hershey's chocolate

Day 46 – Pennsylvania Dutch Country

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Day 46 of a Year Long Road Trip Along America’s Scenic Byways

Town of Bedford, Pennsylvania

I was much more successful visiting the antique stores, candy stores, and historic buildings that lined the downtown streets of the Town of Bedford this morning than I was at finding a pub last night.  I stopped by two historic locations, the Anderson House and the Espy House. 

The Anderson House, built in 1815, originally housed the first bank in Bedford and now acts as a public library and community center.  The Espy House, built around 1771, served as George Washington’s headquarters in 1794 when he and peace commissioners traveled to western Pennsylvania to quell the Whisky Rebellion, a violent protest by farmers who opposed an excise tax on whisky.

The Farm Show Arena

After visiting Bedford, I took a slight detour from the Reader’s Digest Book and visited the Farm Show Arena.  For years, the Farm Show Arena hosted the first two weeks of the year-end hunter/jumper finals, also known as “Indoors” by competitors. The month of finals, which were held in Harrisburg, Washington DC and New York City at Madison Square Garden in October and November, were called “Indoors” by competitors because most of the shows throughout the year are held outdoors.

To qualify for the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, also known as Harrisburg, riders must rank in the top 50 in the Nation. The rankings are determined by points earned at horse shows throughout the year.  It was so surreal to be there twenty years after competing there.  I hardly recognized the place. As a competitor, I never entered the front door or arrived at the arena in daylight.  We always entered the stables in the back before sunup.  Anyway, I was so close to the arena, I had to visit.  In fact, if I had made it five days sooner, I could have watched the competition.

the farm show arena in harrisburg, pennsylvania

Hershey Chocolate Factory

When I competed at Harrisburg as a teenager, I always wanted to visit the Hershey Chocolate Factory in Hershey, Pennsylvania. I finally made my dream come true…sort of. Today, the company doesn’t allow tours of the real factory (bummer!) Instead, visitors take a simulated tour at Hershey Chocolate World. 

the Hershey Chocolate Factory in Hershey, Pennsylvania

The amusement park-type ride featured a live video feed of each station of factory. The employees operating the ride through the “factory” probably thought I was crazy as they watched a 39 year old woman go on the ride not once, but twice. Yes twice, and I had my reasons.  First, I’m fascinated by factory machinery. I always wonder how these machines are invented! Additionally, I wanted to make sure I referenced the history, the chocolate making process, and the statistics properly.

Chocolate World in Hershey Pennsylvania

The History of Hershey Chocolate

Milton Hershey was born in Derry Church, Pennsylvania (now Hershey) of a Mennonite family in 1857.  Due to the family’s frequent moves, he dropped out of school and apprenticed in a print shop, a craft he did not enjoy.  After a few years, he attained a candy-making apprenticeship where he spent four years. 

Upon completion of the apprenticeship, he established his first candy-making business in Philadelphia which failed as well as his second attempt in New York City.  Hershey returned to Lancaster in 1883 and began the Lancaster Caramel Company which was an instant success.  With the proceeds of the sale of his caramel company, he purchased the machinery to produce chocolate after he became fascinated with the German chocolate exhibited at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.

Soon, Hershey moved back to his home town to be close to a fresh milk supply and through trial and error developed the Hershey chocolate formula of today.  In 1903 he began construction of the world’s largest chocolate factory, and by 1905 Hershey’s milk chocolate became the first nationally marketed product of its kind.  In addition to building the factory, Hershey built a model town for his employees complete with homes, a public transportation system, a public school system, and Hershey Park for recreation.

The Chocolate Making Process

The simulated tour claims the great taste of Hershey’s chocolate is all about the milk.  The dairy cows in the surrounding area supply a quarter million gallons of milk per day which in turn assists the Hershey factory in producing one million pounds of chocolate per day and 60 million kisses daily. 

The chocolate making process is as follows:

  1. Clean the beans mostly grown in specific climates in Africa, South America, and Indonesia
  2. Blend the beans, as beans from different areas of the world possess different tastes
  3. Roast the beans
  4. Break the beans
  5. Mill the beans
  6. Press the beans for cocoa butter
  7. Blend milk and sugar in with the chocolate
  8. Dry the chocolate to create chocolate crumbs
  9. Combine the chocolate crumbs and cocoa butter
  10. Refine the chocolate paste for consistency
  11. Comb the liquid chocolate for up to 72 hours
  12. Mold the chocolate
  13. Cool the chocolate
  14. Wrap the chocolate

What a process! No wonder it is so good.

While I spent my time on the ride, the Hershey’s Chocolate World also featured additional interactive activities for kids such as be a factory worker for a day or make your own candy bar.

Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia, Pennsylvania

After my visit to Hershey’s Chocolate World, I continued through Dutch country to the Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia, Pennsylvania.  The museum provided the chronology of time pieces from 4200 BC to 1896.  The below timeline, puts watches and clocks into perspective:

  • 4200 BC = Egyptian Calendar using 365 days
  • 3000 BC = First works of Stonehenge
  • 250 BC = Wide use of sundials in Greece
  • AD 1215 = Signing of the Magna Carta
  • AD 1400 = Wide use of sandglasses
  • AD 1500 = Lantern clocks introduced in England
  • AD 1510 = First watch introduced in Nuremburg
  • AD 1620 = Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock
  • AD 1687 = Sir Isaac Newton publishes theories on gravity and planetary motion
  • AD 1759 = John Harrison completes his fourth chronometer
  • AD 1789 = Washington becomes the first president of the United States
  • AD 1797 = Eli Terry is granted the first US clock patent
  • AD 1806 = Eli Terry contracts to produce 4,000 wooden clocks in three years (initiating mass production)
  • AD 1820 = Luther Goddard manufactures pocket watches in Massachusetts
  • AD 1840 = Alexander Bain develops first electric clock
  • AD 1861-65 = The US Civil War
  • AD 1874 = Telephone patented by Alexander Graham Bell
  • AD 1880 = German naval officers are supplied with Swiss-produced wrist watches
  • AD 1883 = Standard Railway Time with 5 time zones established in America
  • AD 1884 = World time zones established
  • AD 1896 = Dollar watches are widely available in the US

Just think, watches have been readily available in our lifetime, while in the 1800’s it was a luxury. And can you imagine living without time zones?!?

Other Exhibits

The watch museum also included a special exhibit on James Bond watches.  Agent 007 has worn a variety of models manufactured by four different watch makers in the movies dating back to 1962. Can anyone name the four manufacturers?

Other exhibits included how a watch is made, how a watch works, as well as many showcases of wrist watches, pocket watches, wall clocks, desk clocks, grandfather clocks, and even a monumental clock.  Monumental clocks, popular in the last quarter of the 19th century, were handcrafted clocks that were used more to entertain than to tell time.

The first known American-made monumental clock was constructed over 20 years by Stephen Engle from Hazleton, Pennsylvania.  While Engle invented the clock, the Reids exhibited the clock throughout the Eastern United States charging 25 cents to view “the eighth wonder of the world”.  The clock toured the US until 1951 when it disappeared.  The National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors finally found and acquired the clock in 1988. 

The clock contains a variety of moving figures.  The skeletal figure of Death strikes a thigh bone against a skull every hour.  Every 15 minutes, Father Time strikes a bell and turns his sandglass while the figures of Youth, Mid Age, and Old Age revolve above the clock dial.  At 40 minutes past the hour, Revolutionary Soldiers pass by Molly Pitcher as patriotic tunes play.  And at 55 minutes past the hour, three Marys emerge and the grand processional of Apostles takes place.

I only spent an hour and a half at the clock museum and could have spent much longer.  It was late afternoon by the time l left, and I hadn’t even taken the dogs for a good walk!  I quickly drove through the historic town of Marietta and then stopped at Chickies Rock County Park. 

Chickies Rock County Park

At Chickies Rock County Park, the dogs and I dropped a geocoin off at a cache on the way to a beautiful view of the Susquehanna River studded with islands.  I was hoping to see Three Mile Island, but being a few miles north, it wasn’t in sight.  A paramedic that was enjoying the views told me to visit another nearby overlook.  It was relatively tree covered, but I got a decent sunset picture before heading to Walmart for another night of camping. I’m signing off until tomorrow where I’ll be spending another day in the Pennsylvania Dutch country. ETB

Map of My Road Trip Across the USA

For a summary about my road trip across the USA, click HERE. For the interactive map, see the below link.

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Published by

Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned travel photographer and blogger.

7 thoughts on “Day 46 – Pennsylvania Dutch Country

  1. Must have been a dejavu moment being back at the arena for the “Harrisburg Show.” I’m sure it brought back some great memories.

    I think today’s blog might be my favorite — it’s so informative! Who the heck knew it took so many stages to make chocolate for a Hershy Kiss! Wow!
    I would have loved seeing the Clock and Watch Museum. Your timeline and statistics are interesting and so well done. I’m guessing 007 wore a Rolex, a Seiko and Omega (maybe) — can’t come up with a fourth. But, I will Google it later. 🙂

    Heading to bed after watching a GREAT Ranger game! I’m going to grab a Bon Bon on the way — with a much greater appreciation of what it took to whip up my little piece of chocolate!! 🙂

    Have a great day tomorrow! RILY!

    1. The problem with being so informative is the time! I could have added much more. Have fun tomorrow! Can’t wait to hear about the game. Hopefully you aren’t surrounded by giants fans.

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. Samantha and I went to Hershey World with my Maryland living brother this summer. We made our own chocolate bar. Wished we could have seen the real factory. If you like factories and machinery, you should check out How it is Made on TV, can’t remember the channel, History or TLC or Discovery. Great machinery on that show. Have fun.

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