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MONT ALTO CENTENNIAL CELEBRATING 100 YEARS
JULY 12, 13, 14, 2013

                    100th Anniversary Committee for the Borough of Mont Alto

Charles Kauffman
Barbara Rotz
Shelva Eck
Deidria Davies
Donna Henderson
Donald Sites
Tammy Kauffman
Mike Kauffman
Peggy Walter
Beverly Spicer
Chad Miller
Nathan Hawbaker


                                          CENTENNIAL INTRODUCTION
                                    FUNKSTOWN - ALTODALE - MONT ALTO

The Centennial Committee wishes to introduce you to the town of  Mont Alto and the reason for this celebration.

Pioneers settled in this general area as early as 1762 and the first house was built in 1817 by John Funk close to the banks of the Antietam Creek on what was to become Main Street, Mont Alto.  This settlement was called Funkstown until the railroad was built and the station was named Altodale.  At that time, another settlement was formed in the area of the Mont Alto Iron Works and that village was named Mont Alto.  The Mont Alto Iron Works laid a foundation of industry for the area which prospered and grew.  This growth included five stores, four hotels, one livery stable, one blacksmith shop and a funeral parlor.  Eventually the two villages were combined to form the town of Mont Alto.

The reason for the incorporation was the growing need for a reliable source of water.  Pennsylvania law stated that private citizens could not use water from state owned property and therefore, incorporation as a borough would secure a water source for it's citizens.  The incorporation took place on July 13, 1913.

This Centennial celebrates that incorporation.  July 12, 13, 14, 2013 was designated by the current Borough Council as a weekend of celebration and a Centennial Committee was formed to plan this event.

Happy 100th Birthday Mont Alto

 

By Denise Bonura/The Record Herald

July 10. 2013 3:00PM

Mont Alto to kick off centennial celebration Friday, July 12

The organizers of the birthday party of the century are filled with a sense of pride as they prepare to ring in the celebration.

The Borough of Mont Alto will kick off its centennial weekend at 6 p.m. Friday, July 12, at the Richard K. Sleicher Events Complex off of Route 997. Events are planned for the public throughout the weekend, and the centennial committee hopes people attend and support the town.

"We have been working on this event for approximately two years. It has been a lot of hard work, that has been stressful at times. But we are looking forward to watching everyone have a good time this weekend," Shelva Eck, committee treasurer, said.

Governor in parade

The committee is especially excited to welcome Gov. Tom Corbett, who has agreed to be the grand marshal in the parade that starts at 2 p.m. Saturday.

"It's exciting for our community that Gov. Corbett is taking time from his busy schedule to come to Mont Alto and help us celebrate the borough's centennial," said Rep. Todd Rock, a Mont Alto native and a Republican who represents Franklin County. "The Mont Alto Centennial Committee is working tirelessly to showcase the history of our hometown, and it is an honor that a figure as important as the governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be on hand for this event.

"The governor's participation is very meaningful for the residents of the 90th District," Rock continued. "It demonstrates how committed he is to local communities. Small towns like Mont Alto are the backbone of Pennsylvania, and Gov. Corbett's visit underscores that he understands how important they are."

Eck added she and her children and grandchildren are excited to meet Corbett, and she feels his visit "makes our town very special."

Borough's incorporation

Pioneers settled in the general area as early as 1762 and the first house was built in 1817 by John Funk close to the banks of the Antietam Creek on what was to become Main Street, according to the borough's website. This settlement was called Funkstown until the railroad was built and the station was named Altodale. At that time, another settlement was formed in the area of the Mont Alto Iron Works and that village was named Mont Alto. Eventually, the two villages were combined to form the town of Mont Alto.

The reason for the incorporation was the growing need for a reliable source of water, the website reads. Pennsylvania law stated that private citizens could not use water from state owned property and therefore, incorporation as a borough would secure a water source for its citizens. The incorporation took place on July 13, 1913.

On Friday

Opening ceremonies Friday evening include the presentation of colors, the singing of the National Anthem and the introduction of local dignitaries including Mayor John Esser, members of borough council and the centennial committee.

An Old Tyme Block Party will be held at the events complex after the opening ceremonies, and will include a train ride for children, a dunking booth, a cake walk and a deejay. The Mont Alto Fire Department will have games set up and will sell food. Centennial souvenirs also will be available for purchase. Horse-drawn tours highlighting the town's history will also be given Friday.

Friday night will also bring out the firemen as they engage the community in an old-fashioned shirttail parade. Visitors who do not wish to get wet should not attend. The parade will move through the back streets of town, starting at Penn State dormitories and down University Drive to Reynolds Avenue, down Constitution Avenue, Greenwood then Aspen Street and back to the fire hall.

Historic highlights

Saturday morning will kick off with a pancake and sausage breakfast by the Mont Alto Fire Co. Ladies Auxiliary. Tickets cost $5, and breakfast will be served from 8 to 10 a.m.

Free trolley tours of the town will also be given Saturday morning, and will be more extensive than the horse-drawn tours, explained Charles Kauffman, chair of the committee.

Between 8 a.m. and noon, the postmistress will set up a temporary station inside of borough hall to cancel the 200 commemorative covers that were sold previously with a "one-of-a-kind postal stamp that will be destroyed Saturday, never to be used again," Kauffman said.

The Mont Alto Historical Society has also prepared a an exhibit of Mont Alto memorabilia that will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday in borough hall. The historical society also has compiled Civil War artifacts that tell the story of Union and Confederate troop movements around Altodale in the summer of 1863. "Conflict in the Air" will be on display through August.

The centennial parade will kick off in downtown at 2 p.m. Saturday. Carlene Willhide, parade organizer, said she will accept parade entries until Friday morning, and is hoping to have between 45 and 50 units. Trophies will be awarded to fire and ambulance units, majorette and drum corps groups, amateur floats, walking units and other units. Judges will be Pat Fleagle, Becky Dietrich and Jason Himes. Willhide said she was grateful for help from Bernie and Lou McGarity on organizing the parade, and feels the committee has put a lot of hard work into planning the celebration.

One of the parade's floats will include a replica of the Oak Knob Observatory built by Jay Slaybaugh of Orrtanna. The observatory was once a popular spot in Mont Alto Park. The replica was built in 2009 for the historical society.

After the parade, the public is invited back to the events complex for a community birthday party complete with cake, which will be ceremonially cut by Corbett.

"It's an honor that the governor of the commonwealth will come to a small town like Mont Alto to help us celebrate our birthday," Kauffman said. "That is truly something to be proud of, and I think that says a lot about Gov. Corbett."

Centennial closing

Sunday will begin with an ecumenical church service at the Mont Alto State Park pavilion at 10 a.m. followed by a community picnic around 11 a.m. A time capsule will be buried in the square near the community Christmas tree to end the weekend's events.

For more information, call the borough office at 749-5808. To sign up for the parade, call Willhide at 765-4537 or email her at:

On the Net

http://www.montaltoborough.com





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