William Archer (Archie) Hess was a Franklintown Borough businessman and integral part of the community for forty years.
He was born in 1912 into a farming family in Belair, MD. He made his way to New Oxford, PA where he also farmed. There he and his first wife had seven children. After the death of two children and a divorce from his wife he came to Franklintown Borough to open a Sinclair gas station.
It wasn’t long before he was looking for some companionship and found it through an ad in a lonely-hearts column in a Baltimore paper. It was there that he met his second wife Margaret. She moved to Franklintown Borough with three of her six children and they made a life together until his death 30 years later.
His youngest step-daughter, Debbie Stuck, isn’t sure who placed the ad, put she said she doubted it was her mother, “Sometimes she seemed embarrassed by how they met,” said Stuck, but she’s glad they did meet. “Archie was the only father I ever knew,” and she remembers him as being a kind and generous man.
He extended credit to everyone,” she said. In fact, when he died in 1995, the family was quite surprised how much he was still owed.
Stuck’s older brother, Ben Wasielevski, also remembers his step-dad as a generous, gentle and religious man. He was in his late teens when the family moved up to Franklintown Borough and he didn’t stay too long. He returned to visit and help out with the garage when Archie got cancer. He’s now living in the family home on Stoney Run Road since the death of his mother just a year ago
Stuck also remembers helping out at the gas station. When she was small, she and her mother would walk to clean the station once a week. When she was older, she would take care of the entire operation if Archie was away.
“I hated that,” she said, “Especially checking someone’s oil.”
But she has fond memories of mornings at the station where the older men of the community would gather over the coffee Archie provided and eat sandwiches from the hot sandwich machine he had.
“That’s where they’d go to get all the gossip,” she remembered.
The station sold bread, juice, milk, cigarettes, and candy. And after Shives, the borough’s grocery store closed, Hess’s was the only place to go for groceries without going into Dillsburg.
Stuck said her father always loved the carnival at the fire hall and gave generously to it. She thinks it just fine that there’s now a carnival in the park named after her father.
“It touches my heart that the borough named the park after him,” said Stuck. Even thought she now lives in Perry County. She plans to attend at least one night.
Archie's Gas station was a destination, not only for automotive work, but for snacks and sodas.
Archie was so beloved by the Franklintown Community that he was actually elected as a Borough official despite not being a resident of the Borough. He never took office as he was not eligible.
Franklintown Borough purchased the garage and land from Mrs. Hess and agreed to name the park in his honor.
There is a playground available for the amusement of all ages. Unfortunately, it is not setup for enjoyment by those with different abilities. This is something we are hoping to correct in the next couple of years.
We have a pavilion which can be reserved for Individual, Family or Group events. The current rental fee is $25.00. This includes: running water, Electric & a public bathroom.
Contact the office at 717-432-4047 for more information.
We provide plenty of parking for your convenience to access the park and it's amenities. This includes handicapped parking.
There is a walking trail in the woods behind the Borough's Field. It was installed as the Boyscout Eagle Project of Kyle Adams.
The Franklintown Borough Park Committee would like to thank Mr. Adams and the donors for this addition to our park.
*This is for Borough Residents only.
*This is for Natural Yard Waste from Borough properties only. Brush, Trees, Bushes and other natural yard waste only.
No milled or treated wood, no furniture, no windows, no concrete, no pianos, no old mail boxes!
This site is monitored by surveillance.
All Violators will be fined!
The brush pile is located in the field along East Ave. which runs behind the Post office building. It is surrounded by orance snow fence, please place the items on the pile using the opening in the snow fence.
The Flag Pole at the Borough Office Building was installed as the Girlscout Gold Award Project of Heather Miller.
The Franklintown Borough & Park Committee would like to thank Ms. Miller and the donors for this noble addition to our park.
GaGa Ball us a form of dodge ball that’s normally played in a “pit”.The game’s roots originated in Israel. The word “Ga” means Hit or Touch, so “Ga-Ga” means Hit-Hit. There are several variations on exactly how the game is played, but we find these rules to be the most common and fair, while keeping the game competitive and fun see the Weblink or the download below.
The GaGa Pit was a Silver Award Project of Cadette Troup 20684: April Prato, Jordan Fletcher, Kelly Thomas & Kourtney Gates. The Franklintown Borough Park Committee would like to thank the Troup, their esteemed leaders and the donors for this exciting addition to our park.
We have received a DCNR Grant to finish the bathrooms and concession stand in the park bathroom and replace the playground equipment. We need to do some fundraising to allow us to access the full grant amount. Stay tunedQ
We were awarded the DCNR Grant. We will be doing fundraising to allow us to access the full amount of the grant. Stay tuned for Park updates and activities.
York County Planning Commission's new Recreation Viewer helps you find things to do in York County.
Rocky Ridge Park will be doing their Christmas Magic in 2020 with significant changes. There are wonderful new displays and they are offering a single price admission of just $5.00 for everyone 4 and over. They have reduced the price, because of the change to a lights-only event due to Covid-19 and not having the usual live entertainment, Santa, trains, or vendors. Due to the discounted rate they will not be offering the buy-one-get-one (BOGO) program this year .
This year continues the online only ticketing. Visitors must reserve entry online at ChristmasMagicYork.com. They are discontinuing walk-in admission going forward. Online ticketing allows elimination of crowding both along the trail and on the road. “Christmas Magic – A Festival of Lights” will be open November 27 through December 31, 2020, and will be closed December 24th and 25th. The hours of the event are Monday through Thursday 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. and Friday through Sunday 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
For an enjoyable recreational activity checkout the website to see where the trail begins and ends in our Borough and explore it for yourself. Their trail blazes are blue. The trail is maintained by volunteers and the organization is looking for members to steward the trail going forward.