Martin’s All-American Road Trip; Stop #14 – Chambersburg, PA
Home, sweet home! This week marks the end of our All-American Road Trip and we are back in our hometown of Chambersburg, PA. This town is near and dear to our hearts as it is the birthplace of Martin’s Potato Rolls! In this post, we’ll share with you some insight into Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc. and some favorite things to do around town.
Chambersburg, PA was settled in 1730 by Benjamin Chambers who felt this was a prime location to start a community. The town was officially founded in 1764 and became a prime spot for travelers due to its being the intersection of two major roads, Rte. 30 (east to west) and Rte. 11 (north to south). According to Chambersburg’s Heritage Center, the town is known for its architecture and American history in addition to its transportation.
Chambersburg has had important roles in America’s history, from the frontier to the Civil War and the Underground Railroad. Due to its central transportation location, Chambersburg drew many troops during the Civil War, both Union and Confederate. During the war, the city was burned down in 1864 and later rebuilt. You can still visit one of the surviving buildings: the Old Jail, which was built in 1811 and is now one of the oldest buildings in the town. To explore more of the town’s history, you can take a walking tour through downtown using this guide: http://www.downtownchambersburgpa.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Walking-tour_1-part-rev-2-10-11.pdf.
Today, Chambersburg is home to many exciting attractions. At the Capitol Theatre in downtown Chambersburg, you can see fun performances by groups like the Chambersburg Ballet Theatre or Chambersburg Community Theatre, Inc. You can also see great theatrical shows at the Totem Pole Playhouse off Rte. 30, just 20 minutes outside of Chambersburg.
Chambersburg is in a great geographic location in the middle of the Cumberland Valley, surrounded by creeks and mountains, which provides for a lot of fun outdoor activities! Off of Rte. 30 is Caledonia State Park, where you can go hiking, camping, or even hop on the Appalachian Trail! The Conococheaque Creek, which runs through Chambersburg is another beautiful sight to visit, at any time of year. Make sure to check out the various parks and outdoor activities in and around Chambersburg to make the most out of the season. Check out http://www.explorefranklincountypa.com for more ideas.
Martin’s Potato Rolls
And, of course, the best thing (in our opinion) about Chambersburg, PA is Martin’s Potato Rolls! In 1955, our founders, Lloyd and Lois Martin began baking products out of their small garage and selling them in local farmer’s markets. Today, our products are distributed up and down the east coast and have become very well-known across the country and abroad. Martin’s bakery still holds a lot of meaning to the town of Chambersburg where it all began.
The Golden Roll
Did you know Martin’s has a Visitor Center? The Golden Roll: Martin’s Visitor Center offers guests the chance to experience a look back through Martin’s heritage. The center features the original garage bakery and Martin’s first delivery vehicle, a 1954 Dodge Coronet, as well as many photographs and stories from our company’s history. While we are not currently accepting tours due to construction on our campus, make sure to call in and get your name on the schedule once tours are up and running again!
Chambersburg has many great, local restaurants and businesses. Here are some of our favorites:
Chambersburg is well-known for its peaches and apple orchards, with many people demanding a taste year after year. Much of South Central Pennsylvania is also known for its “Pennsylvania Dutch” taste, influenced by early German settlers. This includes many Amish recipes, soups and stews, shoofly pie, and potato rolls! Another common dish you’ll come across in this region is the open-faced sandwich, like the two shown below.
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