The Design Company.

You can change this area in header.php

Special Sidebar

You can add any content in this area by go to
Admin->Design->Widgets->Sidebar4

Hershey Archives@30-7 To Build a Town – Step One: houses

Plan 'A' Trinidad Avenue, ca1903

Plan ‘A’ Trinidad Avenue, ca1903

 

Visitors to Hershey today are often impressed by the community’s well-kept homes with tidy green lawns and sidewalks.  Building attractive and comfortable homes for his workers was part of Milton Hershey’s vision for his model industrial town.

 

Cocoa Avenue, ca1920

Cocoa Avenue, ca1920

 

26 E. Areba Avenue, 1912

26 E. Areba Avenue, 1912

 

Most of Hershey’s residential area is located on the south side of Chocolate Avenue.  The layout for these streets and lots can be seen on this 1903 map.

 

However, when Milton Hershey first started building his model town, the first homes were not built there.

 

Aerial view of Derry Church, looking north.  Note location of Derry Presbyterian Church in right hand corner. ca1924

Aerial view of Derry Church, looking north. Note location of Derry Presbyterian Church in right hand corner. ca1924

 

When Milton Hershey broke ground for his chocolate factory in March 1903, he was building in the midst of farm fields and dairy pasture. He planned to build a town from scratch. Fortunately, the area that Milton Hershey selected to build his chocolate factory and model town was next to the small community of Derry Church.  Though small, Derry Church included a tavern, post office, railroad station, a Presbyterian Church, a grain mill, a few small businesses and a number of houses, all located along Derry Road.

 

Haefner House tavern, Derry Church, PA. ca1910

Haefner House tavern, Derry Church, PA. ca1910

 

Some of Hershey’s first construction workers found lodging in Derry Church and the tavern was a popular destination after work.

 

Map of Milton Hershey's land acquisitions, ca1903. Detail showing Trinidad Avenue

Map of Milton Hershey’s land acquisitions, ca1903. Detail showing Trinidad Avenue

 

Since Hershey, the town, was more of an idea than a reality in 1903, it probably made sense to build new housing for his workers adjacent to the existing town of Derry Church.

 

Topographical map of future Trinidad Avenue housing construction, 7/1903

Topographical map of future Trinidad Avenue housing construction, 7/1903

 

In July 1903, a piece of land located north of the future chocolate factory and adjacent to Derry Church was surveyed. Building lots for new worker homes were located on the rolling terrain. Soon ground was broken for 25 new homes.  Like future residential streets that would be constructed on the south side of Chocolate Avenue, this new residential street was named Trinidad Avenue, in  honor of one of the cacao growing regions in the world.

 

Trinidad Avenue, ca1906

Trinidad Avenue, ca1906

 

These houses were completed by the end of 1904, in time for the start-up of the chocolate factory. The Trinidad houses were built using two different floor plans and featured small front yards and porches.  The repetitive designs of the houses displeased Milton Hershey.  When the next houses were constructed, he made sure that the homes featured more architectural variety.

 

Though Milton Hershey owned other land on the north side of the railroad tracks, these were the only houses that would be built in that location. In 1905, house construction shifted to the south side of Chocolate Avenue as workers began building homes on Caracas, Granada, Cocoa and Chocolate Avenues.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply


three + = 4