Welcome back to the Blast! Are you ready to take another stroll through the streets of Shippensburg, hopefully learning something about this town that you didn’t know before we started.
Last week we left off at the bakery on the corner of South Earl Street and Neff Avenue that later became part of Valley Baking Company. Anyone who grew up in Shippensburg remembers the Valley Baking Company and the aroma of freshly baked bread you could smell blocks away from the bakery. Ooh that smell!
Moving on to Martin Avenue, it’s assumed that it was named after the Martin family that owned property on this alley between King and Burd streets. It runs parallel to King Street from Brookside Avenue on the east side of town to Morris
Street in the West End.
Gettle Avenue was named for David Gettle who owned a lumberyard and built several houses on this alley. It lies between Penn and Prince Streets, and connects East Burd Street to East Garfield Street. Book Alley (that I’ve never heard of until
now) is a short alley between East Burd Street and East Martin Avenue, was named for A.C. Book, a sawmill owner and lumber dealer who lived on East Burd Street.
Heading to the West End of town, there’s Marden Avenue, a short street branching off of Lurgan Avenue. It runs between the former Marden clothing factory and winds around to connect with Reading Road, which runs parallel to Lurgan Avenue and may derive its name from the nearby Reading railroad.
Have you heard of Sunset Lane? History tells us that late one afternoon when George Hosfeld and Ernest “Jack” Herr were looking over new streets on which to build houses in the west end, they saw a beautiful sunset. It came to both of them
that the short street between Lurgan Avenue and Reading Road should be called…you guessed it, Sunset Lane.
The oak trees planted on both sides of the street connecting North Morris and Lurgan Avenue provided the name for Oak Lane.
The McAllister family name is remembered with a street that runs from Roxbury Road down the hill past Chateau Terrace Apartments to North Fayette Street. All this land at one time belonged to a retired Presbyterian minister, William McAllister. His farmhouse was located at the corner of Lurgan Avenue and North Morris Street.
The late Dr. Fague always remembered Springhouse Road and its namesake.
When he purchased his veterinary practice from Dr. Lyle Baker in June of 1951, he moved into a small cement blockhouse on the corner of Spring Street and North Fayette Street, located across from the spring house and duck pond. The West End Lake Company built this house and an office across the street next to the spring house for Dr. Baker. Wow, there’s’ something else I didn’t know until today! I have always wondered what that tiny little block building was for, or why anyone would ever build something right there. It always seemed like a very strange place to build anything- and I never understood why anyone would build something in front of the old duck pond. Now I know!
Ever heard of Sherman Avenue? Now this I have heard of and I know where the namesake comes from. Sherman Avenue lies east and parallel to Queen Street. It was named for the Sherman family that resided at the corner of East Burd Street and North Queen Street. They operated a junkyard behind the house, which is now the beginning of Sherman Avenue. Joseph Sherman was the last family member to operate this business. I remember as a young girl how I was scared to walk out North Queen Street by myself. The junkyard was back behind the alley a bit, but that section of the street was always dark, so if I was walking home (which I did quite often when going to the store on Orange Street) I always ran to the other side of the street so I wouldn’t have to walk past the junkyard alley. To this day I am sometimes spooked by darkness in certain places. Could it possibly be
because of all the scary movies I watched as a teenager, or was there really something scary in that junkyard?
Finally we come to School House Lane, named for Nancy Grayson schoolhouse where the lane begins. This lane runs two blocks, from Lurgan Avenue to Westover Road.
Shippensburg has changed so much since the naming of our familiar streets and alleys. Perhaps after reading this article you will look a little closer at the street names as you pass by and have a better understanding of how and why they were
given those names.
As I was writing this offering of the Blast, I was reminded of several questions that have been asked of me recently: Do you know why all of the towns are approximately 11 miles apart? Was it because 11 miles was about how far a horse and wagon could travel in one day? The reader noted that there are approximately 11 miles between each destination; Hagerstown to Greencastle to Chambersburg, Shippensburg to Newville and Newville to Carlisle. Does anyone know for sure? Honestly I never really given it much thought, but the logic
definitely backs up the reader’s theory.
Another question, why are the street signs in town, green; notably at the east end of town? When you go to the west end, past the Greyhound Restaurant, the street signs are red. Is this because the west end of town is in Franklin County and the east end is in Cumberland County? Let these questions be your homework for this week. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have an answer, or if you have another good topic for me to delve into. I’ll be sure and add your ideas to my ever-growing list.
Stay tuned next week for another trip down memory lane when I’ll take a look at the old Western Maryland Rail Road passenger station that once stood beside the railroad tracks on the south side of West King Street. The lot is vacant now, but many folks have shared memories of this being the old library and story time on Saturday mornings was the place to be! I can only image how neat it must have been as a child to walk into this place and find a favorite book!
Do you have memories of going to the old library? Do you remember your favorite story or who the librarian was at that time? Give me a call, (717) 446-4577, or email me at: email@example.com, or call the News-Chronicle office at: (717)532-4101. Please leave your name and a call back number, along with your reason for calling. Please be kind and considerate when you call- the office is a busy place but the person on the other end of the phone is always wearing a smile, and they can hear you smiling too!