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Mechanicsburg

Posted by on May. 31, 2013 at 11:48 AM
  • 11 Replies

http://www.centralpennparent.com/Heres-The-Scoop/May-2013/Chocolate-chips-and-hula-hoop-art-in-Mechanicsburg/

Chocolate chips and hula hoop art in Mechanicsburg

May 31, 2013 - 08:09 AM

Although I’ve lived in the area for two years, it turns out there’s a lot I didn’t know about Mechanicsburg.

I live on the east edge of town in Hampden Township and primarily stay along Carlisle Pike—that busy, four-lane road that stretches for few miles and includes restaurants, car dealers and that giant toy store, plus an ice rink and bowling alley.

So I ventured into the borough and started my tour at the Mechanicsburg Museum (2 Strawberry Alley) to get some background on the town. Unfortunately, it was closed, but along the way I noticed a record store, so I decided to swing back and visit that.

I’ve never been to a real record store before, so it was really cool going to Record Smith at 16 N. Market St.

The store was small and dark, which added to the vintage mood. It was exactly what I expected a record store to be like. There were some CDs, but the coolest thing was all the records from oldies to modern bands like Halestorm and Lady Gaga.

After perusing the shelves (I don’t have a record player but it was still fun to see which albums I knew), I headed to Main Street and found Brittle Bark (33 W. Main St.), a chocolate and candy store that kids would love.

The small shop has been around for four years but in its current location since August. It offers candy “bark” as well as lots of chocolate-dipped treats, including chocolate potato chips—a partnership that sounds delicious.

The owner told me First Fridays downtown are fun and busy, and next month she’ll be offering gourmet popsicles. She also highly recommended Jubilee Day—the largest and longest-running street fair on the East Coast—June 20.

I resisted the urge to buy the chips (it felt like it was 100 degrees outside, so I really just wanted a cold drink) and wandered Main Street. I stopped at Brath & Hughes Fine Art (41 W. Main St.) on a recommendation from Brittle Bark’s owner. The gallery is one of two art galleries downtown.

Brath & Hughes is full of paintings and other artworks on display in an old bank. The historic gallery even has a vault from 1877 that is used as a showroom for special exhibits.

I spoke with one of the owners and she showed me around, including a few of her works. One was made by painting with a hula hoop. I didn’t know such a thing was done, but apparently she gets a hoop with some fur (for the brush) on it, dips it in paints and hula hoops against the canvas (now there’s a summer activity for the kids!).

I don’t really get art, but even I could appreciate the gallery. Some of the works were paintings on glass, which created cool effects with different paints.

Brath & Hughes is open for First Friday events and sometimes has live music. There will also be a hula hoop painting demo on Jubilee Day.

I moved on to Hershey Violins, which I was surprised to learn isn’t some chain associated with the city of Hershey.

The shop (11 W. Main St.) is owned by Scott Hershey, a man who repairs and even creates violins. The wall to the left of the entrance has nearly 50 violins on display ready for purchase, and straight ahead is a room with windows and various violins in different stages of creation. Hershey said he doesn’t like to make them one at a time, which gets boring, so he starts a few at a time.

To date he has made more than 100 violins, and he said they usually take 150 hours each to make. He also rents and repairs instruments.

Hershey also has a small gallery featuring his wife’s artwork. Deb Hershey is a popular York County artist who specializes in collage.

I was surprised to learn there is so much art in Mechanicsburg.

My final stop was suggested to me by everyone I spoke with: Civil War & More.

I was amazed to learn from the proprietor, James Schmick, that Confederate troops actually marched through Mechanicsburg and began to shell Camp Hill. I never realized how close the rebels came to attacking the city before their plans were disrupted by the battle in Gettysburg. (Admittedly, I didn’t grow up around here.)

Civil War & More (10 S. Market St.) has tons of books about the war, Gettysburg, generals and  the plans to take Harrisburg. There were also bullets on sale (what kid wouldn’t love one of those?), as well as flags, music and other Civil War souvenirs.

Schmick told me about the upcoming Civil War Days June 28-30. There will be guided tours, music and some reenactments honoring and celebrating the Civil War and Mechanicsburg’s role in it.

I headed home with more appreciation for my town. It’s a fantastic place to live, but I never realized there were little treasures beyond the big chains I often visit, and all of them in the heart of downtown.

by on May. 31, 2013 at 11:48 AM
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Replies (1-10):
lalasmama2007
by on May. 31, 2013 at 12:41 PM
1 mom liked this

Interesting.  Mechanicsburg isn't far from my MIL.

tkeifer11
by Member on May. 31, 2013 at 7:43 PM
1 mom liked this
I love this area! I'm in camp hill right by the mall. Its wonderful!!
Jayleareid
by on May. 31, 2013 at 8:03 PM

Nice! I'm in York, but originally from Harrisburg, and lived in New Cumberland for a few years also. It's a nice area up there. Jubilee day is fun, I haven't been in a few years, I'll have to mark it on the calendar! 

ninamsi
by Bronze Member on Jun. 1, 2013 at 7:08 AM
Sounds like an interesting town. Thanks for sharing.
Froggypjs
by Member on Jun. 1, 2013 at 1:37 PM
1 mom liked this

You learned more about mechanicsburg then I did the twenty years I lived on the Carlisle pike, where now Lowe's sits. I worked t the navy depot till 2001 and still have lots of friends and family there.  My daughter graduated from Cumberland valley high school.    Jubilee day is crazy there, but full of all kinds of food, and things, if you can see some of the entertainment they have,I really enjoyed it.  In case you didn't know there is also a art center where you can take all kinds of art classes, if you want more information let me know my friend Doris is very very involved there and teaches a lot of the classes, I will get you in touch with her.

maybe someday a bunch of us could get together for lunch or dinner, I would love that.

patti in Newville

Froggypjs
by Member on Jun. 1, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Oh by the way, I grew p in Enola which isn't far from you and have family still there,  grew up in a 200 year old farm house used during the civil war, the front half is still a log cabin, but. You can nly see it from the inside, the people that bought it exposed the logs inside the house and sided the outside, if it was me, I would of put the logs on the outside and restored it to the original log cabin


Vertical15
by Vanessa on Jun. 2, 2013 at 10:35 AM

 

This may be odd-I've lived here my entire life and never been to Jubilee day!  I am going to miss it again as we will be on vacation this year!  LoL

Quoting Jayleareid:

Nice! I'm in York, but originally from Harrisburg, and lived in New Cumberland for a few years also. It's a nice area up there. Jubilee day is fun, I haven't been in a few years, I'll have to mark it on the calendar! 


 

Vertical15
by Vanessa on Jun. 2, 2013 at 10:37 AM

 I know Enola well-my brother lives there.  I find that odd that they covered up the log cabin, too!  We should try to organize a Harrisburg area gathering of sorts!

Quoting Froggypjs:

Oh by the way, I grew p in Enola which isn't far from you and have family still there,  grew up in a 200 year old farm house used during the civil war, the front half is still a log cabin, but. You can nly see it from the inside, the people that bought it exposed the logs inside the house and sided the outside, if it was me, I would of put the logs on the outside and restored it to the original log cabin

 


 

Froggypjs
by Member on Jun. 3, 2013 at 9:25 PM

I would love that, or we could all meet at my place in Newville, I have a ranch house on two acres. We could BBQ outback at the pavilion 

call me or email me

717-776-0198 h.  717-580-5848 cell

email: frpggypjs10@hotmail.com

patti 

p

werenin Enola  does your brother live?

Vertical15
by Vanessa on Jun. 4, 2013 at 2:34 PM

 They live just off Enola Dr near Wertzville rd.  They are looking to move (last time we talked about it anyway!) and have only lived there a few years.  I think they want to move closer to the Hershey area.

Quoting Froggypjs:

I would love that, or we could all meet at my place in Newville, I have a ranch house on two acres. We could BBQ outback at the pavilion 

call me or email me

717-776-0198 h.  717-580-5848 cell

email: frpggypjs10@hotmail.com

patti 

p

werenin Enola  does your brother live?


 

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