5:23 PM EST, January 26, 2013
People from all 50 states, every province in Canada and more than 60 countries have visited the Chambersburg Heritage Center since the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce opened it on Memorial Square in July 2004.
Nearly 3,000 people signed the guest book at the center at 100 Lincoln Way East in 2012. These included visitors from eight other nations and 32 states. Some visitors did not sign the guest book, so visitation likely topped 3,000.
May is the busiest month for visitors, and also is the month when students from the Chambersburg Area School District visit on school tours. July is the next busiest month, likely because of ChambersFest and Old Market Day in downtown Chambersburg.
Also touring the Heritage Center during the year were groups from the Franklin County Visitors Bureau, churches and home schools, as well as students from Greencastle-Antrim High School.
The Heritage Center is a starting point for exploration of local history. The exhibits and videos inside the center provide an opportunity to learn about the founding of Chambersburg, its frontier life and the Revolutionary War, as well as local Civil War and Underground Railroad history. It is a Pennsylvania Civil War Trails site.
The center is open from Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays in the spring and summer. It will be open during IceFest on Saturday, Feb. 2, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Chamber of Commerce and Heritage Center rely on dozens of volunteers — mostly retirees — to help operate the center. Volunteer opportunities are available for those who love history and like to meet people. Duties include welcoming visitors, answering their questions and being a cashier in the Heritage Center’s gift shop. Volunteers also might be asked to help with office work or lead tours. Ideally, volunteers would be able to commit a few hours at least once a month, or more frequently as needed.
For more information about volunteering, contact Heritage Center Coordinator Sue Black at 717-264-7101 or stop by the center during operating hours.
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