Tuesday, December 4, 2012

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Today we have another installment of Charlene Dodds's rephotography project, in which she's visiting places shown on old postcards sent to and from members of her family. (In case you missed it, previous installments in this series are available here, here, and here.)

Here's the latest from Charlene:

For the next leg of my trip, I drove southwest from Harrisburg, and dropped in on Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Mechanicsburg was originally named for Conestoga wagon mechanics who settled this area in the early 1800s. When the Cumberland Valley Railroad came through town, bringing more growth to the area, mechanics in the burg serviced the trains. The many train lines through Mechanicsburg aided in transporting troops during the Civil War. In 1923, Jubilee Day was started by a pre-Chamber of Commerce group. This fair, which takes place on the third Thursday of June, is now considered the largest and longest-running one-day street fair on the east coast.

Many of the same buildings from a century ago are still standing, including the ones shown in a postcard that was sent to my great aunt in 1917. I matched the view in the postcard by taking a photograph looking east from Hershey Violins on West Main Street [for all of these images, you can click to enlarge]:

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Continuing southwest, I arrived at Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. The old church on King Street, completed in 1904 still survives, albeit with a few alterations to the tower. Still, it is recognizable as the same structure shown in this old postcard:

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My great aunt attended Shippensburg College just outside of town. The college recently completed a refurbishing of the ornate fountain in front of the main building. The fountain and the building both look very similar to how they looked in these old postcards:

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Back in town, the Sherman House has not fared as well. An old hotel originally known as the Union House, it was renamed and given new signage as Confederate troops approached, in hopes the it not be destroyed. Time has wrought worse alterations to “Shippen Place.” Looking carefully, one can see the original lines of the old hotel shown in this postcard, although xxpansion has pushed the wall outward, converting what was once a side street with rail tracks into an alley:

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That's it from Charlene for now. I'm sure we'll be hearing more from her soon.

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