Along Main Street and down Memory Lane

July 06, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A walking tour on Wednesday took 40 participants along Waynesboro's Main Street and down Memory Lane as many of the walkers swapped stories about growing up in the community.

"I went to business school upstairs," one man said while standing outside 26 E. Main St. Another echoed that his wife attended beauty school on the second floor in the 1960s.

Several remembered when the structure housed a furniture store.

That building, and scores of others on Main Street, have had many incarnations since the town's early days in the 1700s, providing for a wealth of historical information on three walking tours scheduled this week in conjunction with WaynesboroFest 2006.

The first tour, held Wednesday in hazy conditions, took participants around Center Square and the first blocks east and west. Similar tours are scheduled for 3 p.m. today and Saturday.


"I was born here in Waynesboro and lived here all my life and was surprised at some of this stuff I didn't know. It just kind of brought back some old memories," Ann Dickey said.

Guide Doug Stine of the Waynesboro Historical Society mentioned the many drugstores to operate on Main Street, the buildings that played early movies and the two former firehouses, one on the square and another at today's borough hall.

Other tidbits from his talk included that small, glass panels in the sidewalk allow for natural light in downtown basements and that today's Susquehanna Bank maintains what was the first marble edifice in town. That marble came from the same quarry that provided stone for the Washington Monument and pillars at the U.S. Capitol.

"The architecture in this town is really unique," Stine said.

Circa 1750, John Wallace settled 633 acres of what he called Mount Vernon. His grandson later laid out 90 lots and named it Waynesburg after Gen. Anthony Wayne.

Lot No. 1, the first east of the square on the south side, sold for 6 pounds and 5 shillings, Stine said.

His tour, and the next two to be led by Ken Beam, are free and include a brochure of information collected by Waynesboro Area Senior High School students. They start on Center Square.

That tour helped participants "to realize there was so many things in (buildings) beforehand," Dixie Rook of Waynesboro said.

WaynesboroFest is a triennial event that features the community's heritage for 10 days.

If you go

What: Walking tours of downtown Waynesboro as part of WaynesboroFest activities.

When: Tours are scheduled for 3 p.m. today and Saturday.

Where: Meet at Center Square.

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