Hershey is well-known as the home of legendary Hershey’s Chocolate, the “sweetest place on earth.” So, for all you history buffs and chocolate lovers out there, we’ve put together 20 interesting facts you didn’t know about Hershey, PA. There are certainly more than 20, but these highlight some of the most fascinating aspects of this sweet, lovely and historic town in Central Pennsylvania.
About Milton Hershey
- 1. Milton Hershey, who founded the Hershey Chocolate Company, was a Pennsylvania Dutch Mennonite who quit school at 13 years of age. He began an apprenticeship at age 15 with a master confectioner in nearby Lancaster, PA. Four years later, Hershey borrowed $150 from his aunt to start his own candy shop in Philadelphia.
- 2. After two failed attempts trying to start his own candy company, Hershey successfully founded the Lancaster Caramel Company in 1894, which featured Crystal Cream Caramels.
- 3. Milton Hershey sold the Lancaster Caramel Company in 1900 for $1 million (worth $31 million today).
- 4. Milton Hershey witnessed the art of chocolate making in Chicago at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. He was immediately hooked and purchased the equipment to start making his own.
- 5. Milton Hershey was intrigued by the novel cocoa bean. Chocolate was a luxury item at the time, so he travelled overseas to Germany to learn more about making good chocolate to make it available and affordable to the masses.
- 6. Milton Hershey spent three years perfecting the chocolate-making process for production, which came to be known as the Hershey Process. It involved using milk that wouldn’t spoil during production. The Hershey Process is still a trade secret today.
- 7. Milton Hershey put a $300 deposit on the doomed Titanic voyage, but had to change his plans at the last minute due to an emergency (the reason is unknown for sure – either his wife, Kitty, was sick, or Milton had a business emergency). You can view a copy of the check Hershey wrote to White Star Line for a first class stateroom at The Hershey Story Museum.
About the Company
- 8. Milton Hershey said to give them quality; it’s the best advertising in the world.
- 9. Milton Hershey built the town we know today as Hershey, PA for his employees. He believed that in order for his company to be successful, his employees had to be happy. The town included schools, parks, churches, recreational facilities, housing and a trolley system.
- 10. The Hershey Company is the largest chocolate-manufacturing plant in the world, having grown from six acres in 1905 to 2.2 million square feet today.
- 11. Hersheypark reports the highest yearly attendance of any privately owned amusement park in North America.
- 12. There is a bronze statue of Milton Hershey Statue at the front of Hersheypark. The statue stands 5’-7” inches tall – Milton’s actual height.
About Hershey, PA
- 13. Hershey, PA, was originally named Derry Church.
- 14. Hershey, PA has no legal status as an incorporated municipality. The town’s municipal services are provided by Derry Township, which is part of Dauphin County, PA. The population was 14,257 during the 2010 census.
- 15. Today, the town of Hershey features one of the company’s plants, a boarding school, stadium, 10,500-seat arena, the Hershey Hotel, The Hershey Museum, a hospital, and Hersheypark.
- 16. Hershey and his wife weren’t able to have children, so they focused on helping other children by opening the Hershey Industrial School for orphaned boys. Today, the Milton Hershey School serves 1,900 boys and girls each year.
About the Candy
- 17. 80 million Hershey’s Kisses are produced each day.
- 18. Hershey’s Kisses and M&M’s alternate as the number one selling candy in America; Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are number three.
- 19. Hershey’s Chocolate World features over 100 street lamps shaped like Hershey’s Kisses (some wrapped and some not).
- 20. For the company’s 100th anniversary in 2007, a team of 152 people made a giant Hershey’s KISS. The project took nine days and weighed over 30,000 pounds. They wrapped this giant, 12-foot KISS in over 16,000 feet of foil.
Do you know any other interesting facts about Hershey, PA? Share them below! When you plan your first, next, (or umpteenth) visit to Hershey, be sure to book your stay at our charming countryside bed and breakfast, just minutes away from all the sweet sights. After a day of touring, tasting and buying, you can return to your comfy guest room. We’ll treat you to a scrumptious breakfast each morning after which you can sit on the front porch and watch the horses graze nearby. Book online today or call (717) 533-6764.