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National Apple Museum

My Love-Hate Relationship with History

       With apologies to my Biglerville High School History teachers, I had a strong dislike for history when I was a student.  I memorized the dates and facts needed to pass the quiz or test, then promptly erased them from my memory.

       My interest in history began when I was in my early 20’s when a coworker loaned me a few books in the historical fiction genre. The fiction kept my interest, but the historical aspect had me yearning for more knowledge, which led to the reading of nonfiction historical works. The Civil War was my first passion, but I have since moved on to other time periods. Most recently, my husband and I watched the series “Reign” regarding the life and reign of Mary, Queen of Scots. The costumes were incredible, but more to the point, after each episode, I found myself researching to determine if the events we just witnessed really did happen. And yes, she was really beheaded at the end.

       If there is an historical fiction novel set in Biglerville, I don’t know about it. And if there was ever a beheading here, I don’t know that either. However, our little town is rich in history with no lack of colorful characters.

        A few years after I retired, I attended a meeting, and joined the Biglerville Historical and Preservation Society, and have since been volunteering a few hours a month when the museum is open.   In talking with other volunteers, questions arise for which I either know the answer from living in Biglerville or the surrounding area all of my life, or I can easily (most of the time) find the answer by utilizing my online subscription to a newspaper archive website.    

       When the pandemic began in 2020, and activities outside the home were minimal, my sister and I read over our grandparent’s and our father’s diaries. Questions would arise that required research (because inquiring minds need to know), and at that time I spent many hours researching questions such as who was this Mrs. Walton whom our father kept visiting in 1952? The answer to that question became a long story, which I will cover another time. 

       In my next blog, I will remember the Biglerville Sesqui-centennial celebration held in the borough in August of 1967, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Middletown, which would later be renamed Biglerville. I was a teenager in 1967 and have fond memories of the fun events of that week.   The Gettysburg Times also had extensive coverage of the occasion.

       Meanwhile, if you need a nudge to pique your own interest in history, visit the Harbaugh-Thomas Library and check out some historical novels. Or better yet, stop in the Apple Museum, and peruse our own little library of historical documents from Biglerville.   


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154 West Hanover Street
Biglerville, PA 17307