Hershey History Center

The mission of the Hershey History Center is dedicated to preserve, promote, & interpret the history. Home of the Hershey-Derry Township Historical Society

Photos from Hershey History Center's post 12/07/2023

Stop in to see this display before it goes away!

This 1920’s scene of rural life and downtown Hershey features three narrow gauge model trains that depict the Lebanon branch of the Reading Railroad and the significance of this transportation on the vitality and growth of the community. Models of historic Hershey buildings, including the Hershey Chocolate factory, and operating trolley cars, add to the historic scenery. Visitors have the opportunity to operate interactive scenes and sounds.

Volunteers from Capital PenNScalers NTRAK, an N-Scale modular model railroad group, along with the Hershey History Center and John Cassel, installed the train layout exhibit.

The “Chocolate Town Special” was created for the Hershey Museum of American Life in 1995 for a seasonal display, most recently owned by a private collector, and we are proud to offer this limited time showing of a unique and historic model train layout.


Today is the day The Stay Apparel Co. Holly Jolley Trolley-Stop Pop-Up Shop opens, and we hope you will stop in to discover many unique gifts for your Holiday shopping needs. Hours today are 10am to 4 pm. The Trolley-Stop is located at the Hershey History Center.
More hours:
December 7th to 9th
December 14th to 17th
December 21st to 24th
STAY Apparel Co. is a Hershey-based store mainly selling graphic tees and sweatshirts with a sense of place. For instance, there will be a lineup of Hershey-related tees. Everything sold is made in the USA.


Stop in at Stay Apparel Co.’s Holly Jolly Trolley-Stop Pop-Up Shop for Holiday shopping. Opens on Thursday, December 7. 10am to 4pm. See our website for more hours. https://www.hersheyhistory.org/stay-apparel

Minis from , debuting Thursday at our Holly Jolly Trolley-Stop Pop-Up Shop, 40 Northeast Drive, Hershey. 🎅🏼

IIW - Episode 40 - Lou Paioletti | Italian Impact Weekly Podcast 12/06/2023

Check out this podcast to hear Louis Paioletti, one of Hershey History Center's Directors, talk on the Pittsburgh radio show.

IIW - Episode 40 - Lou Paioletti | Italian Impact Weekly Podcast Hershey may be known for chocolate but it is also has a very proud Italian heritage which helped enable the success of the area. For this week's episode, we interviewed a great historian who is very passionate about educating people with respect to the Italian contributions to 'Hershey PA'. If you w...

Photos from Hershey History Center's post 12/05/2023

Back in 1908, the Hershey community’s first swimming pool 🏊🏽was constructed in Hershey Park. The pool was near Spring Creek, and where the Comet Roller Coaster and the Super Duper Looper roller coaster are located.

The pool existed for 20 years, and closed after the 1928 season, when it was replaced by a much larger one located at the intersection of Park Boulevard and West Derry Road.

A 1929 photo of the Park Boulevard bathhouse shows its closeness to the pool. The entrance to the left was the women's locker room, the one to the right the men's. The center area was where the lifeguards took breaks and where the towels, given to each swimmer who enter the pool, were washed and dried. On the balcony, spectators could watch the swimmers. The Lighthouse with Parkside apartments and stadium parking in the background. The lighthouse exterior surface was very "rough" as seen in this photo and was sandy or tan in color.

If you’d like to read more about the history of swimming in Hershey Park, please visit our website.



At the Hershey History Center, we are excited to host some very important visitors. 🎅🏼Meet Santa and 🤶🏼Mrs. Claus on Sunday, December 17 from 1:30pm-5:00pm. Listen to Mrs. Claus read your favorite Christmas stories while sipping Hot Cocoa and nibbling on a Christmas Cookie 🍪made by Mrs. Claus herself. Have your Christmas wish ready to whisper in Santa’s ear. Enjoy the holiday train display 🚂and have fun taking photos.


Happy December 1st, everyone. The is on for the opening of Stay Apparel Co.’s Holly Jolly Trolley-Stop Pop-Up Shop on December 7th! Check out their website for in-depth info on their items for sale at https://www.stayapparel.com

Holly Jolly Trolley Pop-Up Shop will operate from 10 am to 4 pm:

December 7th to 9th
December 14th to 17th
December 21st to 24th

The location is at the Hershey History Center and near the Tanger Outlets.

Photos from Hershey History Center's post 11/30/2023

‘Tis the season to celebrate and to remember our loves ones. We have beautifully crafted glass ornaments to purchase at the Hershey History Center for display on the museum’s Remembrance Tree. 🎄

Please visit our website to select an ornament from the list below. Purchase online, by mail, and in-person.

Christmas Ball w/Gold……..$50


An acknowledgement card will be mailed to you. Please note: Ornaments will be saved at the museum. This gift is tax deductible.


The Holiday Train Show is hosting a bake sale by donation. We need more cookies for this weekend and are looking for volunteer bakers.

If you would like to make cookies, please email Liz Clancy at [email protected] or call or text her at 717-319-1931 and let her know what you plan to bake so we don't have an overabundance of just one kind of cookie.

Please bring your baked cookies to the museum in an old cookie tin, disposable container, or foil pan that you don't want returned this Friday morning, December 1, 10am-12pm.

Suggested cookies or treats:

Cut-Out Christmas Sugar Cookie
Drop Sugar Cookie
Oatmeal Raisin
Peanut Butter Blossums
Chocolate Chip
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Shortbread Cookie
Italian Ricotta Cookies
Tray of Rice Krispie Treats decorated with holiday sprinkles
Tray of brownies
Any cookie of your choice
Chex Mix


, on Tuesday, November 28th, is a great opportunity to continue your generosity and support by giving thanks for the . Thank you. 🙏🏻

Please donate at https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=4EFXEETYZDSQQ&source=url


Stop in at the Holly Jolly Trolley-Stop Pop-Up Shop, beginning December 7. There’s a full array of products; all made in the USA. Stay Apparel has a wonderful gifts🛍️ for family and friends, and all at excellent prices. 🤑

Ready to greet you when Stay’s Holly Jolly Trolley-Stop Pop-Up Shop opens Dec. 7 at , 40 Northeast Drive, Hershey. 🎅🏼

Photos from Vive Mas Tours: Unique Cultural Experiences's post 11/25/2023

Join the Cuba Tour with Hershey History Center and Vive Mas Tours: Unique Cultural Experiences.

Find out more at:


From everyone at the a very Happy Thanksgiving.🦃Wishing you a day filled with joy, gratitude, and the warmth of cherished moments.

We are closed today, but begin our Holiday Train Show hours tomorrow when we are open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm until December 30. We will be closed on Christmas Eve (December 24) and Christmas Day (December 25).


Celebrate your memories with an ornament on our 🎄Remembrance Tree, on display throughout the holiday season. Your remembrance and tribute for living or departed loved ones, friends, and family supports the Hershey History Center.

We will accept your remembrances until December 24, 2023. Please respond as soon as possible to allow time for your ornament to be personalized with a tag denoting your remembrance. An acknowledgement card will be mailed as specified below. This gift is tax deductible.

Christmas Ball w/Gold…....$50

Three easy ways to purchase an ornament:
1. Online on our website at:

2. Stop in at the HHC at 40 Northeast Drive, Hershey, PA 17033 to purchase at the front desk.

3. Download the printable form:https://www.hersheyhistory.org/_files/ugd/5bb744_28af5503a5d7450bae152d53d9092b7e.pdf and mail in to the address below.

Hershey History Center
40 North East Drive
Hershey, PA 17033

If you have questions, call us during our hours of operation, or email [email protected]


All aboard for the 2023 Holiday Train Show, returning November 24 with an exciting display that's fun for the whole family. Enjoy the track, engines, junctions, scenery, rolling stock, and much more. Access to the Holiday Train Show is included with museum entrance.

​Extended opening hours begins Friday, November 24 through Saturday, December 30. MONDAY TO SATURDAY: 10am to 4:00pm. Last train admission is at 3:45pm and the display closes promptly at 4:00pm.

​Special opening on Sunday, December 17. 1:00pm-5:00pm: Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus for a special story time.

​​CLOSED: Sunday, December 24 (Christmas Eve) and Monday, December 25 (Christmas Day).

Support for the annual holiday train display is provided by Ned Zechman.


HHC’s Annual Train show starts on November 24! 🚊🚞🚂

We need greeters, operators and reception staff. Shifts are 10am-1pm and 1pm-4pm.

To sign up: Call 717-520-0748 Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays, 10am-3pm, or stop in at the museum Monday to Friday 10am-4pm.

CRITICAL DAYS FOR VOLUNTEER SUPPORT: November 24th, 25th, December 9th, 23rd.
Any hours you can spare will be a great help. Volunteers keep the doors open and the trains running. Without you this event would not be possible. 🙏🏻

Photos from Hershey History Center's post 11/13/2023

Thursday, December 14. Visit three Bucks County treasures including SMITHSONIAN AFFILIATED Mercer Museum! Over sixty crafts & trades from pre-industrial America! Explore six floors of artifacts and collectibles.
Fonthill Castle - Henry Mercer’s amazing home. Enjoy our PRIVATE EARLY ENTRY!!
The Tile Works - A work shop and showroom of hand crafted tiles.
Round off the afternoon with a visit to Peddler’s Village!

$149.00 inc. entries, coach, driver gratuity.

Register online at https://tinyurl.com/2jdcwnxh


🤲🏼Volunteers needed for the HHC’s Annual Train show that starts on November 24! 🚞🚂🚉The model train display is underway and will be in the community room as last year. Open hours are Monday to Saturday, 10am-4pm.

We need greeters, operators and reception staff. The greeters’ and operators’ calendars are at reception as usual. Reception volunteers, please fill in the reception calendar as usual. Shifts are 10am-1pm and 1pm-4pm.

To sign up:
📲Call 717-520-0748 Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays, 10am-3pm, or stop in at the museum Monday to Friday 10am-4pm.
Any hours you can spare will be a great help.

Volunteers keep the doors open and the trains running. Without you this event would not be possible.🙏🏻


“PRIVATE EARLY ENTRY” at Fonthill Castle. Thursday, December 14. Join the tour of three Bucks County treasures!!

🏰 Fonthill Castle - Mercer Museum - The Tile Works
PLUS Mid Afternoon Free Time at Peddler’s Village!

Limited to 30 Passengers.
$149.00 inc. (Reduced price) Includes entries, coach, & driver gratuity.

🎟️Register online at https://bit.ly/46Ir0ub

Photos from Hershey History Center's post 11/06/2023

Monday memories of 1935 focus on the development of the 🌹Rose Garden. These are some of the first views of the new Rose Garden taken from The Hotel Hershey. The Garden, not completed at this point, opened in the spring of 1936. Flower beds are being laid out, and rows of what appear to be the first rose beds. The Garden Gazebo amd the lake are being built, both are still famous features of the Garden. Early rose beds in bloom with the gift shop building in the background. In 2016, a new building was built on the south side of the lake to house the gift shop and 🦋butterfly house at Hershey Gardens.

Photos from Hershey History Center's post 11/01/2023

Mr. Hershey did the same thing in Cuba that he did in his central Pennsylvania Chocolate plant site - he built a town for the workers. He created Central Hershey and built Cuba's "workers" homes. These 11 photos show neat rows of houses, all neatly places, all the same size, with porches, a lawn in front with a sidewalk, grass with trees lining the streets and landscaping. Several homes had a place for gardening close by to grow food. Note the Sugar Mill to the right side of one of the photos. Mr. Hershey's interest in Cuba, building a town and the sugar mill was initiated in 1916. Photos circa 1916-1946.

If you like Hershey History Center, please become a member. Help us to achieve our mission to preserve, promote, and interpret the history of Derry Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.



Thank you, Hershey Italian Lodge!😊

Thank you, Hershey History Center, and congratulations to executive director Nicole Soliday and her outstanding volunteer staff on another great preservation awards gala. This year’s dinner theme was “Quintessential Flavors of Sicily,” with excellent food, wine, and entertainment. We had a great time and we were honored to participate. Most importantly, a big congratulations to all of the preservation award winners.

In this photo is Wayne Tulli, president of the Hershey Italian Lodge, at the preservation awards gala standing next to an oil painting of Semproniano, Italy. The panoramic view of the Tuscany village was painted by Roger Doty for his dear friend, Ugo Passalacqua, who was born in Semproniano. The Doty family donated the painting, in Ugo’s memory, to the Hershey Italian Lodge, which loaned it to the Hershey History Center for the event.


*DAY TRIP* Thursday, December 14. Join us for a Holiday Ramble to Bucks County!

Hershey History Center's exclusive Early PRIVATE entry to Fonthill Castle with a guided tour for small groups of ten people! Tour and free time at The Tile Works, part museum and part working studio. Visit the Mercer Museum. Late afternoon enjoy FREE TIME "on your own" at the Peddler's Village to visit boutique shops, dine at a pub, or enjoy Happy Hour as the twinkle of the holiday lights signals the end of our day!

Trip departs the Hershey History Center at 7:00am with a short rest stop en route. Return to Hershey History Center around 7:30pm. Cost: $165.00. Includes motorcoach, attraction entries, and driver gratuity.

​Accessibility Alert: Facilities include stairs, uneven pathways, walkways with NO railings.

Ticketing at https://bit.ly/46Ir0ub

Photos from Hershey History Center's post 10/20/2023

From the Hershey History Center’s photo archive is this picture of Nowlin's Store that was on Park Avenue. Across the bridge over Springcreek, the store is on left (when facing north) - the area where it stood is now part of Hersheypark. The sign on the porch rail says Hershey's Ice Cream - 15 cents. Note this unique way to carry 4 ice cream cones! 🍦The photo was taken ca. 1930s. Note the old automobiles. This building was 324-326 Park Avenue. Probably after 1936, it became the Park Avenue Apartments. It was torn down around 1972.

Photos from Hershey History Center's post 10/19/2023

In the Footsteps of Major Dick Winters - WWII European Battlefield ExpeditionEngland to The Eagle's Nest. September 5 - 20, 2024. (First photo, 2019 Tour Group pauses at Schoonderlogt, Holland, Major Winters' HQ during the October 1944 Battle for Arnhem. Second photo, Major Dick Winters, October 1944.)

Interested in joining next year’s tour? Come to tour presentations to learn more, ask questions, talk with past travelers! 📧Please send an email to [email protected] to let us know you plan to attend the meeting. Thank you.

Monday, October 23 at 6:30 PM and repeated on Tuesday, October 24 at 10:00 AM.

At the HHC Museum - 40 Northeast Drive, Hershey, PA.

Offered since 2009, Hershey History Center has hosted over 750 travelers from twenty-five states on our exclusive itinerary. For tour information and a link to register, please go to https://www.hersheyhistory.org/world-war-2-tour


Yes - in celebration of La Festa and Italian heritage month we are giving a shout out to our friends at and supporting their raffle. Drawing on December 10.


Volunteers perfomed Tarantella, a traditional Italian Dance, accompanied by Joe Caliva.

Photos from Hershey History Center's post 10/17/2023

The HHC 26th Annual Preservation Gala on Saturday night was a fabulous evening of food, wine, entertainment, friendship, family, and laughter: when the community came together to celebrate our Italian American heritage. It was a wonderful event because of all who came out to celebrate 🇮🇹La Festa Italiana: The Quintessential Flavors of Sicily. Grazie mille. We hope you had a great time! ✨🌟

Guitarist/vocalist, Joe Caliva, entertained us with Italian music and song, and accompanied the performance of Tarantella. (See the video in the next post.)

Dinner was prepared by volunteers, except for the arancini made by Mangia Mangia, and the charcuterie, prepared by James Pronios, Pronio's Market. It was all delizioso!

We are most grateful for the generosity of the event sponsors, the silent auction donors and live auction donor, and to the guests who bid on many wonderful items. And, our sincere congratulations to the 2023 recipients of the Hershey History Center Annual Preservation Awards. Please view the Gala Program for information at the link. https://bit.ly/48Zkpgc

Last but not least, we could not have done it without the talents and efforts of a small army of volunteers, who decorated the museum to resemble an Italian piazza, did all the tech stuff, registered guests, managed the auction, greeted everyone at the door, served food and beverages, set it all up and cleaned up at the end of the event.

Thank you for supporting the Hershey History Center. Where History Happens.


Thanks to everyone who came out to the Big Night at the Barn for the movie, Big Night, Senape’s pitza and Pronio’s meatball sandwiches. It was a bella notte!


We will be hosting The Big Night at the Barn on Friday, October 13 | 6:00 pm.

Please RSVP to [email protected] and indicate in the message how many are in your party.

As a prelude to La Festa Italiana, we host a showing of the 1996 movie, Big Night, starring Stanley Tucci, outside at the Barn. This community event is a tribute to preserving the festive heritage of Italians in Hershey. Open to the community. No ticket required. Everyone is welcome. Meatball sandwiches will be on sale at the event. Limited pizzas for walk up.

🎬We plan to screen the movie outside, if conditions are favorable. Please bring lawn chairs, BYOB, a blanket and warm clothing.


Nikki Soliday, Executive Director of the Hershey History Center, is at Pronio's Market in Hershey to talk about the upcoming Preservation Gala on October 14 at the Hershey History Center to celebrate the town’s Italian heritage. Tickets on sale at: https://event.auctria.com/8a3d161d-d350-47ec-b519-0ff4f1183e22/Tickets

Photos from Hershey History Center's post 10/06/2023

We are excited to offer a second opportunity to visit 🇨🇺Cuba. The tour is from January 25 to February 3, 2024, in collaboration with Vive Mas Tours: Unique Cultural Experiences.

Join this all-inclusive traveling experience as we connect with Cubans in Hershey, Cuba. Learn about the historical connection of these cities, Milton Hershey’s influence, and more.

This is a comprehensive trip with big cities and small towns, the best of Cuban architecture, food, music, bird watching, and UNESCO World Heritage sites! You’ll cover half the width of the island on this tour from Havana to Camaguey.

Accessibility: Please note that in Cuba, the sidewalks are often cracked and uneven, tour members must be able to handle walking on uneven terrain. You must be able to walk up to 3 miles in a day to participate in the tour.

Itinerary and ticketing at https://vivemastours.com/hhc-2024


Saturday, October 14 at 7:15pm, come celebrate the historic heritage of our town’s unique 🇮🇹Italian culture at our Preservation Gala! This event toasts to the melodies, art, and community of local families, with a signature focus on regional food offerings with each annual event. Homemade, from-scratch Sicilian recipes will be prepared by locals, with wine pairings for each small plate course. A foodie event like no other, savor tastes and flavors that can only be found here, for one night. The evening will feature live Italian music, intimate dining in the museum, a special Art of Italy exhibition, and silent & live auctions.

Tickets at https://event.auctria.com/8a3d161d-d350-47ec-b519-0ff4f1183e22/Tickets


Past Hershey Chocolate Factory tour guides enjoyed an unexpected reunion at the Preservation Tour on Saturday at the . One attendee commented “I was struck that so many people on our tour where also Hershey Chocolate factory tour workers!”

Left to right: Gail Schilling, Carol Schilling, Diane Paul, Deb Gould, Trish Angelotti, Pam Gould, Peg Hoy.
📸Photo contributed by former board member, Susan Cort.

Preserving our history is important to our community and is what makes events of this kind so special.

A special thanks to the Hershey Trolley Works for sponsoring the event and for providing the trolley for free! 🚃

🤎Thank you to everyone who joined us for the first event in our annual Preservation series.


October is Italian American Heritage Month! 🇮🇹

Join us in celebration of the rich heritage of Hershey's Italian American community at this Special Event!

Saturday - October 14
Two Seatings - 5:00 PM & 7:15 PM

Traditional Foods - Wine Pairings - Music - Silent Auction

Ticketing at https://event.auctria.com/8a3d161d-d350-47ec-b519-0ff4f1183e22/Tickets


Thank you to local Italian American history enthusiast Louis Paioletti who presented a fascinating presentation last night at the on the Labor Movement in Hershey: The 1937 Strike and the Italian Community Influence. We were delighted the event was so well attended. If you missed it, there is a good chance the presentation will be held again next year.

ℹ️For information on our upcoming events, please visit the link 🔗to our EVENTS web page at https://www.hersheyhistory.org/events

Photos from Hershey History Center's post 09/28/2023

Flashback Thursday features the wonderful Hershey Park Miniature Railway. This little gem operated in Hershey Park from 1910 until 1971, which was the final operating season of the Miniature Railway. Do you remember riding the railway?

The history:
On May 8, 1909, Milton S. Hershey contracted with the Empire Track and Brake Company, Lancaster, PA, for the Miniature Railway at a cost of $3,150.00. Ernest Miller was the Inventor.
On April 9, 1910, the Miniature Railway arrived in Hershey. Sept 9, 1910, work on the Miniature Railway was completed. Those who were part of the first ride were Harry N. Herr, Civil Engineer for the project, Charles V. Glynn, master mechanic of the Chocolate Company, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Miller, and Joseph Hills, editor of the Hershey Press. Miniature Railway’s first operating season in Hersheypark was 1911. In 1957, Ernest Miller visited Hersheypark the year before his death and rode the Miniature Train for the last time. July 14, 1959, Harrisburg chapter of the National Railway Historical Society visited the train in Hershey to celebrate its 50th Anniversary. Jan 20, 1972. Miniature Railway Station behind Hershey Department Store was demolished.

Jan 2007, Friends of the Hershey Trolley (FOHT) and Hershey Entertainment and Resorts announced they would work together to restore and display the Miniature Train in the community.

Sept 13, 2007. Passenger Car No1 was restored and on display for Milton S. Hershey’s 150th Birthday Celebration.

May 30, 2011. Motor Car and Passenger Car No1 were restored and displayed in the Hershey Memorial Day Parade.

For more information on the Friends of the Hershey Trolley, please visit our web page at: https://www.hersheyhistory.org/friends-of-the-hershey-trolley

FOHT is a committee of the Hershey History Center. Its mission is the education and preservation of the Hershey Transit trolley system that ran from 1904 to 1946. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact them at [email protected]

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Preserving our History...

The Mission of the Hershey - Derry Township Historical Society is dedicated to preserve, promote, and interpret the history of Derry Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

Videos (show all)

Holiday Train Show
Volunteers perfomed Tarantella, a traditional Italian Dance, accompanied by Joe Caliva.#tarantella #italiandance
We will be hosting The Big Night at the Barn on Friday, October 13 | 6:00 pm.​Please RSVP to info@hersheyhistory.org and...
Nikki Soliday, Executive Director of the Hershey History Center, is at Pronio's Market in Hershey to talk about the upco...
Jazz at the Barnyard is live now! Join us!#hersheyhistory #hersheypa #hersheyschocolate
Kids and adults having a blast at Trains at the Tracks!  We are open until 5pm today.
Open today until 4pm.  Stop by and see the progress on our new train layout!
2019 Preservation Gala Announcement
Hershey Historical Society Preservation Tour



40 Northeast Drive
Hershey, PA

Opening Hours

Monday 10am - 4pm
Tuesday 10am - 4pm
Wednesday 10am - 4pm
Thursday 10am - 4pm
Friday 10am - 4pm
Saturday 10am - 4pm

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