1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Chambersburg

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CHAMBERSBURG, a borough and the county-seat of Franklin county, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., at the confluence of Conococheague Creek and Falling Spring, 52 m. S.W. of Harrisburg. Pop. (1890) 7863; (1900) 8864, of whom 769 were negroes; (1910) 11,800. It is served by the Cumberland Valley and the Western Maryland railways, and is connected by electric lines with Greencastle, Waynesboro, Caledonia, a beautiful park in the Pennsylvania timber reservation, on South Mountain, 12 m. east of Chambersburg, and Pen Mar, a summer resort, on South Mountain, near the boundary line between Pennsylvania and Maryland. Chambersburg is built on an elevated site in the broad and fertile Cumberland Valley, and commands a fine view of the distant hills and dales. The borough is the seat of Chambersburg Academy, a preparatory school; Penn Hall, a school for girls; and Wilson College, a Presbyterian institution for women, opened in 1870. The Wilson College campus, the former estate of Col. A. K. McClure (1828–1909), a well-known journalist, was laid out by Donald G. Mitchell (“Ik Marvel”), who was an enthusiastic landscape gardener. The shops of the Cumberland Valley railway are at Chambersburg, and among the borough’s manufactures are milling machinery, boilers, engines, hydraulic presses, steam-hammers, engineering and bridge supplies, hosiery, shoes, gloves, furniture, flour, paper, leather, carriages and agricultural implements; the total value of its factory product in 1905 was $1,085,185. The waterworks and the electric-lighting plant are owned and operated by the municipality. A settlement was founded here in 1730 by Benjamin Chambers, in whose honour the borough was named, and who, immediately after General Edward Braddock’s defeat in 1755, built a stone fort and surrounded it with a stockade for the protection of the community from the Indians. Chambersburg was laid out in 1764 and was incorporated as a borough in 1803. On the 30th of July 1864 Chambersburg was occupied by a Confederate cavalry force under General McCausland (acting under General Jubal A. Early’s orders), who, upon the refusal of the citizens to pay $100,000 for immunity, burned a large part of the borough.