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

Currently browsing D. Paul Witmer

HersheyArchives@30:22 Service Above Self – Hershey Rotary Club

Charter for the Rotary Club of Hershey. 6/10/1943

Charter for the Rotary Club of Hershey. 6/10/1943

 

Community organizations are the lifeblood of a town. They provide residents with opportunities to meet and socialize with each other while working to enhance community life.  These groups enrich their communities while giving their members a sense of purpose and contributing to the community. The Archives actively collects the records of Hershey’s community businesses and organizations and is fortunate to hold the records of several community groups.

 

Y.M.C.A.’s Busy Men’s Doggy Bow-Wow meets for a celebratory meal in the Hershey Café. 3/1913

Y.M.C.A.’s Busy Men’s Doggy Bow-Wow meets for a celebratory meal in the Hershey Café. 3/1913

 

Community groups began to form shortly after the Hershey Chocolate factory began operations in 1905.  The organizations varied from the critically needed Hershey Volunteer Fire Company to the purely social Men’s Doggy Bow-Wow Club (?!).

 

Hershey Volunteer Fire Company was organized in 1905.

Hershey Volunteer Fire Company was organized in 1905.

 

Hershey’s community groups enhanced Hershey’s social life by creating community gatherings such as the annual Christmas tree lighting, presenting annual concerts, and organizing food and clothing collections for the less fortunate.

 

The Hershey Civic Club sponsored a variety of youth sports teams, including a junior ice hockey team.  This 1941 team included (left-right) 1st row: Irv Gonz, Bob Evans, Jack Bernard, Dick Brunner. 2nd row: Endo Corsetti, Sterling Sechrist, Bud Prowell, Herb Erdman, Dick Stover.

The Hershey Civic Club sponsored a variety of youth sports teams, including a junior ice hockey team. This 1941 team included (left-right) 1st row: Irv Gonz, Bob Evans, Jack Bernard, Dick Brunner. 2nd row: Endo Corsetti, Sterling Sechrist, Bud Prowell, Herb Erdman, Dick Stover.

 

Civic clubs in particular play an important role, working to improve neighborhoods through volunteer work by its members. During the 1930s, Hershey had a local Civic Club, which sponsored community clean-up days, organized various community celebrations, and raised money to help support other local organizations.

 

Since there was already a civic club in Hershey, initially there was little interest in starting a Rotary club, despite urging from Rotary clubs in Elizabethtown and Harrisburg. All that changed in 1943 when D. Paul Witmer, the head of Hershey Industrial School [Milton Hershey School], attended a Rotary meeting in Elizabethtown.  “Pop” Britton, manager of the Hershey Community Center and member of the Palmyra Rotary, also encouraged John B. Sollenberger, president of Hershey Estates, to consider starting a new Rotary club.  With interest from two of Hershey’s business leaders, a new Rotary club was soon in the works.  It was decided that the members of Hershey’s Civic Club would be invited to join the new Rotary club.

 

One of the Hershey Rotary Club’s first activities was to sponsor a local business expo. Pictured here are the club’s organizers. left-right: Carl Britton, Harry.N. Herr, T. Egan, Albert Schmidt, John.B. Sollenberger, Edwin Wagner, Harry Erdman, D. Paul Witmer, W. Allen Hammond.

One of the Hershey Rotary Club’s first activities was to sponsor a local business expo. Pictured here are the club’s organizers. left-right: Carl Britton, Harry.N. Herr, T. Egan, Albert Schmidt, John.B. Sollenberger, Edwin Wagner, Harry Erdman, D. Paul Witmer, W. Allen Hammond.

 

The first meeting was held June 2, 1943 in the Hershey Community Building dining room.  John B. Sollenberger was elected president, and the charter was presented to the club on June 14, 1943.

 

Leadership:

President                            John B. Sollenberger

Vice President                   Carl T. Britton

Secretary                             W. Allen Hammond

Treasurer                            D. Paul Witmer

Sargent at Arms                 Raymond H. Koch

Directors:                            Harry Erdman, Harry N. Herr, Edwin S. Wagner

 

There were 29 charter members and Milton S. Hershey was made an honorary member.  The first regular meeting was on June 21, 1943 also in the dining room of the Community Building.

 

In the beginning, the Hershey Rotary Club partnered with the Hershey Civic Club on a number of projects. The first joint project was the Cocoa Bean game, a football game pitting Milton Hershey School against Hershey’s public high school.  The competition was first held in 1943 to raise money for Memorial Field, Hershey’s local outdoor recreation center.

 

Children have always been a focus of Rotary support and beginning in 1958, the Hershey Rotary Club began an enduring program of sponsoring international student exchanges.

 

Founders Day drew the entire community together to celebrate the life and legacy of Milton Hershey. 9/12/1953

Founders Day drew the entire community together to celebrate the life and legacy of Milton Hershey. 9/12/1953

 

Hershey Rotary Club often took the lead in organizing community celebrations. In 1950, the club organized Founders Day, a day to remember Mr.Hershey.

 

The club’s biggest fund raiser, its annual auction, began in 1968. At first the entire proceeds of the auction were donated to the Hershey Volunteer Fire Company. Today, auction proceeds are shared with a wide variety of community and regional non-profit groups.

 

Today Hershey Rotary Club continues to serve the community of Hershey through its commitment to “Service Above Self.”

 

#HersheyArchives@30

A Palace for Hershey: Hotel Hershey opens

A Palace that outpalaces the palaces of the maharajas of India*

*Lowell Thomas, 1933

 

The Hotel Hershey, 8/19/1935

The Hotel Hershey, 8/19/1935

   Building a hotel on Pat’s Hill had been a dream of Milton Hershey since 1909.  At first, he and his wife, Kitty, thought they would build a grand structure modeled on The Heliopolis, a Cairo, Egypt  resort.  That dream was never realized and by the time The Hotel Hershey was actually built in 1933, Milton Hershey’s tastes had changed.

 
 
Hotel Hershey was modeled on another hotel he and his wife had enjoyed.  Located along the Mediterranean, the inspiration hotel was small, only 30-rooms.  Milton Hershey’s builder/architect, D. Paul Witmer, had his work cut out for him to keep the spirit of the original while enlarging it to 170 rooms.
 
 
The winter weather was mild and The Hotel Hershey was completed in about 18 months and opened on May 23, 1933.

1c060-26thb

Hotel Hershey Circular Dining Room. Site of of the Hotel's dedication celebration.

 

For the dedication,  several hundred guests were invited to the formal opening on Friday evening, May 26, 1933.  Two hundred were present in the circular dining room, where John Snyder presided as toastmaster. 

 

Mr. Hershey made one of his rare speeches.  “I am but a simple farmer,” he said, as reported in the Lancaster Sunday News of May 28.  “I like to utilize nature’s beauty for the pleasure of men.  This hotel where you are assembled has been a dream of mine for many years.”

 

The Honorable C.V. Henry, President Judge of Lebanon County, when called upon to speak, observed, “If this is the way people live on the farm, let’s all go back to farming.”

What’s the weather?

 

Having a office in a windowless location often leaves me disconnected from the weather.  All sorts of weather happens without my knowledge and I’m often surprised by it when I leave work at the end of the day.  Wanting to know the weather is a desire shared by all who work in windowless environments. 

 

Hershey Chocolate Corporation Windowless Office Building, 1957

Hershey Chocolate Corporation Windowless Office Building, 1957

 

 

In 1934 Hershey Chocolate Corporation announced plans to build a new office building.  While original designs for the building included lots of windows to provide natural light, soon after ground was broken Milton Hershey was inspired by an innovative design and asked his builder/architect D. Paul Witmer to change the plans and build a windowless office building.  Amazingly, Mr. Witmer was able to draft a new set of plans before the foundation was completed and construction proceeded without interruption. 

 

 

Hershey's new windowless office building featured large, open offices lit with indirect lighting.

Hershey's new windowless office building featured large, open offices lit with indirect lighting.

 

 

The building incorporated several innovations designed to enhance worker comfort.  Some of those enhancements included central air-conditioning and even, indirect lighting to minimize shadows.  In every office a weather indicator was installed so that workers could know at all times the status of the weather.

 

 

A weather indicator was installed underneath each clock in Hershey Chocolate Corporation's windowless office building.

A weather indicator was installed underneath each clock in Hershey Chocolate Corporation's windowless office building.

 

 

The weather indicator featured three colored glass bullseyes lit by miniature electric bulbs.  Different types of weather were represented by different combinations of the three colored lights being lit.

 

 

 

 

Weather conditions were communicated by lighting different combinations of the colored lights.

Weather conditions were communicated by lighting different combinations of the colored lights. (Memo from Accession 87006, B12 F27.2)

 

 

 

 The basic combinations to communicate weather were:

 

White                       Clear weather

Red                           Rain

White and Red     Cloudy

Green                       Snow

Green and White  Electrical Storm underway

 

Today, employees working in the Windowless Office Building still rely on the weather indicator panels.  The need to know the weather is still an important part of daily life.

Hershey Sports Arena. . .a home for hockey and more.

4c4204-1thb

Hershey Sports Arena, main entrance. 1936

 

 

Hersheypark Arena will celebrate its 75th anniversary in December 2011.  When it was constructed it was an engineering marvel, the first large-scale thin-shell concrete structure in the United States.  The Hershey Arena established a new type of roof structure that was used throughout the United States from 1936 onwards.  The building is even more impressive when you realize that total time of construction, from breaking ground on March 11, 1936 to opening night on December 19, 1936 was a little more than nine months.

 

Anton Tedesko was a German engineer who had developed the concept of thin shelled concrete structures.  In 1931 he had been sent to the Chicago design-construction firm Roberts and Schaefer  to drum up new business for this newly patented construction method.  In the beginning Tedesko worked tirelessly with many unrealized proposals. He ran into resistance from conservative steel designers, and the harsh economic climate of a deep recession.

 

By 1935, Tedesko had professional friends and contacts in many U.S. cities including Philadelphia.  The Portland Cement Association representative, James Gibson, acted as an intermediary to Hershey Estates who wanted to build a new ice arena. The 32 year old Tedesko leapt at the chance to design the largest monolithic concrete roof structure in North America. There was no precedent for such a structure, no design codes, no established construction practices for a project of this scale requiring such careful tolerances.

 

On January 21, 1936, Tedesko, helped by Gibson, presented his idea for a huge arena to Hershey Lumber Company manager, D. Paul Witmer, who in turn presented it to Mr. Hershey. “I was somewhat startled when Witmer showed me the plans, for I hadn’t figured building such a large structure, and I had to think twice before I let him go ahead with its construction”, said Milton Hershey. Tedesko hired staff in Chicago and design work started immediately, and on February 7 he began to write out in detail the full calculations for the roof structure.

to be continued. . .