The downtown area of Hanover is much larger than I originally thought. Situated at the intersection of Routes 94, 194, 116, and 216, it is on the way to nearly everywhere. Therefore, it is no surprise that it was a major travel route for troops moving to Gettysburg during the Civil War. The Battle of Hanover was fought on June 30, 1863, right on the streets of downtown. Historical markers explaining the battle are located in many spots along the historic district.
I parked at the public parking lot at the Municipal Building, where two quarters yielded me 2 1/2 hours of parking. What a bargain! Across the street from the parking lot I could see an old theater. It was boarded up and for sale, but local high school students had painted murals and portraits of local famous notables on the plywood, even giving the faux front doors an elegant look. Just down the street from the theatre is a mansion, the Sheppard. It offers elegant lodging and a special event venue.
I continued up the street until I got to the town square, where tall buildings face the intersections. Some are old and original; others are modernized. There is a mix of art deco, colonial style, and Romanesque Revival style buildings. Some are banks or former banks. Many have cornerstones showing that they were built around 1900; others have plaques showing that they were pre-Civil War buildings.
The sidewalks are good, and there are pedestrian crossings with lights at each intersection. I walked around the square, noting clothing shops, professional offices, lunch cafes, coffee shops, and my favorite, a Clarks Bostonian outlet. I went into the outlet, housed in a beautiful art deco building on the square, and learned that it is the largest Clarks outlet store in the country. I admit that I did make a few purchases in that shop, and I will return again!
Because of all the intersections at the square, there are a number of radiating streets with even more buildings and businesses. It was a Monday, and the middle of winter, so not many were open today. Some, including a large hotel named for Richard McAllister, the original founder of the town, have been converted from their original uses to offices and apartments.
An eye-catching landmark is the “Famous Wiener Lunch,” which is a triangular shaped building. Note that whoever painted “wiener” on the side of the building was not the best speller. It still has its 1950’s look inside.
I’d love to explore more of the streets of Hanover in the spring, when azaleas and rhododendrons are in bloom. There are old school buildings, warehouses, and streets of large homes to explore, as well as the origins of Utz potato chips and Snyders of Hanover pretzels. I might even have a “famous wiener lunch,” minus the bun, of course.
“Life Through My Lens” is a travel/photography blog written by Cam Miller, copyright 2014
Email: cam.miller@comcast. net