Ledger #1. ca1906-1916

Pages from Hershey Improvement Company, Transfer Ledger #1. ca1906-1916

 

Within five years of Hershey Park’s official opening additional attractions were introduced in the Park to supplement and enhance the guest experience.   An amphitheatre, bandstand, dance hall, photograph gallery, and bowling alley were part of the Park’s expansion; and in 1910, Hershey Zoo.

 

Postcard: Herd of Zebus graze in Hershey Zoo.  ca1915

Postcard: Herd of Zebus graze in Hershey Zoo. ca1915

 

Franz and Louise Zinner, who moved to Lebanon, Pennsylvania from Heisenberg, Germany in 1899, persuaded Milton Hershey to open the Zoo as a community and visitor attraction.  Franz had at one time worked with Carl Hagenbeck, a German collector and trainer of exotic animals, who later founded a privately-owned zoo in Hamburg, Germany.  Aware of Franz’s interest in animals, friends of the Zinners who had moved to the western United States, shipped them twelve prairie dogs.  Unable to keep them in their backyard, Franz Zinner contacted Milton Hershey about keeping the prairie dogs as a park attraction.  The two men eventually decided to open a zoo, and Zinner and his family soon moved to Hershey to oversee the facility.

 

Prairie dogs are entertaining but they are a burrowing rodent and spend part of their lives out of view and underground.   Just as Hershey Park expanded to offer a variety of attractions, Hershey Zoo needed to acquire additional animals.

 

Detail of Hershey Improvement Company Transfer Ledger, #1. ca1906-1916

Detail of Hershey Improvement Company Transfer Ledger, #1. ca1906-1916

 

A ledger in the Archives’ collection details the first menagerie acquired for the Zoo.  Wenz & Mackensen was a firm based in Yardley, Pennsylvania that specialized in selling birds but at times dealt in more exotic animals.  Wenz & Mackensen supplied the Zoo with bears, zebus, angora goats, and pheasants.  Zinner supplied prairie dogs and H.E. Cudney, a New Jersey dealer, supplied deer.  By the 4th of July holiday in 1910, the Zoo was a featured attraction.

 

The weekly newspaper, the Hershey Press, promoted the zoo in its advertisement for the Hershey Park's July 4th celebration. 6/24/1910

The weekly newspaper, the Hershey Press, promoted the zoo in its advertisement for the Hershey Park’s July 4th celebration. 6/24/1910

 

The Zoo continued to expand over the years with animals that ranged from the mundane to the exotic.  By 1940, the Zoo covered forty acres and contained individual houses for primates, carnivores, small mammals, antelopes, tropical birds, pheasants, and fish as well as outdoor cages and enclosures.

 

In the era before television, zoos played an important role educating the public about unfamiliar animals and environments.  Hershey Zoo was the first attraction Milton Hershey introduced to the community that exposed residents and visitors to opportunities and experiences outside of those normally available in a rural Pennsylvania community.  Many more would follow.

 

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HersheyArchives@30-8 DESTINATION: Hershey, PA

Throughout its history, Hershey has been a well-known destination for entertainment.

 

Each summer,crowds of people traveled to Hershey to enjoy its many amenities. 1915

Each summer,crowds of people traveled to Hershey to enjoy its many amenities. 1915

 

After the Hershey Chocolate Factory opened in 1905, the town soon emerged as a popular regional destination. Visitors came to explore the model town and enjoy Hershey Park and its growing number of amenities.

 

In 1914, Hershey’s weekly newspaper, The Hershey Press, announced that a convention hall was going to be erected in Hershey Park. In developing plans for the hall, Milton Hershey was inspired by a well-known assembly hall in Ocean Grove, New Jersey, and sent his builder, James K. Putt, to visit the structure to learn more about it and what might be incorporated in the Hershey building.

 

Convention Hall, longitudinal section.  Architect: C. Emlen Urban. 1/8/1915

Convention Hall, longitudinal section. Architect: C. Emlen Urban. 1/8/1915

 

The new facility was built specifically to attract large events and big crowds to Hershey.  Its first function was the Triennial Convention of the Brethren Church.  Milton Hershey was very interested in hosting this major event and promised the meeting planners that the Convention Hall would be completed in time for their conference scheduled for June 1915.  Construction began in March 1915.

 

Brethren gather to meet in Hershey's Convention Hall. 6/1915

Brethren gather to meet in Hershey’s Convention Hall. 6/1915

Hershey Convention Hall ready for its first meeting.  Note that the ceiling has not yet been plastered.  6/1915

Hershey Convention Hall ready for its first meeting. Note that the ceiling has not yet been plastered. 6/1915

 

The building was dedicated on Memorial Day weekend, May 30, 1915.  Hershey Park opened for the season the following day, Memorial Day (Monday, May 31).  The dedication program included a 40 piece band, the combined church choirs of Hershey, several vocal and instrumental soloists, as well as several speakers.

 

The Convention Hall was not simply a large assembly hall.  Milton Hershey’s plans for the building incorporated many of his goals and vision for his community.  The Hershey Press carried this announcement about the building’s dedication in its June 3, 1915 issue:

 

Dedication

Hershey Convention Hall is dedicated to the service of the people.  May they meet often within its walls and by their proceedings and discussions find wisdom.  May they listen to words that will guide them in the paths of peace and righteousness.  May they hear music that will uplift them.  May they gather the products of their fields and factories and stimulate one another to higher achievements in agriculture, manufacture, commerce and the arts.  May they learn more of the great principles of consolidation and co-operation.  May they be imbued with the spirit of brotherhood, of courtesy and of helpfulness.  May the services on Memorial Day exalting the patriotism of our heroes be a true dedication of this Hall to the welfare of a free people, the cause of liberty, the love of the Flag and the glory of God.

 

The Convention Hall hosted a variety of musical and theatrical performers. ca1915-1920

The Convention Hall hosted a variety of musical and theatrical performers. ca1915-1920

 

True to Milton Hershey’s vision, the 1915 addition of the Convention Hall transformed Hershey, Pennsylvania into a destination capable of hosting large conventions and national performers. The Convention Hall quickly became a popular destination for both nationally celebrated performers and as a meeting venue for large organizations. The building would host a variety of events over its years of service including concerts by New York Metropolitan Opera singers, the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, the Sistine Chapel Choir during its first American tour, and nationally recognized marching bands.

 

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