Hershey Pennsylvania, The Sweetest Place on Earth, or as I refer to it my hometown. I was born and raised in the once littlechocolate bubble which has now become a huge tourist attraction.
As I grew up in the close-knit town everyafternoon after school I would walk outside to the fresh smelling chocolatethat was being made a mile down the road at the Hershey Chocolate Factory. Every day I would drive through downtownHershey and pass the huge buildings that made up the factory. From the outside the factory looked like aghost town, the only movement was the smoke exiting the smoke stacks; however,inside was like a roaring city that the whole town was built on. After walking away from two unsuccessful confectionarybusinesses,Milton S.Hershey found hope when his caramel company was a hit. In 1894 the company introduced Hershey’s cocoa, the very first Hershey’s product available tothe public. Thisis when the Hershey’s brand was born.
Thetown quickly started to develop. In 1903 workmen that Milton S. Hershey hired starteddigging the foundation for The Hershey Chocolate Factory. Before the year was almost over several otherbuildings were being built. Oneof these buildings was the Cocoa House. Inside the Cocoa house was a bank, post office,general store, andseveral boarding rooms.
A school called the McKinley School was also builtalong with the rail and trolley lines that transported workers and materials tothe factory. Thoserail roads are what connected Hershey with other towns and they continue do sotoday. The first factory buildings builtwere one story high and covered six acres. Theoriginal factory was designed to manufacture chocolate in the fastest waypossible.
Ingredientsthat made the chocolate were delivered at one end of the factory. Afterwardsbeing processed they emerged at the other end asfinished products ready to be transported to markets and stores. Between 1910 and 1925, the locals of Hershey saw the factory grow from18 acres in 1911 to 35 acres by 1915. After42 years of living his dream, Milton S.Hershey died in Hershey,Pennsylvania, onOctober 13, 1945; however, hislegacy as a businessman and philanthropist continues to thrive in Hersheytoday.
Theoriginal factory in Hershey was closed in 2012, wherethey then moved production to a new West Hershey plant, where Hershey products are currently being manufactured. According to a Pennlive Article, the West Hershey facility is the “largestand most sophisticated in the world”;however,growing up seeing the old factory every day I did not want change. The originalHershey’s Chocolate Factory begun being demolished in 2013 just after a year ofproduction being stopped.
Brian Refford one of the locals in Hershey said