Hummelstown, Pennsylvania
—  Borough  —
Hummelstown square
Nickname(s): H-Town
Motto: Your kind of town...
A map of Hummelstown

Hummelstown, Pennsylvania is located in Pennsylvania
Hummelstown, Pennsylvania
A map of Hummelstown
Coordinates: 40°15′55″N 76°42′31″W / 40.26528, -76.70861Coordinates: 40°15′55″N 76°42′31″W / 40.26528, -76.70861
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Dauphin
Settled 1762
Incorporated (borough) 1874
GovernmentThere are 12 seats on the borough council
 • Type Borough Council
 • Mayor Bradley Miller
 • Total 1.4 sq mi (3.6 km2)
Elevation[1] 397 ft (121 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 4,360
 • Density 3,233.6/sq mi (1,247.0/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 717
Website Borough of Hummelstown

Hummelstown is a borough in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 4,360 in the 2000 census. It is part of the HarrisburgCarlisle Metropolitan Statistical Area. Originally named Fredrickstown, the village was established in 1762.[2] The borough's mayor is Bradley Miller. Hummelstown is a Tree City and is in District 15 of the Pennsylvania Senate. Hummelstown is centrally located between Harrisburg and Hershey; making it a common tourist drive-through and it has several businesses and shops designed to capitalize on the amount of tourist travel through the small town.[3]


The original Parish House, now the Hummelstown Historical Society Library & Museum.

Hummelstown was founded as Fredrickstown in 1762 by two Germans, Frederick and Rosina Hummel.[2] They purchased the land for 200 pounds sterling – then divided the area into building lots, which were sold to German settlers. During the mid 19th century, the Union Canal at Swatara Creek was an important factor in the development of the local economy, promoting trade and transportation.

The town was located at the Burks-Dauphin Turnpike, later it was served by the Union Canal.[4] The Union Canal which paralleled the Swatara Creek bordering the north and the west, was opened in 1827. The Lebanon Valley Railroad arrived in 1858. This brought about many jobs of stone cutting and shipyard work and helped facilitate the Hummelstown Brownstone Company which became the leading employer of Hummelstown residents.[4] The Hummelstown Brownstone Company mined Hummelstown brownstone at its quarries from 1867 until 1929. The company was the largest producer of brownstone on the East Coast.

Throughout the history of the town it has been a stopping point for tourists traveling to Harrisburg]] or Hershey. Harrisburg being the capital of Pennsylvania, and Hershey being the home of Hershey Foods, HersheyPark, and Chocolate World. At various times Hummelstown has been as close as twenty miles (32 km) from about ten different professional sports teams, such as the Harrisburg Heat, Hershey Bears, Hershey Wildcats, and the Harrisburg City Islanders. The Calder Cup has had several ceremonies conducted in Hummelstown over the years. The borough is planning to celebrate its semiquincentennial or 250 year anniversary in 2012.

The Hummelstown Historical Society building is located North Rosanna St. and North Alley St. in the original building for the Zion Lutheran Church; which is now the main brownstone church on Main Street of Hummelstown. The Society has a library, museum, genealogy section, and hosts numerous Native American relics, such as arrowheads, bones, and pottery.[4]

Hummelstown is within a thirty-minute drive of several colleges and educational institutions; such as HACC, Lebanon Valley College, Penn State Harrisburg, YTI Career Institute, Kepler Career Institute, and VoTech.

Many residents of Hummelstown have jobs in Derry Township, mainly through Hershey Foods and its subsidiaries. Hummelstown currently has two historical markers in the town, one for the town's oldest church and the other for the Hummelstown Brownstone company.[5]


The Swatara Creek as seen from a park in Hummelstown, at the west end of town. The bridge supports U.S. 322.

Hummelstown is located at 40°15′55″N 076°42′30″W / 40.26528, -76.70833 (40.265168, -76.710995) at an elevation of 397 feet (121 m) above sea level.[1] According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2).1.4 square miles (3.5 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (3.57%) is water.[3]

The Swatara Creek runs through Hummelstown[6] and there is one unnamed pond by the Hummel Nature Trail east of the 7-11 at the end of town next to the Tee Ball baseball field.


The climate of Hummelstown is similar to Harrisburg's. The lows during winter reach about −5 °F (−20.6 °C) and the highs during summer reach about 95 °F (35 °C).

Hummelstown's climate chart.


Hummelstown has been spared of most of the major weather issues, with few tornadoes or hurricanes over the years. In 1992 Hummelstown was hit by a bow tornado. In past years the town has been hit by only several hurricanes, the most severe being Hurricane Agnes which knocked out two key bridges in the town.[7] Hummelstown has had numerous blizzards over the years. In 1994 a blizzard hit Hummelstown with 8" of snow, in 1996, a blizzard hit with 13", in 1997, a blizzard hit with 9", in 2004 a blizzard with 7" hit Hummelstown, and the latest blizzard to hit Hummelstown occurred in 2009 with a record setting 21".



U.S. Route 322 skirts Hummelstown as the Hummelstown Bypass. U.S. Routes 422 39, 22, and 11 pass nearby. Hummelstown main street ends at the Boro Bar and Walton Avenue (previously main street) turns into and becomes U.S. Route 39 / Hersheypark Road. At the west end of Hummelstown, the exit leaving Hummelstown - Fiddlers Elbow connects to U.S. Route 283.

Main Street of Hummelstown once leaving Hummelstown west joins into U.S. Route 322. Going east Main Street turns into U.S. Route 39 at what part is known as Hersheypark Drive in Derry Township.


According to the United States Census Bureau the median house value in Hummelstown is $99,400.[8] Directly within the main limits of the town, excluding those of the development of Graystone, as well as those that have Hummelstown addresses, there is a total of 1,953 housing units.[9]

Units in Structure Number Percent[10]
1-Unit Detached 1,031 52.8%
1-Unit Attached 195 10%
2-Units 116 5.9%
3 or 4 Units 216 11.1%
5 to 9 Units 220 11.3%
10 to 19 Units 65 3.3%
20 or more Units 74 3.8%
Mobile Home 36 1.8%
Boat, RV, or Van (etc.) 0 0.00%

Hummelstown is home to many older homes; due to the town's age, much of the homes were built in the earlier decades of the 1900s.

Year Structure Built Number Percent[11]
1999 to March 2000 21 1.1%
1995 to 1998 85 4.4%
1990 to 1994 33 1.7%
1980 to 1989 143 7.3%
1970 to 1979 239 12.2%
1960 to 1969 250 12.8%
1940 to 1959 531 27.2%
1939 or earlier 651 33.3%

Again, according to the United Census Bureau the estimated upkeep cost and home improvement costs to percentage of house value in Hummelstown, has a median of less than 15% (Which comes to a median cost of $14,910).[12]


As of 2009, Hummelstown's total population is 18,826. 9,132 of which are male, and 9,694 female. The median age for the population is 38.3 years old. There is a total of 7,267 households in Hummelstown, with the median income per household being $56,063.[3][13]

2000 census records[]

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 4,360 people, 1,879 households, and 1,200 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,233.6 people per square mile (1,247.0/km²). There were 1,953 housing units at an average density of 1,448.4 per square mile (558.6/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 97.02% White, 0.32% African American, 0.02% Native American, 1.06% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.67% from other races, and 0.85% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.51% of the population.

There were 1,879 households out of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.1% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.1% were non-families. 31.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the borough the population was spread out with 23.6% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 15.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.4 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $41,625, and the median income for a family was $50,572. Males had a median income of $36,500 versus $27,547 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $21,394. About 4.2% of families and 6.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.3% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.

Money Magazine (via their website and magazine) lists the median household income for Hummelstown to be $60,666 as of 2005, compared to the average in the United States which is $68,053 in 2005. The sales tax is 6.00%, compared to that of 6.77% nation-wide. The median house price is $154,815 compared to that of the nation average of $315,351.[15]

In 2005, Hummelstown was named the 61st best town in the United States to live in, as voted on by The New York Times in association with Time, Life, and several other high-profile magazines on Money Magazine's website.[16]

Arts and culture[]

Annual cultural events[]

  • The Lollipop Drop – New Year's Eve
  • Movie Nights – at the Herbert A. Schaffner Memorial Park
  • Taste of Hummelstown – food sampling by restaurants along the Main Street
  • The Hummelstown Craftsfair – a craft fair held each September
  • Trick or Treat - the Thursday closest (before) Halloween is the night used for the annual Trick or Treat. Houses with their porchlight on from 6PM until 8PM are houses participating.

Museums and other points of interest[]

Hummelstown has a historical society constructed with Hummelstown brownstone. The Hummelstown Historical Society is both a museum and visitor center. The town is home to a historical landmark, the Warwick Hotel, which is still a tavern reminiscent of its pre-Revolutionary War days. George Washington stayed a night there and drank from its bar. Indian Echo Caverns is one of the main attractions near Hummelstown. The caverns were originally used by the Susquehannock tribe, who lived and hunted in the nearby area until they vanished in the 1670s; it opened to the public in 1929.

The shortline operator Middletown and Hummelstown Railroad operates heritage and freight service between its namesake towns of Middletown, Pennsylvania and just south of Hummelstown proper, stopping in front of the Indian Echo Caverns entrance. The Hummelstown Borough Council has expressed concern around quality of life issues (noise, odor, safety) with having more trains passing through town. As such, trains stop just south of the busy four-lane U.S. Route 322 grade crossing on a regular basis, and are allowed to enter town exactly 12 times per year.[17] Interestingly, Norfolk Southern's busy Harrisburg Line traverses the northern section of Hummelstown, with up to 20 lengthy freight trains passing through daily.

In the town[]

In the town there is an American Legion, a VFW, a boro office building, and a post office. The legion and the post office are located on Walton Avenue (main street). The VFW and the boro office building are located on South Hannover street. The town has several bars; including: The Warwick Hotel, The Boro Bar, Chicks, and the new Gas Station. The town also has several churches, most located on Main Street.


As much of Pennsylvania, in the initial days of its founding, Hummelstown had a large base of Quakers. As the town grew other protestant denominations, such as Lutheran, Methodist, and Presbyterian developed.

Parks and recreation[]

The Pavilion at Herbert A. Schaffner Park.

Several parks are located throughout the borough:[18]

The playground at Schaffner Park, the former Borough Park.

  • Barry E. Mehaffie Memorial Park (formerly West End Park)
  • Herbert A. Schaffner Memorial Park (formerly Borough Park)
  • Hummel Nature Trail
  • Marion F. Alexander Memorial Park
  • Shope's Field



Lower Dauphin High School, as taken from the Hershey Medical Center life lion.

The borough is located within the Lower Dauphin School District. Lower Dauphin High School, Lower Dauphin Middle School, Nye Elementary School, and the Price Building are located in the community. The school district's administration building is also located in Hummelstown.

The Lower Dauphin High School Falcons logo.


Hummelstown has one public library, located on John St. across from the Nye Elementary School building. Construction is due to be finished on their larger library, the William H. & Marion C. Alexander Family Library, on the corner of 2nd and Railroad Streets. The library will be in size and in scope in comparison to that of the Hershey Public Library.

HUM at a glance:[19]
2,821 square feet of net space
27,456 volumes
Opened in 1953.
Building constructed in 1957 as Hummelstown Teen Center, later Hummelstown Civic Center.
Library moved into building in 1965.
Became part of the Dauphin County Library System in 1975. Library took over entire building in 1983.

The Hummelstown Public Library named for its major donors and local philanthropists, William H. and Marion C. Alexander, was planned to open the first week of July 2010 and the grand opening ceremony will be held during the last week of July 2010. Due to time issues involved in moving the large catalog of books from the previous library to its new home; as well as the acquisition of more books, the library's opening and grand opening ceremony will be held on July 27, 2010.


Hummelstown is home to The Sun newspaper, which covers Hummelstown, Hershey, and the lower Dauphin County area. In early 2008, The Sun acquired the subscribers of the now-defunct Hershey Chronicle newspaper[20] making The Sun the largest paid-circulation weekly in Dauphin County. The Sun began in 1871.[4]

Area newspapers that cover Hummelstown include:

  • The Sun
  • The Patriot-News
  • Press and Journal
  • The Sentinel
  • Central Penn Business Journal

Radio stations[]

This is a list of FM stations in the greater Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, metropolitan area.

Callsign MHz Band "Name", Format, Owner City of license
WDCV 88.3 FM Indie/College Rock, Dickinson College Carlisle
WXPH 88.7 FM WXPN relay, University of Pennsylvania Harrisburg
WSYC 88.7 FM Alternative, Shippensburg University Shippensburg
WITF-FM 89.5 FM NPR Harrisburg
WVMM 90.7 FM Indie/College Rock, Messiah College Grantham
WJAZ 91.7 FM WRTI relay, Classical/Jazz, Temple University Harrisburg
WWKL 92.1 FM "Hot 92", Rhythmic/CHR Palmyra
WKZF 92.7 FM Smooth Jazz Starview
WTPA 93.5 FM Classic Rock Mechanicsburg
WRBT 94.9 FM "Bob" Country Harrisburg
WLAN 96.9 FM "FM 97" Top 40 Lancaster
WRVV 97.3 FM "The River" Classic Hits and the Best of Today's Rock Harrisburg
WYCR 98.5 FM 98.5 The Peak York
WQLV 98.9 FM "Love 99" Adult Contemporary Millersburg
WHKF 99.3 FM "Kiss-FM" CHR Harrisburg
WQIC 100.1 FM Adult Contemporary Lebanon
WROZ 101.3 FM "The Rose" Adult Contemporary Lancaster
WARM 103.3 FM "Warm 103" Adult Contemporary York
WNNK 104.1 FM "Wink 104" Hot AC Harrisburg
WQXA 105.7 FM "105.7 The X" Hard Rock York
WMHX 106.7 FM "Mix" Adult Hits Hershey
WGTY 107.7 FM "Great Country" York

This is a list of AM stations in the Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, metropolitan area:

Callsign kHz Band Format City of license
WHP (AM) 580 AM Conservative News/Talk Harrisburg
WHYF 720 AM Contemporary Christian Shiremanstown
WSBA (AM) 910 AM News/Talk York
WADV 940 AM Gospel Lebanon
WHYL 960 AM Adult Standards Carlisle
WIOO 1000 AM Classic Country Carlisle
WKBO 1230 AM Christian Contemporary Harrisburg
WQXA 1250 AM Country York
WLBR 1270 AM Talk Lebanon
WHGB 1400 AM Now ESPN Radio (Formerly Adult R&B: The Touch) Harrisburg
WTKT 1460 AM sports: "The Ticket" Harrisburg
WEEO (AM) 1480 AM Oldies Shippensburg
WLPA 1490 AM sports Lancaster
WWSM 1510 AM Classic Country Annville
WPDC 1600 AM Spanish Elizabethtown


Hummelstown has a rich folklore, both of the town and especially concerning the local area. There is a great history to the area, with its fields, creek, and the caves nearby. The biggest case of folklore around the town is the case of the sister and brother duo of William (Amos) Wilson and Elizabeth (Harriot) Wilson. Or as William would later be known as - The Pennsylvania Hermit. The Indian Echo Caverns uses the folklore of William to help attract tourists.

Notable natives and residents[]

  • Newt Gingrich - former Speaker of the House and presidential candidate, was raised by his mother and step-father (who adopted him) on Main Street in an apartment above what is now a computer store MainFrame. There is a tree on main street dedicated to his step-father as well as a plaque commemorating the site as their place of residence.
  • Brian Baker – former Sprint Corporation spokesman
  • Terry Farrell – cast member of Becker and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; wife of Brian Baker
  • Alexander Ramsey – second governor of Minnesota
  • The music band Full Moon originated in Hummelstown in 1974.
  • Chris Villarrial - American football player, formerly for the Buffalo Bills and Chicago Bears
  • Laurel Martin - field hockey player formerly for the US Olympic Team
  • Bill Gaudette - soccer player for the Puerto Rico Islanders
  • George M. Leader - former governor of Pennsylvania
  • Dr. William K. Thierfelder - psychologist
  • William Simonton - a Whig member of the US House of Representatives
  • James M. Wallace - a member of the US House of Representatives
  • John D. Payne - a Republican member of the US House of Representatives
  • Bob Swank - head coach of the Buffalo State College football team
  • Brett Anderson - current MLB pitcher

Historic Buildings and Listings[]

  • Dr. William Henderson House - 31 East Main Street
  • Keystone Hotel - 40 East Main Street
  • Enoch Matlack House - 250 East Main Street
  • John Tudd House - South Meadow Lane
  • Zion Lutheran Church and Graveyard - Rosana Street, home of the Hummelstown Historical Society

Native Americans[]

There were several Native American tribes located around Hummelstown. The Susquehannocks, the Iroquois, and several smaller tribes that would later be conquered or assimilated into the Iroquois.[21]

See also[]

  • Brownstone
  • Hummelstown Brownstone
  • Indian Echo Caverns
  • List of museums in Pennsylvania
  • List of towns and boroughs in Pennsylvania
  • Middletown and Hummelstown Railroad
  • Public Works
  • For more information on the local culture, climate, and topography of the surrounding area, the closest major city, a neighbor to Hummelstown is: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania


External links[]

Template:Harrisburg Radio

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