Category Archives: History

Day-Tripping: Two National Parks, Fall Foliage & Fun

Take a day trip with Linglestown American Legion Post 272 …

In just a blink of an eye, a common field in Pennsylvania became a field of honor forever.

Linglestown American Legion Post 272 has graciously extended an invitation for a few Gazette readers to join them on a van trip on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017 to that common field in Shanksville, Pa., where United Flight 93 and its 44 passengers launched this tiny town into the world’s spotlight during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Wall of Names at Flight 93 National Memorial

You’ll stop at the Flight 93 National Memorial visitor center to take in its stunning architecture, explore the exhibit area and Learning Center, and then stroll the ¼ mile walkway to a wall that memorializes those who perished. From the wall area, you can look out over a field and see Flight 93’s final resting place that is marked by a huge boulder.

And there’s more …

After lunch you’ll travel north another 40 miles to a second stop — The Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historical Site. Here you’ll learn about a transportation engineering marvel that was built to get boats on the Erie Canal over a major obstacle — mountains. The stop will include a tour of a house that once was a tavern and a popular stop for rail passengers, an engine house shelter, and a historic bridge.

And if you’re lucky, the hills and dales between Linglestown and our destinations will be ablaze with a palette of fall colors.    

Departure will be from the Linglestown American Legion Post 272 at 505 N. Mountain Road at 9 am sharp, with an arrival time back in Linglestown around 7 pm.

Be sure to reserve your seats ASAP because only 12 spots are available to Gazette readers.

The suggested donation for a non-Legion member is $50, and only $90 per couple. Your donation does not include lunch, but there will be a stop at Hoss’s Steak and Sea House in Somerset. Deadline for reservation is Oct. 16, 2017. Checks should be made out to Linglestown American Legion Post 272 and mailed to:

Linglestown Legion Van Trip
℅ Linglestown Gazette
6204 Elmer Avenue
Harrisburg, PA  17112

For more information, please call Bill Bostic at (717) 512-0722 or send email to

Must-Attend Event for History Buffs

Author of this book to speak Tuesday at Wildwood Park’s nature center.

Linglestown resident Polly Murphy passed along information about a lecture this Tuesday evening at Wildwood Park that’s a must-attend for history buffs.

You’ll learn about what was happening in the Linglestown area BEFORE Thomas Lingle founded the village of St. Thomas – now known as Linglestown – in 1765.

CLICK HERE for details about this free event.

Linglestown memory

Gazette reader John Robinson shares a historical tidbit about the home that’s now the headquarters of St. Thomas Roasters, a locally renowned coffee house that opened in 2000:

When my wife I moved to Linglestown in 1981, we used to visit Wilson’s Pharmacy because of the nostalgic atmosphere. I recall that the greeting cards were all displayed in a plastic wrapper. Once you handled a (usually dusty) sample, you either asked for assistance or found a clean card in the drawer below. Soon Wilson’s closed and was then occupied by a shop selling Americana-style crafts and decorations.

Remembering Linglestown of years gone by

Updated at 11:09 am …

Gazette reader Dick Strawser sent me the note below several months ago in response to a post about a prior use of the historic building that houses St. Thomas Roasters coffee house (pictured below).

As a recent re-resident of the area, I try to check your blog postings on a fairly regular basis. I grew up in Colonial Crest: my family moved there in 1960 when I was 10 and I moved back into the house after my mother’s death last year.

Usually my travels take me south on Colonial Rd to the Colonial Park area. But the other week, having read about the St. Thomas Restaurant [in Linglestown] on your blog and in the PennLive forum, a friend and I decided to check it out and were very happy with our experience.

Over the years, quick trips down “Main Street” didn’t bring on the waves of nostalgia until we were looking for the restaurant: it occurred to me how much things had changed even in “downtown Linglestown.” I remembered all the farmland from the ’60s being converted into suburban homes. My mother took me along to her garden club shows that were held in the old firehouse. And so on…

My dad was a close friend of Bill Wilson who owned the drugstore that was located where St. Thomas Roasters is now. I’m not sure when Bill closed the store but when my dad died in 1985, Bill was still around – I’m sure he had retired before I came back to the area in 1980.

Going through the usual family papers after my parents’ deaths, then, I found an article my mother had cut out about Bill Wilson and of course, I can’t remember if I saved it or where I put it, but he must have been close to 90 and quite frail then: as I recall, he died shortly after the picture was taken, whether that was in the article or a note added by my mom. I think it was in The Patriot-News but perhaps in The Paxton Herald, if that’d help you track anything down.

More stuff on Wilson’s Pharmacy Back in the 60’s I attended Linglestown Elementary. Since my friends and I all rode our bicycles to school, on the way home we always made a detour to Wilson’s Pharmacy. We’d all go sit at the soda fountain and have a drink. Those that saved their lunch money got themselves a soda, those that didn’t were out of luck. The drinks were served in a paper cup held in a metal cup holder. Mr. Wilson would charge us a few cents even for a cup of water. His excuse was that he had to pay for the paper cup, I think the real reason was he didn’t want a bunch of non-paying kids blocking the counter from the paying customers ;).

– submitted by Larry Hartman

Please e-mail B² if you can add to Dick’s memories of Bill Wilson’s drugstore.

Linglestown history mysteries

* I was in a retail store today that had several historical pictures of Linglestown. One showed the home of the Pletz boys, who are credited with inventing a flying machine in 1828. Please post a comment if you can add to this historical tidbit.

* After reading the answer to this week’s trivia question, Gazette reader Old Pops wants to know what years Linglestown Fire Co. held a carnival at Koons Park. You know what to do if you’re in the know – post a comment.

Three nail trivia challenge

Gazette congratulations go out to Brian Carl, a village of Linglestown resident and a staffer at Linglestown Life church, for being the first reader to submit a correct response in the Gazette trivia contest #1 – Name the resident, business, group or organization that donated the land now known as Koons Park to Lower Paxton Twp.

Brian credited his father, Harold Carl, for helping him come up with this correct answer:

The simple answer is the Linglestown Fire Company donated the land to the township.

The long answer is, Pete Koons originally owned the land (just basic pasture which he may have used for his livestock business at the time). He donated the land to the Fire Company. Following that, the township wanted the fire company to donate the land, however, at the first meeting it was an item for vote, the vote failed and they chose not to donate the land. As the story goes, the fire company later called a special meeting with the purpose of voting on donating the land again, and this time it passed. One of the stipulations of the donation was that every year, Linglestown Fire Company be allowed to hold their firemen’s carnival on the grounds.

So, Pete Koons to the Fire Company, then the Fire Company to the township.

Gazette reader Charles Hoffer and Sean Harp also successfully completed the trivia challenge.

Reader solves Sasha’s Hideaway mystery

On a recent BB AnswerLine video, I asked for help to unravel some local history: What was the name of the establishment that was operated on the same spot along Route 39 east of the village as Sasha’s Hideway and the former Rachel’s Cafe?

It didn’t take long to get some feedback. A longtime Gazette nation member, one of LP’s finest, came through with the answer …

It was known as the Quiet Inn before Sasha’s and Rachel’s. It seems to me that the place also had a short life as the Piketown Cafe, which had a very rowdy crowd in the early 90’s – I was there breaking up many fights late at night.

If you have remembrances about the Quiet Inn, please post a comment or send an e-mail to the Gazette.

Memorial Day in Linglestown

CLICK HERE for a letter-to-the-editor published by The Patriot-News that describes Memorial Days of yesteryear in Linglestown. Also, CLICK HERE for a moving Memorial Day story from days gone by as told by a Millersburg resident.

For highlights of this year’s Memorial Day in the village, check out the video below …

Linglestown holiday weekender

Monday’s big event The annual Linglestown Memorial Day Parade will kick off from Linglestown American Legion at 1 pm.

The parade route is Blue Eagle Avenue, Balthaser Street, and Linglestown Road from Balthaser Street to the square. Refreshment will be served at Koons Park following the parade.

Another Memorial Day happening St. Thomas Village Oriental Market & General Store on the square in Linglestown welcomes all vets, their families and all friends to try free samples of coffees from around the world, and also sample LUMPIA, the world famous Philippino-style egg roll. The store will be open Monday from 10 am to 9 pm.

CD sports Gazette congratulations go out to CD junior Justin Shirk for winning his second straight PIAA Class AAA javelin title Saturday at Shippensburg University. The story behind Shirk’s victory as told by Rod Frisco of The Patriot-News is quite interesting.

History byte The official name of the historic section of Linglestown is The Town of St. Thomas. Linglestown Gazette reader Harry recently asked in a comment if Thomas Lingle, the town’s founder, named the town after himself, or the saint. Please post a comment or send an e-mail if you’re in the know.

History byte #2 … According to two longtime residents of the Linglestown area, the home where St. Thomas Roasters coffee house is located previously was a pharmacy that closed up shop sometime in the mid-1970s.

Mowing contest update … For those of you entered in the mowing contest, the count is up 10. Due to last week’s rainy weather, the last cut started on Wednesday and ended on Friday.

Linglestown midweek update

History buffs talk swords Civil War sword expert Dane Maryott (pictured holding one of his swords) was the featured speaker for the Lower Paxton Historical Society gathering Wednesday evening at St. Thomas Roasters in the village square.

He said the swords were not used to inflict cutting injuries – in fact, they usually were very dull. The weapons were used to stab and to make striking blows.

Dane also owns a Web site that has historic photos of Linglestown.

Watch for announcements on Linglestown Gazette about future historical society meetings.

CD offers free concerts CD High School has three jazz bands, and they will perform a spring concert this Friday, May 16 at 7:30 pm in the school auditorium. Admission is free.

And, the school’s Spring Orchestra Concert will take place next Wednesday, May 21 at 7:30 pm. Admission is also free for this concert.

Please consider supporting the students with your attendance as they wind down their academic year.

Ut ohhhh!! It looks like the only swimming that will happen this summer at Koons Park Pool will be the ducks that were hanging out there Wednesday afternoon. The pool has not been drained and the grass needs to be cut in a big way.

Please leave a comment if you’re in the know about what’s happening with the pool.

Rewriting Linglestown history

Linglestown, a capital

Lower Paxton Township was established in 1767. The township was a part of Lancaster County at that time, and covered a much larger land area than it does today. It was carved into seven municipalities by 1850.

Linglestown was founded in 1765, two years before the creation of the township. Based on this chronology of events, I hereby declare Linglestown the capital of Lower Paxton Township.

Other stuff

* Welcome to spring 2008. Below is a sign of spring – a township streetsweeper today cleaned up the cinders at Koons Park’s main lot. Snow is forecasted for Saturday morning, so hopefully this job wasn’t done too soon (limited accumulation currently is predicted).

* I’m still seeking photos of “man caves” in Linglestown. If you have no idea what I’m referring to, CLICK HERE and HERE to get up to speed on this Gazette cultural investigation.

Linglestown Wet Wednesday

Linglestown Gazette proudly presents another edition of Hump Day News ‘N Notes to help you work toward the Easter holiday weekend.

Fore!! The start of spring is upon us, and that means it’s time to hit the links. And, golf courses in the Linglestown area are running special offers:

Colonial Country Club has an introductory membership, called Golf Plus, that’s good for unlimited golf, and includes family use of the pool and tennis courts. This will set you back $300 a month for a year, no additional fees. The club is using the Golf Plus offer to showcase its newly renovated clubhouse and golf course, said Tim Nowak, the club’s dining room manager.

Felicita, which is located in Fishing Creek Valley, is offering an unlimited golf membership with sweeteners for $1,498 if you’re in my age range, 36-69. Contact the resort for price info if you’re younger or older than my age group, and tell the sales associate that you heard about the deal on Linglestown Gazette.

At Sportsman’s Golf Course, you can play on weekdays for as little as $15 through March 31, includes cart.

Egg hunt time New Hope Church is sponsoring an Easter Egg Hunt this Saturday, March 22 at Koons Park. Come at 11 am for FREE hot dogs, chips and drink. The hunt will begin promptly at noon. Ages 0 through 10 are welcome.

Class reunions Central Dauphin High School class of 1963, 5-11 pm, Sept. 20, Linglestown American Legion. Information: Send e-mail to Linda Deardorff Meyers, or call 545-4876.

Central Dauphin High School class of 1973 is forming a reunion committee. Information: Send e-mail to Diane Miller.

Linglestown history trivia Linglestown Road was a footpath used by Indians and colonial explorers.

Source: Lower Paxton Township Comprehensive Plan 2004-2014